Vote now: what do you hate about Bristol University?

Why is it that Bristol gets such low student satisfaction ratings?


According to the league tables, we’re not a happy bunch. With among the lowest student satisfaction ratings in the top 20 UK universities, it’s about time we find out what it is about Bristol University that’s making us so unhappy.

Why are Bristol students so disappointed with their University experience?

In terms of low student satisfaction, we’re in good company. Pretty much all of the top big-city universities, such as LSE, Imperial and Edinburgh, are pretty unsatisfied with their University experience too.

So what’s wrong? Is it just the big city atmosphere that’s bringing us all down? Or is it the institution itself?

The Tab has decided to find out.

We will be taking an online poll to find out what exactly is making us all so fed up.

Here’s a list of why we think you all might be dissatisfied:

1. Bristol is too expensive

We’re all unhappy with how much we’re spending on housing, with Bristol rivalling London as one of the most expensive places to live as a student. Then there’s the expensive taxi rides to Motion or up to Stoke Bishop after a night out in Bunker. Those £2.50s each really do add up. And the expensive drinks in clubs shock my friends at northern unis such as Durham and Loughborough.

Is it just that it’s more expensive and frustrating to have fun and get drunk in Bristol? Is that why we’re so angry all the time? Should the university be doing more to help us find the most affordable housing?

2. The weather and lack of indoor spaces

There's not enough space for all of us to have a chance to get on Spotted!

There’s not enough space for all of us to have a chance to get on Spotted!

With Bristol placed as the eighth rainiest city in the UK, just behind Belfast, is it simply the long, grey days that are getting us all down? Whenever I think of Bristol, I think of it as cold and drizzly, with the kind of rain that no umbrella, thick furry hood or large scarf can keep out.

And with the ASS café and Refectory as the only respites from the howling wind, should the University be doing more to provide indoor community spaces for students to feel more involved and spend more time on campus rather than just rushing back home after lectures?

3. The Student Union

Do these guys need to be doing more? Photo: UBU website

Do these guys need to be doing more? Photo: UBU website

It’s just so bloody far away. The Union representatives seem hostile towards democracy and are more interested in pursuing political agendas than actually providing a decent service. What do they even do? Enough said there, really.

4. Teaching contact time

Too much independent work, not enough time with tutors

Too much independent work, not enough time with tutors

Bristol lecturers have long been criticised as being too lazy in terms of teaching. Maybe this is why we continue to excel in research and less so in student satisfaction? I’m sure engineers and medics with 30 hour weeks may disagree with this one though.

5. Poor facilities

The great facilities at Hiatt Baker

The great facilities at Hiatt Baker

I know this is a problem that’s hard for the university to deal with, but when I turn up at the ASS at half past 9 ready to start revision and can’t get in, I feel pretty pissed off. I’m paying to work at this university and they can’t even provide any space for me sit? And don’t tell me about all of the seminar rooms that are free. I WANT TO WORK IN THE LIBRARY.

There’s such a lack of facilities we even have to sit our exams in train stations and football grounds. Seriously, what is going on?

Halls aren’t much better. Some of them are in a poor state and rooms should be better considering we’re paying so much for them.

6. Teaching Quality

Perhaps Bristol’s academic reputation is overrated? In 2009 around 600 students signed a complaint regarding worsening standards at Bristol University.

7. The People

Your typical Bristol University student

Your typical Bristol University student

Bristol University has long had a reputation for being a bit of a ‘rah’  and ‘pretentious wannabe indy’ haven. It’s been regularly called one of the most ‘elitist’ institutions in the UK. Could it be people aren’t too keen on the crowd?

We can’t wait to find out what exactly it is that’s making us all so dissatisfied with our University experience. Vote in our poll and let us know in the comments below.

To end on a positive note, according to the league tables, we’re a lot more satisfied than the UWE lot. Another victory for Bristol!