UK COLLEGE TRIP STOP #1, MARCH 2019
Newcastle University is located in Newcastle upon Tyne in northeast England. The city was a major shipbuilding and manufacturing hub during the Industrial Revolution and is now a center of business, arts, and sciences. Newcastle residents consider themselves to be closer to Scotland culturally and very different than London. They distinguish themselves from London by being “friendlier” and more economical than their southern neighbor (by a three-hour train ride), as well as being one of the safest cities in England.
Students attending Newcastle University from outside the region become honorary “Geordies” and will get a crash course in the Geordie accent (similar to a Scottish accent). Newcastle University ties its rich history to current studies, including its involvement in the Wars of the Roses. They value social consciousness and symbolize this with a statue of Martin Luther King, whom they gave an honorary degree.
Newcastle is a member of the Russell Group, an association of 24 of the UK’s leading research universities, is considered a Top 150 Global University, and is in the top 1% of World Universities according to the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), which looks specifically at undergraduate teaching and satisfaction,
Newcastle spends a lot of time focusing on student employability, with advisory panels, industry-linked projects, CV checks, job fairs, and workshops, paid work experience, business start-up support, one-on-one guidance, and employer presentations. Employers are mostly from the UK, but there are industries available for US students to stay and work (engineering, finance, marine science), plus there are Blue Chip firms that recruit here with an international presence (i.e. Proctor and Gamble, PricewaterhouseCoopers).
Newcastle has 25,000 students total (2/3 are undergraduates) with over 5,000 being international students, and of those 150 come from the US (100 for undergraduate study and 50 for graduate study). They love having American students on campus as it adds to the cultural diversity. They offer a welcome program where students learn how to register, get help with visas, get help finding doctors, take tours around the city and get tips for navigating where to shop.
Newcastle offers both the big research and one-on-one connection. Faculty make an effort to get to know students, and students have peer mentors as well as a personal tutor. Large lectures are recorded, and students meet in small groups for weekly recaps of lectures.
Newcastle scans students as they enter class, so they know if students are not coming and will check on them if they are not. It is a safe city with a university security service, a night bus, and student well-being services.
Accommodations (housing) are available on campus but the vast majority is self-catered (students shop and cook for themselves). Most accommodations give students their bedroom, but they might share live in an apartment with a shared common area. Most students stay on campus year one (city center), then for years 2-3 they usually go to more residential areas out of the city that is less expensive but still within walking distance. However, accommodations are guaranteed all three years, if wanted.
More about their programs:
Newcastle has strong and diverse medical sciences that include medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, biomedical sciences, nutrition, sport and exercise science, and psychology. For biomedical sciences, students can explore before specializing.
They offer placements for biomedical sciences, nutrition, sport & exercise sciences, and psychology. A placement is in between year two and three, making time to graduation four years instead of three. Students must have 65% in grades (which equates to an A- average in US grading), and apply at the end of year two (interview like a job). Many placements are paid, but psychology placements are not.
Medicine MD and BS; Dentistry Bachelor of Dentistry; pharmacy all have built-in placements.
The Medicine course has 26 international students each year and four in Dentistry, as these are restricted courses for international students. It is possible to stay and work with this degree, but it is a lot of paperwork. However, we were told that graduate entry to medicine for international students might be lifted soon. They have a strong Forensic psychology specialization with professors coming from professional practice. Students study arson, investigative interrogation, do risk assessments in prisons, work with victims, and offenders.Aging and healthy aging is a strong program, with research in genetics, childhood diseases, inflammation and fibrosis, cellular medicine and immunotherapy and mitochondrial research.
Recognizing that employers are starting to recognize that having a broader education is better than having just one focus, Newcastle offers Combined Honors Degrees for select students, (700 students currently participate), interested in studying similar or related disciplines. Combined Honors is only for courses in the Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, Languages and Business.