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
Overall my university experience has helped me to become more confident in my work and myself as a person. I have been able to work effectively in a team and as an individual. I have further developed my skills in my chosen field and feel confident that I will be able to leave university and find a job in said field.
They have guest speakers come in from the industries relevant to my course to do lectures and seminars. We also are allowed the entire first week of October off should we choose to go to the BFX festival where we can network with people who work in the companies we want to work in. There is also a huge student discount on the BFX ticket price which encourages us to go. I have gone to the BFX for the last 4 years now and have gains some valuable advice and connections. The university also have career specific lectures to prepare us for apply for a job and what to do when we get the job.
I like the fact that it is very much an independent study for the first year but then with the group tutorials that help you to present your work to others. They provide abundance of 1:1 tutorials for the students to talk to the tutors if they are having concerns that are work related. I have been utilizing these tutorials for my final dissertation and they have not gone to waste. The second and third year of my course introduces us to more team heavy work, with the graduation project being a 2 minute film made in a team of 6 or 7. Inbetween all of this there are lectures, seminars and guest speakers that allow us to gain more information about the coursework. At the beginning of every unit there is a lecture which launches the unit introducing us to what exactly it is we need to be doing, how to present our work and major deadlines. There is really nothing I can fault about the teaching methods of this course as they are revised and the tutors constantly look for feedback from students so they know how to improve for the next time.
The facilities are excellent for our working conditions. It gives the students a real feel as to what it will be like to work in the industry. Even when something is not working they always get the problem sorted as quickly as possible so we do not loose valuable time on our work.
The university is easy to access via public transport as I do not yet drive. It is also quite easy to get to Bournemouth center from the university so opportunities are not missed.
There are a vast variety of societies that spread across both AUB and BU with some even being open to both campuses.
I loved my time at university so far. It's stressful but also really interesting and enjoyable. My course is quite dynamic but that makes you even more motivated.
There are multiple workshops and seminars every week or so. They have a lot of information on jobs on their website. They try to connect with different companies to provide experience and later on jobs.
I like that the teachers encourage creativity and learning by yourself. The thing I like the least is that sometimes the instructions given are unclear
There are a lot of great activities and events organised by the Student Union. I haven't visited all their facilities but I think they are great. They also represent students from different social and other backgrounds quite well.
I am pretty happy with the facilities. They are nicely equipped and kept up to date.
The university is far away from my accommodation but there is a bus stop nearby so there is no problem getting there on time. On the other hand, the housing is really close to local amenities.
I think it's pretty good but there could be a bigger variety.
Academically speaking the support is amazing. Personal support I don't know since I haven't experienced any.
A lot of independent work, so far I enjoy it as everything is new and I am still at a stage where I want to try everything. Just make sure you are on top of your work while having a social life. Not going to pubs and clubs every night and you miss out the exciting uni life :)
A lot of practical work tutorials which I rather. Some tutors are quite nasty sometimes when they expect you to know everything before coming to university.
I do not see them quite often as I am busy
It takes 15-20 minutes unibus journey to university so it is in a good location.
50/50. Depends on your tutor really :P
First year was better than second, feel a bit isolated, don't feel I have full uni experience but enjoying course. Would like more add on activities, Art options to use as skills for course.
Variety of learning best. Need to incorporate soft edge modelmaking not just hard edge.
good, could be bettter
It has been jam-packed with hands-on sessions, interesting lectures and engaging group projects. The support on offer is overwhelmingly positive, whether it be academic or personal, I feel I always have someone to go to when things get tough. I'm delighted to be here.
Being an arts uni, there is always room for improvement when it comes to employability. That being said, the university hosts events constantly to remedy this exact problem. I've even been first aid trained for free!
The grade criteria is always vague, this is both a positive and a negative. It's a negative because if you're conscientious, you want to know that your work is on the right track and this is hard to measure until the unit is marked. This is in comparison to more academic courses. Tutors all have different, sometimes conflicting, opinions and you have to learn what to filter into your work yourself. It can be a source of anxiety when you're never truly confident on your expectations of what you might get. That being said, it's an immense positive where it's designed this way to allow you to come to this university and essentially make whatever you want from the course's materials and facilities. I have always been excited to start a project, even written ones where i'm supported in the topic i'm interested in. I feel like my ideas are valid and my ambition is fed. When it cames to grades, tutors will always tell you when you're on the wrong track so you know if you're failing, you just don' t always know how well you're passing.
