Directorate for the Student Experience

Welcome 2019 - key messages and channels

Welcome is one of the most important periods in the University calendar. We admit around 14,000 new students in September, including 8,000 undergraduates, and this is our chance to make a fantastic first impression on all new students, and make sure they feel as prepared as possible to succeed. We also want to begin to provide students with the knowledge and information they need to make the most of their time at Manchester.

The central teams of the University, based mainly in the Directorate for the Student Experience, are in regular contact with incoming students throughout the transition and Welcome period. We use a mix of print and digital channels to ensure we give new students the right information at the time that they need it. You can find a breakdown of the channels and publications at the end of this guide.

While incoming students receive central communications from us, we know they also need a lot of information from their programmes and Schools, along with other support services. This guide provides you with the key messages, and where to find further information, so that you understand what students hear from us, not just how they hear it. We hope you will find this guide useful to make decisions about what to include in, and perhaps to leave out of, your own communications with students.

One thing we know from our new students is that they can easily feel overwhelmed by the amount and number of messages and communications they receive during the transition and Welcome period. For that reason, you’ll see that the central communications are grouped into just five themes, and that we have limited the key messages within each theme. Of course students - and you - can find further information about all of these things. But we want that to be available to those who need it, when they need it, rather than provided en masse where it could become confusing, or stressful. We’ve learned that is is better to provide the essentials, and give clear signposting to the detail.

The most important message is of the Welcome period is: “Hello! We’re happy you’ve come to Manchester.”

Academic- and School-related messages

Key messages:

  • You’ll receive information about your programme, including how to select your course units, directly from your School. It’s important that you read and respond to any communication you receive from your School.
  • You should take note of any Welcome and induction events you receive from your programme, as these will help you get off to the best possible start to your University career and help you to understand the requirements and expectations of your course.
  • Throughout your University life, the staff in your academic School will be the most important sources of information and guidance; take time during Welcome to get to know them and say hello!

Process-related messages

Key messages:

  • There are three steps that every new student must complete in order to begin their course: activate their IT account, register online, and pay their fees. These things can usually be completed prior to arriving in Manchester.
  • You will receive an email from the University inviting you to activate your IT account. It is important that you wait for this email before attempting to sign-up for your IT account.
  • International (non-EU) students must also complete International Student Check-in once they arrive in Manchester.
  • Returning students also need to register online.

Important venues:

  • Registration can be completed online anytime, and from anywhere, after 1 September 2018, by logging in to My Manchester.
  • If there are any problems registering online, there is a Registration and fee payment help centre in the Atrium - on the first floor of University Place - between 9-27 September. There is also a registration helpline, available during September, on 0161 306 5544.
  • There will be a student card collection service running in the Atrium between 9-27 September.
  • International Student Check-in is located in the Student Services Centre on Burlington Street. Students who have selected to have their Biometric Residence Permit delivered to the University will collect this during the Check-in process.

Centrally-organised event-related messages

Key messages:

  • Our Welcome period begins on Tuesday 10 September, and runs until Friday 27 September.
  • Events take place right across campus, and there is something for every student, including specific events for postgraduates, students who live at home, and international students.
  • Orientation presentations and workshops - aimed at international students, but open to all students - take place in University Place on Friday 13 and Sunday 15 September
  • Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 September are likely to be the busiest days during the period, with the Sustainability Challenge and the Students’ Union and Start of Year fairs taking place.
  • Throughout Welcome you’ll notice hundreds of members of staff and students wearing AskMe badges. They are there to help you find your way and to answer any questions you might have. Don’t be afraid to ask them anything - they might not know the answer to every question, but they’ll know where you can find it.

Sustainability Challenge

Key messages:

  • The Sustainability Challenge involves all of our 8,000 new undergraduates, and more than 400 members of staff.
  • You will be told which specific session and location to attend, either AM or PM on Tuesday 18 September, through your personalised timetable in My Manchester and by email in the week prior to the event. Staff in Schools will also receive the information.
  • The Challenge is one of our Social Responsibility Signature Programmes, introducing you to the kind of University that we are: Working across disciplines to find solutions to real problems.
  • You will work with students from many different disciplines, and share the experience of tackling a challenge together.
  • The Sustainability Challenge is the first of three Ethical Grand Challenges during your undergraduate career.

Social event-related messages

Key messages:

  • Social events are a great way to meet like-minded people in your first weeks of university life.
  • There are social events organised by your programme and School, the wider University, the Students’ Union and Halls of Residence.
  • Whatever you’re interested in - whether that’s culture, sport, or Manchester’s famous nightlife - there are events for you.

Advice and guidance-related messages

Key messages:

  • There is a lot of support and advice available to you to help you have the best experience of studying in Manchester.
  • Once you’re here, My Manchester is your personalised student portal, giving access online advice and guidance about all aspects of your student life, from academic support and wellbeing advice, to all the many activities you can get involved in at Manchester.
  • You can get face-to-face advice from your Academic Advisor and School office, and from the Atrium in University Place, and the Barnes Wallis Student Hub.
  • You will receive regular information and updates about services and advice throughout your University career, in My Manchester, through your University email address, and on social media. It is important that you read these updates so that you know what’s going on, and how to get the best out of your University life.

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