The annual Whatuni Student Choice Awards (WUSCAs) highlight the incredible work carried out by institutions for their students. Due to Covid restrictions, this year’s awards were not collected on uni campuses as usual, but instead based on submissions from institutions, which were then judged by our special student panel.
2021 WUSCA winners
This year with studying from home it has been a bit harder to learn. However, with help from the lecturers, I have been able to managed to keep up with the pace of the studies and the year. Coming to the end of the year I feel I have not learnt more than the previous year only marginal gain in the learning.
There are a some opportunities that you can make use of, nothing special.
The course is very good as I am a learning a lot of new skills such as coding in Java and also built a website in my first year. I am also learning a lot of programme and project management which is very good for understanding how large and small scale projects can be delivered effectively. However, there is no special factors, I feel like I could have learn this by researching on my own.
I don’t really stay at the uni or use many of the facilities.
There is a lot of support available form the lecturers, module leaders and the programme leaders.
University have been great at moving the content online but could have improved interactivity. Sites such as kahoot have been great for this as used by some tutors but not others. There are plenty of opportunities to do sports or any other activities around the uni. People are friendly and transport options are great. Staff support is variable depending on the member of the team you speak to.
We have a job fair specific to the course once a year
Mix of online, taught and placement. We have reviews with tutors a few times a year.
University is always clean, equipment for skills is always up to date
University are always sending support emails and the course introduction included a member of the mental health team talk so we were aware of the facilities available.
University environment is very good. All lecturer are friendly and cordial. All the facilities i have found was good. Classes are based on online. I have got all the necessary support from university. University's library facilities is also good. Course module is well organized. Everything is clearly written on the module. I can easily log into my account and find necessary details.
My personal experience has been fairly poor. I was at uni between end of September and shortly before the locks down in November. For which I moved back home. I’d had to isolate after a teammate at hockey tested positive. This was shortly after I started at uni. It meant I missed the opportunity to get to know my flatmates as I was instructed not to leave my room and mix with them. I missed out on the chance to bond with my flatmates and it was miserable. When I went home for a reading week, I stayed at home choosing to commute for the two days I had to come back. I returned to campus at the end of April - nearly 7 months later. One week back for a introduction to placement and started my 15 weeks on placement at the hospital. Now, flatmates have changed and I love it. Not counting down to when it ends in 2 years now. It started as a one and is now a 5 so figured I’d take the average. Take this with a pinch of salt though - this doesn’t reflect on UEA, but on the impact covid had on my experience. Also, in terms of this last question about value of money. It’s a big no. Considering, that the money I have paid for tuition hasn’t been used to the fullness it usually would. Such as hiring the lecture halls. As far as I’m concerned. It’s gone to the lecturers pay checks - which is fine. They need a salary. As well as the library and simulation labs. Other than that i haven’t used anything else in terms of facilities. It shouldn’t be much more than how much Open University costs.
Currently, they’ve not given us many employment advice or opportunities but it hasn’t been the same. I’ve received more emails from RCN, about online career talks then I have from the uni.
My course has been mostly online. I had two seminars in person but had to isolate for the initial one and I’ve attended all of my lab sessions which went over two and a half days. The lectures in person were difficult - almost more so than online. Because social distancing was in place, group work was difficult to complete to a good standard. The online sessions were choppy for a start as both lecturers and students learnt to navigate Blackboard - the platform UEA use. Couple this with the problems that Blackboard had to actually facilitate the amount of students working on it everyday and it wasn’t simple at all. We were assigned personal advisors which has been a god send. Some haven’t been as lucky with who they got assigned to. However, my PA set up weekly catch-ups that she strongly encouraged we attended. Others haven’t had more than a couple since the start of the course. Since a lot of questions have to be asked over email - it can sometimes take a while for a relevant answer to be given which can be tedious. Overall, when it came to my placement I didn’t feel ready - this was mostly because although I’ve completed all the theory. Because I hadn’t left my room for a majority of it, I felt as thought I wasn’t prepared.
I haven’t seen all the faculties that would typically be available. However what I have used, I am impressed by. The library, is a brilliant resource, of which nearly all resources can be read online through the library’s search engine. The lecture halls are good, spacious teaching areas with the only issue being when the lecturer walks away from the microphone. The simulation labs are incredible. All resources are exactly as you would find them in a hospital which is perfect for the learning environment.
Everything has been offered during covid. Emails are regularly sent out and information as to who to contact for any problems is relatively simple to find. However, there are sometimes - either miscommunication issues or problems with not knowing who will have answers and you can find that replies are sending you around the houses. Such as student services suggesting speaking to your PA/Lecturer but then being sent back to student services. I haven’t needed to access disability or mental health support or the wellbeing groups however again these are included in the regular emails as options and when they can be accessed.
The remote experience has been great, despite the lack of workshops. The feedback has always been received in time, the support of the stuff has been fast and efficient. Overall, the course has a vast amount of benefits, only with the lack of some equipment for the architectural computing work. I recommend it!
