Why is student satisfaction at Edinburgh so low?

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mediclyfe
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I've been comparing courses(particularly biomedical/med science) at Edinburgh with other universities and I've noticed that Edinburgh uni consistently comes out very low. Any current students mind offering some input? Also I am aware I shouldn't take these figures too literally, but it does offer me an insight into how the course is run and similar courses at other universities have higher ratings so obviously I just want a rough idea if these figures can be backed up.
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Loony_26
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Frankly, I'm not surprised. Many students here are not the happiest with Edinburgh as a place to study. The main reasons are:
(1) Rents are getting more and more expensive each year. If you're looking for someplace to live for less than £400 a month, you're not gonna find it in Edinburgh (unless on the city outskirts, where very very very very few students live if any). Rents for decent places within a reasonable distance from the campus (at least the main campus, idk about King's Buildings) are £420 up. And the cheapest flats come with consistent heating issues - many flats are cold and pretty nasty. That's imho, from what I've found touring other students' flats.
This doesn't count private accommodation, which are high standard but they're bloody expensive. My friend pays more than £700 for a studio because he couldn't find anywhere. The Advice Place or the uni are pretty useless at dealing with accommodation issues.
Plus, the uni is accepting more and more students each year (for the $$$) and so demand grows... and so do prices.
(2) The Main Library is packed most of the time, it's difficult to find empty desks and during the revision period it's packed to the brim. Also, it's always stuffy and hot in there and comfort of studying goes down when it's too warm (e.g. I don't go there much, I just take out books).
(3) Counselling Service is useless. There is much demand for counselling but you have to wait ages for an appointment and once you get it you're limited to 4 sessions, or something like that. You'd have to seek help elsewhere if you need it, and probably pay £££ for it.
(4) First-year accommodation is effing horrible.
(5) From what I've heard from friends, ECA has some terrible tutors and the courses are not very well organised. They always complain about their courses.

I had a pretty terrible time in my first year at Edinburgh, and received no help from my Personal Tutor or the RAs in my student accommodation. I fell into deep anxiety and depression and had to interrupt my studies because I couldn't face another year in the soulless, grey, depressing place that I found Edinburgh to be. Now I'm back here, though, and I'm really enjoying life here - it's true, I have to pay a lot for my rent (£550 a month) but everything comes at a price.
I guess you choose what you can and want to put up with.
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Qmwnebrv
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In general, I’ve heard that a lot of people are annoyed at the univeristy mental health services as they are very hard to access due to lack of funding. I don’t know how this compares to other univerisities though.First year accomodation is good. I’ve had a great experience staying in the catered halls where you meet a lot of interesting people from around the world and most people are friendly. Lectures I have found are always packed as there are a lot of people on the courses. Like 400-500. It’s not that bad and gets better in later years. It’s quite an expensive city but managable.Overall, I very much enjoy studying there, as it is a beautiful city and you meet great people. There is just something about the feeling of the university that I really like.
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Blue_Cow
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(Original post by ltsmith)
that feel when you do computer science and you have a whole lab of computers that are always available.
Level 9 of AT... :sexface:
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mediclyfe
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(Original post by Loony_26)
Frankly, I'm not surprised. Many students here are not the happiest with Edinburgh as a place to study. The main reasons are:
(1) Rents are getting more and more expensive each year. If you're looking for someplace to live for less than £400 a month, you're not gonna find it in Edinburgh (unless on the city outskirts, where very very very very few students live if any). Rents for decent places within a reasonable distance from the campus (at least the main campus, idk about King's Buildings) are £420 up. And the cheapest flats come with consistent heating issues - many flats are cold and pretty nasty. That's imho, from what I've found touring other students' flats.
This doesn't count private accommodation, which are high standard but they're bloody expensive. My friend pays more than £700 for a studio because he couldn't find anywhere. The Advice Place or the uni are pretty useless at dealing with accommodation issues.
Plus, the uni is accepting more and more students each year (for the $$$) and so demand grows... and so do prices.
(2) The Main Library is packed most of the time, it's difficult to find empty desks and during the revision period it's packed to the brim. Also, it's always stuffy and hot in there and comfort of studying goes down when it's too warm (e.g. I don't go there much, I just take out books).
(3) Counselling Service is useless. There is much demand for counselling but you have to wait ages for an appointment and once you get it you're limited to 4 sessions, or something like that. You'd have to seek help elsewhere if you need it, and probably pay £££ for it.
(4) First-year accommodation is effing horrible.
(5) From what I've heard from friends, ECA has some terrible tutors and the courses are not very well organised. They always complain about their courses.

