Very supportive and friendly staff, excellent teaching quality. In my department, generally speaking, I can’t commend this enough. The department is also very creative in some of the things it does (e.g. the crisis games) and provides a regular flow of events and guest speakers, which genuinely enrich the uni experience.
Unfortunately however, the Aberystwyth campus is fairly drab and lacks good quality communal space, especially outdoor space which can be used for working, even when the weather isn’t ideal. A few benches placed next to big, dirty extractor fans really isn’t good enough. A bit of creativity in this department wouldn’t go a miss, and there is ample unused space on campus which could be transformed for the better. I really think this would make a big difference to people’s university experience.
The SU, whilst I’m sure they try very hard, focuses too much on elections which use up too much time in the semester, instead of providing what matters, which is support for students, representing their needs and wants to the uni management, as well as providing a space which can act as a communal hub in the university. The current SU building doesn’t really fulfil this latter part…the space is (I think) poorly used, isn’t enormously inviting and most food and drink overpriced. The student rep system is also sorely lacking. Whilst the student reps individually work hard, on a general level, too much focus is paid to rep elections, which aren’t finalised until semester 1 is mostly over, during which time students are left more or less unrepresented. I also question how much provision there is for individual students’ opinions to be fed up the ladder to uni management (whoever they may actually be) and for prompt action to be taken. I think there is too much guesswork as to what students want (and a lot of doing things because that’s how they’ve always been done) and not enough direct engagement with the student body. Persistently low voter turnout I think demonstrates this fact.
Similarly, the current method of obtaining student feedback about modules is substandard. I think students and staff alike dread the Module Evaluation Questionnaires. Whilst they make good sense on paper, the students answering them are unlikely to feel the benefits and the questions asked seem like they are really a uni ‘box-ticking’ exercise, so that they can say they’ve asked us our opinions. I know that staff do pay attention to these and I know first-hand that most strive to make positive changes off the back of them (and do!), but there really is no substitute for sitting down and talking about it. This works two ways as students feel listened to and staff can explain some of the limitations which they may be under. I think the current Student Staff Consultative Committee system is inadequate, and it really wouldn’t hurt the department head/teaching staff to have regular meetings with student groups in order to fully understand their experiences.
The seminar groups are far, far too big, and this seriously limits learning, but I suspect this is an issue at most universities in the U.K. these days.
Aber is a fantastic place to study. People are friendly and the staff are supportive, and most uni students don’t get to sit round a fire on the beach, watching a magnificent sunset over a few beers with their friends…or go surfing after lectures. And I really do believe that the teaching staff, the frontline staff if you will, have their hearts in the right place and are passionate about their work and about supporting their students.
But that shouldn’t stop the uni striving to be even better and the improvements to be made are mostly university-wide improvements, which could benefit everybody, staff and student alike.
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It is in a nice rural area, calm place to study but definitely not missing anything from the social side. It is a small town so people know each other or you always come across people who know your peers.
The university accepts people with wide range of background knowledge. If you had excellent grades and continue the good work with us, you will excel. If you were somewhat weak, but constantly work on your assignments and coursework you will catch up with the others without any major problem. The university has different kind of support systems to fit many of the students needs, be it coursework or social life related. Make sure you reach out to them if you are struggling.
The lectures are always recorded that you can watch anything during the course year. You will not miss anything if you are in bed with fever.
University webpage is a true maze, always try the FAQs with keywords, you likely end up with the page you are actually looking for :D
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