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Russell Group Uni RL


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1 hour ago, HarrogateKnights said:

To answer that question, we are based and playing out of an independent school (Ashville College) their aim is to get as many of their students into Russell Group Unis as a College especially Oxbridge. So as part of this I researched how many of them play RL so we can use it as a tool to offer after school coaching sessions and their Boarders and other students will be joining us too at a weekend. Most of the Ashville kids are either international students, from down South or won't end up back in Harrogate afterwards so our plan is to give them an awareness of League and skill set so when they get to Uni at Russell groups they may give it a try and boost numbers. Hopefully that leads to bigger numbers in the community game in other areas. If for example they played for their local RL amateur club in London on the back of us and Uni RL that to us would be deemed a success. There are over 50 countries represented at the school. 

Some others do settle back in the area going to the likes of Loughborough, Leeds and York etc one example from the women's game is Fran Goldthorp she plays for Leeds Rhinos and went to Ashville College before attending Loughborough Uni. Although we aren't going to take over Union at a private school we can use League and the Australian and American Boarders as a tool to expand playing numbers in Harrogate and drive up standards as we have the best playing facilities, 7 pitches to choose from, 2 sports halls amongst options like a fully equipped gym and swimming pool. Plus their Director of Rugby Union is Gary Mercer ex Kiwi International. 

That makes absolute sense given the types of students you describe above. Quite an international cohort and certainly far more geographically and socially mobile than the average student. Really refreshing to hear that you are introducing the game to these students who likely wont have heard of RL before.

Some great evidence with Fran Goldthorp you described too.

Sounds like the facilities are brilliant and quite the envy of many RL clubs/schools. If only we had the cash in the game to support this on a wider scale!

Would be interesting to see how this develops with alumni in future years. Wouldnt it be wonderful to have  future with international students representing new nations at a student world cup!

 

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2 minutes ago, tiffers said:

That makes absolute sense given the types of students you describe above. Quite an international cohort and certainly far more geographically and socially mobile than the average student. Really refreshing to hear that you are introducing the game to these students who likely wont have heard of RL before.

Some great evidence with Fran Goldthorp you described too.

Sounds like the facilities are brilliant and quite the envy of many RL clubs/schools. If only we had the cash in the game to support this on a wider scale!

Would be interesting to see how this develops with alumni in future years. Wouldnt it be wonderful to have  future with international students representing new nations at a student world cup!

 

Yeah 100% we can't wait to get started. The facilities and the cash they have available is incredible they spent £3.2million on upgrading their gym recently. The school is set in a 60 acre location with really good facilities with sport at the heart of the college (2 cricket pitches too) in addition to all weather pitches and athletics tracks too. Would really like to get new students from new countries involved especially a big market from Asia that go to the college 

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17 minutes ago, Eddie said:

Why do you think Northern students are less likely to go to Southern universities than vice versa? 

I work in higher education and have the data showing me where they are domiciled and where they eventually go to university, what courses they study etc etc.

Northern students travel shorter distances on average. They are far less likely to travel south vs. southerners to go north.

There is also the deprivation levels in many northern towns/RL towns that also show they are much less likely to get into Russell Group universities/high tariff universities than the average student. Participation rates at universities (i.e. those that go to university vs. those that dont) are also much lower in the North than London/SE England.

An 18yr old in Hunslet is far less likely to go to university than to do something else. Only around 15% will go to university. Of the 15% that go to university, only around 10% will actually get into high tariff universities.

Compare that with a student in Epsom, 60% will go to university and they are far more likely to get into a top ranking university.

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2 minutes ago, HarrogateKnights said:

Yeah 100% we can't wait to get started. The facilities and the cash they have available is incredible they spent £3.2million on upgrading their gym recently. The school is set in a 60 acre location with really good facilities with sport at the heart of the college (2 cricket pitches too) in addition to all weather pitches and athletics tracks too. Would really like to get new students from new countries involved especially a big market from Asia that go to the college 

The money that has come into Snooker from Asia is incredible. Really changed the dynamics of the sport and driven significant investment.