I had a pretty terrible time in my first year at Edinburgh, and received no help from my Personal Tutor or the RAs in my student accommodation. I fell into deep anxiety and depression and had to interrupt my studies because I couldn't face another year in the soulless, grey, depressing place that I found Edinburgh to be. Now I'm back here, though, and I'm really enjoying life here - it's true, I have to pay a lot for my rent (£550 a month) but everything comes at a price.
I guess you choose what you can and want to put up with.
I'm actually quite worried about this now. I have struggled with depression and anxiety before so I was anticipating to dip ever so slightly with the move but now that I'm hearing how bad counselling services and the support from lecturers are, it's making me doubt the university as a whole and I'm worried my mental health will be more worse off than I imagined. Can I ask what course you did?
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ShariBelgium
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As others have mentioned before, as long as you're doing well, it's a great place. However, student support services are absolutely awful. My personal tutor, a system installed to help people academically, has been of absolutely no use to me at all. Counselling services, as has been pointed out, is ****. Had to wait a month for an assessment appointment, am now on a 7 week waiting list to get 4 sessions. It's not their fault that they're underfunded and understaffed, I believe they're doing their best. But the university should cut out all the 'we care for your mental health' talks at the start of term. Maybe you do, but that's a bit useless when you can't actually support your students.

Every single friend of mine, even those doing well and in perfect mental health right now, is constantly complaining about how bad this university is at communication, releasing grades, ... On the other hand, some people are doing incredibly well. Our course programmer is an absolutely incredible, genuinely helpful woman. Some people here do actually care for their students.

That being said, I probably won't regret studying here. Thankfully I'm doing a masters so it's only a year of this. I love the city, I love the friends I've made, I do love my course at times, and at the end I'll be able to say that I've learned a lesson in resilience getting through this on my own - if I don't get a full breakdown before the end of this year, that is.
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mediclyfe
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(Original post by ShariBelgium)
As others have mentioned before, as long as you're doing well, it's a great place. However, student support services are absolutely awful. My personal tutor, a system installed to help people academically, has been of absolutely no use to me at all. Counselling services, as has been pointed out, is ****. Had to wait a month for an assessment appointment, am now on a 7 week waiting list to get 4 sessions. It's not their fault that they're underfunded and understaffed, I believe they're doing their best. But the university should cut out all the 'we care for your mental health' talks at the start of term. Maybe you do, but that's a bit useless when you can't actually support your students.

Every single friend of mine, even those doing well and in perfect mental health right now, is constantly complaining about how bad this university is at communication, releasing grades, ... On the other hand, some people are doing incredibly well. Our course programmer is an absolutely incredible, genuinely helpful woman. Some people here do actually care for their students.

That being said, I probably won't regret studying here. Thankfully I'm doing a masters so it's only a year of this. I love the city, I love the friends I've made, I do love my course at times, and at the end I'll be able to say that I've learned a lesson in resilience getting through this on my own - if I don't get a full breakdown before the end of this year, that is.
it's so shocking to hear that to be honest because I'd always heard from their talks (obviously biased) that they're always on the ball and lecturers and professors are prompt with feedback and examinations etc and it seems so disappointingly untrue. I've also been told like you have, that they have excellent mental health support which now I know is also an inflated lie. I don't understand, I thought with Edinburgh's high reputation that things like that would be a breeze for them. Hope the rest of the year goes well for you though!
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Xanimede
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What's mentioned here is all very grim and doesn't reflect a good image of the university, but how do other universties compare?

What about other unis in Edinburgh? Such as Heriot Watt or Edinburgh Napier? In terms of counselling, tutor support, overcrowding of facilities?

What about other prestigious Scotland unis? Such as Glasgow, St Andrews, or Aberdeen?

They might all be equally as bad, or worse.
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Erimatic
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(Original post by Xanimede)
What's mentioned here is all very grim and doesn't reflect a good image of the university, but how do other universties compare?

What about other unis in Edinburgh? Such as Heriot Watt or Edinburgh Napier? In terms of counselling, tutor support, overcrowding of facilities?

What about other prestigious Scotland unis? Such as Glasgow, St Andrews, or Aberdeen?

