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
My experience so far is one of pride that I have been able to be apart of my university. The dedication and hard work that has been put into my two years so far has allowed me to succeed in many ways, as well as increasing my self-development skills. The university is a great place to study and I would suggest it to anyone.
The careers service has given so much to our students, they are constantly updating their systems and emailing constant updates about the potential activities and opportunities that are coming and are available. If it wasn't for the careers service, I would not be completing my first internship and I would not be partaking in the ACE award which has given me valuable skills and knowledge.
The course has been taught online and when accessible in-class, the lecturers are the best by far and have really changed the format of teaching during the pandemic to ensure we are successful and gain as much information as possible to make the journey through second year memorable and enjoyable.
Each part of the university is cleaned regularly, the amount of opportunities that are available due to the accessibility increases students chances of attending and feeling welcome at all times. The library staff are always cleaning the desks and computers and are always facilitating the needs of students. The food area is hygienic and cleaned regularly and have allowed for diversity within University by providing vegetarian and halal meals. The needs and wants for facilities are constantly questioned and allow for new facilities to be provided to ensure everyone's needs are met.
The university have amazing staff support when it comes to all things internally at university and externally within the environment. They are always prepared to go above and beyond when it comes to supporting students when they are confused, or when they are in the worst places. The support given at Newman University is the best I've seen and heard about, no matter is too small nor too big for the university. Everyone is thought about and even if you are not asking for support it is always there and will present itself when you need it most.
When I first began my studies at Newman University I was accepted onto the Business Management degree. I realised within the first two weeks of this degree that it was not suitable for my skills and career progression. The assistance I received from the university in changing degrees was professional and helpful. The transition process into the Theology degree was efficient and I was impressed with the support from the head of Theology and the rest of the staff in the department. During my time at Newman university, I experienced many hardships including financial and mental health concerns, the support I received from the student support services was exceptional. In the second year of my degree, I had strong feelings towards committing suicide, out of fear of my thoughts and emotions I turned to my doctor and student report for help. The assistance I received from my GP and student support helped to cast out the dark thoughts and feelings I was suffering from. The mentorship program offered by student support permitted further guidance in completing my degree. The mentor I was matched with, in my final year was phenomenal in keeping my spirits high and making me feel confident with my studies and my abilities. Due to the community spirit of the university and the professionalism of the staff, my future is brighter than ever and I owe it all to those who stepped in and helped to save my life and my future.
I have chosen a 4 out of 5 because, although I chose to study from home which has been challenging and hard when keeping motivated and engaged in the work, I was able to still be apart of lessons with being at least 2 and a half hours away from Newman University. However, I still missed the class environment of being able to be with my peers and discuss more in person, I understand that due to covid that wasn't possible. Also, I believe that without some of the support I was able to receive from some lecturers and my counsellor I was able to feel more involved and happy, but this year has been very different for so many students it's not easy to compare to previous years as it's not how education and assignments would have normally taken place. I think I knocked my score down due to my personal experience of feeling a bit disengaged with the work itself which then effected my motivation, but thanks to being able to ask questions to the relevant people I was able to be on track.
I personally didn't use these services a lot but have been signed up to receive emails about prospective jobs, which even though I won't be using are very helpful to get an understanding of job job requirements and what certain jobs look for.
For my final year and last semester of my second year was mainly online. I was lucky to have the experience to study in Germany through my course at Newman and had lovely support from a now ex-lecturer. For most tutors being able to contact them with questions, etc. is easy and good responses when they are available to, which is regularly when on teaching time.
I lived in two different halls through my time at Newman, which I enjoyed the experience of, thankfully I had mainly nice flatmates so didn't have to worry about cleanliness of shared spaces. Services and facilities have been easily assessible, as someone that is more productive in the evenings with library closing late it was helpful. I didn't hire any equipment, but it seemed easy if I ever needed to.
As someone that struggles with my mental health, being able to access mental health support and counselling was helpful. I used these services up until my last session the other day before finishing my degree soon. I didn't go into sessions with any agenda but these services were very helpful to give clarity and have someone I could talk to.
Overall Newman University has done their best to support students over the academic year. It was a real shame students were not allowed to work together and collaborate as peers in person. I think that this has really impacted some students time at University as it can be very lonely and daunting studying alone. However, on the whole staff were supportive and understanding. Most staff provided opportunities and resources to allow students to study effectively from home during lockdown. In regards to value for money, as students have not had access to the same facilities and experiences as usual I understand students frustration as to why the fee is the same as previous years in which they had the full university experience.
