Fred Raphael, alumnus, BA (Hons) Urban & Environmental Planning and MA Town Planning graduate
When Fred Raphael looks back at his time studying at LSBU, his memories are exclusively positive ones. "I studied two degrees there, one undergraduate and one postgraduate," he says. "I did a BA (Hons) Urban & Environmental Planning and followed that up with the MA Town Planning, and I have to say that my experience at LSBU can only be described as first class."
Breadth of quality
Rather than being strong in just one or two areas, Fred was impressed by the breadth of quality on offer at LSBU, and found that his time here set a standard by which he can't help judging other universities.
The content of lectures, the organization and co-ordination of modules, the support from staff, field trips and study visits, the library facilities and the electronic journals – everything was fantastic.
The academic support that Fred received was also something that he greatly appreciated, and he is quick to pay tribute to the way that we put the student at the very heart of what we do. "There was never any doubt in my mind that the welfare and performance of the student was of paramount importance to the staff," he explains.
"I think I speak for the entire cohort when I commend the staff in the Division of Urban, Environmental and Leisure Studies. They always made time for the students, despite having very busy teaching schedules and a huge part of my positive experience at LSBU is down to the devotion of the teaching staff."
As a part-time student, Fred found that the organised nature of LSBU study meant he was able to make the most of the time he had available to study. "I was provided with unit guides that were particularly effective in helping me to plan my time from the very start of every module," he says.
"They were very detailed, with information on the objectives of the module, the syllabus, the core reading and references, the submission dates for coursework and information about how we would be assessed."
Excellent lectures and seminars were augmented by field visits that Fred describes as "extremely relevant and enjoyable." During his studies, he visited Cornwall, Manchester and the Ruhr. "As well as helping me with my studies, the trips also provided an excellent opportunity to bond with the staff and my fellow students," he says. "Many lasting friendships were formed during those trips."
Fred now works as a Principal Transport Planner for the London Borough of Hackney, and is in no doubt that his time at LSBU helped him to get his career off to such a sold start.
For me, LSBU defines what the student experience should be. They seem to have got the balance just right, and I am very happy to have studied there.