They might all be equally as bad, or worse.
Not sure if it is true but on university rankings St Andrews does pretty well on their student satisfaction rate.
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mediclyfe
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(Original post by Xanimede)
What's mentioned here is all very grim and doesn't reflect a good image of the university, but how do other universties compare?

What about other unis in Edinburgh? Such as Heriot Watt or Edinburgh Napier? In terms of counselling, tutor support, overcrowding of facilities?

What about other prestigious Scotland unis? Such as Glasgow, St Andrews, or Aberdeen?

They might all be equally as bad, or worse.
I've visited St.Andrews multiple times for prospective student events and each time I've been they've placed such a huge emphasis on student wellbeing. I know so many students there who have genuinely flourished in that environment, because st.andrews really do care and it shows in their student satisfaction rates. St.Andrews is obviously a small student town and it can get dull and cold and that can obviously have a somewhat adverse affect but the university seem to have things in place to keep student momentum up. I would loved to go there but they don't offer the courses I want to apply for so it's a shame.

On the other hand, I know that Edinburgh Napier and other modern unis, being more welcoming of different entry routes students (college, access courses etc), also tend to have really great well-being services for their students. I know a couple who attend it there and the general consensus is that they're much more accomodating and support from lecturers etc is pretty excellent.

Glasgow and Aberdeen are quiet similar to be honest, they're not great and feedback seems sub par but they don't seem near as bad as Edinburgh does.

Also Dundee and Strathclyde are also so much more accomodating than red brick unis despite being held to a higher standard than modern unis. I think Edinburgh is just severely lacking to be honest and it's a shame because it's not like they don't have the resources as a well funded red brick uni🤷.
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Vinny C
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Takes foreign students two yrs to relearn English... even we English have fun. Glasgow? I assume you wish to survive?
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Xanimede
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(Original post by Vinny C)
Takes foreign students two yrs to relearn English... even we English have fun. Glasgow? I assume you wish to survive?
It definitely didn't take me two years to get accustomed to the accent.
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Vinny C
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(Original post by Xanimede)
It definitely didn't take me two years to get accustomed to the accent.
You didn't try Glasgow. It is more than an accent.
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anonymousebella2
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I think it depends on the course you’re studying because I couldn’t be happier with the way my course is run. I’m doing Law and it is so organised and all the lecturers are very knowledgeable in their subject area.
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anonymousebella2
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While yes the main library is full during exam period, there are so many other study spaces. The uni turns a lot of rooms into study spaces during exam season with desks and stuff, creating more than enough space. The only issue is I think a lot of people don’t know about the extra space.
The fact that the library is always full though is a clear indicator that this uni has hard working students in it which is always good
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madsrobs2002
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I’ve been accepted to study law at Edinburgh and am currently trying to decide between here and Glasgow. Would you say law has a high quality of teaching?
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Blue_Cow
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(Original post by madsrobs2002)
I’ve been accepted to study law at Edinburgh and am currently trying to decide between here and Glasgow. Would you say law has a high quality of teaching?
From the small number of law students I have spoken to, yes, it's pretty good (postgrad and undergrad)

The Law School at Old College (the nice building with the green lawn in the middle, that's always in promo photos) has also been recently refurbished, and the facilities look pretty good.
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madsrobs2002
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(Original post by Blue_Cow)
From the small number of law students I have spoken to, yes, it's pretty good (postgrad and undergrad)

The Law School at Old College (the nice building with the green lawn in the middle, that's always in promo photos) has also been recently refurbished, and the facilities look pretty good.
Thank you! I’ve been to a few open days but I’ve always been biased towards Glasgow but recently realised I prefer Edinburgh as a city but the reviews of the whole university have been off putting so that really helps
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Blue_Cow
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(Original post by madsrobs2002)
Thank you! I’ve been to a few open days but I’ve always been biased towards Glasgow but recently realised I prefer Edinburgh as a city but the reviews of the whole university have been off putting so that really helps
I suppose Glasgow is advantageous in a few other ways too, e.g. offering the LLB in Common Law as well as Scots Law. Difficult choice :dontknow:
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madsrobs2002
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(Original post by Blue_Cow)
I suppose Glasgow is advantageous in a few other ways too, e.g. offering the LLB in Common Law as well as Scots Law. Difficult choice :dontknow:
It’s a tricky one definitely. I’m leaning more towards Scots law cause I want to do my Traineeship in Edinburgh and also apparently it’s harder to convert from common to Scots than vice versa. It’s all just a stress at the moment
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