I couldn't think of an SU that's more inclusive and representative of the students on campus. We don't have all our own facilities but we share with the university literally next door and since our university is far smaller in terms of student population, this doesn't pose an issue.
The problem this university faces with facilities is more political than practical. What I mean by this is that at times it can be frustrating but it is nothing the university can't fix or aren't trying to fix. If you come here, you're getting a far better experience at AUB than a standard university with creative arts courses. That being said, we are missing a kiln and there's some red tape accessing the facilities of other departments. For a university that preaches collaboration, it feels hypocritical to exclude students from other faculties from using their kit, especially when your creative practice crosses over. For example, photography's darkroom facilities and film processing is in high demand for everyone. If your course is not in their faculty, you have to really push to make sure you're inducted and even then, this is an exception and not something they can just open up for everyone as otherwise, the students on that course will suffer. Space on campus is also an issue. The university is nowhere near crowded but some courses clearly don't have enough resources/facilities to support students comfortably all the time (aka deadline time). Thankfully, this is avoidable if you're good at time management. The bookable kit they do have is of a professional standard, simple to borrow and well worth being here for. You may also see a big blue building called "The Crab" on all of their promotional material - I have been at the university three years prior to this and I have not had one lesson in there, they don't use it as much as they could which is a shame.
No - the university isn't built in the centre of anything so if you are dead set on walking in every day, Winton is your only reasonable option. AUB and BU are north of central Bournemouth, with each estate going south in a line towards the coast. There's no real convenient place to live as Winton and Charminster lack the same amenities as town but they're closer to campus and more students live there. With Bournemouth town and Boscombe, you have amenities but you also have the added distance to the campus and the fact you won't live near most of your friends. There are loads of bus services so this counteracts this problem somewhat. Overall, it's not too much of a grievance. You can get around and there's lots to see without the stress of living in a city.
There are loads and the SU frequently encourage people to set up there own if it's not on the list. They're very supportive and this helps.
Both are amazing. I think AUB is an example to other universities of what excellent teaching and wellbeing services should look like. They're also constantly and actively looking to improve both, which is great.
There have been a lot of ups and downs. The course is really hard and it is long hours. In order to pass the course you will need to work from 8.30am-9pm most days. As difficult as it is, it's rewarding. When you make something you are proud of it is worth it. My experience at university overall was good, there are a lot of social events to attend, if and when you have the time.
If you make the effort to go to the careers department then they are really helpful.
Once you get taught the basics you are basically left to it. You will have two teachers for reviews, most of the time they have different opinions on your work so you never know which person's opinion to take on. I thought first year was the best as the teachers actually spend the time teaching you helpful skills.
I think they take on most ideas but could be clearer on what happens at the meetings. Maybe an email just to keep us students updated.
They are okay, we have three microwaves in the canteen to use, although they won't give plates for us so if we haven't got our own plates/lunchboxes then we have to eat out the bag we cooked the food in. There are a lot of toilets around the university, they even have gender neutral, although some of us girls feel slightly vulnerable with these toilets.
The University could be closer to Bournemouth town centre as for my course we stay until 9pm most evenings so it would be better in terms of getting home at night.
My University didn't really show us their societies. They could make a section on the website to access the societies you can join because if you lose the first leaflet you get then you don't know what there is to offer.
Sometimes the tutors feedback can be harsh but it does help, you just need to be a strong person to take it sometimes. The counselling at uni is okay I had a few sessions and mentioned something that was getting me down but they passed me off to the university next door and said that we won't talk about that. Other that, small problems they can help with
It's been mixed. My first 5 weeks were really tough, and I really struggled and got stuck with the new open-ended brief on the course. Many of us found that the lack of positive feedback on our work made us demotivated and feel like we weren't good enough for the course. Eventually I figured out what I was going to do for the project and things improved. The first unit was tough, but you feel better once you get through it. Despite not really enjoying the first unit, I feel that I have learnt so much in that time period! I feel happier now I have one project under my belt and I am more confident that I know what is expected of me next time. I think the campus is such a comfortable, judgement-free environment and 99% of students here are really lovely. I feel quite at home at uni now!
