Zombie Fact File
Top Speed: 2.5 mph
Diet: Students (and other tasty mammals)
Reanimation Time: 12-24 hours
Infection Method: Biting and scratching
Strength: Pretty tough, due to being unable to feel pain or give a damn if they get injured (a bit like you after 9 jagerbombs)
How to kill: Destroy the brain
Summary: Like students, zombies are notoriously lazy. They prefer walking downhill to up unless drawn by loud noises (like house parties) and are always permanently ravenous, although they can be differentiated from students as zombies are usually drawn by the smell of delicious humans rather than the intoxicating scent of chicken wings. They can’t swim, think or do jigsaw puzzles. They generally stick together in groups (or sometimes huge migrating herds), and hang around places that were important to them in life, like Westfield. They will try and eat any living thing that comes their way, and their strongest sense is smell. And they absolutely stink. Most dangerous en masse.
As a university comparison website, we know there a lot of different criteria for choosing between universities. What most people don’t take into consideration when filling out their UCAS form is the age old question - if there was a zombie apocalypse, what would your university’s chances of survival be? We’ve done extensive research and compiled a scientifically accurate report on the survivability of British universities. It’s been broken down into five distinct categories ranging from 1 to 5. We’ve also made excellent escape route maps for your reference - Orange is the movement of the general panicking public, green is the advancement of zombies and the location of hospitals and pink are the suggested escape routes and safe places.
Category 1 - Game over, losers
The universities that will really suffer are those in cities, with no escape routes. Cities are of course where zombies can really get a foothold - with all of those sickly people crammed into such a small place, the virus will spread quickly and ferociously, - so universities with city campuses will be in the most danger, such as at Queen Mary. QMUL’s location in Mile End, East London means it’s close to several huge council estates, high rise blocks and it’ll be on the main route out of the City for panicking suits. Queen Mary students’ best bet will be boating around on the lake at Vicky park, hoping zombies don’t like paddling. Or geese. Thank goodness there aren’t any zombie geese in this scenario.
Similarly doomed are universities that are near hospitals - because as soon as everyone starts getting burning fevers, they’ll head to hospital for medical assistance, die, come back to life and start their rampage. Expect lots of zombie nurses, and not the kind you’ll find twenty of at a first-year Halloween party. At Leeds (which is actually attached to a hospital) the infection would spread like wildfire while Oxford Brookes (pictured) is surrounded by FOUR hospitals and so would probably be doomed. Those zombies will descend on students like they’re a well-educated buffet. Birmingham is also too close to a hospital for comfort, and like Goldsmiths has no escape route. Sorry all, it was nice knowing you!
Category 2 - You might survive, but it’s unlikely
Most universities are in this category because they are near a body of water, like a lake or a river. As zombies can’t swim (imagine the coordination they’d need to do a successful butterfly), taking to sea would probably work for a bit. At the very least, you could hole up on a ship until you run out of your hastily grabbed supply of Red Bull, instant noodles and off-brand cereal. LSE caused a lot of debate in the Student Hut office because although its logically minded students could work together cohesively to form an escape plan to the Thames, their competitiveness might also result in a bloody LSE civil war as they turn on each other, each student seeing the opportunity for post-apocalyptic world domination. But either way, they suffer from being in central London. Similarly, King’s College might be able to reach the river, Nottingham and Reading have handy lakes, (Nottingham Trent unfortunately only has an arboretum- whatever that is) and if you’re at Liverpool (pictured) and can outrun the zombies streaming out of the Royal Liverpool University then you can reach the River Mersey and the sea.
Category 3 - It’s 50/50 tbh
For these universities, there’s a real 50/50 chance of survival and at the end of the day it probably depends on your ability to bludgeon a zombie or twenty in order to escape. Chances are that Loughborough students, with their numerous sports scholarships, will be pretty adept at swinging a cricket bat at undead skulls. Chester students might be ok as long as they can reach the river before the zombies from the hospital or the lions that break out from the zoo catch up with them. The University of East London (pictured) is right next to London City Airport so they could catch an early plane out the country - although chances are they’ll take the infection with them. Still, we’d rather be fighting zombies on the beach in Spain with a nice glass of sangria than in the drizzle with nothing more than a flock of bedraggled pigeons for company here. Other universities in this category include Derby, Leeds Beckett and Queen’s University Belfast.
Category 4 - As long as you keep your wits about you, you’ll be fine
Category four universities have the best escape routes - Manchester, Manchester Met, Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam (pictured) all have the Peak District on their doorstep, and I can’t think of a better place to hide out than Edale. Also, I doubt zombies will get far trying to climb Kinder Scout, as their rotten feet will probably get stuck in the boggy bits. Similarly, Exeter students can head to Dartmoor. Make camp halfway up an easy-to-defend tor, with a great viewpoint, and hope it doesn’t get too foggy. Other universities in this category are Southampton, Greenwich, Hull, Bristol, Cardiff and Portsmouth due to their sea or riverside locations (maybe try and get the HMS Victory back in working order?) and Warwick and Gloucestershire will stand a fair chance of survival because of their countryside access - pretty sure a zombie suffering from hayfever would be rendered pretty useless.
Category 5 - Guaranteed Success!
Our winners are the University of Essex and the University of St Andrews (pictured) - Essex Uni campus is pretty self-contained, not too near a hospital or other areas of dense civilisation and Boundary Road will make it easier to patrol and defend once the immediate threat is over. Basically, we can build a new world from Essex, a society full of glorious fake tans and leaders so reem that any remnants of civilisation outside Essex’s brutalist walls are left well jel (just kidding, we know Joey Essex didn’t go to uni). And our other best bet is St Andrews - with an easily defendable coast and a handy castle to hole up in. Also, it’s incredibly remote and you’d have a pretty solid chance of surviving by sailing up to the Fair Isle, although probably not much of a life.