Below is quick review of Warwick Conferences / University. Keep in mind that this is a first impressions from a four-day trip to a conference which simply hired the Warwick conference space. So if you’re interested in Warwick University, I would always recommend going on an open day.
Warwick University is the most rural university I have ever visited. It’s my first true campus university (where the campus is basically a self-contained unit separate from a town or anything). There’s a lot of wildlife and nature but all the buildings are modern which gives it a utopian vibe and you get a sliver of woodland between some student accommodation and a lecture theatre which I personally found a bit odd. There’s also a lot of car park and road to negotiate which I feel spoils the fact you’re technically close to nature. If you want to go to uni in the nicest, prettiest, most modern car park you have ever seen, then Warwick is for you!*
The conference buildings were really nice. They were easy to navigate and everything was modern and clean. The staff were also helpful and friendly. I got 3 nights accommodation with all meals and refreshments included (except one night for the conference banquet) for £260 which was a total bargain, however I’m not sure if that’s their standard rate or what the conference organisers negotiated. I think it’s a great place to have a conference. However it is difficult to move between blocks of buildings because the roads are quite wide and fast with hardly any crossings. So even though the accomodation I stayed in was very close to the presentation space, it was a trial getting there safely. Due to the hassle with roads I would recommend delegates stay at the hotel where their conference is actually held if money isn’t a factor.
Pros: Modern and comfy in some beautiful English countryside.
Cons: I wasn’t joking about the car park thing. There are a lot of roads and week days were quite a challenge due to a lot of traffic making road crossings difficult.
As a side note, this trip did hi-light something I’ve always thought important: do not apply to a university without attending an open day. More so than getting a feel for the lectures, you want to get a feel for your environment. Warwick has always been highly rated for maths but I found the huge buildings, modern aesthetic and excess of cars very off-putting. I also much prefer a uni that is actually integrated into a town so I don’t feel cut off from the “real world”. Warwick is by all accounts an excellent university but I would have hated to go there due to my tastes being completely at odds with the Warwick University aesthetic. So always go to open days if possible! At least have a nose about on Google maps if you can’t.**
*I am slightly bitter about this because an anonymous person online once stated that St Andrews (my alma mater) was more rural than Warwick despite St Andrews being part of an actual town. Discovering Warwick wasn’t even in Warwick (or any other town) brought back my burning anger at the injustice done to St Andrews. But you know, I’m over it.
**I am a complete hypocrite who did not do this for my PhD. Luckily, I love it here in Cardiff anyway.