Students

We're listening

Have your say: your feedback helps us enhance the student experience.

We want to make sure that our staff and students have a great experience at the University of Edinburgh.

We listen to and act on your comments through surveys, mid-course feedback activities, end-of-year Course Enhancement Questionnaires and our 'Have Your Say' suggestion box.

 

Topic You said... We did... More information
Student accommodation

Community members and students should be consulted about new developments and how they will contribute to the area.

The University also needs to do more to make student accommodation affordable.

The University recognises the need to work with communities in seeking to develop more student accommodation and is becoming ever more active in this respect.

Finding ways of providing local communities with additional benefit from future developments is also a key objective. A mix of different types of accommodation offering different options at various price points are under development.

Read the University's full response
Wellbeing and health Please add some trees or plants into Bristo Square - it's good for mental health!  This suggestion has been passed onto our Estates Development team. They are reviewing this and we will post a response as soon as it is available. Visit the Edinburgh Labyrinth
Academic feedback Provide students with a scanned copy of their exam papers. At present, we do not have systems and processes to support this, however, we can see the potential benefits of making examination scripts available digitally to students. We will ask the Service Excellence Programme to explore this further. Read the University’s full response
Lectures Make lectures more interactive. Across the University, teaching takes a range of forms, including lectures, seminars, laboratories, and group-based learning. Since subject areas are responsible for determining the appropriate range of types of teaching in their programmes, we would suggest that students raise suggestions such as this via their student representatives, who can raise them at Staff Student Liaison Committees. Read the University’s full response
Student support The process of changing degree programmes is exhausting, frustrating and disorganised. The Service Excellence Programme is looking at this as part of their Academic Lifecycle project. We also plan to see what can be done to standardise practices in the immediate term. Read the University’s full response
Teaching spaces You wanted better teaching spaces that are fully accessible.

A number of developments are ongoing as part of a £200 million investment being made over the next eight years to dramatically improve facilities for students. These include expanded and improved teaching and study spaces, a major new Student Centre, a Health and Wellbeing Centre and enhanced sports facilities.

Investment in student facilities
Study spaces

You wanted more flexible study spaces accessible whenever you need them.

The Main Library is open 24/7, and more than 350 study spaces have been created. Appleton Tower has been transformed with spaces for students and teaching. Further work is planned to increase the number of study spaces centrally and across the estate. Main Library opens 24/7
Services and facilities I’m having a great time attending my evening short course at the Centre for Open Learning. The tutor is excellent, and the class is going well. I'd like to suggest you look at the classroom environment, which is very stark and could do with some artwork. Thank you for your feedback. We have introduced student and staff exhibitions along the ground floor corridor in Paterson’s Land and have plans to expand the amount of work we are showing. Whilst we’d like to celebrate the work of our students and staff more, given that these rooms are shared with a range of departments, it comes with a shared responsibility to liaise with the users of the space and make sure that we can include everyone in the decision making and indeed resourcing of the infrastructure that would be required to do this well and with thought. Read the University’s full response
Accommodation We want it to be easier to rent private accommodation. The University has operated a Rent Guarantor scheme since 2015 to allow students to rent private accommodation that may not otherwise be available because a UK-based rent guarantor is required. The scheme has up to 100 places and is open to overseas and EU students, and in exceptional circumstances to UK students. For the 2018-2019 academic session the rent limit to be covered by this scheme is £550 per calendar month.

Rent Guarantor Scheme

Exam timetables It’s complicated and time consuming finding accurate exam timetables, and it’s not always clear if there are changes. We've launched a brand new service giving our students quick and easy access to their exam timetables through Office 365, with a similar service coming in the summer for student timetables. Digital exam timetable service
Lecture recording

Not enough of our lectures are recorded.

This year all lectures will automatically be recorded, unless the lecturer has opted out of the scheme.

Media Hopper replay

Mid-course feedback

You wanted a more consistent approach to course feedback.

All courses now carry out mid-course feedback so you have the chance to say what is going well in the course and how it can improve. More information about mid-course feedback
Wellbeing You wanted better access to counselling services.

The University Counselling Service currently has 15 full-time equivalent counsellors serving our on campus student population. Demand for counselling is of course growing and we have received further funding for counselling services again this year with recruitment already in progress to grow the service further.

Mental wellbeing resources
Career skills

You wanted more flexible access to career advice, support and training.

The Careers Service has increased online sessions by 50%, created bite-sized sessions on popular topics, and introduced School-specific starting points for exploring careers. Drop-in slots to see a Careers Consultant are now available in most Schools.

To assist with job applications, a bookable video booth has been introduced in their Main Library office and they have created a new online session on preparing for video interviews.

The Careers Service and the Students' Association have joined forces to make the Third Sector Jobs Careers Fair even bigger.
University of Edinburgh Careers Service
Student voice

You wanted better representation on developments across the University.

Our Student Partnership Agreement sets out how the University will continue to work with the Students’ Association to improve the Edinburgh experience. 

This includes a clear policy on the Student Voice setting out the main mechanisms for feedback and improvements to the Class Rep system.

