To move towards personalised student support, from first contact to graduation and beyond.
We want to ensure that all undergraduates and postgraduates, regardless of their background, experience or stage of learning, are appropriately supported.
No student can be easily categorised and all students require greater or lesser support to integrate, participate and make the most of their time at UCL.
In particular, we want to focus over the next five years on expanding our support for academic writing for all students and to ensure that we support students to integrate well from the start - both home and international students.
Our aim is to appeal particularly to highly motivated new students who are attracted by the opportunity to learn through research.
We want to use the distinctive approach we have developed through the Connected Curriculum to enthuse and inspire prospective students and to ensure that we are as inclusive as possible in implementing and resourcing our support structures.
Our priorities for objective one
1. An enhanced welcome service for students
Operate an enhanced welcome service so that all students feel part of our community from the outset, with a particular focus on those students who are joining us from overseas.
- ‘Welcome to UCL’ app launched by UCL Student Support and Wellbeing to help new arrivals settle in and organise their first few weeks (July 2018)
- Welcome Week Working Group established, bringing together professional services and academic departments to share best practice, establish consistency and avoid duplication of effort in the first weeks of each academic session. (July 2017)
2. The integration of international and home students
Initiate a series of projects to support the integration of international and home students outside the classroom, in particular through work with the staff and student representatives at our halls of residences.
- Update to follow.
3. Academic writing support
Pilot a number of models for delivering discipline-relevant academic writing support for all students, whether English is their first language or not.
- The Writing Lab (a free service designed to enhance students' academic writing and research skills) was opened up to a larger group of undergraduate students from multiple faculties and departments (2019)
- A proposal to significantly expand UCL provision for academic writing and communication support for students has been approved in principle by UCL senior management. An academic director will be recruited early in 2018, with a view to establishing an Academic Communication Support Centre (working title) by the start of session 2018-19. Read the news item on the Teaching and Learning Portal. (January 2018)
4. Review consistency of pre-entry materials and engage new students with the Connected Curriculum
Review our pre-entry materials for prospective students, and those holding a firm offer with us, to ensure that we are consistent in our messages. We would like to take every opportunity to prepare students for the Connected Curriculum and research-based education, and to inspire students to identify with UCL’s distinctive approach at an early stage.
- Update to follow.
5. Make UCL more welcoming for Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) students
Initiate a broad project with the Student’s Union UCL (formerly known as UCLU) to make UCL more welcoming for Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) students in particular, developing ‘belonging’ interventions and mentoring schemes.
A project team has been assembled to address the BAME awarding gap (formerly called the BME attainment gap) at UCL. The team will develop a student-centred framework for building inclusivity into curricula and providing data to monitor achievement within courses. Visit the project website for more information.
- Target to eliminate BAME awarding gap by 2024 (October 2019)
- UCL-wide project renamed BAME Awarding Gap Project to refute the student deficit model. (October 2019)
- The Annual Student Experience Review (ASER) in 2019 included an Inclusive Curriculum Health Check (ICHC) of all taught programmes
- BME Attainment faculty leads have been appointed (July 2018)
- UCL Inclusive Curriculum Healthcheck is now available for staff to review their programmes (April 2018)
- The BME Attainment Conference was held on 10 April 2018 (April 2018)
- We are recruiting BME attainment champions to lead on improvements within their areas (January 2018)
- New tool benchmarks BME attainment for departments (March 2017)
- UCL part of consortium that secures £500k to tackle BME attainment gap (March 2017)
6. Review the UCL Transitions programme
Review the UCL Transitions programme so that it supports student progression as well as retention.
- Update to follow.
7. Introduce a UCL Scholars programme
Introduce a UCL Scholars programme to welcome our scholarship holders to the university and celebrate their outstanding academic achievements.
- Update to follow.
8. Implement a new approach to personal tutoring
Implement a new approach to personal tutoring, linked to the Connected Curriculum and to students’ experience of undertaking research as part of their programme.
- The UCL Tutoring pilot has now launched (October 2019) - an online platform which complements face-to-face interactions by making it easier for tutors and students to manage the administrative process that personal tutoring involves.
- We have published, in conjunction with Student Support and Wellbeing, a new online guide for staff: Supporting students’ mental health and wellbeing: a guide for UCL staff (November 2018)
- Success Platform (personal tutoring and enquiry management) is under development in partnership with Student and Registry Services. (March 2018)
- A campaign was launched to raise awareness of UCL’s personal tutoring system among staff and students. The campaign was supported by two new booklets, ‘What you need to succeed’ distributed to all first year undergraduates and ‘Things to talk about’ guide to conversation topics delivered to every personal tutor. Dedicated personal tutoring webpages were added to the revamped Current Students website. (September 2017)
9. Develop an online programme for new students: the ‘Introductory Programme’
We will develop an ‘Introductory Programme’: an online programme of pre-entry materials which will introduce prospective students to the interdisciplinary breadth of the UCL education and allow them to explore our campus and connect with other students before they arrive.
- Four departments to pilot UCL's Introductory Programme for undergraduates in summer 2019 (May 2019)
- The Introductory Programme will link through to the Global Citizenship Programme, providing important points of reflection in our students’ first year.
- The Introductory Programme (IP) structure is taking shape, and content is under development. The IP Steering Group will meet for the first time in late January. (January 2018)