This project aimed to provide funding for a student or recent graduate to be recruited for the Welcome Week Volunteer Internship role in July for a two month period. The student carried out the duties of the role, with support, supervision and mentoring by the Volunteering and Events Union staff. Queen Mary University of London Students’ Union has successfully run the Welcome Crew volunteering scheme for the welcome weeks for at least the last 10 years. In 2013 the Union managed 84 volunteers over the move in weekend and welcome week, whose primary task was to ensure that all students had the best welcome to the University as possible. For 2014, the Union wanted to expand the Welcome Week brand, making it easier to identify for students who do not know what Fresher’s is and making it easier to access and understand information on what is happening during their first week.
This project was awarded Westfield Funding in 2014 and has had a long-term impact on the way Welcome Week is run. The intern, Kester Richardson-Dawes, was pivotal to ensuring the success of the project, including pioneering non-alcoholic welcome events which helped to make the week more welcoming to a wider variety of students.
You can read the full project report by downloading the pdf file above, and view the project poster presented at QMUL’s 2016 Teaching and Learning Conference below (click to enlarge):
Interested in more information on student engagement and induction? Listen to our research seminar from early 2016 Detecting Uncertainty to Improve Retention – this focused on the use of learning analytics to identify students who might need extra help and reaching them before they become at risk of dropping out. The Higher Education Academy has also produced a review of current research on the first-year university student experience: click here to download the PDF.