Choosing your university: campus community or city vibe?

When choosing your university, there are many factors you have to consider, like the suitability of the course, the distance from home, and the reputation of the institution. But one factor that people struggle with is deciding whether they want to a campus community or city vibe when going to uni:

Campus Uni

The pros:

Sense of community

On campus, you are surrounded by people who are in the same boat as you. You will find yourself fully immersed in student culture, and organising get-togethers are easy with the convenience of everybody being in the same place.

Safety and Comfort

On campus, it’s easier for universities to enforce more effective security measures as everything is so compact. Whereas in a city university, it is harder to maintain that same level of control as everything is so spread out. So, if you are worried about the dangers that come with living by yourself, a campus university may be the best choice to put your mind slightly more at ease.

The cons:

The Bubble Effect

Since everybody and everything is on your door step, you might find yourself being less willing to step outside the confinements of the university. Remember, moving away for university is about trying to adapt to changes and experience new cultures, not to get too comfortable in another safety net away from home.

Entertainment is further away

Many universities have their own bars and clubs within the SU, which is great if you want to have a fun night without having to venture too far out. However, there are only so many times you can go to the same bar and club without getting bored. If you choose a campus university, you will have to be prepared to make the effort to trek into the city, whether it be on public transport or in taxis. Time and costs are factors that should be taken into account when considering how often you would like to get away from the university to have some fun.

City uni

The pros:

Cultural diversity

In some of the larger cities, such as London and Birmingham, you will find that the culture is very diverse. Being able to connect and communicate with a variety of people is beneficial as you become more educated on cultures that differ from your own, which is an opportunity to develop yourself as an individual. University isn’t just about receiving a formal academic education; it’s also about evolving into a well-rounded individual.


It shouldn’t have to be Mission Impossible to go and buy your groceries. In the city, if you aren’t fond of one shop, another one shouldn’t be too far. Planning spontaneous meals out or shopping trips are simple as you can walk it to most places. Wherever you are, what you need is never far away.

The cons:


Living amongst the hustle and bustle of the city may sound fun but isn’t necessarily ideal. Especially during exam season, it would be more ideal to have a tranquil setting rather than hearing car horns blare through your window. For some, the busy atmosphere can be overwhelming, and it can be difficult to escape it if you live and work amongst it. In addition, the existence of a student atmosphere can be diluted by the intrusion of the public. The student vibe that exists in a campus-university usually isn’t as prominent in a city-university.


When choosing the type of university for you, lifestyle and expenses need to be taken into consideration. Since everything is so accessible to you, it’s very easy to spend your money on a regular basis. Money-management is a major factor that you should consider when applying to university; you might find that living on campus may help you control your finances better as you are limited on where and how you can spend.

As you can see, there are many pros and cons for both a campus-based university or a city-university. Ultimately, your choice should depend on your personality and where you feel you will be most comfortable. If you want a tight-knit community and all of your essentials on your doorstep, choose a campus-based university. If you’re more interested in a lively lifestyle, then a city-based university might be the best choice for you.

Kiran Athwal

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