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 absolutely love Uni. I never planned on going, but it was my mum that kept persuading me to. In the end she was right (not that I'd ever admit it), as it's definitely helped me massively to come out of my shell. I was a completely different person before starting Uni. I was an anxious mess who had panic attacks on the regular and had no friends. Now i'm pretty much the opposite. I have a wonderful group of friends and my anxiety has improved massively.
I know it had services such as the careers and employability centre but I've never used it so I'm not entirely sure of what they have in place
I love how customisable my course is. If I wanted to do practical modules (which I don't) then I've got that option available
It seems like the SU is really good. I don't know a whole lot about it though. I don't get involved because it's not really my thing
I really enjoyed living in halls in my first year and now that I live off campus in a shared house I hate it. The area makes it difficult to get to uni, I only have a single room, and my housemates are awful at keeping the house clean
They're great to be honest. There's so much available and very rarely do I struggle to find a study space
I've always been a fan of Brighton: and home is only a half hour away so I already knew the city really well. It's definitely my favourite place to be. I feel safe as well considering how accepting Brighton is to the LGBT community. I don't even have to think twice about holding my girlfriends hand
There's a lot available and you can always make your own society if they don't have what you're looking for. I never got all that involved though
Academically the help is the if you need it and you can always see your academic advisors, seminar leaders etc in their office hours. As for counselling, I've heard it's really good and definitely should check it out myself as I need to. I've just always been wary of counselling i the first place though and I've heard the waiting list is really long which is why I haven't bothered
My experience in Sussex was very positive! From the education I was provided to the support and also the student socities I engaged with! I highly recomment this university for stimulating and exciting learning opportunities!
The career advisors are really helpful and informative. Many opportunities advertised by the uni career hub. This year we had several guest speakers too from different areas from development, to policy research etc
The tutors are reqlly passionate about their subject and they show it by the quality of education they provide. Most of the content is updated and relevant.
Pre COVID:Everything is clean and spacious howeverit can get overcrowded. There is new equipment as well and plans for new study spaces.
Excellent student support entailing wellbeing, disabilities and counselling. However the waiting list cansometimes be a bit long.
The university has a really riendly atmosphere. There are lots of great opportunities (only less so with covid). Staff are helpful and approachable. Content is really interesting. Can be challenging but ultimately rewarding.
I was lucky enough to have really good lecturers who provided good feedback throughout and were genuinely trying to make their courses as good as possible despite the difficult circumstances. However, I think communication from the university wasn’t great. It took several months for them to sort out a no detriment policy (which we didn’t even really get in the end) and they have sent many contradictory and confusing emails while pretending they’re “always there for the students”. I didn’t find that very helpful. I’ve also heard from other people that there were lots of issues with extenuating circumstances claims so that’s not great either. Nevertheless, I felt very supported by my individual lecturers and really enjoyed my last year of university!
I did a one year placement as well a summer junior research associate programme both organised by the university which have really helped me!
This year my course was completely online. I didn’t have that many contact hours because it’s my last year so I had 3 lectures a week which were 2 hours each and an optional one hour seminar for one of those lectures.
The uni is usually quite clean and accessibility is good (there are wheelchair entrances and elevators pretty much everywhere)
The uni has really good mental health services and careers services in particular!
Very disappointing. I went to uni with ambitions and expectations that were not not met in the slightest. We were given very little support in my first year regarding the many months of staff strikes which left us with no guidance or anyone to reach out to for help. Then covid hit and we got tossed to the side, little advice given, not allowed back to uni that we pay a huge amount for, and I know friends have had to wait literally 3 months to receive the covid packages the uni eventually offered. No facilities available aside from library and little help from a great deal of staff. Some tutors are lovely and have helped but I’ve also noticed a grim amount of them emailing to say they won’t respond to any emails over weekends and terms - even though they are infact paid for this and our assignments are often over holiday periods. Honestly, my experience at Sussex makes me wish I hadn’t decided to go to uni, or at least, not that university
They provide a careers weekly email update about careers events available
My university provided little to no support during the lockdown covid period. The only advise we got was not to be bullies and to stay away from our accommodations that we pay for... I feel really really let down by Sussex uni and especially vice chancellor Adam tickle
We had bars cafes and some study spaces prior to lockdown but very little after. The only facility currently available to access is the library (which took a while) and you must book a slot beforehand
Very very very little. The mental health support schemes are atrocious and I know of many who waited so long to be seen by a counsellor they gave up and continue to go unsupported and unstable
I have enjoyed uni however it hasn’t been the best. A lot of my module require fieldwork and I was unable to do any and in return was just given the data, seems pointless. In addition the study space available has been poor, library quickly booked up
I have never sat in a job prospects talk are had a conversation about the future
Majority online especially my second year weren’t even allowed to go back to my accommodation
The facilities are okay but there isn’t enough library space for the amount of students. It gets booked up very quickly and it’s like a military operation in there. An excess of security I had to leave as I was so uncomfortable
I have never used it so I could say how good it is
It has been a challenging learning and being taught online this past year. Although I am thankful that we can still access materials and be taught via 'zoom', the lack of engagement makes it difficult at times to be motivated to learn the course topics.
