Thursday March 17th has been a special day for Loughborough this year as students and staff across the university were celebrating winning the Times Higher Education Best Student Experience Award.
Vice Chancellor, Robert Allison, hosted a VIP Reception to thank Hall Chairs, Programme Reps, LSU Committees and Exec for their hard work and effort which helps to make the student experience in Loughborough so accessible and enjoyable. LSU Media Senate were invited as one of LSU’s Student Committees, and we were delighted to have received the mysterious invite a few days ago.
Whilst none of us knew what it was about, we all went along to the Hazlerigg Building at 3pm today, having realised what we would probably be celebrating once the news of the award was released this morning.
Guests were greeted with edible gold medals to celebrate as well as being invited to share a drink and some food ahead of the speeches. Vice Chancellor, Robert Allison was very keen to get guests tweeting at the Reception, using the hashtag #createthevibe, which was both amusing and fully representative of the atmosphere of both the Jennings Council Chamber, Hazlerigg Building and of course Loughborough University Campus. A warm welcome from VC Robert Allison: “Hello, I love you all”, was a very friendly opening.
Also present at the Reception was Carly Minsky, representing The Times. The THE awards are unique in the sense that students are surveyed without “cajoling from the university” (Pro Vice Chancellor for Teaching, Morag Bell), meaning that students take part because they want to share their views on their experiences, clearly showing how proud they are to be a student at Loughborough in our case. Never before has Loughborough received first place for “Best Student Experience” from Times Higher Education, so today truly was a celebration. We also ranked first in three other categories, including joint first place for “good extracurricular activities” and were ranked highly in other categories too.
Speeches were given by Vice Chancellor, Robert Allison; Sir Peter Bonfield, Chair of University Council and Pro Vice Chancellor for Teaching, Morag Bell, who were all very excited and proud of Loughborough students and staff for the award. Union President, Jess Excell also gave a speech at the Reception, which included the following:
I’m standing here today, not just as President of LSU but as a friend to all of you in this room. What we have here in Loughborough is a Community … no a family. What we create together is a place where – nobody is forgotten, – a place where every individual feels supported, safe and happy, – somewhere where students want to give back and think of others before themselves – a place where friendships are made.
Students and staff had a lovely afternoon celebrating the fantastic news and are sure to be savouring their chocolate medals this evening. Whether you were present or not, this award recognises the whole Loughborough body and we should all be celebrating this fantastic achievement.