Kudos to your efforts! I wish you all the success!

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7 minutes ago, tiffers said:

The money that has come into Snooker from Asia is incredible. Really changed the dynamics of the sport and driven significant investment.

Kudos to your efforts! I wish you all the success!

Thanks alot really appreciate it Harrogate Fire Ants are the club @Fire_Ants_RL on twitter. 

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27 minutes ago, Eddie said:

Why do you think Northern students are less likely to go to Southern universities than vice versa? 

Anecdotally I'd say it was true for several reasons, culture and cost being primary factors.

To use my own experience as an example, which was common for most of my peergroup, if we weren't going to Oxbridge or a specialist course with limited choice of Unis, then most decided that we were sticking "Northern", or at least Northern plus Nottingham. After all, you could have Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Durham or York etc and then a 5th choice reserve and still be going to a top class University for literally half the money in living expenses as say Bristol or especially London. When you've got a choice between a city with £175 a week rent plus bills or £75 a week you can see why so many make that choice. And that's just Bristol nevermind London itself. Unless your parents are funding you it usually just makes sense to stay up north.

Even at Uni there is a certain divide between Northerners and Southerners culturally at points. This is also further impacted by just how many Southerners come up north for Uni - though its less prominent in the former polytechnics. Northerners at some large Northern Unis are in a minority.

One of the drivers behind the rising prices in a lot of Northern Uni cities (indeed also places like Bristol, Birmingham or Cardiff too) has been the prevalence of southern students, especially from "Wider Greater London". For example as well as general gentrification, a lot of "student pubs" in the North have started to set their prices by London standards of cheap, which essentially means a pint for less than a fiver. Its prevalent in the Uni ran shops and the rent prices too. I've seen how in the 4 years I've been at Leeds how the prices have changed even in that short time.

There's also international student dynamic to add to that too.

There's cultural things like Chips and Gravy too 😂

Sorry for the rant lol

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43 minutes ago, tiffers said:

I work in higher education and have the data showing me where they are domiciled and where they eventually go to university, what courses they study etc etc.

Northern students travel shorter distances on average. They are far less likely to travel south vs. southerners to go north.

There is also the deprivation levels in many northern towns/RL towns that also show they are much less likely to get into Russell Group universities/high tariff universities than the average student. Participation rates at universities (i.e. those that go to university vs. those that dont) are also much lower in the North than London/SE England.

An 18yr old in Hunslet is far less likely to go to university than to do something else. Only around 15% will go to university. Of the 15% that go to university, only around 10% will actually get into high tariff universities.

Compare that with a student in Epsom, 60% will go to university and they are far more likely to get into a top ranking university.

Maybe to do with the cost of living too. Eg why would a northern student go to a London Uni. 
 

Edit - I hadn’t read Tommy’s post when I wrote that. 

Edited by Eddie
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32 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Anecdotally I'd say it was true for several reasons, culture and cost being primary factors.

To use my own experience as an example, which was common for most of my peergroup, if we weren't going to Oxbridge or a specialist course with limited choice of Unis, then most decided that we were sticking "Northern", or at least Northern plus Nottingham. After all, you could have Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Durham or York etc and then a 5th choice reserve and still be going to a top class University for literally half the money in living expenses as say Bristol or especially London. When you've got a choice between a city with £175 a week rent plus bills or £75 a week you can see why so many make that choice. And that's just Bristol nevermind London itself. Unless your parents are funding you it usually just makes sense to stay up north.

Even at Uni there is a certain divide between Northerners and Southerners culturally at points. This is also further impacted by just how many Southerners come up north for Uni - though its less prominent in the former polytechnics. Northerners at some large Northern Unis are in a minority.

One of the drivers behind the rising prices in a lot of Northern Uni cities (indeed also places like Bristol, Birmingham or Cardiff too) has been the prevalence of southern students, especially from "Wider Greater London". For example as well as general gentrification, a lot of "student pubs" in the North have started to set their prices by London standards of cheap, which essentially means a pint for less than a fiver. Its prevalent in the Uni ran shops and the rent prices too. I've seen how in the 4 years I've been at Leeds how the prices have changed even in that short time.

