We are one of the very first UK Universities to operate a programme called Residence Life, which is highly popular in North America and Australia and encompasses every part of the student experience, offering everything from welfare support and advice, to sports, activities or events and learning & skills workshops.
Our Residence Mentors are students who have been at the University for a year or two. They make regular visits to students in their accommodation to offer support for any issues they may have. The Mentors also run evening drop-in sessions and film nights, to give students every opportunity to speak to someone if they are experiencing any problems.
The Residence Life Portal, a weekly e-newsletter and a monthly calendar informs students about regular events and activities such as sports and fitness classes, special occasions, academic lectures and day trips available to visit places of interest. These are also the channels where Residence Life promotes extra academic lectures and skills workshops on topics ranging widely from academic subjects like historical figures or the science behind superbugs to practical considerations, for example writing a CV and overcoming exam stress.
Last year we employed 175 students on a casual basis during Intro Weekend alone and many of these, plus others have gone on to work part-time in ACS and UNICUS food and drink venues, within the 16 hours per week limit that the University advises for students in full time study.
We recruited students to act as ‘Brand Ambassadors’ to spread the word about our GeniUS Card offer and answer questions from new students during Intro Weekend. We also employed student ‘Food Angels’ to travel across the University campus handing out discounts and samples of our new food and drink offers and much much more.
This enables our students to earn while they learn, giving them the experience to enhance their CV and teaching them new life and practical skills.
We have trained many of our students to be Baristas and have also participated in the Skills for Work Certificate, which is designed to help students use their work experience to demonstrate the relevant skills they have developed to future employers.