Improving your student experience

Now that the first semester is well under way, I hope that you are enjoying both your studies and the wider experience of life here at the University. We want your time here to be rewarding, memorable, and a great springboard for your future careers – and so, listening to your feedback and suggestions, we have put in place a suite of actions to ensure that we provide a supportive environment in which you can flourish. This commitment is enshrined in our newly launched university strategy, where we set out our determination to offer “an enriching teaching and learning environment where students are at the heart of what we do.”

 

Changes already in place or in the pipeline

Those of you who were here last year have shaped these developments by highlighting a range of issues and making specific suggestions for improvement, via varied channels including student surveys, staff-student liaison committees, course reps, and the Students’ Union (SU). Working in close liaison with the SU, which has been very active in representing student concerns, some of the steps we have taken to enhance your campus services and facilities can be seen below.

 

Working in partnership with students

Collaboration and communication between students and staff is essential to the successful development and implementation of plans, ideas and actions to improve the University experience.

Study spaces

Over the summer we undertook extensive construction work in the Library to create an additional 120 attractive and well-equipped individual and group study spaces, bringing the total number of spaces to more than 1,500. Alongside these, we have opened up other areas across the campus for independent study outside normal teaching hours.

Timetabling

Our timetabling team is firmly committed to responding to student preferences for most teaching to take place between 9am and 6pm, and puts great effort into keeping Wednesday afternoons clear in order to enable your participation in sports and other extra-curricular activities.

Technology and teaching

Building on the success of a pilot phase during which ‘lecture capture’ facilities were available in some teaching rooms, we have now installed this equipment in more than 80 per cent of our teaching rooms. 

Health and well-being

The Centre for Wellbeing (CWB) has been resourced to substantially increase the support it offers students when problems arise: we have employed additional counsellors, extended the Centre’s opening hours, and invested in developing the range of services we provide. 

Accommodation and travel

The cost and availability of accommodation on and off campus remains a concern for many. We have taken the decision to extend the life of Guildford Court for three years in response to a request from the SU.

Travel assistance

Half price bus permits for the Arriva Guildford network have been offered to all new UG students not provided with a campus room.

Improving food options on campus

We have responded to your call for a wider and healthier range of food options on campus. 

Enhancing the campus environment

We have introduced new ‘wayfinding’ signage to help people navigate the campus.