Year-round student welcome project approved

After two years of delivering a new approach to welcome, induction and transition in response to COVID-19, funding and support for a year-round welcome programme has been approved by UEG.

Four students are sat around a table in a busy room having a discussion.

Work on Welcome, Induction and Transition over the last two years has shown us that students’ needs are varied and numerous, from study skills to basic life skills and support in making connections, whether they’re brand-new to Leeds or returning for their next year of study.  

Now, with COVID-19 no longer being the driving factor in our planning, we plan to take these learnings – and many successes – forward with a dedicated team and programme of work to support students all year round. 

What will a year-round welcome cover? 

Over the last two years, we’ve introduced a number of initiatives which will be rolled into the new year-round project, which include:

Leeds & You / Summer in Leeds, a programme of co-ordinated activities during holidays and after arrival, organised centrally and in schools.

Fresh Start Festival, a welcome week ‘re-do’ in January to welcome January arrivals and help new and returning students make the most of their time at Leeds.

Welcome Buddy, which matched nearly 1,800 new and returning students with a buddy to help them adapt to life at Leeds.

A framework of support to help faculties and schools offer the activities students need to settle into life at Leeds. 

Centrally created welcome resources and communications to give students all the information they need on processes, support and opportunities throughout their time at Leeds. 

International arrival support, to help international students before and after their arrival in the UK. 

Director of Student Opportunity Dr Christina Edgar, said: “Engaging a highly collaborative network of colleagues from academic and professional teams over the last two years has unlocked so much creativity across the institution.

“This approach has helped us learn together, align activities and communication and introduce new and valuable initiatives that move us closer to meeting the needs of all of our students, including those we might have previously struggled to engage.

“Embedding an all-year-round approach, supported by ongoing input and engagement with students, means we can continue to work on new opportunities to meet students’ needs and empower faculties and schools to do more of the things they want to do to build a sense of community and belonging that’s meaningful.” 

What happens next? 

Recruitment for the new project roles has begun, with initial project planning getting underway. If you are involved with making new and continuing students feel welcome, there will be a kick-off event for staff in April to gather views and share ideas, plus a framework of what you can expect from the project team, and what’s expected of local teams in terms of delivering welcome, induction and ongoing student engagement. 

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