(Photo: Jake Lewis)
You'll never find a situation as ripe for hook-ups as university. It's like school, except now you're not terrified of someone seeing your naked body. Plus, immaturity destroyed your first relationship, so you've come to terms with the fact that love is temporal and sex is forever.
Tinder – which was actually launched on university campuses in the US – has streamlined the university hook-up experience, cutting out the Jägerbombs and distinctly average conversations, and allowing you to sift through the chaff from your single bed instead of the sidelines of the SU. However, not all universities are created equal; it's only natural that different establishments attract different people – New Statesman readers and Tab readers, strapping sports hogs and shrinking violets – and that some of them are more conventionally attractive than others.
Tinder has collected data to find out which universities in the UK have the most right-swiped men and women, and given that data exclusively to us. We spoke to students and recent grads from these universitiess to find out why they think their college beat out the rest.
THE TOP RIGHT-SWIPED UNIS FOR MEN
1) University of London
2) University of Oxford
3) University of Brighton
4) University of Leeds
5) University of Cardiff
6) University of Sheffield
7) University of Cambridge
8) University of Manchester
9) University of Bristol
10) University of Nottingham
11) University of Edinburgh
12) University of Birmingham
13) University of Liverpool
FIRST: UNIVERSITY OF LONDON
ULU is a staggering beast that draws in international students in their swathes, and plenty of comfortably middle-class Brits. I say that, because how could you possibly afford to live in London as a student without considerable parental wealth to fund that Maida Vale studio apartment and the many, many £6 pints.
"University of London attracts poshos, and they usually have the money to make the most of what they've got," says Ellie*, a student atCity, University of London. "Most men [at ULU] aren't actually naturally that good looking, in my opinion, but they have the props;most of the time, being on Tinder in London is like being in a Mayfair club: lots of rich boys popping champagne everywhere. They're probably getting right-swiped because their profiles are better than the rest, especially around certain areas like Clapham."
SECOND: OXFORD UNIVERSITY
It might come as a surprise that the home of so many strawberry-blonde, chino-wearing fancy Dans piques this much interest. And yet, a lot of women find Jack Whitehall attractive, so I suppose it's best to never make assumptions about the sex lives of people who aren't you.
"Perhaps men are right-swiped here because we're all so smug that we went to Oxford that it'd be in their description of themselves, and most girls would put 'intelligent' in their list of desirable attributes," suggests recent Oriel College graduate Alice*. "Oxford is full of overachievers. They won't just be reasonably intelligent; they'll be good at sport or something else, too. We're just great, really."
Intelligence, skills and arrogance: a heady mix. For the pinnacle of this kind of guy, look out for one with "University of Oxford, not OXFORD Brookes, absolute LOL" in their bio.
As Brighton's unofficial Poet Laureate Terry Garoghan said of the city: "Everyone sleeps with everyone, but there's nowhere to park your car." Brighton's free and easy; whether you're a crust-punk or a genderqueer anarchist vegan, anything goes in London-by-Sea.
Maddie, a Brighton University student, said: "In Brighton, the blokes are mostly skateboarding weed smokers, which is probably a lot of Brighton girls' type. Maybe they're more likeable because they're a bit hippy or edgy, so their photos are taken by their photographer mates instead of being a shite club photo."
Never underestimate the repulsive force of a group Oceana photo.
Maddie goes on to comment that Brighton friend groups are highly incestuous. Maybe there's something in that sea air that makes everyone hornier, or perhaps they're just slightly more forgiving than the average heterosexual woman, considering they don't live in a polluted shithole and see every man through a film of weary city cynicism.
Combine some of the dirtiest nightlife in the country with the dirt cheap costs of living, and it's no surprise that hook-up culture flourishes in Leeds. Yasmin, a Leeds student, says, "Everyone is so laid back about sex here. I've hooked up with people on Tinder and then become friends with them after quite a bit, whereas guys from home feel like they have to bolt after sex. Their profiles are usually pretty simple – no more than two or three lines listing their interests, and not cringe at all."
She adds that the majority of men are solid sevens. "Whether they're socialist lefty boys who wear baseball caps and sweaters, or emo boys who have taken all their photos on disposables, they're all just very nice to look at."
Sarah*, another student, thinks Leeds ranks so highly because there seems to be a natural match for everyone. Which might have something to do with the fact that there are absolutely hundreds of thousands of them there. "There are plenty of your alt, scruffy people who look ragged, and we like them," she explains. "But also you've got what we call the 'Calling Crowd' at Leeds, who'll wear smart jeans, a top and go to nice bars. There are plenty of girls – especially at Leeds Met – who'll go full-on curlers in their hair for uni every day who'd right-swipe all of them."
Maybe it's true what your mum says: there's someone out there for everyone.