Many available internships, many guests speakers.
The remote classes have been, in fact, of more help than the usual classes. The modules are interesting, however, I would’ve appreciate a better technical teaching, not so much liberating, as it usually is. Many practice hours, which is often helpful.
The facilities are good, however, not accessible all the time.
Great student support!
Overall given the pandemic circumstances of this first-year experience, it has been 'Ok'. I feel that there are things the university could do better; Student Support, Welcome Week. Credit to the team that have kept the library open 24/7 and a safe/clean place to study throughout this year. What has carried this year for me is the perseverance of the clubs; continuing training and socials albeit via zoom but it's been something to do and the support that some of my lecturers give and their quality experience and knowledge in the field I am studying. However, I don't believe that any form of online learning means that I'm getting value for the money.
The careers team are great! When you sign up to recieve alerts you're sent job, internship and industry speakers opportunities.
I have had a year of blended learning in my core module. However some modules have been more difficult as they have been fully online and I do feel that this shows an impact on my grades when you compare to the modules that I have been taught in a blended style. The online lecturers aren't as accessible, but my advisor (tutor) has also been on hand to answer queries often in minutes but usually within the day.
Clean, Tidy, Outdoor facilities are great and indoor amminites have what you need.
The buddy scheme co ordinated by the SU was useful. The DoSomethingDifferent scheme was brilliant to try out activities before starting this really helped me to meet people. The no questions asked extensions on assignments was a nice thing for the university to do. Unfortunately, In terms of over support that the university offer it could be better, in a year like this one they needed to make more of an effort to make sure student services facilities were open in person/call line, but they do have a functioning email system. Updates as to where you are on the SPLD assessments list would also be useful.
Full online learning, as I stayed in my country this year, but great overall. Online learning was interesting and interactive and I stayed in contact with peers.
Great carreers service, with workshops and programmes
Great overall, great lecturers and interactive classes, with interesting topics.
Clean, great amount of spaces for studying
Counselling and wellbeing funds
The course is lower quality than expected from a university course. The unit selection was not well thought out with what seems like mostly filler and there is barely any continuity or transferrable skills between units. The Japanese unit only taught us to an A2 level despite being a three-year university course. Organisation on behalf of lecturers and timetabling staff was poor. The way language units were assessed, particularly oral exams, were not practical or fair especially in the fourth year with blended and online learning. The transfer to blended learning and online classes during the COVID pandemic was handled poorly.
Not what I expected from a university degree-level language course. The practical translation and interpreting units in second and fourth year were good but, aside from the mandatory Spanish Language units each year, the rest seemed like filler. There was one unit on Hispanic culture in first year which focused mainly on modern history and then there were no other units like that after. There were zero units on Spanish literature, in fact I took a unit on literary analysis in second year thinking we'd read some classic Spanish literature and it turned out we analysed English literature. There is almost no continuity or transferrable skills between units; after taking the literary analysis unit I thought maybe it was there to prepare us for Spanish literary analysis in fourth year. Come fourth year, nope, the units were completely unrelated. Similarly in first year we spent the whole year doing a unit called 'Contextualising Language Learning' , and the so-called skills we learnt in that unit were never utilised or mentioned again. It was clearly just there to fill a slot in the timetable. Japanese was taught through only 1 unit per year with only 2 hours of teaching time. This means after 3 years of studying at university we only covered enough material to reach N5/A2 level and the focus was mainly on language learning without much emphasis on culture or any on literature.
Personally, I have been very thankful to Southampton for accepting me and being a really good University with a bunch of lovely lecturers and staff. The COVID pandemic made it hard but, particularly in History and Archaeology, the lecturers adapted very well and work was still done efficiently. They were also able to open facilities that were needed and have thoroughly followed rules and cleaning regulations to keep us safe. Although I have heard other people not having the best experience (some doing masters), I have not had that many issues. Overall, a worthy place to study.
I have not looked into this. However, I do know a lot of emails get sent out about it. There are also seminars throughout the year with people in different fields of your chosen subject that can help.
Most lecturers reply very quickly to your questions and will out out further information on assignments if a lot of people are asking which is equally useful. They try very hard to give you as much help and information they can in the first place (seminars are important). It’s been a very good university but sometimes lectures/seminars can feel a little pointless.
The library is large and has a vast amount of books both in person and online. There are very beautiful laboratories at NOCS and Avenue Campus which maybe used throughout this course, depending on the modules you choose. What you need is within a walking distance.
Support, especially for those with SpLD, is very good. I have personally felt well supported and got what I needed to help me achieve in my course. You do also get support from your Personal Learning Tutor (PLT) and teachers if and when you need it.
It’s been good- although COVID got in the way of a full experience but they’ve done the best they can under the current circumstances! I’ve still had a great experience dispute such a disruptive year.