There's also international student dynamic to add to that too.

There's cultural things like Chips and Gravy too 😂

Sorry for the rant lol

Interesting. I grew up near Halifax, and went to Liverpool University (1983-86). I'd say 75 per cent of the students on my course were southerners. Looking back, however, my closest friends - none of whom were on my course - were from the North and the Midlands. They came from places like Castleford, Cleethorpes, Coventry, Leek, Liverpool, Rotherham, Wolverhampton and Worcester. Couple of 'outliers' from Belfast and Orpington.

Can't say I ever entertained the idea of going to university in the south. Just didn't fancy it.

'Fraid to recall I had no interest in playing either code of rugby at university (though at the time Liverpool University had a decent rugby league side). I stuck to football.

Edited by Hopping Mad
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6 hours ago, Tommygilf said:

Anecdotally I'd say it was true for several reasons, culture and cost being primary factors.

To use my own experience as an example, which was common for most of my peergroup, if we weren't going to Oxbridge or a specialist course with limited choice of Unis, then most decided that we were sticking "Northern", or at least Northern plus Nottingham. After all, you could have Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Durham or York etc and then a 5th choice reserve and still be going to a top class University for literally half the money in living expenses as say Bristol or especially London. When you've got a choice between a city with £175 a week rent plus bills or £75 a week you can see why so many make that choice. And that's just Bristol nevermind London itself. Unless your parents are funding you it usually just makes sense to stay up north.

Even at Uni there is a certain divide between Northerners and Southerners culturally at points. This is also further impacted by just how many Southerners come up north for Uni - though its less prominent in the former polytechnics. Northerners at some large Northern Unis are in a minority.

One of the drivers behind the rising prices in a lot of Northern Uni cities (indeed also places like Bristol, Birmingham or Cardiff too) has been the prevalence of southern students, especially from "Wider Greater London". For example as well as general gentrification, a lot of "student pubs" in the North have started to set their prices by London standards of cheap, which essentially means a pint for less than a fiver. Its prevalent in the Uni ran shops and the rent prices too. I've seen how in the 4 years I've been at Leeds how the prices have changed even in that short time.

There's also international student dynamic to add to that too.

There's cultural things like Chips and Gravy too 😂

Sorry for the rant lol

I am a Southerner and uni is not cheap its crazy apart from the fees (20000 a year as our eldest was born in Russia) the accommodation was crazy prices in a basic dump another 450 a month + bills.

I am also sick of receiving e-mails from all these Micky Mouse property developers trying to get my wife and I to invest in student accommodation (Recently in places like Preston even) all this cheap money floating around which ends up with just more buy to let as people are forced into a lifetime of renting.

Dont get me started:((

 

Paul

Edited by ATLANTISMAN
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5 hours ago, HarrogateKnights said:

Yeah 100% we can't wait to get started. The facilities and the cash they have available is incredible they spent £3.2million on upgrading their gym recently. The school is set in a 60 acre location with really good facilities with sport at the heart of the college (2 cricket pitches too) in addition to all weather pitches and athletics tracks too. Would really like to get new students from new countries involved especially a big market from Asia that go to the college 

That must be an impressive gym. 

What are the fees at the school out of interest? Is it just boarders or day pupils as well?

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Northampton Uni (The Gremlins) has been around for 20 years. Back in the day the side would be supplemented with 4/5 northerners but over the last decade very few have travelled south. What is strange is that even though it’s in the heart of union land the RL side has 30 to training every session and outnumbers the union side in results, training numbers and social circles.

As a club they’re very proactive in inclusivity and culture, their old boys network has often funded a kit or monies for travelling whilst this year they had booked Adrian Morley for their anniversary dinner. 

Most players and club members know extremely little about RL but many become extremely engrossed in the sport but confused as to the changing structures. Personally I’ve always believed that university’s should be funded to create pathways to other clubs. 

