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THE UK: Destination Guides

The Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2021

The Whatuni Student Choice Awards (WUSCA) winners for 2021 have been revealed. Covering four categories, the WUSCAs saw institutions make submissions to a student judging panel for appraisal.

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We know the last year has admittedly been rather different for international students. But luckily there are things that you can still rely on. That’s certainly true of the prestigious Whatuni Student Choice Awards (WUSCAs). Every year students have their say on the universities in the UK that have excelled. 2021 was no different with universities submitting their entries for student scrutiny. These were then appraised by a student judging panel for the selection of the winners. 


The WUSCAs 2021 consisted of four new categories, namely:


  • Diversity and inclusion 
  • Excellence in Digital Innovation
  • Enhanced graduate outcomes 
  • Student Support


We won’t keep you in suspense any longer, it’s time to find out exactly which institutions received the stamp of approval from students. 


Diversity and inclusion category

Many students note that feeling part of a student and university community plays a big part in making a positive study experience. Universities are after all a “home away from home” and having programmes that encourage diversity and inclusion make a big difference. This is especially true at a time of huge uncertainty and change, which 2020 and 2021 have undoubtedly been. 


Leeds Trinity University was named the winners of the diversity and inclusion category for 2021. The university showcased its policies on investing in postgraduate studentships, widening access for students from different backgrounds, and working to create an environment of racial equality. 


Notable mentions were given to Swansea University in 2nd place and Newcastle University in 3rd place. 


Find out why studying in the UK could be perfect for you.


Excellence in Digital Innovation

We’re all spending a lot more time online than we used to. Students need things to be efficient and innovative solutions, especially when it comes to online learning. This WUSCA category aims to highlight universities that have had success in providing timely, innovative and practical digital solutions to enhance student learning and experience. 


Topping the ratings for 2021 was the University of Chester. The university was acknowledged for its approach to addressing students’ digital challenges and concerns. The university sought to understand where students struggled and how these areas could be improved for them. This included supplying laptops to students directly and creating a personalised onboarding process.


Honourable mentions were given to Teesside University and De Montfort University, who came 2nd and 3rd respectively for the category. 


Find out which universities ranked highly in the Complete University League Tables 2022.


Enhanced Graduate Outcomes category

Knowing what to do after graduating can be a bit nerve-wracking. The ideal is to receive career guidance, assistance and advice while still at university. This can go a long way in crafting a clear path for your future. The Enhanced Graduate Outcomes category focused on universities that went above and beyond in delivering employability programmes and career support.


The winner of the category for 2021 was Norland, for the innovative and comprehensive employability programmes they offered. The award also highlighted the innovative thinking and approach that was required to deliver the programmes online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This ensured that students did not miss out on crucial skills training and development.


Starring again as the runners up in this category were Teesside University in 2nd spot and De Montfort University in 3rd. 


Discover more about how internships work.


Student Support category 

We’re sure you would agree that getting the support you need from a university is key. This can be as simple as knowing where to access your classes to managing your return to campus. Universities have needed to step up in light of the pandemic to make sure students stay connected and get the help they require. This is the basis for the student support category at the WUSCAs. 


Many support services migrated from in-person to online with the advent of COVID-19, bringing a whole new set of variables into play. UCEN Manchester handled this well according to the WUSCAs student judging panel. The university was given first place for the practical measures they implemented to assist and safeguard students. Students were provided with care packages, IT support, mental health support and financial support. In addition, the university helped students get up to speed for university study with an online summer school. 


Other standout institutions in this category were Middlesex University who placed 2nd and Oxford Business College who took 3rd spot. 


While you’re here, you may be looking for some more inspiration on studying in the UK. WE can oblige. Find out which famous figures are alumni of UK universities and more on the top universities in the UK. You could also stay in the know with the latest international student news in the UK. 


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