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 alright experience, not joined any clubs or societies due to lack of information and lockdown. Access to facilities like a library, gym and lectures on campus was limited only, which contributed to less good experience. However overall standard of facilities seems good.
My university experience has been heavily impacted by the pandemic, hence the 3 stars. Even though the university itself provides many online activities that students can partake in, this still cannot be compared to having a real and offline university experience. I would give 5 stars to the well-being, student support, as well as the social side of university. But as for the learning experience, I think there is a lot of room for improvement.
There are loads of employability workshops that students can attend and career fairs are held many times throughout the year.
I appreciate the lecturers for putting in the work to make online lectures work but the quality that I expect of the lectures is not proportional to the amount that I pay to study at university, especially as an international student. Some lecturers do not provide useful lecture notes in addition to their lecture slides. Some do provide them but of low quality that is difficult to follow. Some don’t even provide neither notes or lecture slides.
The facilities at my university are top-notch. The gym of high standard, there are prayer rooms everywhere on campus for religious students, the buildings on campus are also very accessible for students with disability. Cleanliness are maintained throughout all areas of campus.
The careers centre is very helpful for students who are looking for jobs in terms of providing them with CV checking support and mock interviews. There is also a mental health service on campus, which are in high demand. There is also a chaplaincy for religious students seeking pastoral support.
The tutors in the uni of Leeds school of English have worked tirelessly to give us the best academic experience they could online. They have listened to our feedback and wants, and have cut down our word load where needed in order to assess us on the best possible grounds. Overall I’ve been satisfied with the standard of online teaching and the library facilities available to us - although I understand that for others doing more practical courses this may have been more of an issue.
Access to these opportunities are always sent my email and this has been helpful, however some more student led career advice, perhaps in the union, might have been helpful (although this might not have been possible this year due to the pandemic)
This year we have had full online teaching, with online seminars and lectures and drop in/consolation hours with tutors
Good library spaces, the uni made study spaces accessible during the pandemic and implemented a booking system that worked for this. There were a couple of hiccups but pre-pandemic the uni of Leeds services and facilities are exceptional
Good well-being/mental health support within faculty schools, however the mental health support outside of this is in need of change. Most people I know could not find adequate help when it was needed
I have been on placement for this year and even though I haven’t been directly studying at the university and with COVID they have still been really good checking in with me and making sure my placement is going well and my tutor has always been quick to respond if I have questions and has offered multiple video call catch ups if I wanted it
If it wasn't for the pandemic I’d give it a 5. Imo, the actual lecture materials were of high quality and I’ve learned everything i needed for my 2nd year. However, the lack of extra curricular activities left me more stressed when handling assignments and exams. Overall, the lecturers did their best but I did not get the “university” experience since remote learning gives very little opportunity to grow as a person.
Great career service giving advice for CVs, placement schemes ect
Lecturers did their best to provide quality education and materials.
Clean and highly accessible
Personal tutors for students giving mental and emotional support throughout degree
Overall good year but not what I expected even with covid in mind. I should not be paying the same amount as a usual student with access to all facilities and in person contact hours. I enjoyed the things I have learned but my experience was far less than a student that was not taught during covid
Had guest speekers every now and again
Course was online the whole year, good to pause/ speed up lectures but had barely any seminars even online
Didn't get to use any the whole year
Attempts at well being groups but not very helpful, did make leeway with discovery modules due to covid
Absolutely awful experience. Would not recommend to anyone. Extremely poor value for money. Received barely half of what is expected and promised by the uni and yet no compensation to account for this. Extremely poor decision making from the uni and for them to then say next year will be online for any event with more than 30 people is shocking. Clearly the uni haven't clocked on that we put up with online learning due to the extreme nature of the pandemic at the time, not because we enjoy it.
All have been cancelled.
Completely online learning since September despite government rules allowing my course to be in person for period of time during the year. Next year will consist of blended learning with only smaller class sizes to be taught in person. Contact hours vary but tend to be around 10 hours per week with some days not starting until 5 or 6 pm. Group tutor meetings every fortnight.
Most have been shut for the majority of the year. All library spaces are accessed through a booking system that fills up extremely quickly due to limited capacity and most libraries being completely shut. Shared spaces within uni accommodation are on a reduced cleaning rota despite charging the same price. Any specialist IT software needed for your course that would be easily accessible through university computers on campus has to be accessed through remote desktops which I know a lot of people on my course struggled with. All in person practical lab lessons were cancelled including multiple field trips and an overnight field trip, none of which has been compensated for.
services and groups do exist and although I can't speak on disability support groups, I do know that mental health support will only help you for a limited number of sessions and then leave you to go to the doctors or find other help elsewhere.
I do really like my university and think it was the best place for me. I love the city and how student based it is. I think the university has a lot of room for improvement though, especially with student academic support and career/internship opportunities. Overall, I would recommend Uni of Leeds if you are independent and self-motivated as there is no hand holding, especially with online learning, which I personally like but can be challenging if you are used to a lot of support and encouragement from teachers/tutors.
I’d hope that in third year there would be more information and support about career opportunities but so far as a second year it’s been lacking. I don’t find the universities career websites very useful, there is a lack of internship guidance or encouragement especially for non-traditional careers. I still don’t really know what career options I have with my degree.
The lectures are informative and academics very knowledgeable, however, they are not the most engaging and can be repetitive between lectures and seminars. Support is very much based on what you seek, if you don’t send emails or visit tutors then you may feel somewhat anonymous within the university but if you are more proactive then you can get a lot of support.
I love the university campus and student union, especially the coffee shops and events (pre-covid). The libraries can get super busy but that hasn’t been as much of an issue during covid because of the new booking systems.
I think student support is entirely based on what you seek out. The university has a lot of services which I have heard positive things about but you have to reach out, which isn’t always easy.
Leeds is an overall good university and I am happy that I have attended. I have met many passionate people who teach because they love their subject and want students to love it as much as them. There’s also however, some improvement to be done in modernising the underfunded English department and providing better support on some of the modules.
Loads of different opportunities and fairs to get engaged with
Teaching hours are between 8-10 hours a week with varying amount of contact with tutors depending on modules.
Everything is kept to a high standard and the equipment is good
There’s a good mental health support but certain modules lack some more core study support
COVID has made it very hard this year for everyone, but I feel as though things (such as small group seminars) have been kept online unnecessarily. This has affected students mental health negative and could’ve been avoided. However, the teachers and academics are very well informed on their subjects and the libraries are amazing.
Great staff, leading in their field, very well informed on their subject. Seminars are amazing - in small groups. Very few contact hours and out of hours support. It hard to get one to one time with a member of staff for extra help.