Supporting Transition into HE
Transition covers the period from when a student's place at university is confirmed until they become a fully-fledged student. Certainly, Welcome Week activities are part of transition, but it would also include the first few weeks of formal teaching. Some would consider the whole of the first semester, or in fact the entire first year a time of transition for students. For some students starting university can be daunting, and is a huge change from their previous experiences of education.
Welcome Week, in particular, is an important early stage of the student journey, the first week of semester, or week 0, before formal teaching starts. It gives new students the opportunity to meet both staff and students, to become acquainted with the campus and to learn some of the basics of being a student at Queen Mary. The importance of Welcome Week is emphasised as only 50% of students attend an open day before starting at Queen Mary. For over half our students Welcome Week is their first experience of the physical university.
Most Advisors will meet their advisees for the first time during Welcome Week often in small groups. Transitioning can be emotionally challenging for your advisees. In your first meeting you can help your students by;
- introducing yourself - what do you prefer to be called? what is your background?
- being clear with them about what your role is, what you can do for them, when and how they can contact you
- demystifying the environment - we are very acronym rich, be careful to ensure if you do use acronyms you decode them for your students
- taking an interest in them, in a group you may ask them to introduce one another and find out why they chose this programme
- be positive when learning about your students, focus on their existing competencies, past successes and the effort they put into previous studies to help them identify assets they may need to help them succeed going forward
Queen Mary provides guidance to new students via the Get Ahead programme. Within Welcome Week we expect students to self-enrol and complete the Consent Matters Module explained in the Sexual Harassment and Violence section.
International students can access the International Student Success module on QMplus once they have their Queen Mary IT credentials. This is designed to help international students prepare for student life in the UK, familiarise themselves with the support services available at Queen Mary and make the most of their time at university.