Loughborough wins University of the Year at WUSCA

Loughborough University has been named University of the Year in the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2018

The institution also scooping top honours in Uni Facilities and Giving Back categories and placing in the top three in a further four categories.

Voted for entirely by students, the awards show that overall satisfaction has fallen 1.2% across the board, though it surprisingly still remains above 80% after one of the most turbulent years on record for the higher education sector.

More students than ever had their say – with 36,440 reviews and comments submitted, rating their overall university experience 4.01 out of 5. Despite falls overall and in the majority of categories, students scored their universities higher than last year for Uni Facilities and Job Prospects. Meanwhile, Wales hosts the happiest students in the UK and students are least satisfied in London.

Ten different winners were announced at an awards ceremony last night in London, which included three new categories: Independent HE, Further Education and a submission-based award for Best Prospective Student Engagement, judged by the Whatuni Student Advisory Board. The 12 main categories feature 126 institutions and 148 institutions are featured in total across all 15 categories.

Loughborough University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Robert Allison, said:

We are absolutely delighted that Loughborough has been crowned – for the second time – the Whatuni Student Choice Awards University of the Year. As this award is voted for by students it makes it even more of an achievement.

“The Loughborough community is amazing. Our unique partnership with the Students’ Union and the energy and commitment of our staff have enabled us to create an environment where our students not only get the best educational experience, but also an amazing life experience.

“It is an honour to be named University of the Year and everyone across our Loughborough and London campuses should feel incredibly proud of our success.”

What the 2018 Whatuni Student Choice Awards (WUSCA) results tell us 

  • The main category with the highest average is the Overall Satisfaction category, scoring 4.01 out of 5 and outperforming other individual “component part” categories.
  • Although the Overall category is the best scoring category, it’s dipped from 4.07 (2017) to 4.01 (2018).
  • Out of the 126 universities featured in the main categories, 84 have seen their scores in the Overall category drop since last year. The decline is relatively small in most instances, but two universities have dropped by 10%.
  • In addition to a drop in the Overall category, there have also been falls in Accommodation, City Life, Course & Lecturers and Clubs & Societies categories.
  • The categories proving hardest to crack are Students’ Union (3.69 out of 5), Accommodation (3.70) and Giving Back (3.54).
  • Good news for student employability as there’s been a noticeable increase in the perceived Job Prospects category, which has risen from 3.88 (2017) to 3.97 (2018), building on significant growth in the previous year.
  • The other category where the average score across the UK increased was Uni Facilities. It is the second highest score, behind the Overall category.
  • Regionally, the happiest students this year can be found in Wales (holding onto its 2017 crown).
  • London-based students had the lowest satisfaction score in the Overall category.
  • Students in 8 out of 12 UK regions were less happy in 2018 compared to 2017, although students in the North East, Scotland and Northern Ireland were more satisfied this year.

Simon Emmett, Hotcourses Group Chief Executive, said: “We have grown used to an increasingly contested and standardised view of universities, but many reviews we’ve collected this year show those views are not necessarily shared by students. Our collection of almost 37,000 reviews gives voice to students’ lived experiences of university and while there are challenges, the results delivered many positive comments about university experience that will help inspire prospective students faced with the difficult decision of where to study.”

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2018 results

University of the Year
1st Loughborough University
2nd Harper Adams

3rd Bangor University


1st Bangor University
2nd Edge Hill University

3rd  Harper Adams University

City Life

1st University of Liverpool
2nd Newcastle University

3rd University of Glasgow

Clubs & Societies

1st Bangor University
2nd  Harper Adams University

3rd Loughborough University

Course & Lecturers

1st Harper Adams University
2nd Bangor University

3rd University of Buckingham

Giving Back
1st Loughborough University

2nd SOAS University of London

3rd Harper Adams University

Job Prospects

1st Harper Adams University
2nd Loughborough University

3rd St George’s, University of London

Student Support

1st Harper Adams University
2nd Leeds Arts University

3rd Loughborough University

Students’ Union

1st University of Sheffield
2nd Loughborough University

3rd University of Leeds

Uni Facilities

1st Loughborough University
2nd Leeds Arts University

3rd Harper Adams University


1st University of Glasgow
2nd Aberystwyth University

3rd Northumbria University


1st Aberystwyth University
2nd University of Glasgow

3rd University of Kent


1st Point Blank Music School
2nd Norland College

3rd Futureworks

Further Education
1st Bridgend College
2nd DN Colleges Group

3rd Bournemouth and Poole College

Best Prospective Student Engagement Award (submission based)
1st St Mary’s, Twickenham

2nd Futureworks

3rd University of Bradford

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