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 studied an undergrad at Surrey between 2010 and 2014, and I can safely say that it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. It's a beautiful campus university with fantastic teaching, good transport links, well-maintained accommodation and top class facilities.
USSU was one of the best things about studying at Surrey. The Union provide a really good mix of activities including sports, societies and volunteering - being a Freshers' Angel was one of my favourite university experiences. Rubix (the nightclub) and Chancellors (the bar) were always reliable for a good night out and whilst studying at Surrey I saw everyone from Labrinth to Chase and Status to the Vengaboys perform. Rubix is a big capacity club as well as having some of the best sound and lighting in a Students' Union in the UK. I also worked for USSU as a member of bar staff for three years, which gave me some of the best memories and experiences whilst at Surrey - as well as a load of professional bartending qualifications which the Union paid for as part of their commitment to training and developing their staff.
Accommodation was always of a good standard - but due to the location of the University it was expensive.
Brand new library, well maintained lecture theatres, an abundance of computer labs and printing facilities as well as a world class sports park.
Guildford strikes a great balance between pretty town and bigger city. There's a good mix of shops on the highstreet and it's an awesome place to live in the summer with loads of really nice pubs and lots of green space. London is also on 40 minutes away if you need a bit more hustle and bustle. Some bars and clubs can be expensive on a Friday and Saturday night though, so it's best to go out in town on student nights only (Monday and Thursday usually, plus Tickled on a Tuesday).
Personally, uni wasn’t great because of my flatmates being awful human beings and covid stopping sports but since things being open and moving back home, it’s been good!
With Covid, it’s been hard to do everything normally but we’ve had lots of support and been able to do lots more contact time than most students and they focused attention on our mental health and did check ins. Tutors are all amazing and so kind and helpful throughout.
State of the art, so clean and easy to navigate, very accessible for disabled students (at least at the Kate Granger Building)
It’s accessible and much better than most unis
I have been on a placement this year and have had very little contact with my university and have been based away from university. I have had a great experience in previous years and the university has given me a lot of different opportunities I wouldn’t have otherwise
They run an employability award. A lot of networking opportunities. I completed a placement as part of my university experience. One of our modules had guest speakers from different fields.
There are some really good places to socialise as well as the work. The Library is open 24/7 and has some amazing resources. The student union is very active and run lots of events over the year.
We have the centre of well-being who are always happy to help. The student union would be able to direct to a lot of other Resources. Additional support is always present when needed
This academic year has been incredibly challenging for us to receive the education we would have pre Covid. However I feel once this fact has been accepted, that it will never be what it was, I have been able to enjoy and learn from most of the academic year.
I’m graduating into a non-traditional industry so it’s more difficult to support our prospects, and due to Covid, I feel this part of our course has really suffered. Usually, graduates would have more opportunities to advertise themselves infront of agenceies, thus securing further employment.
High value, but with the online elements due to COVID it has been difficult to achieve this.
Really good! I go to the drama section of the uni so it’s fantastic to be able to have the bonuses of the library and student union!
I have seen a lot of it advertised and friends use it, to which I know the support is there but it can often be over subscribed so takes a little time.
The university have been excellent in providing both academic and wellbeing support. Their enthusiasm to get students back on campus—both for studies and social life—has definitely made this past year easier. Feedback is taken incredibly seriously and the uni does seem keen to improve in response to students. This past year has caused a lot of stress and has been far from perfect but I think Surrey have done well within it all.
There are weekly careers newsletters that contain information about job opportunities and careers related seminars. The uni encourages placements—they have so many connects in industries and plenty of resources to support students in searching for opportunities.
I feel like the number of contact hours is reasonable and most lecturers are super efficient at responding to emails. I’ve worked well with the blended learning this year and am grateful the uni prioritised it so much for my course. I value the range of topics and assessments my course offers.
The library is really modern and clean and the lecture theatres are all well kept. Our university buildings sit on a beautiful campus with plenty of space and a lake. All of the staff at the library have been lovely and the uni has recently opened up brand new study spaces.
Surrey prioritises student wellbeing, and it’s really shown this year. They’ve kept the well-being centre open and available, have opened extra support opportunities and seminars, and have a nightline available throughout the year. We even get therapy dog sessions in exam season! The student union has been very on it with championing diversity.
It has been a bumpy ride but I have felt like the uni has tried it's best. In terms of academics, the majority of lecturers have tried their best. If something was lacking, they were more than happy to help or point me in the right direction if not. In terms of support, there has been the introduction of self certified ECs which has been a god send. Also, the academic hives, personal tutors, and the union have been so so supportive. Speaking of the Union, we are very lucky to have the Marquee which has allowed us an additional social space to hang out in. As well as creating jobs for students. Lastly, despite the whole Pandemic, I have been able to secure a PTY in USA, which was organised completely through the uni. I think this year has not been as bad as it certainly could have been.
The majority of lecturers are lovely and are so happy to help. There are a few that aren't but you can always go to other members of staff who are more than happy to help if they can. The way the lectures are given, both online and in person, are usually of very high quality. They are easily understandable and you have a lot of guidance.
So far I’ve tried to enjoy the most I can, let’s just say it’s a very different experience due to COVID-19 but now hopefully things change. I have been able to make new friends also get to know my way around the University campus.
There are work placement years where they help allocate work placements. Also they give summer time jobs in the laboratories if one would want. Which I’m quite interested in.
Due to Covid-19 most lectures have been online, however majority of the practicals have been conducted in Covid rules and has given me a chance to go to University on several occasions
There are many facilities at my University, such as a new study area called the The Nest which is very big and allows students to interact and relax also the library is quite big, many resources to use such as many text books and computers. There are sport facilities which I haven’t been able to use yet hopefully in the next coming years.
We have been allocated our personal tutors 3/4 to a tutor who are with us for next degree years for any queries and questions. There is also a place we can go not quite sure what it’s called but where if we have problems we can go to.
Amazing experience regardless of the covid parameters and wouldn’t change it for the world. The productions we have done have been first class and I have worked and been taught by some incredible people. I feel ready to go into the industry and not feel worried about what is to come.
It’s a difficult one in terms of getting jobs for us because we are actors and self-employed but the advice and professional development support has been excellent and we feel ready for the industry.
We have been quite lucky as our course at the Guildford School of Acting has mostly in person, however we have had disruption due to covid. The school dealt with this quickly and efficiently and the quality of teaching has not been affected. We almost only have full-contact lessons now but other courses and years have blended learning.
They are cleaned every day and there is lots of sanitising equipment in each studio as well as around the buildings and one-way systems in place. There are very clear covid secure rules to follow.
We have very good relationships with our tutors and can always go to them whenever we need. We are a very small course in terms of numbers so get fantastic contact hours too.
Since lockdown I have not been as productive as I should have been where having pre recorded lectures do not make them very interactive. However lecturers have always put a hand out to help anyone at majority of times trying to make the experience better than usual as they feel the same way as students.
Overall the lecturers have been very thorough in their teaching, and the running of the course. Their always very responsive over emails to any queries, and helpful for all problems. The lectures are well organised, as well as the tutorials! The assessments are clear on what they want, and how to do well. There is also a practice half way which gives a good opportunity for feedback and improvement.