With the impending university year likely to see a major shift in the way that students learn, there has been a bubbling pressure for universities to provide additional support and guidance. For many students, the Coronavirus pandemic has meant several missed experiences.
As a result, students have had to adapt to an early transition to online studies, nonexistent exams, online results days and even the prospect of having to start university from the comfort of their own homes. Some students might be feeling disconnected from their chosen university and may not have had the chance to interact with them in the way they had planned.
UWE Bristol is successfully overcoming this lack of traditional interaction. Highly regarded for its diverse range of practice-based courses –including teaching, midwifery, business, engineering and law, as well as its creative courses like design, drama, fashion and creative writing – UWE Bristol is connecting with its prospective undergraduates through a mix of student support and virtual services.
Its aim? To reassure prospective students about any concerns they may have regarding a 2020 start, and to provide both students and parents with enough information to rival that which would usually only be achieved through face-to-face interactions.
Helping Students Apply Through Clearing
At this stage it is difficult to accurately predict the impact Coronavirus will have on the number of students that will go through Clearing. Students’ choices will be affected by several decisions and outcomes, but if there is one thing for certain, it is that students looking to earn a place through Clearing should do as much research as possible prior to selecting a course and university.
UWE Bristol suggests taking time to assess the choices available to you and to evaluate the reasons you have for choosing a course. Completing this research early will put you in the best position to make an informed decision.
This year, UWE Bristol is working with Unibuddy to pair-up prospective and existing students. This involves offering prospective students the chance for digital student-to-student support, allowing students true insight from those currently studying.
During lockdown, in this time before Clearing, be sure to utilise all the digital resources at your disposal. It may also be useful to reach out to current students, as they could give you a fresh perspective on your list of university options.
Welcoming Students to Digital Interactive Events
Whilst most institutions have taken their traditional open day events online, UWE Bristol went a step further to host a week-long initiative, with plans to continue to support new and prospective students with events throughout the application cycle.
Despite not being on campus, UWE Bristol’s
virtual open days offer prospective students an interactive experience unmatched by a traditional open day. Across their week-long event, students could engage with fellow students, chat to a full team of UWE Bristol experts, attend live Q&A sessions and soak in a series of webinars and talks from both tutors and course leaders.
The digital event also encompassed virtual tours of the campus and accommodation facilities, allowing students more time to explore areas they were particularly interested in.
To reduce any uncertainty about what lies ahead and appropriately prepare, make sure to conduct your research and attend digital events. Researching options at your own pace, against your own timeline is the key to success. Some institutions are making this task simple. UWE Bristol has ensured prospective students and parents alike have access to open day
resources and content post their digital events - meaning you can get the information you need at your convenience.
Accommodation Process and Options for Students
Restrictions as a result of Coronavirus have created an additional layer of complexity for students hoping to move into student accommodation. Will it be safe? Will I be able to stay there for the full academic year? Will other flat mates be able to move in?
While students weigh up their options, UWE Bristol are taking the necessary measures to ease their nerves and minds. For students who apply for accommodation in 2020 and have chosen the university as their firm choice, they will be guaranteed a place without any pressure to move in straight away.
As for an accommodation deadline date, there isn’t one! However, UWE Bristol advise that students submit their application by Thursday 25th June for a guaranteed place. The university will be offering flexible start dates to first-year students, alongside contracts that align with the eventual return of face-to-face learning.
For prospective students unsure whether to still apply for accommodation, UWE Bristol is encouraging that you do. The accommodation application process is open for students to make plans for the upcoming year. The sooner you begin doing your research and initiating the application process, the better position you will be in to get your chosen accommodation.
Helping Students Transition To and From Online Learning
In recent announcements, the government and education sector have indicated the likelihood of university life, come September, starting online. This will mean students having to adjust to a potentially unfamiliar style of learning. UWE Bristol have acknowledged this and are taking a refreshing approach towards helping their students with the transition.
At the beginning of their course, new students at UWE Bristol will participate in a timetabled learning program. Block Zero, which is made up of 5 modules, will introduce new students to their course and offer students the chance to meet their new teaching teams and peers.
As part of the programme, students will undertake wellbeing modules in order to better understand their motivations and allow time for self reflection, taking ownership of their wellbeing.
Through insight from lecturers and the University’s student support services, students will be given the tools to learn how to deal with the daily stresses of life. This first teaching block will set students on the path to being successful throughout their time at UWE Bristol and beyond.
UWE Bristol is also providing students with transparency during these uncertain times, offering a single source for students to gain the most
up-to-date information on term start dates, 2021 teaching methods and access to university facilities.
Through provision of timetabled programes and accessable resources, students attending UWE Bristol will have access to the support they need to succeed across this blended-learning period.
Enhanced Financial Support and Advice
The Coronavirus pandemic has taken a significant toll on many students from a financial standpoint. Those working part-time may have seen their hours reduced, along with those intending to work full-time throughout the summer period. UWE Bristol wants to reassure prospective students that they are aware of the financial impact that has been had, and are prepared to support future students who may be suffering with digital poverty.
UWE Bristol is aware that much of the upcoming learning may be shifted online and that this change will result in a need for all students to have access to technology. With every student not having the same digital resources available at home, the university has taken active steps to increase the amount of
student hardship funding available. If eligible, these funds will support students to access the digital tools and resources they need to successfully continue with online study.
As the 2020 academic year approaches, many students have been left wondering what the start to their university journey will look like. But for those still exploring options to study at UWE Bristol, the university’s efforts to alleviate any concerns should provide peace of mind.
UWE Bristol is showing flexibility and a supportive approach towards its students. Through their digital support resources, events, connection to existing students and provision of expert advice, their goal is to ensure that prospective students approach the upcoming year with the same enthusiasm and excitement that all students deserve. This approach guarantees that they are ready when you are.