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The quality of teaching is second-to-none and our staff really would do anything for us.

From fundraising to representing fellow students to winning awards, Holly-Elizabeth Smith has embraced University and community life to the full during the course of her degree. The History student credits the encouragement and experiences she’s enjoyed at and through UCS with making her the person she is today and giving her the confidence to take the next steps to her dream career role.

“I think I’m a good example of a student that has taken every opportunity put her way. Doing so just made my experience so much more enjoyable, rewarding and exciting.

“To give readings at the Abbey for the Queen’s 90th birthday in front of so many people, and at the Christmas Carol Service, were both amazing experiences for my self-confidence. I have been an equality and diversity rep, campaigning mainly around the International Women’s Day and pointing out the difficulties still faced all over the world today; and to have been education rep and achieved a campaign on a subject so important to me, working to get rid of the stigma associated with dyslexia and then winning an award for it, well that feeling was indescribable.

“It’s also amazing to have been able to help to raise so much money for charity in my time here, especially for accessible rowing, a sport so close to my heart.

“Other roles have included being a student ambassador and writing for the student newspaper, which was always an enjoyable way to reflect on what we had achieved.

“Taking these opportunities has played such a huge part in the person I have become in the last three years, and has allowed me to meet some amazing human beings. I’ve changed in ways I probably don’t realise but I am so happy with the person I have become from these experiences, which I wouldn’t have enjoyed, had I gone anywhere else.”

The Staff

“It’s given me strong foundations to pursue a career in teaching. As of September I start my teacher training with the Salop Teaching Alliance, another step closer to getting to my goal of becoming an Education Officer in the Army. And as a bonus I get to stay in Shrewsbury, including being at UCS every few weeks.

“The quality of teaching is second-to-none and our staff really would do anything for us, sometimes at the risk of losing their sanity. The Students’ Union and UCS support staff saw something in me and had a belief in me that I didn’t have in myself and put me forward for these amazing opportunities. Alongside this, the History department is endlessly supportive of everything going on in our lives and has really taken the time to get to know each one of us. If we give them 100 per cent of our effort, they always give 120 per cent of theirs without question.”

Shrewsbury Life

“Outside of my studies, I’ve had wonderful times with my friends here - highlights include the endless amounts of laughter shared in various scenarios, celebrating birthdays, pep talks, end of year balls, trips to London, and hours spent on the river – to name a few.”

“I’ve been able to study in a beautiful town, while being close enough to home and my family, and enjoyed the education quality that could be offered with small class sizes and with the difficulties caused by my dyslexia.

“My studies here have been the most amazing three years, and to be part of the first cohort of a new institution has been exciting. I’m from Cannock Chase but now if anyone asks me where I’m from I will always say Shrewsbury; it has become my home.”