24 March 2023
Staff and students at the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) are celebrating after being shortlisted for two prestigious awards in this year’s Whatuni Student Choice Awards, the largest exclusively student-voted awards in the UK.
Every year, university comparison website Whatuni collects around 35,000 reviews from real students about their universities, getting their honest opinions on important topics like facilities, support, career prospects, and more, giving a valuable insight, to future students, into what life is like at the institutions.
The annual awards are compiled from those reviews and, this year, the RAU has been shortlisted in the Small or Specialist University category, where results are based purely on student feedback, and also for the special Submission Award, for which this year’s theme was the cost of living.
Katharine Clough, RAU Director of External Relations, the department which prepared the submission to show how the University has helped students cope with the cost of living increase, said: “We realised that most of our students and applicants would be affected, as we all are, by the rising cost of living so we launched a campaign to inform and reassure both groups about the cost of living support we provide as well as the 24/7 social and mental health provision we offer to underpin that.
“Apart from tuition fees, the biggest expenditure incurred by students is from rent, groceries, going out, household bills, and transport. At the RAU, we offer free car parking on campus, a free shuttlebus to and from the town of Cirencester, all bills included in on-campus accommodation, and an accommodation price freeze for our students who start in 2023.
“We keep both students and applicants regularly informed about government tuition fees as well as maintenance loans, scholarships, and local student jobs that may be available to them, and we also promote our Back on Track financial support fund which this year has been allocated extra funding to support the cost of living crisis.”
Graham Pollard, Chief Operating Officer at the RAU, said: “As one of the UK’s smallest universities, we couldn’t be prouder to be named alongside some of the larger players in the higher education sector in the shortlists for these awards.
“At the RAU we have worked hard to help students cope with the rise in the cost of living and have put many and varied measures in place to try and make life slightly easier for them in the current economic climate. To have had this work recognised by Whatuni really does mean a lot to us.”
The winners of the awards will be announced at an event in London on 26 April as well as on the Whatuni website.