Tribal Group Blog

Tribal Group Blog

8 things you didn't know about UK universities

Posted by Sophie Fryer on November 4, 2015

As the UCAS January admissions deadline approaches, thousands of students across the UK will already be thinking about what university to apply for next year.

We have put together a list of eight fun facts about some of our beloved UK universities:

1. Durham University

Durham University has the highest rate of inter-student marriages with 10,000 alumni meeting their life partners whilst studying. A third of these couples started their relationships after graduation and unsurprisingly Durham Castle, part of the university, has become  a very popular wedding venue!

2. University of York

The 200-acre landscaped park at the University of York has become well known for its lake and wildfowl…in particular ducks. In fact, there are so many ducks that they say for every quarter of an acre on campus, 14 ducks can be found. Killing a duck can get you expelled and the university even runs a blog called ‘Duck of the Day’ so you can keep up to date with our feathered friends.

3. University of Oxford

If you are lucky enough to have gained a place at the prestigious University of Oxford, one of the first things you must do before being admitted to the internationally famous library is swear an oath…to not light a fire! The vow translates to: ‘I hereby undertake not to remove from the Library, nor to mark, deface, or injure in any way, any volume, document or other object belonging to it or in its custody; not to bring into the Library, or kindle therein, any fire or flame, and not to smoke in the Library; and I promise to obey all rules of the Library.’

4. University of Leicester

In September 2012, the University of Leicester led the archaeological excavation of Richard III underneath a car park owned by Leicester City Council. On the very first day, a human skeleton was uncovered showing signs of severe injuries and was later correctly identified to be the remains of the former King of England. Benedict Cumberbatch later attended his reburial at Leicester Cathedral and is said to be the King’s second cousin 16 times removed.

5. University College of London

Jeremy Bentham was a philosopher, jurist and social reformer. He is widely associated with the foundation in 1826 of UCL. In his will, he asked that after his death his skeleton be preserved, dressed in his own clothes as an ‘auto-icon’ to be used as his memorial. The auto-icon is now on public display at UCL, and even attends meetings of the College Council where it is recorded in the minutes as ‘present but not voting’.

6. University of Edinburgh

The Student ­is the UK’s oldest student newspaper and is produced by students at the University of Edinburgh. It started as a small weekly magazine and was supported by advertising costing only two pence. During the first half of the 1970s Gordon Brown was a news editor at the paper. In March 2008, The Student published an interview with JK Rowling and revealed that she had suffered from depression in the past. Several newspapers from around the world published the excerpt from student journalist Adeel Amini’s interview.

7. University of Sussex

Up until 2013, the students at the University of Sussex took part in an annual ‘Dissertation Dash’. The dash consisted of a race through part of the campus to Falmer House, where the final dissertations had to be handed into the office by the 16:00 deadline. The tradition had to be scrapped after the deadline fell during the exam period, and there was no single location to hand in work. Instead, students agreed to a compromise and there are now a number of bar-based activities to substitute the race!

8. University of Cambridge

When English poet Lord Byron became a student at the University of Cambridge he was annoyed that the college rules prohibited him from keeping a pet dog. Instead, he decided to keep a tame bear and argued that the rules did not state anywhere that he was not allowed one. The college had no grounds to argue and the bear stayed with Lord Byron until he graduated.

About Tribal


Tribal Group’s world leading student administration system SITS:Vision is implemented in 65% of the UK HE sector and various sites around the world. For more information on how you could benefit from our solutions click here.

Topics: Higher Education

Picture of Sophie Fryer

Written by Sophie Fryer

Sophie is the Interim Head of Marketing Communications at Tribal Group.