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The Value Paradox – Inducting Undergraduate University Students in a Time of Austerity.

By Tim Jones, Penney Upton and Dean Wilkinson


The challenges facing UK higher education are both well documented and controversial; however, pitted against\ud this context is the requirement for psychology departments to provide an increasingly rich and diverse university\ud experience for students, whilst ensuring progression and retention remain central to undergraduate provision.\ud Despite the recognition that induction is of upmost importance in ensuring a successful transition from pretertiary to higher education, many universities are faced with changing budgets in the post-Browne era (Browne,\ud 2010) across all aspects of academic life. Such a challenge presents departments with a unique paradox since\ud student expectations continue to rise as the dominance of consumerism reaches fruition, whilst budgets continue\ud to decrease. In acknowledging the importance of induction for both the overall student experience and for\ud retention, the University of Worcester designed and successfully implemented an induction programme on a\ud considerably reduced budget. A satisfaction questionnaire was completed by 136 undergraduate students\ud inducted in 2011 and the results compared to those of 87 students from 2010 (where the induction budget was\ud considerably higher). The results indicate similar levels of satisfaction and engagement with induction activities\ud and whilst an off-site activity remains key to the success of induction, such an activity doesn’t have to present\ud considerable expense. This paper provides an overview of designing an induction programme on a reduced\ud budget, presents satisfaction results from undergraduate students who completed induction in both 2010 and\ud 2011, and presents suggestions for best practice in the design of induction events for psychology undergraduates

Topics: LB2300, BF
Publisher: The British Psychological Society
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