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Universities in the UK ranked based on student reviews. Who are the winners?
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Roshna Mohan

Roshna Mohan is a Content Writer at Hotcourses India - an IDP company. A post-graduate in Biotechnology, she chose content writing as her career out of sheer interest. Reading and cooking are her stress-busters. Talk about these to take the introvert out of the ambivert. Her all-time favourite authors are Paulo Coelho, Yuval Noah Harari and Robin Cook.


17 Jul 2020 Book icon 2 mins Share

Universities in the UK ranked based on student reviews. Who are the winners?

The WUSCA rankings were announced on 8 July 2020. Read to know more about the process and the winners.

17 Jul 2020 Book icon 2 mins Share
Universities in the UK ranked based on student reviews. Who are the winners?

Several university ranking models are in the news and they all have different winners. How is that going to help you select a university based on the rankings?

It totally relies on what your priorities are. If you are more interested in the rankings that are based on student reviews to decide the winners, then the WhatUni Student Choice Awards (WUSCA) rankings are for you.

Why are student reviews important?

Who better than students to tell you about their study experiences and provide an honest reflection of university life? It provides you with an insight into the facilities, support, academics and opportunities as experienced by students themselves, which you don’t get with the more traditional ranking systems.

The reviews are particularly useful for prospective students trying to make an informed choice.

What are the WUSCA rankings?

WhatUni is one of the biggest sites for university course comparison in the UK. They also give you access to thousands of student reviews on specific aspects of university life. Annually, they assess the submitted reviews to rank UK universities. As Whatuni says, “The ranking is solely driven by student opinions”.

Students can submit their reviews through the online site dedicated for accepting reviews or during the Whatuni-led campus review collection. This is exclusively for universities in the UK and it brings you the best of the higher education institutions in the country.

This year, ratings were collected from 41,000 students, between September 2019 and February 2020 to arrive at the results. Students were asked to provide a rating of between one and five stars and also to share their comments on topics such as:

  • Job Prospects
  • Courses and lecturers
  • Students’ Union
  • Accommodation
  • University facilities
  • Local life
  • Societies and sports
  • Student support
  • Postgraduate experience
  • International student experience
  • Independent higher education
  • Further education college

From the submissions, ratings for individual category are analysed to decide the best university for that category. For the category which decides the best international universities, international student votes were counted. Similarly, ratings from postgraduate students were collected for deciding the best postgraduate institution. Students were also asked to give an overall rating for their university. They were given the opportunity to share their experiences with future students.

This gives you the chance to evaluate your dream university based on the criteria that is more important to you.

Apart from the review-based category, higher education institutions can submit their nominations for awards in two submission-based categories: Prospective Student Engagement and Giving Back.

The journey of prospective students into the university should be as smooth as possible. To decide the winner for the Prospective Student Engagement awards, the campaigns conducted by the universities for the benefit of prospective students are assessed. The campaigns can target students at any stage from submitting application to enrolment. Innovation, usefulness to prospective students and impact for the university are evaluated before deciding the winners.

Under the ‘Giving Back’ category, the campaigns run by the institutions to give back to society are assessed.

These two awards are judged by the Whatuni Student Advisory Board, which is made up of school and university students.

Who are the winners?

The Whatuni student choice awards 2020 was released digitally on 8th July 2020 on Whatuni’s twitter handle, @Whatuni.

The university that topped the list as the University of the Year was Loughborough University with a score of 4.58. It is relevant for international students to know which university bagged the first place in terms of the overall experience of international students. The winner in this category was Aberystwyth University with a score of 4.53.

Some other winners were:

Harper Adams University in the Job Prospects category.

University of Wales Trinity Saint David for accommodation facilities and courses and lecturers.

Loughborough University again for overall university facilities and Leeds Arts University for Student support.

The winner of the award for the Prospective Student Engagement category was Norwich University of the Arts. Nottingham Trent University bagged the award for the Giving Back category.

The fact that the top 50 ranks in most of the categories got a score of four or above indicates the quality of the higher education providers in the UK. This, added to the information we can gather from traditional ranking systems like the QS World University Rankings, tells us that the UK is one of the top destinations for higher education. 

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