One week 'Introduction Week' extended to nine weeks
Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences is introducing an additional support system for new students after they have completed the introduction week at the start of their studies. For a period of up to 9 weeks after students start their studies, throughout the year, new students will have access to workshops and coaching sessions introducing them to the procedures and policies of studies at Wittenborg. The additional support to new students has been introduced as part of Wittenborg's drive to increase its support for students. The new initiative is the responsibility of the Wittenborg Students Support Team, headed by Support Office Coordinator Sophia Faraji and Front Office/Facilities Coordinator Vikram Athvale.
As explained by Faraji, this new initiative is specifically for the newly arrived students. It comprises weekly online hybrid group sessions where common topics about class enrolments, project weeks as well as exam information for the coming weeks are explained and discussed. Each session is informative and worthwhile for students to participate as the team delivers information that students need for the coming weeks in advance. She added that 'preparation is key' and Wittenborg wants its students to be well prepared all the way from start to finish of their study period. Students also have the opportunity to learn from their peers and share information with each other.
Frequently Asked Questions Addressed
The new initiative was already implemented at the start of the new academic year in September 2020. The catalyst for organising these sessions was the amount of commonly asked questions that new students pose to the Students Support team in the early weeks of their study programmes, said Athvale. The timings of the sessions are carefully planned so that they don’t clash with the students’ timetables, thus allowing all to join in.
During each session, Athvale presents tips on academic matters such as enrolling for modules, the requirements of Project Weeks or assignments, etc. Other non-academic topics like student housing or whom to contact for various issues are also covered. Faraji is available during the sessions to answer students’ questions via online or the chat area. Through these sessions students can develop skills which are important for their careers, such as how to find information from the right sources and sharing and collaborating with others of different nationalities.
The benefits of the additional support given to students after the Introduction Week are countless. As explained by Myra Qiu, Wittenborg Manager of Academic Partnerships, "The idea of the additional support for new students is to get them well prepared to start their study journey at Wittenborg.
Students will have up to 9 weeks to surf, discover and be aware of how the online systems work, the structure of the study programme, the timeline of their study progress, the possible career market after graduation, how to approach process tutors/study advisors and the expected level of knowledge/theory/academic English, etc. It is to comprehensively support students to set up proper expectations and to follow a feasible study plan towards a stronger employability for students' future careers."
Better preparation for a seamless study journey at Wittenborg
When asked for her opinion of this new initiative, Faraji replied that it is a really valuable point for a university of applied sciences to support its students, and this is indeed an added value which Wittenborg has brought into its system. Athvale agreed and added that a better clarity about various aspects of academic or non-academic matters will help students be more focused on their studies. The sessions are essential in equipping students with the necessary information and reducing their anxieties about blending in. The idea is to discuss, understand and clarify as many doubts as possible, and this will better prepare them for a seamless study journey at Wittenborg.
by Hanna Abdelwahab & james Wittenborg
©Wittenborg University Press
New Wittenborg Students