Organising events, protecting your rights and generally making sure you’re having the best uni experience possible, students’ unions play a vital role. Hold lots of inclusive events, ensure there’s enough societies and represent the student voice well, and the SU can really add something positive to your student life. Likewise, have a bad SU and you won’t necessarily have such a wonderful experience.
So which university impressed student reviewers at this year’s Whatuni Student Choice Awards?....
Huge congrats to
University of Sheffield for winning the Students’ Union category, especially as they jumped an amazing 20 places from last year to take the crown.
Made up of eight full-time officers, this is an incredibly active SU that regularly uses social media and blogging to engage with students. They’ve accomplished many things over the last year including running a night bus service for students, campaigning for mental health awareness and holding a range of successful nights that covered everything from music to comedy.
All this work hasn’t gone unnoticed by students, who praised the students’ union for its variety of events both during the day and at night, how active the officers were in student’s lives and how good the facilities were.
Last year’s winners
Loughborough University remain in the top two for a fourth year, showing they’ve certainly got consistency when it comes to electing and running a good students’ union.
One thing that really stood out amongst the many positive reviews was the sense of community that students felt the students’ union created, and how they could be relied on from everything, from holding a brilliant event to representing their voice when things got tough.
The SU building itself also got several high ratings and mentions, not surprising when you find out how much is in there, including a restaurant, pharmacy, hairdressers and a nightclub that can hold 4,000 students!
3 rd Place
Last year’s runner up remains in the top three this year, congrats to
Harper Adams! Entering the top three in an unbelievable eight categories this year, it’s not just their students’ union that’s impressing their students.
Students often mention how well organised the SU team are, and seem incredibly fond of the events they hold, from the club nights to charity awareness. The friendliness of the SU team and how much community they brought with them was also praised by students, who felt they could always go to exec for help.
Stats Behind the SU
An important part of student life, until the introduction of the Giving Back category this year, the SU was the poorest scoring category overall. However, there are 11 universities where the SU outscores the university, which is particularly significant given that the overall category is the highest scoring of all categories. There has also been a notable rise in the score in this category in 2017 overall, compared to 2016 moving from 3.53 to 3.69.
It’s not just our winners that have been getting high ratings from students, the entire students’ union category shows good levels of student satisfaction, in fact student happiness has actually gone up since last year. This shows us that many SUs are clearly listening to students, putting on the right events and generally working for student’s best interests.
However, it’s not all good news, as the students’ union category tends to have the lowest average scores (3.69 out of 5), so there’s certainly still room for improvement.
Our Director of Insights Aaron Porter says,
“Students’ unions can play a crucial role in student life. From academic representation, societies, welfare support, nightlife and volunteering, the SU can often be the defining part of student life. Attention continues to be paid to ensuring engagement with a significant proportion of the student body, and in establishing an appropriate relationship with the institution.”
Check out the full list of students’ union rankings from the Whatuni Student Choice Awards.