Hatfield is not so much a university town as a town close to a campus university. The number of students studying at the University of Hertfordshire, 27,230, is almost as many as there are town residents. The university has built extensive student accommodation, sports facilities and an entertainment venue.
Hatfield is 20 miles north of London and is known as the location of Hatfield House, an historic stately home with strong royal connections. It was formerly the base of the De Havilland aeroplane company (which was taken over by British Aerospace). The old runway is now a commercial zone, with roads named after planes produced by De Havilland.
Hatfield has a cinema complex, a factory outlet shopping centre situated above a motorway and two supermarkets. It has good road and rail links with London.
Student Village, University of HertfordshireThe University of Hertfordshire is based in Hatfield, were it has two large campuses less than a mile apart. College Lane is the main campus while the newer campus, de Havilland, was built on a large section of the former airfield site and opened in 2003. A network of pathways, cycle routes and free shuttle buses connects the two sites.
The university has three research institutes: Health and Human Sciences Research; Science and Technology Research; and Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities Research. It also has an expanding research profile, with strengths in nursing, psychology, history, philosophy, physics and computer science.
The Students' Union represents all students in the university by organising campus activities and running different clubs and societies, from sports to entertainment.
The £15-million Hertfordshire Sports Village, situated on the de Havilland campus, has university-based sporting and fitness facilities. It includes a pool, gym, climbing wall, sports halls and squash courts.
The main source of nightlife is the Forum, an entertainment venue built through partnership between the University of Hertfordshire and the University of Hertfordshire Students’ Union. It has three entertainment spaces, a restaurant, café, bars and on-site parking.
The university guarantees accommodation for all first-year students, who have a variety of styles to choose from across a wide price range. At College Lane Campus, the accommodation consists of fully furnished, single study bedrooms with shared bathrooms. There is a mix of flats, houses and traditional halls of residence. The de Havilland Campus student village comprises 1,600 fully furnished single study bedrooms with en-suite and shared kitchen/diner. Rooms are generally cheaper at College Lane, with a standard room costing around £3,800 for the academic year.
The university has a course satisfaction rating of 0.7 / 5.0. Tuition fees for international students start at a modest £10,100 per year.