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Welcome Week: proud to see our community at work

Robert Van de Noort

Message from Vice-Chancellor Robert Van de Noort to all colleagues who supported the Welcome Week

Dear colleagues,

I am writing to express my thanks to you all for your support to make Welcome Week such a success this year.  

As I was walking around campus, I was very proud to overhear conversations among students about their positive experience so far, and to see colleagues proactively offering directions and support to our new arrivals. I have spent a great deal of time discussing the ‘community’ theme for our proposed new strategy and it is a pleasure to see this being lived out in practice through you, our ambassadors.

So far we have welcomed more than 5,500 new students to our Reading campuses. Through your co-ordinated efforts, we have provided these students with the best possible start to their time here. From helping students to enrol, move in to Halls, select their modules, access their timetable, settle in and make new friends, find their way around, and generally provide a welcoming environment, I am hugely grateful for your efforts.

This year saw a number of changes for Welcome Week, with RUSU reducing their usual two-week Fresher’s event schedule to just one week, focusing all activities on campus. We worked together to diversify our programme of events on campus and to focus less on alcohol. To complement this work, we also launched a University Community Alcohol Partnership with Reading Borough Council, including delivering intervention training to frontline bar staff and Hall Mentors. Furthermore, we also offered a ‘Welcome Week’ mobile app, allowing students to view our full programme of events and add them to their own personal schedule.

Colleagues in Student Services will be running their annual Welcome Week survey to seek feedback from students, from pre-arrival communications through to settling in during the first few weeks of term. This will help us evaluate our activities, including the new initiatives we have brought in, and identify any further improvements for next year. If you have any thoughts or suggestions for future enhancement in your own area of work, please do discuss these with your line manager in the first instance.

Kind regards,


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