art · student

My Experience of NUA

Since deciding to transfer to a different university to continue my Fine Art degree I’ve been asked a lot of questions I why I’ve decided to transfer as Norwich University of the Arts is ranked highest in the UK in terms of specialist art schools so really I should of had it all!

First off, I’d like to just clarify that it wasn’t soley the university that led to my decision to transfer. I suffer with poor mental health including depression and anxiety and this was another factor that led to my decision. However, a large reason I decided to move was because I was not happy with the university which is what I’m going to address in this post.

~Negatives~

Attitude of course leader: My course leader basically didn’t seem to give a fuck about his job, pupils or the university in general. This came across in his sarcastic almost nasty attitude, his narrow minded thinking, his lazy attitude towards any workshops he actually ran with us and his disorganisation. He made me feel extremely uncomfortable in tutorials as he dismissed every idea I had if it didn’t agree with his and he was very set in his ways.

Contact hours: Four hours of uni a week…need I say more?? I’m paying thousands for that!

General attitudes: The General attitudes of my uni were similar to those of my secondary school in that they were set in their ways, reluctant to change, against differing opinions and very set on becoming top in the rankings and churning out products rather than nurturing their students talents.

Studios: We were promised studios and we ended up with a classroom where my desk space kept wandering and going missing which would be why I did my work in my bedroom.

Artwork: The types of artwork my tutors seemed to want was very much abstract. I know I was doing a fine art degree but they weren’t open to very many types of art as fine art is supposed to cover a very wide spectrum and really didn’t seem to like realism which I enjoy. Now, a lot of great students and great artwork come out of that uni but it just wasn’t my style and the types of art I enjoy doing.

Students’ attitudes: Surprisingly, art students at that particular university were very judgemental and it didn’t really have a community feel about it. The campuses were spread apart so students didn’t blend as much as generic university campuses do which was a shame for me as I was looking forward to meeting lots of new and different people but imstead I felt quite inferior. 

Housing: I’ve mentioned this in previous posts but I had a particularly bad housing experience which was a large factor leading to a feeling of isolation and loneliness. 

~Positives~ 

Contextual studies and Karl: For me this was the best part of my university experience. I learned quite a lot from Karl in the 3 hours I had with him each week and he focuses on different styles and different artists despite having his own very particular style. He had a great attitude towards learning and made me feel very comfortable and excited in his classes. I enjoyed tutorials with him the most when I occasionally had them. He encouraged me and adapted his way of thinking to engage in my projects, helping me with ideas and giving me new perspectives which helped me to develop as an artist within the year.

Facilities: The facilities at NUA were pretty good despite the small amount of students. There was always help available and emails of information were regularly sent out regarding changes. I loved the library as it was easily set out and had many great and very helpful books in it. The university shop was also great as it was so cheap but had many great materials and supplies regularly used by art students and their choice of sketchbooks was fantastic! 

Norwich: Norwich is a beautiful place with so much to do. The food and drink is great and it’s not overly pricey! There’s loads of great charity shops, fashionable shops, independent stores, pubs, coffee shops etc. It’s really got everything and is very hard to get bored in! 

I’m pretty sure that covers all points on how I felt about NUA. From my experience I don’t agree with it’s rating and I wouldn’t encourage people to go there if they intend to study this specific course but everyone’s university experience was different. Mine just wasn’t particularly great! 

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