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
I had a fantastic time. I really do miss this masters program. The staff were lovely, my course mates were too. The work was very challenging and although I don’t miss those late library sessions I think it made me a much more stronger and capable engineer.
UCL is a top institution, so there is no shortage of career opportunities. There is a job fair before Christmas which I would highly recommend students to attend. There are always speakers who come in and give a lecture on the work they are doing in industry, so make sure to attend some of those and network!
I was enrolled before the COVID situation and most, if not all, of the course was taught in-class. Lecturers would also offer office hours during the week to pop-in and ask questions
Absolutely fantastic facilities. The VR department has access to some of the most advanced kit, headsets that are worth thousands of pounds are available for students who want to use them.
Yes. I like to think most of the teaching staff care about the well-being of students. You are also assigned a personal tutor, which I actually never met but I know some of my classmates did.
There were a few issues with online teaching and how the program was adapted to accommodate for the online material and teaching style. Also a bit issue arose with the lack of lab work as that is crucial for our education in this field. However, slowly things got better as everyone became more experienced with online teaching and by the end of the year things went smoothly. Even small seminars worked well with people being eager to participate
My iBSc in particular this year has navigated the pandemic incredibly well and offered the best support I have received at university so far. Prior years were a bit less personal just because the course size is so big.
1) Online teaching has been an unpleasant experience to me personally. It is not the fault of the lecturers, although some lecturers are disorganised when adjusting to online teaching. While I liked the flexibility of online teaching and mix of teaching styles, there is a lack of social interaction as there are not enough efforts to facilitate stimulating intellectual discussion and people don’t talk or put their cameras on during live sessions, making me feel disconnected. There are also few group work / interactive activities outside of online classes. I do not feel adequately intellectually/ academically engaged on most classes. Language classes taken outside my department are the worst as it’s simply not at all like the in person experience. 2) The university has not given us a satisfactory safety net. Having 5 self certified extenuating circumstances (to get 2 week extensions / defer exams to late summer) is useful but limited because it’s simply not fair that we are expected to perform to (and be graded at) the standards of past cohorts when we have had a different teaching experience and have been going through a pandemic. Mental health is poor and not all students can properly access online learning. 3) It is upsetting that international students do not get any reduced fees.
My department has an in-house careers counselor which is very helpful. However the university-wide careers service is less helpful.
Modules in my department are generally well taught with a perfect amount of contact hours. They are a blend of recorded online lectures, live Q&A sessions, group projects / workshop sessions and seminars.
There aren’t enough spaces in library and student centre to study in. Otherwise it looks nice and feels clean and comfortable.
Very happy to have chosen this university. They have adapted to the pandemic well. Feel like I have learnt a lot from my education here and I have not only learnt about my subject but also other usefull skills for the job market.
You can book a 1:1 career sessions. Lots of weekly talks to get involved in
- had in person lab during the pandemic -lecturers always happy to help and answer questions/organise meetings -for chemistry I’ve had a lot of contact hours
Not many study spaces - however once we do have are very nice We have enough lab space and resources Sport facilities are not good as in central london You can borrow computers and tablets and books easily
Lots of personal services we have access to. Also financial support is great at UCL
Being a first year during the pandemic has definitely been disappointing and I have missed out on opportunities I know I will never have the chance to take, both socially and academically. Nevertheless, the price of tuition fees and student accommodation does not reflect the unprecedented circumstances that have taken place this year due to being the same, if not more than past years. We have also been graded on the same level as those from past years, which is extremely unjust as the quality of teaching this year has been significantly subpar.
Overall, my university and more particularly my course has done a very good job adjusting to COVID this past year. While some of the faculty have been slacking in this time and not understanding of the difficulty of online learning, others have made up for this in a more compassionate and logical approach to delivering online learning material. Being in halls this year was an incredibly important part of this year for me - without meeting my flatmates, I might have felt lost and lonely during these challenging times. I have been very lucky to have met them and connect with people via online society events at the beginning of first year. The best advice for going to a city university such as UCL is put yourself out there! Make the most of your money and connect with people on your course, in societies, and in halls. Use your professors as plentiful sources of knowledge - bug them with stupid questions! The real way to make the most out of university is by making connections. And don’t forget to have fun while doing all that studying!
