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Top student unions: Which? University Student Survey 2018

From fighting for your rights to keeping you entertained, your students' union will play a big part in your university experience. Here are the SUs rated top by students...

We surveyed more than 10,000 undergraduates in the Which? University Student Survey 2018 to find out how they rate their union, particularly when it came to organising a variety of events and societies, catering to students' interests and campaigning on key issues.

Which universities have the best student union?

Last year's highly rated quartet of Cardiff, Leeds, Loughborough, and Sheffield are joined by three new contenders: Dundee, Harper Adams and Imperial College London. 

See why students rated their respective unions so highly it might give you an idea of what to look for in your union, once you get to uni.


Cardiff University

Cardiff University - Which? University Student Survey 2018: Student Union

'The SU runs a scheme called 'Give It A Go', which allows students throughout the year to try out new clubs and societies on a one-off basis, broadening their experience and helping bring clubs and new members together.'
Second year student, Cardiff University | 2014

'It caters for people with a range of different interests, from the UN society to pole dancing to Afro-Caribbean and Harry Potter. It's open and helpful towards students who need any sort of guidance or support.'
Third year student, Cardiff University | 2014

'Banging nights out.'
Third year student, Cardiff University | 2014


Learn more about Cardiff University.

 

University of Dundee

University of Dundee - Which? University Student Survey 2018: Student Union

'The student union at Dundee is absolutely superb! I firmly believe there are few better in the UK. They are constantly arranging new events, whether fundraising, awareness-raising or just for us students to have a bloody good time!'
Second year student, University of Dundee | 2014

'The Dundee University union is the best I have been in within Scotland. There are many club nights with access to all the floors within the union. During the day there's a café that's great, which also hosts pub quizzes and karaoke nights throughout the year. Plus it's cheap for nights out, which is good for the bank balance.'
Third year student, University of Dundee | 2014

'Many societies meet regularly in the union, making it a real campus hub. This means a wide range of activities take place throughout the week. Plus there are regular book sales in the common areas.'
Second year student, University of Dundee | 2014


Learn more about Dundee University.

 

Harper Adams University

Harper Adams - Which? University Student Survey: Student Union

'There is so much to do that you won't be able to do everything. But try a bit of everything and I'm sure there will be something great for you to do!'
Second year student, Harper Adams University | 2014

'We have an excellent SU run by the students for the students, so your voice is heard and there is very little politics.
Second year student, Harper Adams University | 2014


Learn more about Harper Adams University.

 

Imperial College London

Harper Adams University - Which? University Student Survey: Student Union

'[You] can find a club for absolutely everything.'
Second year student, Imperial College London | 2014

'You receive frequent emails about pub crawls, gigs etc.'
Second year student, Imperial College London | 2014

'Everything you can possibly think of, from surfing to shooting and skydiving to caving.'
Third year student, Imperial College London | 2014


Learn more about Imperial College London.

 

Leeds University

Leeds University - Which? University Student Survey 2018: Student Union

'Rag is the largest society and provides volunteering opportunities abroad and in Leeds. The union also provides a student paper and radio station. There are also science, athletic and campaigning societies. The union puts on fashion shows, plays and other activities aimed at bringing students to the union to meet other students.'
Third year student, University of Leeds | 2014

'There are LOTS of societies and new ones are constantly being formed. Personally I'm involved with the vegetarian, yoga, badminton, green action, and henna societies.'
Second year student, University of Leeds | 2014


Learn more about University of Leeds.

 

Loughborough University

University of Loughborough - Which? University Student Survey 2018: Student Union

‘Loughborough has a very good student union, and has won numerous awards for student experience over the years. It had over 80 societies and over 50 additional sport clubs as part of the Athletic Union. There's always something for someone, and if not, it's easy to set up your own society.’
First year student, Loughborough University | 2014
 

‘Amazing events and activities at the Union, from nights out to workshops helping you make bread! [They organise] bonding activities during Freshers’ Week with double-decker buses to other cities for nights out – so fun and memorable.’
First year student, Loughborough University | 2016

‘There are a lot of charity events and societies to get involved with. The union has guest DJs, acoustic performances, foam parties, paint parties and a lot of other themed nights – there is always something going on.’
Second year student, Loughborough University | 2014


Learn more about Loughborough University.

 

University of Sheffield

Sheffield University - Which? University Student Survey 2018: Student Union

‘The student union exceeded my expectations. There are so many societies available to choose from, as well as the Jobshop and volunteering hub, and a variety of student club nights.’
Second year student, University of Sheffield | 2016

‘I didn't know what it was or why I would need it, but the student union is great! If you have any problems you can go there and know the information you receive will be good quality. The nights out are good because I always feel the safest there – the bouncers are actually nice – and it never gets too hot or rowdy. I have only joined one society (Zumba) but they offer so many more. Plus, the food outlets are a good place to meet friends.’
Second year student, University of Sheffield | 2016

‘The student union is a great place to chill in between lectures, grab a bite to eat, meet for a group project and even nights out. Nights out in the union are the nights I feel safest and well looked after if you have one too many drinks.’
Second year student, University of Sheffield | 2016


Learn more about University of Sheffield.


Read the full results of the Which? University Student Survey 2018 including who came top for nightlife, sports scene and more.


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    About the Which? University Student Survey 2018

    We asked students to score their university on how varied the student union activities were, as part of the annual Which? University Student Survey. Each year, Which? commissions this independent survey of current higher education students in the UK to find out more about their experience of university.

    We surveyed a total of 5,081 students from over 127 institutions this year, merging findings from our 2017 and 2016 surveys to give an overall sample of 10,754 students. The survey sample used to analyse the student union category was as follows: third years responding to the 2018 survey; second and third years responding to the 2017 survey; and all respondents to the 2016 survey. Our minimum threshold was 30 respondents per university –   standard for our surveys that use this linear plotting technique, and is based upon empirical testing of a range of sample sizes we carried out in 2014.

    Statistical differences between groups of universities were identified as follows. For each measure, a mean score on the 1-10 scale was calculated for each university. Analysis of variance was used to establish whether there were any significant differences between the means, and then a linear plotting technique was used to identify significant breaks between the means of groups of universities. The groups with the highest mean scores were reported as 'highly rated'.

    All surveys were conducted by YouthSight on behalf of Which?, in March/April of the respective year.

    Please note, student comments in this feature range from 2014-2018.
     

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