Internationalising Student Support Community of Practice (COP) by Matthew Daley

The Internationalising Student Support COP has been established with the remit to offer opportunities for staff involved with and interested in the development and enhancement of student support and experience in relation to internationalisation; to share best practice and discuss current challenges and opportunities for providing a high quality international student experience for all students. This COP is led by the University’s International Student Adviser in partnership with RUSU’s elected International Students’ Officer and supported by the Associate Dean (Science).

Each meeting focuses on a particular theme and good practice and ideas for improvement on that theme are presented and shared, with the intention of exploring how to disseminate good practice effectively.

The second meeting took place on Thursday 7 February with the theme ‘Tailoring Support for International Students’ and attracted over 30 members of staff from across the University.

Some of the highlights were:

Dr Michelle Reid gave an overview of the collaborations and work Study Advice is involved in with Departments to tailor support for their international students. What has tended to work well is embedded support working with Schools and the Study Advisers work has shifted with a 100% increase in work which focuses on embedding study skills. Some examples of embedding study skills highlighted were workshops on plagiarism and referencing, time management, working smarter not harder and independent learning for students in Food Sciences. Tailored sessions for Study Abroad and ERASMUS students included Adjusting to studying in the UK and preparing for exams.

There are currently two projects that Study Advice is currently working on; the development of screencasts and animations to explain the principles of essay writing and referencing. The other project is a collaboration with the Library and ISLC on producing a toolkit for referencing.

Liz Smith is the PPD Co-ordinator at the Institute of Education and talked about the International Student Enrichment Programme which was set up in 2006. The Enrichment Programme this year has been further developed into a formal non-credit bearing module. The Enrichment Programme (EDM159) currently includes language and study skills sessions, social events and pastoral support. The module is ‘Front-loaded’ with lots of support in the Autumn Term, reducing gradually during the spring and summer terms.

The activities and sessions on the module are divided into 3 themes, ‘Speaking and Listening Skills’, ‘Learning Enhancement’ and ‘Academic Writing and Language Skills’. Some of the sessions delivered include ‘A cultural visit to Reading’, ‘Understanding essay questions’, ‘Participating in Debates’ and ‘Paraphrasing’.

Future meetings and their themes are below and bookings can be made via CSTD:

  • Integration and Languages (staff supporting all students)

–        Wednesday 24/04/2013 – 13.00-14.00

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