A program designed by the University of Newcastle to help first-year students settle into university life has been recognised internationally as an example of best practice. Uni-Start is a two-day orientation program facilitated by student mentors who deliver a student perspective on university life, including tips on essay writing and time management skills, the expectations and realities of university study and avenues for support.
A paper written by Assistant Deputy Academic Registrar (Student Support Services) Ms Sarah O'Shea on the success of the innovative program will form a chapter of the publication International Perspectives on the First Year Experience. The book is due for release in mid-2009 and will be promoted at international first-year experience conferences.
Uni-Start was first trialled at the University of Newcastle's Central Coast campus in 2006. It is currently in a staged roll out to students on the Newcastle campus (at Callaghan).