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Ulster's Freshers Fired Up and Focused

18 October 2013

University of Ulster Freshers gave a resounding thumbs up to a recent series of bespoke workshops aimed at introducing them to university life.

Dr Katie Liston, Lecturer in Social Sciences of Sport, organised the events in consultation with Amazing Brains NI, a Belfast-based company which motivates and educates students in skills and techniques needed to succeed in education and achieve employability.

A series of bespoke half and full-day workshops were held for Freshers in the Ulster Sports Academy at the Jordanstown campus and the School of Law at both the Jordanstown and Magee campuses.

Research shows that the transition to higher education and adulthood is a challenging time for students.

These workshops demonstrated, once again, Ulster’s student-centred and research-driven approach to higher education, by establishing good practice in the induction of Freshers into university life.

Successful induction workshops were first held three years ago with Sports Academy students and proved so successful they were extended to the School of Law.

This year, Sports Academy students focussed on applying the growth mind set, peer collaboration and study skills, including memory techniques and time management.

Law students were given a similar opportunity to research these skills as well as independent and interdependent learning and motivation in order to better prepare them for university life.

Dr Liston said: “As always we look forward to welcoming students to university life. We work hard to provide them with the tools for success and to motivate them for the new journey ahead. Each year, student evaluations of the induction workshops indicate that they are a resounding success.”

Already a well-established leader in the secondary school sector throughout Ireland, Amazing Brains NI has recently been nominated for the ‘One to Watch’ category in the forthcoming Social Enterprise NI Awards to be held in Derry~Londonderryon Thursday October 24.

Dr Liston, along with Roisin McFeely, Director of Amazing Brains NI and Sports Academy colleague, Dr Gavin Breslin, have published a pedagogical review of these induction workshops in Ulster’s Centre for Higher Education Practice journal, Perspectives on Pedagogy on Practice.