Speak to any straight or bi woman and it's universally agreed that Welsh men are beautiful specimens. Collected in one capital city, the cream of the crop has evidently gravitated towards a Russell Group university.
According to Cardiff University student Mared, Welsh women are in agreement. "I think about 99 percent of the guys here play rugby, so it helps when pretty much every other guy on Tinder's picture is an action shot of him getting down and dirty," she says. "The profiles may be generic as any other you'd find – standard Tinder bio: '6ft 1, rugby, sport student' – but the quality is there. You'd have that standard bio anywhere in the UK, but the lads would look like Quasimodo crossed with a potato, posing in a rugby kit. The lads in Cardiff are fit."
THE TOP RIGHT-SWIPED UNIS FOR WOMEN
1) University of London
2) University of Leeds
3) University of Cambridge
4) University of Cardiff
5) University of Bristol
6) University of Sheffield
7) University of Birmingham
8) University of Manchester
9) University of Oxford
10) University of Liverpool
11) University of Nottingham
12) University of Edinburgh
13) University of Brighton
London winning both the male and female right-swiping leagues is really a cheat. ULU combines every college across the capital, from Goldsmiths (your guardianship-dwelling girls with art foundations and political armpit hair) to LSE (trilingual, almost-Oxbridge darlings with Tory dad's backing and a place on the Lacrosse team).
Recent City graduate Will has a theory about why girls who went to university in London are swiped-right more than those who went anywhere else: "It's probably down to the fact that there's so many different kinds of people who move to London unis. Whatever type of person you are, you'll find someone who matches you and your personality. And being somewhere that's so culturally rich generally means you're going to be a lot cooler than the person who went to uni in Stafford or some mad market town in middle England. Also, the sheer number of people equals more fit people, just through basic probability."
As we've established, the beautiful people of Leeds are on one. Self-professed "hetero as it gets" Guy says of his university: "Lot of fit lasses there, very edgy place." He also puts the number of right-swiped women down to the city's nightlife. "People are out every night and everyone knows each other through friends, so I think you'd be more likely to match people if you've heard of them before."
The profiles are also well-formed, apparently. "Girls' profiles will almost always just be pictures of them, not with friends," says Guy. "[They'll be wearing] night-out clothes, selfies with snapchat filters." And what red-blooded man could resist a half-woman, half-dog?
John, another Leeds student, agrees that it's something to do with the girls' profiles. "Leeds' reputation as a cool uni leads to lots of people going there who are very image conscious, and even when people aren't, their social group pressures them into being more so," he says. "They're aware enough of how they come across to create a highly successful Tinder profile."
Solo angel-halo selfies in "night out" clothes: it's the vision of femininity every man truly wants.
Wandering around the "city of perspiring dreams", voices redolent of the British Raj floating on the breeze, who could imagine a more pleasant university city for a budding one-night romance? But why exactly does Cambridge rank so highly? Could it be that the city is home the most stunning women imaginable? Are the men all desperately punting above their weight?
"I'd guess that the number of right-swipes has less to do with the characteristics of Cambridge's female population and more to do with its size," says recent graduate Tom. "Cambridge is so tiny that when someone pops up who you think you could half-imagine fancying, the thought is: 'Beggars can't be choosers!' I'd guess – this might be total bullshit – that it's the size-pressure making people swipe right more, fearful that there just aren't enough people to go around. Or, another theory: maybe Cambridge is so boring that people are thirsty as fuck?"
Considering the apparently very fit Cardiff men are right-swiped with abandon, it's nice to know the city's women aren't left for a three-year drought. Coming in at fourth place, perhaps they're just as desirable as their sporty counterparts.
"The girls here are sound – it's that simple," says Aled, a recent Cardiff graduate, who claims to have spent the last four years "basically just right-swiping" all of them. "There are a lot of Valley girls at Cardiff, and to be honest, I prefer Welsh girls to other girls in the rest of the UK. They're legends, down for banter and absolutely stunning. I think it's a mix of that and the fact that you know most people about, whether that's from seeing them down Cardiff Bay or at clubs and bars."
It's surprising that Bristol's male students find the time to Tinder between scaling the city's hills and scoffing pills like Skittles at Motion and Thekla. But West Country women have a high success rate – better than their male counterparts.
"I think the stat says more about the guys in Bristol than the girls," says kindly Jack, a Bristol University student. "But if there was a running theme in Bristol girls' profiles, I suppose a few constants are the obligatory Love Saves the Day Festival pic, one from their holiday to somewhere exotic yet generic, and some form of witty one liner about one of the clubs on the Triangle. Plus, 90 percent of Bristol is bronzed blondes from Surrey – maybe that has something to do with it."
* Names have been changed because employed people don't want chatting shit about the opposite sex to bring down their Tinder game (or future career prospects).
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