Exploring the ARU/Uni of divide

Typically only brought together by Wednesday Spoons…


The University of Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin University both coexist in the same city. The odd thing is, there isn’t really any meaningful interaction to speak of between them. Let alone a rivalry. What’s going on there?

I ventured across Parker’s Piece to see how the other side live. We laughed, we cried, and most importantly I sifted through two hours worth of voice memos to pick out the most relevant chat about our differences.

OK, favourite night out?

G: I’d say Mash.

A: I say Spoons.

S: Vinyl’s alright.

B: Lola’s is alright. I’d say it’s more for girls than boys though. Like Taylor Swift night and all of that.

S: A good night at Lola’s is better than a good night at Mash. 100 per cent.

B: Revs isn’t even worth it. Too expensive to get in.

Favourite pub?

S: Spoons.

A: I like the Prince Regent.

B: At The Eagle, I paid like £9 for a double vodka and coke. To be fair, it was more than a double in there. But still.

A: But it’s a pretty pub!

And what made you guys want to apply here?

S: Unconditional.

A: I was gonna say unconditional too.

B: Unconditional.

A reels off a list of others who also got unconditionals.

A: So we all got unconditionals?!

G: I already had my grades.

B: It also wasn’t too far as well.

G: I feel like most people who go to ARU are from the South East. Like they’re either from London or Essex. Or Norwich.

S: Armpit of England.

What do you like about Cambridge as a city?

B: Everything is within walking distance. I’ve only used the bus once. It’s not massive, but it’s also not really small either.

A: Everything is aesthetically pleasing.

G: It’s pretty.

And what do you hate the most about the city?

G: How expensive everything is.

J: Bikes.

B: The nightlife. And everything closes really early.

G: That is a normal English town thing. You’re just from London.

I’m going to ask a bit about the workload. Roughly how many hours a week do you reckon you spend on uni work?

G: Is this including contact hours?


B: Nothing then.

G: I probably do 20, 25 hours? Genuinely.

B: Bullshit.

A: I think I do about 15, 20? Roughly.

S: Maybe like seven or eight?

B: I’ve only been to about one lecture in a month.

A: It kind of varies between each course. Like scientists do a lot.

G: Also massively depends on work ethic.

And how hard do you find the work you’re given?

S: It’s not that hard.

B: Piss easy.

A: I’m doing two essays at the moment. One of them is piss easy, the other is ridiculously hard.

J: Just a bit of ChatGPT.

G: I’ll be honest, I don’t find my work that easy.

What course are you doing?

G: Law.

S: That’s why.

And would you say the teaching is good?

J: No.

S: Not a chance.

A: There’s a lot of sickies. Like I get a lot of emails last minute saying how my lectures are cancelled. Like why am I paying £9,000 then?

G: A lot of what we do is independent. They’re like, ok you learn everything, then I walk into a class or seminar and they ask us questions about it.

B: It’s not an excuse for not going, but I can easily not go to a lecture all week, and just do all the PowerPoints and it’s so fine. It doesn’t really matter.

Do you interact with Uni of students a lot?

B: When I see [G’s boyfriend], yeah.

G: My boyfriend goes there. And I know his friends as well.

A: I work at Gregg’s, and some of my co-workers go there.

B: At Spoons, you can defo tell the difference between us and Uni of students.

A: You know when you’re going for drinks, and you can hear the conversation’s like, ‘Who’s your favourite communist dictator?’

Dare I ask, what stereotypes do you have of us?

S: Tories.

J: Tory twats.

A: That you’re really smart.

G: You know when people are academically smart but have no common sense?

A: Guys, this is gonna be read by people who go there.

S: I don’t give a shit!

What kind of interactions have you had with Uni of students?

S: Fumbled two and counting.

A: My manager at work and my co-workers are really really nice.

G: Before Cambridge term had started, there was this time we went to Lola’s, and these boys were wearing full-on suits and ties. Our friend was like ‘I love posh boys’ and starts like twerking on them. What he didn’t realise is that these posh boys were taking the piss out of him.

S: Right, they were making fun of him!

G: And when they spoke to my boyfriend they were completely fine with him. They were like ‘Oh, yah, which college do you go to, yah?’. But they were such twats.

S: Who wears a suit in the fucking club?

Why do you think we don’t all talk more?

A: Because we go to different schools…

B: I imagine you lot have to focus a lot more on work than we do. Like I know that you say most of [G’s boyfriend]’s time is spent doing work.

G: Not at the moment, he’s being a lazy twat.

Do you wish we all interacted with each other more?

J: No.

A: Yeah……I guess.

G: If they’re normal, sure.

S: I’d go clubbing with the normal lot.

J: What, so you can fumble again?

Would you recommend coming to ARU?

J: No.

B: Fuck off.

A: It’s kinda mid. The teaching could be better.

S: Depends on the people.

B: If you just like, don’t want to get a job, but want a degree, I’d recommend coming here.

S: OK yeah, but you do media.

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