Student Voice - How we gather and use your feedback
Finance You wanted to understand more about how to pay tuition fees and who to contact with more questions. We have a new Finance Helpline with a dedicated team of experts providing a one-stop-shop service to help with any finance questions. Finance Helpline
Personal tutors You wanted more improvements made to the Personal Tutor System. A full review of the Personal Tutor system started in January 2019. It is led by the Senior Vice-Principal, with a view to implement changes in the academic year 2020/21. My personal tutor 
Welfare You wanted more access to drinking water facilities.

We’re in the process of installing free water points across the University, and a total of 200 drinking water fountains will be installed over the course of the year.

Drinking water fountains
Facilities More bicycle storage is needed, particularly around Appleton Tower. Plans have been submitted for an extension to cycle parking around George Square to increase capacity. Coupled with this, an overview of secure cycle parking is under way in the central area to better understand where additional secure parking may be required. Cycling and facilities at the University
Student Services It’s not always clear where to go with Student Immigration enquiries. We have created a one-stop shop where our dedicated team of experts are on hand to offer end-to-end immigration and visa advice to all students and staff. Student Immigration Service
Facilities Some study spaces could be cleaner, particularly at Appleton Tower and the Library cafe. We have worked with cleaning supervisors and area managers to ensure that the standards are improved with immediate effect. Cleaning Services at The UoE
Facilities The taps in 50 George Square and the main library are too hot. Water temperatures are monitored via Building Energy Management System as well as the water check sheets. The checks to date have shown that the temperatures are within the expected range, though we will continue to monitor the temperatures. Report concerns
Services and facilities The University has expanded student numbers consistently, but our services (including accommodation and study space) aren't always able to keep up with demand. The development of our new strategic plan is explicitly considering the future size and shape of the university. Changes in tenancy legislation and increasing demand for rental property as the city continues to grow are acting on rent levels. We recognise this and that we must plan, in that context, expect to house more continuing students. This reflects our responsibilities to our students and our neighbours in the local communities. Read the University’s full response
Food Cheaper meals should be made available to students. The University aims to provide the very best value it can whilst paying the Living wage, ensuring good quality properly sourced food, and ensuring the long term sustainability of the service that is depended upon by many staff and students across the year. Read the University’s full response
Food Students need more options for food at the University’s outlets The University and the Students’ Association provide a range of outlets across the University that seek to provide for the needs of staff and students. Read the University’s full response
Facilities Some buildings are either too hot or too cold.

We are reviewing the heating controls system and carry out checks on site. Please let us know if there are any specific rooms that have issues with temperature. 

We also have over 150 ‘Energy Coordinators’ acting as local champions to promote appropriate energy efficiency actions within buildings. Further suggestions can be submitted via: https://www.ed.ac.uk/estates/what-we-do/energy/contact-us 

Report heating concerns
Environment and sustainability All University cafes should have crockery cups available in addition to takeaway cups.

Given that disposable cups are not currently able to be recycled, it was agreed in August 2018 to introduce a 25p charge for these cups. Unlike our coffee cups all our other plastic items are fully recyclable and can be placed in the mixed recycling waste stream.

To alleviate this charge, you can use a re-usable cup at our outlets. In September 2018, the also University offered 3,800 free KeepCups to all students on a first come first serve basis.

Although not all University food outlets have dishwashing or storage facilities to accommodate crockery, our outlets do sell a range of KeepCups starting from £8 and given that the first hot drink in a new cup is free, this reduces the price on purchase further.

Read the University's full response
Environment and sustainability Plastic food packaging and utensils should no longer be in use in University owned cafes and food outlets, as there are plenty of alternatives available. Plastic food packaging and utensils are being progressively phased out as other more sustainable options become available. There are some items that are more challenging to replace, but the University has long championed a more sustainable approach which started over 6 years ago with the introduction of Keep Cups. Options where they are available continue to be actively explored. UoE’s bid to cut disposable plastic waste
Facilities Levels Cafe is a great place and the staff are super-friendly, but the background music is too distracting when trying to work.

Levels is designed primarily as a food outlet, aimed at customers both within the University community and the wider public.

The music is tailored to create the right environment for our customers and to remove this would adversely impact customers who wish to use the cafe for social and other reasons.
Read the University’s full response
Student support We should be consulted on the proposal for mandatory interruptions for students being considered as part of the Support for Study policy.

Our Support for Study policy is a supportive way of assisting the small number of students whose behaviour gives cause for concern.

We are proposing to extend this policy by allowing a University panel to interrupt a student under exceptional circumstances. This would only happen after a very careful assessment of the balance of risks to all those involved, most especially the student concerned. The proposals are motivated by the University’s duty of care to students, as well as its responsibilities to the broader University community.

We are having ongoing discussions with the Students’ Association about these proposals and will be doing some more consultation directly with students before bringing forward final proposals in May 2019.

Read the University’s full response

Have Your Say

Through our new suggestion box 'Have Your Say', you can tell us how we can make our staff or student experience better: what’s working well and how could we improve?

All of your suggestions will be taken into consideration and we will post responses on this page. All archived responses or further details on specific suggestions are available to download below. 

Have Your Say: responses

Related links

Have Your Say

Student Voice

Student Surveys

National Student Survey