Teaching & Learning


Workshop shapes support for students preparing for life & study at UCL

28 October 2016

UCL colleagues collaborated at a workshop held in July, to identify the key non-academic content of the Introductory Programme, a project that aims to support the new student’s transition to UCL.

Students with laptops

Many of the areas highlighted by the participants chimed with those suggested in a subsequent student workshop, held in October. They agreed that the culture, history and geography of UCL and London are powerful aids to fostering a sense of community, and to make students feel proud and excited to be coming to study here. They felt that the Programme should be an authentic introduction to the real UCL and resource that the student revisits throughout their time at UCL.

The programme would enable students to interact with each other online and share ideas before their arrival. This would be a natural precursor to the UCL Global Citizenship Programme, which takes such collaborations further,

Other areas identified as essential to the Programme included orientation (incorporating information on induction activities such as the UCLU Welcome Fair and ISOP), accommodation and Student Support and Wellbeing. There was an emphasis on practical information such as how to open a bank account as well as how to get involved e.g. via UCL ChangeMakers, student societies, volunteering and Pi media.

Other suggestions included:

  • Incorporating virtual open days and facilitating online interaction with peers, current students, academics and administrators;
  • Enabling incoming students to meet others and form new friendships/buddy up with each other via transactional social media functions, manned by staff and students (StARs) e.g. Twitter;
  • A chance to see what it is like for students on other degree programmes;
  • A place to post information about one’s own experience and view videos etc. from current students about theirs;
  • Assistance with academic writing;
  • Information on transition mentoring.

A discussion was also held about ways in which to encourage students to engage with the Programme. It was agreed that the top line should excite people, and the Programme itself must deliver an engaging and unique introduction to UCL. Further work will be done with students and staff to establish the best ways to make this a reality. 

The workshop took place following academic views in a similar workshop in May 2016 and one with students and sixth-formers in October.

For further information or if you would like to get involved in the Programme, please contact Judith Hillmore at j.hillmore@ucl.ac.uk