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
Obviously different with the pandemic, but trying to make it as positive and accessible as possible. Tutors are as available as they can be to be responsive to emails and give tutorial sessions and support when possible. Many webinars are taking place with art professionals to keep us thinking about life after uni/jobs. All workshops, studio and computer spaces are available to book out, with covid lateral flow tests available to use before going into uni. Library facilities available to use on a bookable basis, and taking books out. Student Union putting on virtual events, welfare weeks etc to keep moral going and helping with the creative student community.
Had 2 weeks of careers webinars, many artists professional talks and art people giving talks every Friday. Lots of support from Careers portal which is accessible
Currently due to the pandemic, teaching is a blend of online and in-studio learning. Tutors are always available via email and respond promptly, and tutorials can be booked. Sessions in studio are timetabled.
Large studio bays, big workshop areas with advanced technology. Equipment available to hire/take out.
Student welfare run sessions/webinars and easily accessible. The student Union are great with putting on lots of events to get people included and feel less isolated
I really enjoy everything about the facilities and there is a great variety of expert staff on hand to help with any project. The staff are friendly and approachable and I think they contribute to the overall welcoming and comfortable atmosphere of the university.
This is the third university I've attended, and it is my favorite so far. Everyone has been incredibly nice and super helpful. Whenever I've needed help with something, someone has always been there to help me! Also the lectures are engaging and I always look forward to them! The projects are just perfect and I really enjoy them
We have a lot of professionals visiting and they talk about their experiences and grtting jobs and some even offered to help us find jobs after we graduate, so I'd say amazing
I love the uni so far and I love the gradings system! My tutor is the best ever and so is my course leader! The only problem is that we can't have more stuff in person due to covid19
The new building is great, but it's like a maze
Everyone's been very helpful and kind so far
Overall I've really enjoyed my time so far at Leeds Arts University. I love my course and the people I've met on it! The tutors are great and the Student Union are super supportive and active in making the university the best it can be.
I have not felt as connected to the course and it seemed more difficult to get support. Being able to communicate in person was limited due to not being in the actual building
Cause of corona it’s been difficult, tutors are really good one on one, I have developed my skills and practice, Leeds is a good city I rarely get to speak to peers, they don’t talk over online classes
Mostly online atm, did have quite a few lectures in person at the start of the year.
Good facilities, well trained staff, new tech
I went to ask for support, saw someone once and they said they’d contact me then didnt
My university experience over all has been enough to build up my portfolio and feel semi confident about going into the industry. I would have liked more support in terms of finding a job.
It started fantastic, barely a complaint for the first year and a half. But then things started to go down hill, mainly due to the uni itself rather than the course and the blantent disregard for students identities, mental health and progression after uni. Obviously covid has had a bit of an impact but I think if the uni genuinely cares about their students wellbeing it would have shown. I'm really annoyed that my experience fizzled away to such a negative ending because the course taught me a lot, just fell short on industry education compared to what they're were bragging about in open days, and abandoned its students as soon as the last module was done
There's a careers portal that's fairly good, a bit new so still growing, but the main place we'd expect to learn about the industry in is Professional Practice which I've already complained about. That said we got plenty of guest lecturers working in the industry, and the opportunity to organise our own networking event in London where we interviewed panelists of professionals.
