Birkbeck nominated for Outstanding Student Services Team award
Birkbeck’s Widening Access and Retention Team has been shortlisted for the Times Higher Education magazine’s Outstanding Student Services Team award at the TES Leadership and Management Awards 2012.
The team’s nomination was based on the successful merging of Birkbeck’s Widening Participation and My Birkbeck Student Services teams in 2010/11, which enabled the newly formed Widening Access and Retention team to devise and deliver a series of innovative events and support structures. These provide our students with consistent support from their first point of contact with the College through to the end of their first year, and we have seen retention rates increase by 5% over the last three years.
The programme of events includes application workshops, Get Ahead summer programmes, Orientation, Get Ahead: Stay Ahead online tutorials, Stay Ahead autumn programme, Get Connected and Stay Motivated programmes and websites.
The nomination also highlighted the team’s successful work with academic departments, for example the implementation of a student mentoring programme within the School of Law, and with external organisations such as Unions, libraries and further education colleges.
Garmon Ap-Garth, Birkbeck’s Head of Widening Access and Retention said: “We’re very pleased that the hard work and success of the team over the last year has been recognised by the short-listing panel. Birkbeck has been committed to making higher education accessible to working Londoners since the College was founded in 1823, and a high quality student experience, from the moment a student begins their search for information, is key to that. In this year of change to the student fees and funding system our team has worked harder than ever to make sure that non-traditional students have access to clear information about higher education, and that they are well supported throughout the first year of their study, and beyond.”