Example programme: an aid to planning induction

An aid to planning: International student induction

This suggested programme shows how the toolkit can support improved institutional planning and development.  Here we use the example of the development of international student induction.

 Purpose To brainstorm ideas for international student induction
 Participants Frontline staff, support services, academics, students
 Duration One term
 Modules Any, but especially Safety, Security and Wellbeing, Cultural Awareness, Communicating across Cultures, The International Student Journey and Education Systems and Culture
 Method Blended learning

This approach is aimed at a range of staff and students (both ‘home’ and ‘international’), either across the institution, or from within a faculty or department. It works on the assumption that to develop an induction programme that is effective requires representation from all parties. 

Initially, a senior manager needs to instigate this process to ensure buy-in, although meaningful contributions need to be made by all sides, as part of this collaborative process. In order to be inclusive, colleagues, home students and incoming students all need to understand one another.

This could work by setting up either functional-specific groups or cross-functional groups, but should include existing international students where possible. 

1. Identify the key issues for the induction programme:

  • what international students need to know that is different from home students
  • what the Faculty can do to facilitate their initial post-arrival situation

These might include the following:

  • British culture - how we communicate, behave, etc
  • Personal safety - going out at night, emergency services, etc
  • Everyday living - accommodation, shopping, transport, paying bills, etc
  • Study expectations - self-study, critical thinking, assessments, etc
  • Administration - visas, fees, assignment submissions, exams, etc

2. Having decided your priorities, it could be a good idea to put together working groups to approach each one. 

3. Direct each working group to the appropriate modules in the toolkit to inform and facilitate addressing their area. These might include :

  • Safety, Security and Wellbeing
  • Cultural Awareness
  • International Student Journey
  • Education Systems and Culture

They could work through these in pairs, as groups, using blended learning and using the Discussion Forum. The sharing of information and collaborative thinking is critical here. Ultimately, this task should be focused on adding to the design of the programme, not just completing a course; and should be supported by regular working group meetings.

4.   Finally, pull together the draft programme for review by all parties.