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11 hours ago, DoubleD said:

That must be an impressive gym. 

What are the fees at the school out of interest? Is it just boarders or day pupils as well?

It is to be fair. The fees vary depending on age group, international student pay more too by start from £3150 per term for day students to around £10,000 for international boarders in their final couple of years.

 https://www.ashville.co.uk/admissions/fees/

Harrogate has Menwith Hill near by which is an American run listening station, a few students go to Ashville are kids of officers from that base others genuinely have money to burn and want kids in a private school. 

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On 23/12/2020 at 18:18, HarrogateKnights said:

I was doing a bit of research on the "top 24" group of Unis in the UK. Interestingly enough 13 out of the 24 have at least 1 RL side playing in a Uni League, when you take that to 20 with England only it becomes 13 out of 20 with both parts of Oxbridge being represented. This list doesn't include the likes of Loughborough or Leeds Beckett. As we are setting up our club from an independent school we are trying to increase Rugby League awareness and skills set so hopefully they go on to play for unis but I think apart from a few clubs we could be doing more with Uni RL and Under 18s (up to 16s tends to be the stopping age at alot of clubs) 

That's not that surprising to be honest, if anything I am surprised it isn't higher! I would be curious how many of those teams have two teams though. I actually coach two university RL teams (one Russell Group) so let me know if you have any questions about University RL!

On 23/12/2020 at 18:42, Bedfordshire Bronco said:

When I was at uni loads of us played both codes. A good way to convert the huge number of union players going to uni

We also had a lot of people trying league for the first time that had never played either code. League is far more accessible to learn than union so they should tap that market up

 

In my experience, there is very few people who play both codes now. Teams will train 2-3 times a week and all play on Wednesdays so it's not really possible except in rare circumstances. We do see a lot that try union in their first year and then decide the club isn't as inclusive or welcoming as first thought so try league instead. We also see plenty who trial for union and don't make it so come across to league, often players who are really good rugby players but aren't big enough to stand out in a one-off union trial. Keeping these players away from intra-mural sport can be a challenge though.

On 23/12/2020 at 19:24, iffleyox said:

Exeter 20 years ago, I'm not sure we had an RL side. I played a bit of intra-mural RU for the drama department (on loan from history who tended to have more and better players to choose from to start with).

They've got one now - I follow them on twitter. They're quite good. Funnily enough the strong links with Chiefs are attracting enough decent players who don't make the grade that the RL team is benefitting massively. That's not a sly comment on RL (I've been here long enough) it seems to be what is genuinely happening. As repeated BUSA (or whatever they're called this week) champions, rugby union players are going to Exeter and not all of them are making the grade. So they're looking around and some of them are choosing RL. I'm always a bit cynical of the 'rising tide lifting all boats' line, but it seems to be happening a bit down there.

The other thing is if a uni prioritises BUCS enough to win the RU comp, they will often also put a fair emphasis on other sports too. Unis care about doing well in BUCS generally. Where RL can sometimes struggle is a lack of familiarity with the sports administrators who allocate funding and so on - outreach here would be beneficial. 

  

On 23/12/2020 at 19:11, HarrogateKnights said:

It would be interesting to know how many make it into the semi/pro game. I know Jason Bass and Marcus Stock have to York and they definitely have potential to go full time, if they wanted it. I think if players have an awareness of league before they go to uni it can only be a bonus as you don't have to start from scratch but either way trying to keep players in the game is important especially when they settle outside of Uni life. 

There's more than you think, especially in League 1.

Lewis Taylor at Sheffield Eagles played for Loughborough

Jack Blagborough at Batley played for Leeds Uni

James Woodburn-Hall at Halifax played for Leeds Uni

Zack McComb at Halifax played for Leeds Beckett 

Sion Jones at Halifax played for Leeds Beckett

Half of the Northumbria team play for Newcastle Thunder. Student representative RL in particular is a real recruitment source for League 1 teams - in any year, I would say the majority of the England Universities (and even the North/South Universities) are signed to semi-pro clubs.

Edited by Saint 1
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