There are a lot of career service activities and talks on employability, but the university expects you to conduct most of your employment research yourself. Especially in a science degree it can be nerve wracking trying to find something to do in your first summer after starting university. I haven’t found many of the university career resources useful in this aspect. I have had to search career opportunities outside of my degree discipline, and rely on the help of friends and relatives for more hands on advice.
Before COVID, my course was moving toward flipped learning content: pre-lecture material online to supplement in person lectures. So far the transition to online learning has been very smooth with the exception of some lab material being missed - an in person session is being held at the beginning of next year to rectify this. Some modules are more organized than others, however our First Year Director has been extremely helpful in responding to students concerns on Unitu and made real changes to clarify examinable content in problematic modules. Professors are constantly available for questions via email and tutors are generally good at responding to queries. Support from the administrative staff has been very good this year keeping us updated.
My favorite places to study are on campus: Torrington Place has amazing views, the Student Center is always busy but incredible productive, and Cruciform Library is the perfect place to focus. Sometimes availability of libraries is difficult, but if one place is full there is usually another and given the quality of study spaces there is no “best place” to study. Student bars (while they have been open) are nice spaces but are often extremely busy with long waits. The drink prices are really good though, so worth checking out early in the evening.
I have received a number of calls from UCL staff asking after my well being and mental health over the COVID period. While a phone call is not necessarily useful for everyone, I found the individuals I spoke to really helpful in connecting me to university resources. If I had more pressing issues with university life, I would have liked more involved well-being services and more student led groups. That said, my degree offers a well-being service specifically for students in my cohort struggling with university life or life in general. I think this is an important initiative that will support students on my course for years to come.
Obviously not the experience that I had hoped for but as a student who has been lucky enough to remain on campus for the majority of the year and in halls where there have been a lot of students still around, I have really enjoyed my first year of uni and now that societies can run again, I’m finally starting to feel what a ‘typical’ uni year might be like once exams are over. As someone who was worried about how difficult their course was going to be, I do feel that I was thrown into the deep end and there were times when I really questioned if I was smart enough to be here - this was definitely made worse by lack of meaningful interactions with people on my course, I didn’t really have anyone that I knew related to the struggles I was facing!
Can’t really comment
Study spaces have been difficult to book but to be fair they have been amazing to use once booked!
I haven’t necessarily had to use any of the services but from what I can tell, the careers service is excellent!
I think UCL did absolutely amazing especially with everything that was happening this year. The majority of issues that we had were from the government (campus reopening only on 17.5., no tuition fee refunds etc) but ucl really tried their best. The only massive complaint i have is cancelling our graduation (decision was made in January for October/ November) and not reconsidering at later stage (ie when the cases were clearly going down and the country will fully go back to normal in june)
Again excellent, no negative experience, they offer multiple jobs reserved for students as well and there are loads of networking events, cv improving workshops, sessions where they individually check your cover letter based on the application you provide them and have a session on that. Overall way more than I expected !!
Online - a bland of live and prerecorded lectures/ tutorials
All very accessible and wonderful however there is not enough library space for all 40000 students
Its awesome - wellbeing services offered with same day consultations, they pay for 6 hours with a professional therapist, extenuating circumstances for deadlines etc
My overall experience so far had been amazing. Uni is even better how I imagined, but I already had high standards! Seeing the professors working hand in hand during the pandemic was amazing as well, everyone tried their best to bring the most out of the situation. I made new friends, explored new passions and even started to learn a new language. I dont think it could get any better :)
We have webinars and different events to partake in, providing opportunities for everyone. They provide consultation and one on one sessions too!
It’s been a challenging but amazing journey. Most professors are so dedicated, it inspired me every day through this academic year. Regardless of having classes moved to the online space the professors adjusted swiftly and tried to provide the best teaching quality.
There are renovations going on sometimes and they are always focusing on building student centred spaces. The accessibility is like no other, everyone’s needs are met. Facilities are always spotless and they emphasised on that especially during COVID which for I am very grateful
They provided mental health and financial support for everyone in need and replied quickly to issues that were concerning us.