Vanbrugh is one of the most diverse colleges on campus, accommodation-wise. You’ve got the asbestos-riddled brutalist blocks of Le Page which sit right on top of the JCR and V-Bar, and the squat lakefront labyrinths of Eric Milner-White right in the middle of Hes West. Further afield are the “Palaces” of Barbara Scott and Donald Barron, at the north-most tip of campus. We’ve also got some off-campus living in Fairfax House, about 10 minutes away down Heslington Road, and all first years living off campus get a free bus pass.
The boring but important stuff
Premium Ensuite (Donald Barron, Barbara Scott): 36 week let, £131 per week
Economy Standard Catered room (Le Page Court, Eric Milner-White): 40 week let, £124 per week
Economy Standard with Breakfast (Fairfax House): 40 week let, £112 per week
Economy Standard Catered Shared twin: 40 week let, £99 per week
Food: self-catered and catered options
Nearest departments: History, History of Art, Language and Linguistic Science
What made you choose Vanbrugh in the first place?
The Vanbrugh college colour is purple, and I like purple. Less facetiously, Vanbrugh is known as the music college, and that appealed to me even if I never personally got involved with it. For the sportier among you, the college offers free college sport training. Also, our mascot is a purple waterfowl called Duck Norris, and you don’t get much cooler (lamer) than that.
What are the rooms like?
Le Page: We weren’t kidding about the asbestos. The rooms are off corridors, and you share kitchen and bathroom facilities with other 8-10 other students. The upside is that Le Page A (Le Page B is for returners) is fully catered for breakfast and dinner in V-Bar, which is all under the same roof. You can go get meals without having to put shoes on.
Eric Milner-White: 10–14 students share kitchens and bathrooms which are off long corridors. Like Le Page, breakfast and dinner are catered, and the lets are 40 weeks which means you can leave everything over Easter. Size varies a bit, but rooms tend to be cosy and functional, and you’re only the other side of Vanbrugh bridge to get your evening meal.
Donald Barron and Barbara Scott: While they’re technically two different courts, they function as one unit, grouped together around the grassy Quad just off Wentworth Way and next to the Philosophy department. En suite rooms are arranged on two six-person flats per floor, with three or four floors per house. There’s one kitchen per floor, shared between 12 people, and it’s all self-catered.
Fairfax House: About 5 minutes away from campus (depending how fast you walk), these 40-week lets come with breakfast included. The ground floor has a large kitchen, while the second and third floor kitchens are rather small. Fairfax might have the most attractive exterior of any student accommodation as it has its own grounds and an attractive Victorian exterior.
Are you happy with where it is on campus?
Your department’s headquarters may not actually hold much relation to where your lectures are. Eric Milner might have the best location, being close to both Hendrix Hall and the Physics block (site of the two biggest lecture theatres on campus, where lots of first year classes are held) as well as within stumbling distance of V-Bar.
Is it good value for money?
As with any rooms, you get what you pay for. En suite elite is convenient if you can afford it, but it’s often the more stereotypical “student” accommodation which fosters stronger friendships. If you think you’ll stay over the holidays, it’s worth springing for a 40-week let (because clearing out your room at the end of the second term is a nightmare). Vanbrugh really has a range of accommodation, so it’s bound to be worth your hard-earned student loan.
What’s been great that the prospectus didn’t mention?
Vanbrugh has a great Ents scene, with termly Vertigo club nights in town as well as music twice a week in V-Bar, Barry’s Bar and Jazz Night. Come for the songs, stay for the proximity to Vanbrugh Bowl’s glorious greenery in the summer months.
Any tips for new freshers?
Always carry spare change for the vending machines. And smile at the porters – they’re not scary, and it’s so much more fun to get post in the morning when you can chat with them about The Avengers.
The opinions expressed in the college guide articles are those of the writers