Over the past year, our team have been finding out all about student’s university experiences. From what they think about the students’ union and how employable they feel, to their opinions of the lecturers and what the city life is like.
Because student support is so vital to your wellbeing at university, both academic and personal, we asked students about this too. We heard about fantastic lecturers with open door policies, counsellors that were easy to book appointments with and students’ unions who did everything in their power to help out.
But who supported students the best this year? Time to find out who’s got a WUSCA award on their campus right now…
Student Support Winner: Harper Adams University
Winning this award for an incredible fourth year in a row, Harper Adams are actually the only university to ever win this award, showing they’re certainly consistent with their high levels of student support!
Both personal and academic support was highly praised by students at the university. Words frequently used to describe the support offered include “accessible”, “high quality” and “fantastic”.
Support offered by the university include a Student Services team. Made up of experienced advisors, they help students with everything from accommodation, financial issues and careers advice to health problems and support for international students or those with disabilities or learning difficulties. This team were regularly mentioned in reviews and credited for their hard work and accessible services.
Mental health is clearly a key priority for Harper Adams, and many students gave high ratings for the high standard of mental health support they were given too. The university has a qualified BACP registered counsellor and a Mental Health and Welfare Advisor who provide a drop-in service for students as well as appointments throughout the week, by prior arrangement. They provide professional, accessible and confidential support to students, and reviewers couldn’t stop saying how amazing it was.
From the tutors who made students feel like nothing was too much trouble and careers advisors helping students find employment, to the fast speed in which quality mental health help was given and the promotion of the available support so students were aware of it in the first place, Harper Adams was praised again and again for their many types of support. No wonder they’ve won this award so many times!
Students also told us:
“Good - they try and advertise/encourage the personal support to everyone and I feel like there's everything I could need. The academic tutors are always available and welcoming”
“It is very easy to go speak to your tutors about work, but also your course manager is always on campus to go and have a word with. The pastoral care is amazing, they will deal with any situation and always listen to what you have to say.”
“Feedback from the lecturers is great and always on time, they are also very approachable. Extra help is always available for anyone. Personal support is great and really helps when your homesick or really struggling with the pressure of Uni”
2nd Place: Leeds Arts University
Holding on to their second-place position in this category, Leeds Arts University had some fantastic comments about their high levels of student support.
Students described the university’s support as, “really good”, “constantly supportive” and “readily available”.
So what support does the university offer? Their Welfare Team provides impartial and confidential advice and guidance on a wide of issues, from personal counselling to finance and accommodation. There’s also a study support service, which includes assistance for students with dyslexia or other learning difficulties.
One of the things regularly mentioned in student’s reviews was the high staff to student ratio, meaning tutors are always on hand to help with any problems, both in and outside the lecture hall. Lecturers were also often praised for their helpful attitude and well delivered feedback which helped students develop academically.
Students who’d used the counselling service were also full of positive comments, telling us they felt well looked after and loved how easily accessible it was.
Students also told us:
“Really good always use the academic and tutors support when needed. The counselling service is also really positive and caring”
“Excellent - frequent 1-1 tutorials with tutors, accessible pastoral care. Efficient and punctual feedback for modules.”
“Brilliant, they're always there whenever you need them. Student Welfare are incredibly friendly and never make you feel patronised. Academic support is brilliant, they have helped countless numbers of students and they're brilliant at reading through essays and checking grammar and spelling”
3rd Place: Loughborough University
Rising a place from last year’s rankings, Loughborough University received many, many, many positive comments about their student support.
Student regularly mentioned how easy it is to get help, applauded the different types of support available from a range of sources and generally feel very comfortable asking any member of staff for help in the first place.
Student Services was given particular high praise by reviewers. This service deals with student welfare issues and is available to all students and recent graduates no matter what the problem.
The Counselling Service offers a free and confidential chance to speak with a trained professional and was given many compliments by reviewers for their professionalism and speed of help. Each hall of residence also has its own warden and a Community Warden is available to support students living off campus, something that many students not only appreciated but also consistently praised for their professionalism and care in reviews when mentioned.
Other student comments included:
“It’s great, I have my lecturers who I’m close to as well as my personal tutor whom I’ve talked to about my issues. My hall warden and sub wardens are also great, especially as one is in my block so he’s basically a mate.”
“Plenty of places to go, from learning support centres to having our own personal tutor”
“Extremely high level of support”
This category was sponsored by Havas Education
To see the full list of rankings, check out the WUSCA table.