As many colleagues will be aware, following consultation with Faculty Boards, in February 2017 the Senate approved the recommendation for Warwick to hold a teaching-free welcome week for all new students in September 2018 in week zero of the academic year. Here’s an update on the plans so far.
International students and many postgraduate students already benefit from dedicated induction events. This opportunity is being extended to all students – home and international, and at all study levels. The Warwick Welcome will give new students the chance to familiarise themselves with the campus, the community and surrounding area, and to learn more about University facilities and support services before the start of their academic commitments. As a key element of our developing Education Strategy, the aim is to deliver a programme that helps our students to feel confident and able to engage fully in their studies at Warwick.
The vision for Warwick Welcome is being developed in collaboration with a wide range of academic and professional services colleagues, the Students’ Union and current and prospective students. By October 2017, the strategic brief and vision will be established, and programme design will begin.
Mike Glover, Academic Registrar, is leading developments with the support of Claire O’Leary, Assistant Director – Global Engagement. A Warwick Welcome and Induction team has been formed in the Office for Global Engagement (OGE) to work with key departments to coordinate the University-wide programme. Existing roles within Student Careers and Skills have been transferred to OGE and two new roles, including a Head of Induction and Arrivals, have been created. A Steering Board has been established, which formally reports to the Student Learning Experience and Engagement Working Group (SLEEWG) – chaired jointly by the Director of the Warwick International Higher Education Academy (WIHEA) and the SU Sabbatical Officer for Education.
Improvements for 2017
Although the full Warwick Welcome will not be implemented until 2018 so that we have time to manage the significant change in timetabling for academic departments, campus accommodation, campus maintenance and conferences, a number of changes will be made to improve the induction and arrivals experience for 2017 entrants. Their feedback will be very important in shaping our plans for 2018.
There will be a programme of orientation events and activities throughout the week preceding the start of the new academic year in September, to repeat the successes of last year’s free-of-charge integrated welcome programme for all postgraduates and all international students.
Given the challenges with campus congestion over arrivals weekend (Saturday 30 September/Sunday 1 October 2017), a major Simplify Collaborate Deliver (SCD) project has been underway to review and improve our processes and improve the experience for new students and their families and friends. Significant improvements have already been made to enrolment processes. Further improvements include mandating arrival days in accommodation contracts, an arrivals booking slot system and holding car parks to control the flow of traffic and unload times at the residences. We are also looking at pre-arrival communications to better tailor these to the needs of offer holders, and to improve the planning and timing of such communications across professional services.
Find out more
To find out more about planning and consultation, please contact Hilary Watson.