Planning for the Welcome of Our 2014/15 Cohort: What Works? Change Academy, Belfast, March 2014

Development of our contribution to Birmingham City University’s What Works? Student Engagement and Belonging initiative has been galloping along of recent months. Working with teams across Technology, Engineering and the Environment, our School of Health and the joint team effort from the Schools of Media and English, together we crafted our plans at a working retreat at the Dunadry Hotel, Belfast.
(c) Dunadry Hotel, Belfast
Joined by PME colleagues, Neil Hollins (Media) and Rob Lawson (English), and learning from our friends at the University of Ulster, we spent an action packed couple of days addressing plans for future  engaging induction activity, examining how we could move some of that ‘necessary but boring’ content to a time and place in which it would have more relevance and immediate impact for new students entering our respective Schools. It has to be said that the eloquent and atmospheric surroundings served as a solid stimulant for the development of ideas and contributory conversations that carried on well into the evening.
Eloquent and atmospheric interior (c) Dunadry Hotel, Belfast

We have set ourselves a tough task for the Induction of our 2014/15 cohort, but it is hoped that the hard graft will pay off in an engaging, welcoming and, most importantly, fun first year induction. I know that I for one am looking forward to it. Let’s hope our incoming students are too. With an emphasis on social activities, embedded personal tutoring and mentored assistance from our existing students, I reckon that our new intake are in for a smooth transition into life in the School of Media at Birmingham City University.

(c) Birmingham City University

One of the joys of the event was our spirited adoption by the students from Ulster (and special thanks here go to Kirstie and our animated induction into the duck-face selfie). Hearing the opinions of students both from our own course and of those from elsewhere, as ever, was truly instructive. And my own personal highlight, of course, the super-early morning swims in the beautiful pool.

Early to rise for benefits of a refreshing swim (c) Dunadry Hotel, Belfast
Work turns into fun when you get together with a group of like-minded colleagues. Proud to be part of an initiative that well and truly puts the student experience on the institutional agenda.Nice to land back in the land of Brum to the welcoming signs of home and Birmingham City University casually taking over Birmingham International Airport
including the bus stop outside…


Watch this space for further developments on What Works? at BCU.

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