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, the university degree is not what I expected it to be. The structure is somewhat disorganised alongside challenging as you have very little time to finish your PPL in the given timeframe and allocated flying schools recourses
Very supportive university-lectures and support systems will be alway willing to help and give you the thing you need if you are struggling. The university has really amazing facilities
Great support from the lecture and everyone at the uni! Very welcoming
Always clean, amazing facilities for student to use, tidy shared spaces and great accessibility
The uni is very good with support lots of services you can use when you like!
The facilities on campus are very well maintained and have proven very useful for my studies. The instability of the school has been detrimental to my overall experience specific to my course, however I believe challenges in staffing will be overcome and won't affect future students. The student life is alright with access to the SU and having easy access to London or Oxford for nights out. There are a wide range of events hosted by the SU which means it is very likely you will be able to find something that interests you.
There is support for airline assessments however this is immediately available after course completion which is not appropriate as commercial flight training is still expected to be completed after graduation meaning a substantial amount of time will have passed since you completed the mock assessments and the real assessment.
There is a shortage of knowledgeable lecturers. The university is reliant on associate lecturers who are previous graduates for delivering modules.
The Gateway building is the most valuable asset to the university. The library and computer labs have proven very useful for self study.
Overall the time I spend on university was great. Everyone was really helpful and I was able to meet good people.
Most of the classes were taught online with the option of attending lectures in person but only with masks.
There weren't any times besides bank holidays when the facilities weren't open. All of the university was clean and spacious.
University helps as much as it can to all students. It also gives opportunities to many of them.
Nice clean buildings. Security, staff always try to help. Lectures are interesting, Tough program. Transportation is easy . A lot of Bus and train Connections and close to the station. Nice surrounding area with shops and pubs.
I have absolutely loved my uni experience this year for many reasons. I have excelled greatly in the course and enjoyed every minute of it and everyone has worked hard to give us what we wanted and the uni has worked greatly to overcome obstacles
Opportunities are advertised and spoken about within the course and university itself
Our course is mostly in person which is essential for dance and we can use the studios which is great. Get 6 hours of practical a week and more lectures and plenty of opportunities for tutorials and help if necessary
Small university so everything’s clean and up to date and there’s enough facilities for everyone on my course and always easy to hire studios which is good
Great as there’s support for everything which is easy to get and accessible for all. Very well promoted too
My experience doing this course and studying at this university has certainly been unique. I began in September 2019 - there was no such thing as Covid 19 back then. Lecturs and seminars were on campus, and everything was enjoyable. The aviation society also organised trips to British Airways in Waterside, Luton Airport, RAF Northolt and the RAF Museum, with many planned ahead before Covid began. However, lockdown then hit. PPL training ceased as flight schools were not allowed to do PPL training as it is considered a flying license for leisure and not for a career, and university went online. Due to the nature of the course, changes had to be made. By the start of the second year, there was the option to swap years - meaning you could do third year modules in the second year, or carried on as usual and went to ATPL groundschool to do the exams. I chose to swap years, and the process was simple. The university has shown great determination and flexibility to allow us to carry on with our studies. I still have one year left of my degree, but I will be away from the university at my chosen ATO doing my ATPL groundschool and exams. This means my time at the university is two weeks away from ending. Despite Covid, I have enjoyed my time at Buckinghamshire New University, and they have allowed me to develop skills across all areas.
As aviation is an industry which is either successful or have periods of uncertainty like right now, it is important to keep employability skills up to scratch. The staff organise practise interviews for pilots, as well as aptitude tests and group exercises which help to bolster the core competencies needed to be hired as an airline pilot. There was also a programme produced with guest speakers, and sessions to help graduates succeed at assessment centres when it came to recruitment. The aviation society also organises events with guest speakers and trips to airports and other locations.
As of May 2021, the course has a mixture of blended learning as restrictions have eased to allow it to do so. One day is spent online doing online seminars, and the second day is spent at the university doing face to face seminars. The lectures are pre-recorded online to be watched. From September, the university hopes to be fully face to face, providing restrictions allow it. Pre-Covid, there were two whole days at the university. One day was for lectures which were one hour each. The next day was for seminars, which were two hours each. As this is a very unique course, it is important to understand the structure and how the teaching works and what contact you have. During the first year, the majority of your time is at the university studying airline and airport management modules. Level 4 modules are taught in the first semester, Level 5 modules are taught in the second semester. Contact with tutors is excellent - they will give out their personal number and email should there be any urgent contact. You also have a weekly session with your course leader and this is a great time to arise any concerns you have about the course and to talk about the flying and training with how it is going. While also studying the modules, you will also be training for your Private Pilot License, if you haven't already got it. You will do this in your own time, with credit being awarded upon completion. Flight instructors are always friendly and always want you to succeed, along with the examiners. Make sure you do your research about which flight school you want to do your PPL training with, however. The second year of the course is at your chosen ATO to do your ATPL groundschool, and sit the 13 ATPL exams in order to be awarded the credits for second year, and progress your flying training. The theoretical knowledge instructors are, again, really friendly and approachable. They want you to do well so long as you put the effort in as they are putting the same amount of effort teaching you. It isn't a jolly day out. Your course leader will always contact you to check in with you, and will sometimes visit the flight school to meet you personally. The third and final year is back on the university campus, doing your final modules and final project. You will have a supervisor with the opportunity for a weekly meeting. You can always contact your course leader if there any concerns as well. It is important to understand that for a course like this, you will always receive 100% support. I put 4 stars primarily due to the fact that Covid has been around, and my experience has been a bit sketchy due to training and timetable changes.
The facilities are great, and it is always very clean. For aviation students, there is a flight simulator that can be used which is an FNPTII simulator designed to replicate a Cessna 172. You can only use this if you have a Private Pilot License and had an induction, but once done you can book it out whenever it is available and not in use. Aviation students also use a scenario room with a tabletop of an airport diagram with terminal and plane handheld models. This can be used to generate scenarios in which students have to present findings and solutions to an issue such as a terrorist attack, emergency landing, and any threats that could occur. It is locked, and only used for sessions. The library is amazing, especially the private study rooms suitable for group projects or wanting to study alone.
While I have never used these facilities, other students have used them and praised them. The staff are always approachable.
It has been difficult but university has been very reassuring. Implementing the no detrimental policy for assignments. Daily emails with support. tutors are available to contact.
They have career fairs and email regarding cv support which is good.
blended learning with placement in medical institutions
All equipment is readily bookable and available.
They email daily regarding support available.
I loved everything about bucks, my colleagues, my online teaching, all the facilities! I have learned a lot and l will keep with them, one of my best opportunity in the UK, I’m glad to stay here
Buckinghamshire New University and Bucks Student Union give you the opportunity to make the most out of university. Aswell as offering academic teaching they offer additional classes such as employment opportunities, CV writing, and additional English and maths classes. The Student Union is free to Buckinghamshire New University members giving you the opportunity to join societies and clubs, also volunteering and the chance to represent your course so your voice can be heard across the university.
From September 2020 to December 2020 it was blended learning but from January 2021 to May 2021 it was all online.