With around 100,000 students in Greater Manchester, there’s no doubt that this Northern hub is a fantastic place to be a student. The city of Manchester hosts the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and the Royal Northern College of Music, a music conservatoire. Other cities and towns in the Greater Manchester area also boast excellent institutions such as the University of Salford and the University of Bolton.
But outside of the classrooms, lecture theatres and music halls, why is Manchester so popular among students? Here are eight reasons why Manchester is a great place to be a student.
1. It’s a city for students
With such a huge student population, the city and surrounding areas cater to students everywhere you go. Great food is everywhere and it’s affordable, with street markets and quirky cafés popping up all over the city and plenty of student deals available for you to experience all the cuisines Manchester has to offer. There are whole areas dominated by students – Oxford Road, which hosts three different universities, and Fallowfield, the student hub a short bus ride from the University of Manchester, home to halls of residence and student housing that make it feel like its own student village.
People from Manchester – known as Mancunians – are famous for being friendly, but it’s not just Mancunians you’ll interact with. It’s estimated that there are around 41,000 international students in and around the city, so wherever you’re from, you’ll be sure to meet an incredibly diverse range of people when you study here.
2. The world-famous music scene
Greater Manchester is home to bands such as Oasis, The Smiths, Joy Division and The Stone Roses – and this music legacy continues today. From smaller music venues such as Deaf Institute, to unique spaces like the Albert Hall, to astronomical venues such as Manchester Arena – there’s always a gig to see somewhere in the city.
The nightlife is diverse; a night out in Manchester could mean anything from Canal Street, to Deansgate Locks, to the Warehouse Project. And nightlife doesn’t have to mean music – there’s also a whole host of theatre and comedy clubs. Check out what’s on at the Palace Theatre, the Opera House, the Frog and Bucket or the Comedy Store.
3. Its festivals are fantastic
Known for being a rainy city, the wet weather never stops Mancunians getting out on the streets for a celebration. Pride in Manchester is unmissable, spanning huge areas of the city, people celebrate and support the LGBTQ+ community. Celebrating creativity, Manchester International Festival commissions, produces and presents dynamic new work by leading artists from different art forms and backgrounds. Chinese New Year celebrations in Manchester light up the city, days of celebrations end in the iconic parade through the streets of Chinatown. There are also plenty of music festivals, popular among students, such as Parklife, Sounds of the City and more.
4. You’re never short on culture
Manchester has a rich and fascinating history. It was at the centre of the UK’s industrial revolution and the city, led by textile manufacturing, boomed in the 19th century. The worker bee, the city’s symbol, is a representation for this industrial past, and you’ll see this bee everywhere you go. You can learn about the city’s industrial legacy at the Museum of Science and Industry. From art to football, there are plenty more museums and galleries to explore in Manchester. Visit the Whitworth Art Gallery, part of the University of Manchester and conveniently located on its campus, or head to the city centre for the National Football Museum, the Imperial War Museum North and the Manchester Jewish Museum. For something a bit different, visit the amazing John Rylands Library and explore its historic corridors.