From education to employment

Welsh universities continue to have the highest overall satisfaction in the whole of the UK

Tamera was set to move to Scotland in 2016, but traded her place at St Andrews University to study on the Swansea coast, after befriending Welsh people at Glastonbury Festival.

Since landing a place at Swansea University to study a BA (Hons) in Applied Linguistics, she has officially settled in the city, and claims she “wouldn’t change a thing”;

Tamera, 28, spent her whole life in Helston – a small Cornish market town between Falmouth and Penzance.

Armed with qualifications in Humanities and Social Science, she was just like any other student – on the hunt for an interesting course in an exciting location; where she would go on to spend the next few years in education.

“People are surprised when I say I’m glad I went through clearing” Tamera says,

“but I wish I did more research when I was originally looking into universities and where to study. Had I realised I could enjoy a great mix of the natural outdoors as well as a bustling city centre in Swansea, I’d have put it as my first choice without a doubt!”

What’s more, Welsh universities continue to have the highest overall satisfaction in the whole of the UK, too. In 2019’s National Student Survey, 85% of students in Wales said they were on the whole satisfied with the quality of their course.

Tamera met her now-best-friends from Pontypridd, at Glastonbury Festival in 2015, “My friend and I pitched up a tent next to two Welsh ladies from The Valleys. They were such a laugh – we instantly hit it off. We spoke everyday on Facebook and really got to know each other; we became really close and FaceTimed all the time”

“A month before I was due to start university at St Andrews, I visited my friends in Wales. I instantly fell in love and realised that actually Wales was the place for me! It’s so much closer to home than Scotland too”

She continues, “We still go to Glastonbury together every year, to reminisce in the place where our friendship officially started. Who knew my favourite festival could change my life?”

Tamera still sings Swansea’s praises, three years on, “I love studying in Wales! The people are friendly, the surroundings are beautiful, there’s so much to do – what more could I ask for? I also really admire the Welsh language and would love to learn it someday”

“I love the community feeling you get in Wales; people are so proud of their culture and heritage!”

Tamera adds, “There’s no better place if you love nature, the beach, and walking… the location is great to travel around and explore new places, too”

In fact, recent research from Study in Wales has revealed that all universities in Wales can guarantee students are less than two and a half miles from a city centre location, and less than three and a half miles from the stunning outdoors – be it a recognised place of natural beauty such as a National Park, or a place of relaxation like a beach!

Plus, NatWest has listed Swansea as one of the most affordable cities in the UK for students, coming out cheaper than a number of major university hubs in England, such as York, Liverpool, Birmingham and Reading.

After graduating, Tamera is hoping to enrol onto a Master’s at Swansea University, to kick-start her career teaching English Language to adults.

She says, “Anyone looking to become more independent and take the plunge to do something completely new – look at universities in Wales, it’s not as far away as you think! I couldn’t recommend this experience enough and it’s really helped shape who I am today. I can’t wait to permanently set up camp in Wales, and build my life there”. 

Universities Wales is a member of the National Council of Universities UK, representing the interests of universities in Wales.

Its membership encompasses the Vice Chancellors of each university in Wales, and the Director of the Open University in Wales.

Its mission is to support a university education system which transforms lives through the work Welsh universities do with the people and places of Wales and the wider world, providing the higher education sector with a vibrancy that differentiates its offer from that of its neighbours and competitors, and promotes Wales as a first-rate study destination.

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