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
With COVID there was not enough contact time, support and guidance on how to adapt to technology. The firm term was really really difficult to get used to and it was made worse by not having the in person support to help you with queries. It was hard getting used to the new technology they had for COVID learning. However University of Bristol facilities are amazing. The lecturers are fantastic and are there to help with anything. The uni is in a great place in the heart of the city centre and the biology building itself is brand new with state of the art lab equipment.
They do have pages on their website that offer internships and placements however these often do not span all the courses they offer and are very business and engineering orientated. They don’t offer enough courses with years placement.
With corona virus, only sessions we have at the uni are the lab sessions which are one a week. Contact with tutors is one every two weeks, and there is at least 4 hours worth of live lectures a week with lots of asynchronous learning material.
Lots of libraries to work at, the biology labs are fantastic and sports facilities if you need them.
They are always reaching out to offer groups and advice on wellbeing.
Great place, great course content but support for mental health pretty shocking, little support in many personal areas. Online teaching absolutely ridiculous. General consensus the uni isn’t invested in student wellbeing. Pol & IR department great, Bristol uni in general let the experience down
I think an important thing to remember is that you get out what you put in. If you spend your time studying and building academic rapport with staff, you will enjoy the academic side of uni. If you spend time socialising, that is what will make uni more enjoyable, and you may miss out on some of the academic benefits. You have to do what you enjoy though. Don’t become stuck in academics because you think it’s the right thing; have fun!
The lecturers are generally passionate and want us to be too, but the current online structure has created some sort of barrier between staff and students, that makes the teaching less engaging
We have lots of libraries and study places that are easy to use and kept in good condition.
The well-being support are quick to answer and try and help you find a solution. University teaching staff are also very caring and will support you.
It’s been a good year despite the circumstances. I am passionate about my course and have made some amazing friends. Although it’s disappointing we didn’t get a slight refund on tuition fees, our student community had rent strikes that caused us to rightfully get some rent back if we couldn’t return to university because of coronavirus.
Part of the flying start programme for students that may be less privileged when coming to careers. A very useful programme and there are constant emails about jobs and career support
There was a lot of resources placed online for students with exam revision and help. My professors were very helpful and had hours that I could call them in if I had any issues. Disappointing that tuition fees were the same despite our learning being deprived of in-person lectures and only having seminars in the first term.
Accommodation has been nice and cleaners come every week to keep it clean. During lockdown we got boxes of food which weren’t very nutritional for vegans until they did an organic box where we got fresh fruit and veggies which was very helpful.
Not much access to mental health support and some students have really struggled with exam stress and submission issues. They’ve been good with extensions on assignments due to current circumstances but most of my mental health support has come from my friends and societies rather than the university itself
Overall, given the circumstances of this year, I feel like my university have done a great job in providing the support they can. All tutors feel personally invest in you as individuals and really want to see you flourish. 10/10 recommend.
Incredibly well. Schools contact the school of education about jobs and there are always communicated to us. We have also had interview prep' seminars and workshops as well as help with cover leters.
Given I am training to be a teacher in the middle of a pandemic and there have been so many complications and mix ups thrown into the mix with remote teaching and a 'covid classroom' to navigate, my lecturers and programme leaders have been so supportive and had strong communication with us throughout.
Accessibility to the library has been very limited due to lack of seats at the best of times, not even accounting for the pandemic. Limited hours per student on library access has been difficult for continuity in learning.
I know my tutor is there for me whenever I need her and is only an email or a phone call away; such a great support and cheerleader when I'm finding things hard.
Very stressful overall, but the uni is great, the city is amazing, and i can’t wait to be back next year! Online/ blended learning has been difficult for everyone, but i’m sure next year when we have actual in person stuff it’s gonna be great.
Amazing opportunities, Covid-19 SME internship fund, great website for careers
Overall great, but they didn’t handle the online situation too well and I’m missing having lectures (even if they’re online) instead of pre-recorded videos.
Beautiful buildings, all in one area
i guess they try their best but online well-being support is never too great
I do feel like covid has affected my year here greatly, so it’s hard to be unbiased by the parts the uni couldn’t change, but it was hard to get the same quality online learning and I thought more time could have been given to making live lectures
They’ve sent emails quite often with job opportunities and I’ve attended talks about different jobs
The online classes have been hard to get immersed into but the teachers are doing the best they can.
I haven’t been able to access them much but when I was they were in good condition and clean
I have had help from student support and got counselling through the uni which was great.
In terms of my department, the teaching and the topics covered within our units have been done to a great standard that I have still enjoyed doing online. The approach the university has taken to coronavirus and not understanding the immense pressure they put onto students is ridiculous. After having a severe mental breakdown in Autumn term, I felt alone and I didn’t feel like the university acknowledged how many students struggled through a difficult year.
Careers department are brilliant at offering support and still organising a lot of virtual careers events to meet alumni and employees
There has been minimal/no in person teaching compared to what is extended and pressure from more information given online Yet the lecturers have been very considerate and are great at being able to teach with a virtual platform
Large amount of library spaces/buildings to choose from Always clean and nice environment around the central campus
Personal experience with well-being over mental health issues have been good However their approach to addressing issues of suicide and student mental health issues is too centralised and often falls on deaf ears
I was not at Bristol this yet due to yet abroad. But the lack of contact between me and my personal tutor on my year abroad has been difficult and I know for other people studying physics at Bristol this year it has been not very great for them.
Weekly emails from the physics department about opportunities and events for jobs and internships, as well as talks and society events. Bristol Physics society, Chaos, are excellent for guest talks.
I was on year abroad this year, but last academic year and from what I’ve heard from my peers this year, all online learning, nothing in person, I know someone on the Physics MSci course who has not been physically in Bristol since the beginning of the pandemic as there has been no need as nothing in person
Nice libraries, opening times and spaces are very limited for the amount of people at the university though. University gym and sports facilities are much more expensive than other universities, even for 1st years.
University of Bristol is infamous for having a bad mental health support system. Almost impossible getting a GP appointment in the student health centre, I was trying for over a month in the first term of my first year before having to go to an NHS walk in centre not affiliated with the uni and get the nurse I was with to ring the student health service so that I could get an appointment. I have had a good experience working with disability however.
My experience at university has been good but impacted hugely by Covid and lockdown. I haven’t been to a lecture in over a year and the university aren’t planning on running in person lectures next year. The university experience I’ve received is not the one I was expecting and I am disappointed, especially considering that little was done to reduce fees or compensate for the learning we lost. Although, I must say that the university of Bristol bursary has helped me survive this year and without it I’m not sure I would have been able to continue attending h to university.
The careers service is one of the best things about the uni and I love that they have jobs for students whilst studying, such as peer mentor roles for new students!
Lectures and seminars have been online since March 2020, with a few in person seminars from October to December. The teaching has remained at a high standard and the lectures are always presented with care and dedication. Sometimes the online seminars have been pretty bleak, with only 3 people attending with cameras and mics off. More could be done to encourage online participation to the same level as in person.
Facilities are good and access is well organised, booking into slots in the library is a good way to make sure that everyone gets fair access.
The student health service is disappointing and unwelcoming and I wouldn’t recommend students signing up there.