Our Coming from College Welcome Day was an innovative induction experience for Direct Entry students held on 4th September 2015 at Sighthill campus.
(Thanks to Greig Kelbie, Maxine Wood, Imi Dencer-Brown, and Katrina Castle for providing the information for this post).
Through a variety of interactive workshops, the Coming from College Welcome Day aimed to provide 200 new direct entrant students with activities enabling them to go on and make the most of their university experiences. In particular, the NSA and University wanted to create a sense of community for new direct entrants and to provide them with a positive all-round student induction experience.
The organisation of this event was part of the NSA’s ongoing work around the QAA’s Student Transitions Enhancement Theme.
The University’s current articulation routes have highlighted a number of support needs for direct entry students. These include overcoming social barriers, adapting to a new learning environment, increased independent study expectations, adjusting to different teaching styles and methods and a higher level of academic study.
After surveying current Edinburgh Napier direct entrants, the NSA found that students also wanted advice about CV development, finding the right work experience and volunteering opportunities. Survey results emphasised an appetite for additional and alternative support to supplement current University workshops and activity.
To address these needs and support students’ social and academic integration into University, the NSA successfully applied to the University for Edinburgh, Lothians, Fife and Borders Regional Articulation Hub (ELRAH) funding to host the Welcome Day.
On the day
Rojan Kumar (VP of NSA) and Jereon Van Herk (Edinburgh College President) gave introductions to the new students which emphasised both the challenges and opportunities associated with university study. Academic and professional services staff, together with the NSA, were on hand to deliver workshops and talk to students.
- Academic Skills. In this workshop, students were given information on everything they needed to know regarding lectures, referencing, note-taking, and exam preparation. It was oversubscribed and so a second session was run in the afternoon
- Making Feedback Work for You
- Study and Volunteering Abroad Opportunities
- Careers & Employability, employer mentoring, introduction by the Business School to the “Get on Board” programme
- An Introduction to Team Napier Sports and Societies
- An “articulation in real life” session with a panel from Edinburgh College Students Association. Three students spoke about their experiences in articulating into Edinburgh Napier University. In answer to a question about how colleges can help students prepare better, students suggested that University lecturers come to the colleges so that students know what is expected from them.
Having attended the conference direct entrant students will have been introduced to Edinburgh Napier, have accessed information and advice from a range of internal and external providers and gained a greater understanding of University life. The Coming from College Welcome Day will be evaluated. This will be conducted internally and will be provided in the form of a written report. These findings will influence the mainstreaming of future events and activities undertaken by NSA for articulating students to ensure they meet the requirements of our direct entry student cohort.
Finally, our University has an existing partnership with local colleges to support students starting their HNC /HND who intend to continue their studies with the University. Having developed our own relationships with their respective Students Associations’, the NSA intends to take forward three key initiatives that support direct entrant transitions:
- Access to the Duke of Edinburgh award
- Taking ‘pop up unions’ out to colleges and
- Enabling college students to join a Direct Entrants Society to encourage them to become involved in University life prior to arrival, thus bridging a gap that currently challenges this cohort. The Direct Entrant Student Society is led by current Edinburgh Napier direct entrants and supported by the NSA Student Engagement team and student representatives.