I’ve hated it. I’ve considered dropping out more than I ever thought i’d be considering. I’ve not learnt much, I haven’t felt supported, I feel unsure about my future and my grades, I don’t know if I’ll be able to secure my placement, and I truly feel like i’m being scammed considering the fact that tuition fees are unchanged. Honestly this year has completely ruined my university experience so far, and sometimes I wish i never went at all in the first place.
Lacklustre again, no real push to do anything career wise ever since covid began. Year 1 when the times were normal was much better as pretty much everything was. This again reinforces my point that we should NOT be paying regular tuition fees for this year because this year is a complete waste in terms of education for me.
My course is entirely online. Ever since going so, I have felt that i’ve barely been learning anything. Honestly university has not felt worth its value at all since the pandemic started. I don’t feel supported enough by my tutors and I don’t feel like I’m getting the value of my tuition fee at all, especially when online unis are generally much cheaper. In truth I believe our tuition fees should’ve been reduced due to the pandemic as there is no way the quality of learning is worth the normal tuition fees, and it’s absolutely disgraceful that they don’t seem to care about it.
Normally they’re okay, ie in regular non pandemic times, but I don’t know if they’ve changed or not ever since I’ve stopped going to the university physically.
Mental health support is provided however I’ve found it is pretty lacklustre. They don’t really follow up to check on you which makes it seem like they don’t really care if they don’t have to, despite making it clear that i’m regularly struggling with keeping up with my work and determination to complete my work.
Despite COVID and lockdown, I've had a decent experience with Sussex Uni. There is issues with the administration and the internal workings and the modules this year have been hit or miss in terms of engagement, but the staff on the whole are great, the facilities are wonderful and the people I've met are friendly. I'm putting no for the value for money question because this year has been entirely online
As a 1st year I can't comment much on this, but COVID has also stunted a lot of the services they provide for job opportunities
Obviously with COVID, teaching has been drastically altered. The result has been a mixed bag, with some of my modules being outstanding in the level of teaching, contact and feedback, and others being extremely unorganised, particularly in the 2nd semester.
When campus is open and running, the facilities are awesome. There are loads of places to eat with choices for many dietary needs, the outdoor spaces are abundant and well kept which is great when the weather is good, the library is huge but easy to navigate and the staff are very helpful (it's also easy to book study spaces there).
The mental health services I've used are very responsive when you first interact but there are long waiting lists for any solid services. There is great support for first year students who may struggle with making friends through the Buddy Scheme. If you struggle with essays and coursework then make use of the student skills hub and the workshops they run, they're very good at finding what you need to improve and helping with that.
Naturally it has been massively impaired because of the pandemic, however the value that we are getting has not deteriorated. We have received so much support and the lecturers have realised how tough this year has been for us. Law has been great and the modules have been very well co-ordinated this year. Very happy with my experience and Sussex has been great at lying the foundations for my career.
Absolutely great! Never has so many internship opportunities and job opportunities thrown at me. The encouragement and constant support for job applications is great. They make sure you get all the support that you need, including CV support, interview practise and lots of opportunities.
Since the beginning of this academic year, I have been taught mainly online. There have been very few blended classes provided. I have approximately 11 hours of contact a week and I try to make the most of the office hours that are provided as these are extremely valuable to myself and many other students. The contact with the tutors has been incredible. They have replied to emails very quickly and have offered great support. All my tutors have made sure that they are available whenever we need them for either academic support or emotional support. I could not fault the way they have handled how the pandemic has affected us and made sure that we are not struggling.
Due to the pandemic access to these facilities has been limited massively. However, from the minimal access that we have had has been great. There has always been laptops and computer available where they are needed and in abundance. Shared spaces including the library and around campus have always been well cleaned. naturally this has been heightened through COVID but without fail you always see someone cleaning. In regard to IT support, it has been incredible! Within hours of having technical issues they have either resolved the issue or if it is not yet resolved, they keep you in the loop as to what is happening. Following some issues I had, I received an email a few days after from IT to check in to ensure it was completely solved. Great library space with lots of resources!
Student services is great, they provide incredible support and always make sure that we know where we can locate them. They communicate well and ensure to check up with everyone on a regular basis. they have many different services that they offer which have lots of spaces and can be accessed with little notice. They have great mental health support and provide lots of activities to meet others. They also run lots of charities events in aid of mind - something that is very special to a lot of people. the disability support and access is also great. They provide access facilities that are great for everyone!