Welcome back

Induction Week begins on Monday and we look forward to meeting our new students of English Literature. Then on the following week, we greet our current students who are about to enter levels 5 and 6 (level 6!).

We love September and all the excitement that the new academic year brings. Whether you are freshmen or returning students, a very warm welcome to you all, and best wishes for a book-filled year ahead.

Induction week

Good morning and welcome to the University of Gloucestershire. It’s Induction Week. Rain is something of a tradition on Induction Monday but it’s usually gone by mid-week, or maybe we are just too busy to notice the weather.

The week is going to fly by with meetings, events, the SU dos, Fresher’s Fair, field trips and treasure hunts, movie screenings, a visit from the Cheltenham Literature Festival, and all the excitement that a new term brings for new and returning students.

Today kicks off with the School meeting in TC001 at 10:00. English Literature and English Literature/Creative Writing Freshers will have their Subject talks at 11:00 and 12:00 respectively, and after a large lunch, meet with their Personal Tutors at 3:15 to sort out timetables. The schedules will be posted on the Notice Boards.

See you there.

Induction Week diary: Wednesday


Today was Project day. Creative Writing students took the low-key approach – excellent in its way – with an open-mic reading; English Literature opted for a long walk before lunch. About twenty-five students set out on a Magical Mystery Tour armed with town maps and a set of questions to answer, and luckily, the day was beautiful, sunny and warm. We walked to Pittville Park where Professor John Hughes and I heartlessly abandoned the students, but everyone made it back to town, and at one o’clock we joined Dr Charlotte Beyer and Dr Rebecca Bailey at the celebrated Everyman Theatre for our quiz. Things got a little noisy and I would like to apologise to patrons of Cafe Everyman who had hoped for a peaceful lunch.

Since the Quizmaster couldn’t hear the answers, we gave up on the competition and decided that everyone was a winner. The superb staff at Cafe Everyman made us so welcome; many thanks to them for treating us handsomely.

The cakes looked like this. We ate twenty-five pieces between us. Some of us had seconds.

Students will now produce a small research project on ‘Literary Cheltenham’ to present on Friday morning. It was great fun and we hope that they were inspired by our walk around the town. Students, do please send us your photos.

Induction Week diary: Tuesday

Today, with most of the administrative and timetabling business out of the way, campus life started to look more mellow. The weather was better, until 11:30 anyway. Students went to their respective Course meetings to hear about tomorrow’s Induction week project.  Once the English Literature and English Literature and Creative Writing students managed to locate HC105, we could launch our project, ‘Literary Cheltenham: Writing the Town’. Their task is to create a small research project on some aspect of Cheltenham’s literary and cultural life, past or present. Since Cheltenham was first mentioned in the Domesday Book, and has been unjustly sneered at by various writers ever since, there’s plenty of material to choose from.

Tomorrow students and tutors will set forth with maps and quiz questions for a Magical Mystery Tour, ending with a quiz (I must think of a prize) and coffee and cakes at the Everyman Theatre. On Friday morning we’ll gather to hear what students have found. Year after year, we’re surprised and impressed by the quality of students’ work, and by their passionate interest in literature and art.

Course Leaders rarely see the sunshine, and by the time I emerged from my office, the activities and bustle on the quad had gone. Still, the campus looked pretty nice.

We look forward to tomorrow’s adventures in Cheltenham, and I promise to take some better pictures.


Induction Week diary: Monday

Induction Monday is always frenetic but fun. Our students met us in the Chapel, where the Head of School welcomed everyone. Then it was off to Subject talks, then Personal Tutor meetings. In between meetings, students folded in some Mexican food to keep them going. No sunshine, no time for photo opportunities – but tomorrow?

On Tuesday Morning we have the Project briefing sessions and Library tour.  Stay tuned.

University Induction Week begins on Monday

Freshers are already beginning to arrive at the University. On Monday morning we meet our new students, our colleagues in learning. It is an exciting and anxious time all round. Will students feel at home? Will our lectures be ready for the first week of classes? Will it rain?

You may think that we are just arriving back ourselves after a long summer recess – on the contrary – but despite the hard work, September always energises us. For students, Induction week marks the beginning of three years of study in a new home town; for staff, the beginning of a productive, creative partnership.  There’s a nice article in The Guardian that offers the staff perspective on Freshers’ week.

Have a great weekend. We’ll see you on Monday morning.