Graduate School Welcome and Induction
The Graduate School offer new postgraduate students a week of welcome events designed to help them integrate into University life. The programme is designed especially for postgraduates to help them identify services and opportunities specific to their needs and to create important postgraduate support networks. An induction day is also held in October.
- University of Birmingham
- Date first submitted:
- 30 Jul 2009
- Date last modified:
- 3 May 2013
- Relationship to RDF:
- Domain A: Knowledge and intellectual abilities
- Domain B: Personal effectiveness
- Personal Qualities
- Professional and career development
- Domain C: Research governance and organisation
- Professional conduct
- Finance, funding and resources
- Domain D: Engagement, influence and impact
- Personal effectiveness
- Postgraduate researchers
Rationale, aims and outcomes
What is the rationale for doing this?
How does it fit with institutional strategy?
What are the main features of the provision?
What are the aims and expected outcomes?
A University can be a large and confusing place for new students and particularly for postgraduate researchers whose needs can be very different from the majority population of undergraduate students. The Welcome and Induction provided by the University Graduate School (UGS) is tailored to postgraduate researchers from all Colleges and so this gives a clear overview of University level resources, UGS resources and an opportunity to meet peers from across the institution.
Currently, we offer two Coffee and Cake welcome mornings during welcome week and an Induction day in October. The coffee and cake mornings offer an opportunity to meet peers and staff in an informal setting and provide a friendly space during what can be a hectic first week. Staff from across the University set up tables where PGRs can approach to ask any questions they might have.
The Induction day takes place several weeks after Welcome Week so that PGRs are more settled into Birmingham and their lives as PGRs. This is a structured day of presentations, activities and training with the aim of PGRs being fully aware of services available to them by the end of the day.
Are there any pre-requisites for engagement, e.g. levels of skill, years of experience, essential pre-activities?
How many participate in each 'activity'?
The events are aimed at new postgraduate researchers to the University.
We encourage existing PGRS to attend the events to act as ambassadors.
Evaluation: benefits, challenges and next steps
How do you monitor effectiveness?
Who do you seek feedback from?
Do you have benchmarks?
The University Graduate School sees this Welcome and Induction programme as essential to ensuring postgraduate researchers joining the University are fully integrated into the Birmingham researcher community and shown all the provisions and support available to them.
A potential challenge is ensuring all new postgraduate researchers are aware of what is on offer to them. New postgraduate researchers can be overwhelmed by the amount of information given to them in first week.
By offering the initial Welcome Week activities we ensure that postgraduate researchers have a place to go for information during their first week, but we feel it is important to leave the induction until week 3-4 of the new term, to ensure that they have had the chance to settle into their department before we start to talk to them in detail about the University Graduate School and the development opportunities available to them.
We are currently working on a review of Welcome activity and provision for postgraduate researchers across the University. The aim of this is for the University Graduate School to be able to communicate all PGR Welcome provision and filter this down into College, School, optional and required activities. This review will also inform the University Graduate School in updating our current Welcome package. The review will be completed by June 2013.