Have you ever wondered whether the media you consume is real?
I remember when I was applying to universities, I was most concerned about the authenticity of student experience as advertised by the institution on social media. So, when the University of Bath marketing team approached me to do a Behind the Scenes project for the Faculty, it was an opportunity to provide assurance to applicants and insight into real experiences of current students.
Now, I will share a secret with you.
Meet Mun Kit, a recent graduate of Sport and Exercise Science. I was on-site when he did his photoshoot with Nick, the University photographer. You can find a short vlog of it here.
Having spent the morning with Nick, I found out that all the students who joined the photoshoot came voluntarily. They were neither picked by the marketing team nor paid for their time. The University conducts this photoshoot to include new faces of current students to represent the departments.
This got me thinking… Why would the students give up an hour of their time to do a photoshoot? Of course, they could just be doing it for fun or they enjoy having their pictures taken.
So, I reached out to those who participated in the photoshoot. This is what Qistina and Nicole have to say.
QISTINA - BSc (HONS) POLITICS AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
As a collective, I would describe my course, department, and university as ‘Diverse, Exciting and Engaging’
Qistina decided to help with the photoshoot as she thoroughly enjoyed studying her course and could not recommend enough studying Politics and International Relations at Bath. She recounted the time when the University provided pumpkins to carve for those who were isolating during Halloween, and her personal tutors regularly checked in on her. Qistina found that her department and the wider university were committed to improving student life throughout the year in the midst of COVID.
“I was happy to take advantage of the opportunity to assist the Department as they have been so supportive to students, especially given the circumstances of the last year.”
NICOLE – BSc (HONS) PYSCHOLOGY
“Working with and being taught by world-renowned psychologists and researchers is an opportunity that cannot be missed”
Nicole thought it would be fun to do a photoshoot when the team reached out to her. When I asked how she would describe her experience, she said that her course inspires her, the Department is encouraging, and the University is welcoming. The last point is very important to Nicole who is an international student.
“I also think that it is very important to reach the international market and ensure that we are building an inclusive community within the university.”
Whether it is to lend a hand or for fun, Qistina and Nicole have positive experiences as students at Bath!
Having spent my first year unconventionally through Zoom classes and online assessments, I asked them whether they were satisfied with their learning and how their departments helped ensure this.
Qistina had this to say about her department:
The lecturers and tutors have managed to deliver engaging lectures and seminars throughout the year, despite the struggles of having to facilitate online learning using the media to their advantage, including a zoom call with a guest lecturer from the Stockholm Resilience Centre. The Department has also been very supportive and accommodating when it came to assessments, allowing for extensions to students throughout the tough lockdown periods which helped to reduce stress at a time that is usually already very stressful!
Nicole also enthusiastically said ‘Yes!’:
Our lecturers are very passionate about their topics which makes the content even more engaging! They were also very helpful and responsive when we have questions. Additionally, senior students hosted peer-assisted learning sessions which were very useful before exams.
It is a tough time to be a student. Understandably, we want real information on student experiences. Take this advice from me: Fear nothing. Ask questions and seek answers. Your expectations are valid because you deserve the best that the University has to offer!
I hope that this blog gives you insight to help make confident decisions about the next chapter of your life!