Excellent careers service who offer support for those who require it.
The course was taught mostly online through zoom meetings - several break out room activities as well as direct teaching. There were 3 lectures within University only - two Science lessons and one ICT lesson. The University on the whole did what they could to support students - directing us to e-books, organising a online library chat, extending loans for library books etc. Lecturers responded quickly to emails and signposted support when needed.
The university has good facilities - well stocked library, good computer facilities, clean space etc.
Student support is available, personally I only used it once but I know some of my peers used it and were happy with the support given.
So far I am enjoying my experience at Newman University. I feel as though I have learnt a lot. My lecturers are always keen to help me. If I have any issues with my work I often tend to email my lecturers and they respond back quickly with useful information.
I must say that I have really improved, I am progressing well. My communication skill is getting better, my organization skill is also improving. I am getting more confident day by day and I am really impressed with myself. I have learnt alot.
We have recieved lots of information on how to go on placements and whsy yo expect. I think the school is prepared and us preparing us well.
The pandemic, I must say, have really given us all a shock wave. It has really been a very challenging year for us all. Even if there is nothing to win for this review, I will still give it. My Newman university, is a community based one, it has genuine interest in involving everyone to develop and be the best they can be. The online/ in-class teaching, is a very interactive and highly organised one. You cannot be in this Uni. and still doubt whethey you are in the right place. The emotional and academic support is second to none. I recommend this Uni. to all who are really interested in gainning true applicable knowledge. If you doubt me, try it youself.
My university does not have a massive building, nevertheless, it has got more than good enough facility that meets its size. It is a very clean university with good enviroment. Its shared spaces are very comfortable and relaxing enough for learning.
No matter what the support is, my university is able to deliver, and deliver well. Their support has really amazed me, I was nervous at first, but the level of support I received was mind blowing, you might think that I am exaggerating but is true, even my fellow students have been also very supportive.
Given that it was severely disrupted by the pandemic, I feel it was a good experience overall and would recommend the uni. It would have been nice to have made use of the campus facilities as they looked great on our single day physically at uni, particularly given tuition fees, as unfortunately due to the pandemic our lectures were all on Zoom despite being a practical based course (teacher training), and to have been able to meet other students in person. However, the lectures were useful, tutors were supportive and I had a great placement school. I think in a 'normal' year the experience would be even better.
Excellent careers service, lots of support, webinars, help with applications etc.
Really knowledgeable and supportive tutors. Mostly online delivery this year except school placements. However, staff are very busy and it can take a while for them to get back to you. This may be less of an issue when teaching is on campus and you can ask questions in person though.
Lovely campus, clean and modern. Due to online learning we only attended once. The science lab was great, in a normal year I expect it would have been a great facility to practise practical lab work.
Good support, counselling available.
I found the teachers very helpful and didn't get the chance to attend my lectures because of COVID 19. I found it difficult to understand the work and would prefer attending lectures. Overall I've managed to complete my course and waiting for foe my results.
I am looking to work full time in a primary school.
I really enjoyed doing the course and found the lectures very helpful.
i used my own laptop and studied from home due to lockdown.
I have enjoyed the opportunities to get to know others on my course and hearing shared experiences regarding primary education and I enjoy hearing my tutors previous teaching experiences which gives me an insight in each subject area for primary teaching, feedback is very detailed when receiving assignments and feedback. This helps me to continue in to next year with more detail and support to improve academic writing further.
Access to online career support through emails
Very detailed lessons and powerpoints provided with support and guidance from all tutors.
Clean shared lounge areas and great cafe prices and food
A range of emails are sent to us regarding support for mental health or sessions on wellbeing groups so we can join
I have really enjoyed the year at uni, tutor has made some very difficult decisions but they are always the right ones. She does her job very well and it has been a pleasure to have her guidence this year. The only downfall was due to the covid restrictions I do not believe that the university teaching side has been made good value for money as there has been no face to face teaching, while I accept and agree that it is out of their control and they have done the best they can with the restrictions, I do believe it has hindered some peoples success. Technical issues being one of them.
All opportunitys were emailed through with enough time to find employment.
It was great to have had the opportunity to have learnt online. For a teacher training course the classroom is the most important for your own experience but lessons were given in the best possible way and had a lot of variation
All teaching was done online so cant comment on this year. In previous years it has been fantastic though.
Any support I have required has been executed to a high standard and the friendliness of staff really helps.