The core group of tutors are great, full of knowledge and care about the students, but struggle with communication (both between staff and between staff and students). The head of course is a little bit unpredictable in whether he'll respond to your emails, and doesn't necessarily get back to you in time for submissions if you've messaged him out of class hours. The module that is the courses USP (professional practice, to educate us on how to be illustrators in the industry) is deeply flawed. It's mostly ignored until the third year when it's supposedly meant to properly kick off in preparation for graduating, but even then it's not very substantial. It's lead by the course leader in 3rd year, but he passed on the actual teaching to a lecturer who, while having gained a lot of experience, struggled to make it relevant to this generation of illustrators, and gave quite dated advice. He also told anecdotes that were inappropriate (not explicitly racist but like, not very pc) and frequently misgendered students despite being corrected multiple times (that's 'just what [he's] like' apparently)... Other than that it's a great team of people who are all super kind and lovely. Prior to the pandemic they were prompt at replying and accessible out of lectures - I can't speak for this year as I've graduated. The uni itself since graduation has been atrocious. Their communication during the initial covid lockdown, when I was in the final few months of my degree, was barely there and often misleading and confusing when we did get contacted. We had very little contact from the course after the final hand in and felt like we'd been completely abandoned and dropped during a very stressful period. The uni has not listened to students complaints/opinions regarding our own degree show or graduation, and in many students opinions should have and definitely could have done better for the degree show, especially if they actually allowed the students to help set it up. We got a single image put on an ugly website with a brief caption as our entire degree show. One image after 3 years of work, that the tutors said was going to be seen by even more potential employers than a physical degree show. They also sent out our certificates with a typo (batchelors degree lol) and refuse to use trans and non binary student's given names at graduation, opting for their legal name which they printed in graduation programmes, essentially outing every trans and NB student on the course. When contacted they were dismissive and unapologetic. The uni does not care about the students. The course does, but when the course is headed by a selfish and disrespectful board, there's only so good it can be.
The union work really hard to put on events, work with local businesses to get free food or set up pop up shops, a super lovely team who really understand the students needs and are easy to talk to
An old house that's a bit knackered but cheap, and our landlord is speedy with repairs. Hyde park is loud and scary though, fireworks literally every single night (and daytime some days)
Excellent facilities but unfortunately even prepandemic the uni added more and more restrictions to them, meaning you were only allowed to access a handful that were 'specific to your course' - meanwhile the tutors are encouraging us to experiment and expand your practice. The library, print room and digital print room are excellent but that's pretty much all I was allowed to use. Ceramics needs some clearer organisation as students work goes missing and isn't fired in time for hand ins despite being on the shelf for 3 weeks... Recently the whole uni has had a multimillion pound extension which is great for facilities but their performance since that has seriously gone down hill, opting to look professional and high tec but disregarding what's best for individual students. Also they keep accepting more and more students every year and space is a little cramped, even with the extension.
Love love love the city, especially as an artist and someone who loves music, food and vintage fashion
There's a handful of societies but I wasn't really part of them after first year, they're student led so fizzled out as we progressed through the years.
Counselling team are effective and kind but there could do with being more of them - there's only a handful of actual councillors to talk to so most students are on the waiting list for most of the year. For those with urgent issues it's not very helpful. maybe spend less money on fancy exteriors and more on mental health staff and training staff to use appropriate pronouns and respect genders/sexuality.
good time however feel I was let down by the course they had favourites and if you weren't one of them you were forgotten and left behind
Theres lots of help and guidance
Given alot of contact time, but hard to get on with coursework as tutors set up lots of workshops not directly linked to your work
Lots of facilities which are open to all students
At a course level tutors have obvious favourites which is reflected through their feedback to these "special few"where the rest are often ignored/ given very general feedback making it hard to improve. This favouritism is also seen within the marks given as these students seem to do significantly better than the rest of the course when work is usually lackin
Leaving this establishment was the best decision I ever made. Honestly I do not recommend this course to anyone. Non of the students on my course were treated as adults or held accountable for their actions. Bullying is a serious issue at this institution.
- most of the staff were rude and unsupportive. - what was sold on the open day was completely opposite to the experience and atmosphere on the course. -toxic environment - honestly was just a terrible experience. I didn't realise how bad the university was until I transferred to a different one.
More supportive than the welfare team.
Awful. Mice. Bug infestation. Noise was unbearable.
Good facilities. However for an art establishment not to allow any art on the walls really confused me. Hence why I transferred to a different uni.
Quite far from the centre if you're new to Leeds.
Limited. Took the yoga class which was meant to be an hour on a Tuesday, but most of the time was only 20-30min.
0/10 No words...