Name: Chris Luck
Job role: Head of Welcome, Arrivals and Induction
Department: International Student Office
Can you tell us a little bit about your role?
There are two main areas: I’m Programme Manager for Warwick Welcome with lots of exciting developments below and I’m also working with Claire O’Leary and Chris Hughes on internationalisation and what it means to be a student at an international university like Warwick.
Can you tell us about some of the improvements made for Welcome and Arrivals 2017?
Welcome 2017 is made up of a few distinct but interlinked projects: we have the Welcome to Warwick Programme which is for all new international and postgraduate students; Welcome activities for all new students; and an improved Arrivals Weekend process. There have been some really great developments this year and I’d recommend that everyone take a look at the Welcome to Warwick timetable that is available now. For all new students we produce Welcome Guides and have significantly enhanced our communications with incoming students this year – do take a look at our communications plan.
Finally, Arrivals Weekend (30 September - 1 October 2017) has seen some significant changes this year to better manage flow to and on campus. Look out for the opportunity to book on to a staff briefing session during September to find out more about what's changed.
There’s a full Warwick Welcome programme in development for 2018. Can you tell us a bit about it?
2018 is a very exciting year for the University with the introduction of Warwick’s first teaching-free Welcome Week. This blank slate gives us an opportunity to introduce services and opportunities to students in a way that doesn’t overwhelm or bombard them. It’s really important that we all work together in designing and delivering a successful programme (from the point a place at Warwick is confirmed through to the end of Welcome Week) and you can see our initial vision and headline timeline on our staff site. We’re also inviting colleagues to share ideas via this site.
What’s the best bit about being involved in Welcome, Arrivals and Induction?
The variety – one minute we’re having detailed conversations about what it means to be a Warwick student and the next we’re discussing the number of portaloos required over Arrivals! We get to work with colleagues from every single academic and professional service department and it’s nice being part of something so collaborative.
What are the challenges?
Juggling everyone’s priorities. Warwick Welcome provides an opportunity to every Department but for it to be a success it’s important that we don’t bombard students and overwhelm them with every available opportunity. We collectively need to have some difficult conversations about what’s a priority at each stage of Welcome and beyond.
Not many people know this about the Welcome programme but...
...it’s not called Freshers or ‘Week Zero’ – I’m planning on adding the equivalent of a ‘swear jar’ on campus every time I hear those words!