In first year we have had a few guest speakers from the industry come in to talk to us about what they do, which is inspiring. We don't do placements on the course but the encourage us ti enter competitions to get internships over the summer. I would like to see the staff take more of an interest in what students want to aim for as a career, as we haven't been asked what our aspirations are so far. I'd love more advice on how I can make my aspirations happen.
My favourite aspect of the teaching is when we have a guest speaker come to talk to us about their job and give us tips that relate to our project. For example we had a copywriter come in and talk to us about how as designers we can "make words sing" by designing around the context of a piece of writing. My least favourite aspect of the teaching is when we have workshops that don't seem to relate much to the project we are doing at the time. This needs to be better planned as it feels like a waste of time. However we addressed this with the course leader and positive changes have happened in this next unit.
They are very active in the community and would be easy to track down if you wanted to reach out to them. They organise friendly trips out, for example to Bristol Christmas market etc. However I think in some ways they are out of touch, like they made anyone who wanted to be a course rep talk in front of their whole subject year group (about 100 people) and explain why they should be representative. This was rather unnecessary as the rep role doesn't include public speaking, and this totally discourages anyone with even mild social anxiety from putting themselves forward. I thought that at an Arts Uni where generally many students are quieter, the students union would consider an alternative method.
They are very specialist, and they have pretty much everything you could need in the creative industries. Very modern and up-to-date.
No. The Uni is in the Wallisdown area which is a long way from the majority of first year halls that are in Bournemouth (50 min walk), and is 15-20 minutes by bus. Apart from the university and the surgery there isn't really much around there. Even the student houses in Winton for 2nd/3rd years are a 15/20 min walk away from the uni. Plus side is the campus is in a quiet residential area which is very safe.
There are more limited sports societies than other universities but that's simply because AUB is a small university. But there are definitely opportunities to get involved in different sports and societies, around all different interests. I didn't think that the societies fair at the start of the year was that well organised, as I didn't manage to find the sign-up card with all of the societies on it!
In terms of tutors and feedback, I've found that some tutors have very particular tastes and I haven't received much praise or many compliments about my work at all since I've been here (3 months). This is why many students felt disheartened during our first unit. However they do offer helpful constructive comments and help you with idea generation. Counselling is available and the environment is very comfortable, quiet and discreet. I found it quite easy to book appointments with members of staff via email. There is also daily drop-in sessions with a wellbeing officer that you can turn up to whenever you need someone to talk to. It is brilliant to have a service like this on campus, with staff that genuinely care for your wellbeing.
I have loved it but moving country has made it quite lonely at times. I also struggle for money as my course doesn't qualify me for student loan. But other than that, I love being here!
They host a lot of events that help portfolio building and employability. They're really helpful with a range of skill building events too and have a lot events during the week.
I think tutors can be a bit vague sometimes, however I love my course and have found it's helped me build new skills.
They're great in my opinion, they're really friendly and the facilities in my university are great and really inclusive for all different types of people. Which makes the uni really communal.
Really good, there's a lot of materials and there's a great range of staff to help too. There's a lot of different types of equipment to use and can be leased out.
Yeah, it's a 5/10 minute bus journey from my halls. There's not a lot near our uni however, but there's a lot on campus if you want to get something to eat/drink.
I think it's really well dealt with and there's a lot of people to help you out if you need it.
What I expected, the tutors have been great, I feel my time here was useful. I live quite far from many social events, as the uni is far out from town. However there are buses available.
I have a unit within my course. And the uni runs workshop lectures.
The focus on teamwork is good, second yea could have had more taught time.
There was additions of gender neutral toilets during my time here.
Its near enough to some shops, (20 minute walk) but could be better.
I didn't join any.
Always received what I have required
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