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Tell us about your overall university experience so far.
I think that University is more than just improving academically. Throughout my uni career I've seen myself grown more independent...
OVERALL UNIVERSITY RATING
Tell us about your overall university experience so far.
I think that University is more than just improving academically. Throughout my uni career I've seen myself grown more independent and confident, I've developed interests, met friends, and discovered passions. I've made myself more employable, both through relevant experience, and through extra-curricular activities that make me human. I wouldn't swap this experience for the world.
How does your uni make efforts to increase your employability (careers department, work placements, transferable skills)?
At the start of my first year we had a day in which we were introduced to the unis resources for employability and support. We continue to receive regular emails detailing what's on offer; some of which I've been to such as CV help sessions, conferences about managing work and stress, group skills meetings, and the like. Last year I undertook the Exeter Award, an employability award that aims to improve key skills and guide you through the minefield that is job applications.
Course and Lecturers
What do you like most and least about the way your course(s) are taught?
My course is quite small at only about 35 people per year group, which for someone from a small town in the Lake District, is wonderful. I knew everyone's name within a couple of months, and felt right at home sitting with anyone in my course, which was wonderful. This was improved by the Natural Sciences society which enabled me to meet my peers.
I chose Exeter because of it's NatSci course - instead of having to stream down two sciences, such as the system employed at Durham, Exeter allows you to choose modules from any science course, providing true interdisciplinary skills. This has been key for me, since it enables me to pursue my interests fully. For my masters next year this will continue to be the case, as I choose from a wide selection of masters research projects both from lecturers that I've met, and from the wider pool of uni researchers. Consider me impressed!
What do you think of your Students' Union in terms of student representation and facilities?
The Student Guild at Exeter provides excellent support for students, helping students to follow through ideas for societies or small businesses, providing welfare support, and improving the unis environmental approach. It's the first port of call if I have any questions, and I enjoy how democratic it feels, with all important issues put to a vote amongst the student body.
What do you think about the safety, condition, location and cost of your accommodation?
I lived in halls in my first year and really enjoyed it; I made more friends from halls in my first year than I did from almost any other social group. I lived in Rowancroft Mews, which was reasonably basic, but that's exactly what I was after, and it was very well priced. This year my private accommodation is wonderful; we have a lovely landlady who sorts out any issues we have (like plumbing problems) within 24 hours, and is very hospitable. I've been very impressed by my experience of accommodation whilst at Uni.
How good are your university's facilities?
I'm potentially a little biased here, because during my course a new block has been built that will house my subject, with state of the art research facilities and study areas. The Living Systems Institute embodies interdisciplinary research and teaching, and is a superb new building for me.
Elsewhere the unis high standards also shine through, with free showers and toilets in various places on campus, and areas to prepare food for students. Study spaces are generous and well provisioned with plugs for laptops and ample table space, and shops and cafes are distributed well. The library system, whilst slightly complex, is ingenious - allowing me to have any book, journal, or any other material found quickly and easily, even if held by another student.
Is your university in a good location in terms of distance to accommodation and local amenities?
Exeter is one of the smaller cities, which suits me well, and also a bit of a labour strong hold (which also suits me well). The university is seen as quite "well-off" and the stereotype is for Conservative students, so living in a more left wing city is quite refreshing. The city consistently monitors air quality at various locations, and has introduced new traffic management measures in order to improve it. Full of green space and old buildings, Exeter has character - I've yet to have needed to leave the City for anything other that a bit of adventure.
Societies and Sports
How would you rate the variety of societies/sports?
Another one that I'm biased at I'm afraid - I'm the president of the caving club (Exeter University Speleological Soceity), the best club on campus.
More seriously, clubs and societies are two distinct groups at Exeter, with clubs being managed by the Athletic Union and societies the Students Guild. Both of these organisation provide a superb amount of support (and often funding) to societies, enabling students to truly shine through. In my house 4 out of the 6 of us are committee members, and this reflects the interaction that most people have with societies - they offer a great social aspect, and another opportunity to make new friends.
Variety-wise, I'd be hard pushed to think of a society that we don't have, and that's because the uni makes it so easy to set up a new one if you have enough interested people to make it happen.
How good is the support offered by the uni? Think both academic (tutors/feedback) and personal (counselling, etc).
Academic and Pastoral support is handled mainly through personal tutors. It's very nice to have a tutor who's in your field, and who stays with you throughout your entire course. This means you get to know them, and in our course they become more like friends than faceless academics. They offer work experience opportunities and academic tutoring, whilst also fielding any other questions you have to the right places. If you don't get on with your tutor then the uni has lots of other systems in place, from the wellbeing centre, to the SID student support service. I've not had much personal support, but only because I haven't needed it, whilst the academic support that I've received has been excellent.