L&T Session A2: Beyond free wine: non-formal spaces for learning and leadership to support academic outcomes

Sarah Napoli, Rob Aiken, Kate Harper, Eleanor Brown, Jonathan Exon
Academic and Student Services

Abstract | Presentation | Recording
This session highlighted some of the the great initiatives the colleges are introducing to improve their students’ employability. We started the session with a lively discussion on what benefits the collegiate system brings to staff, students and the university as a whole.

The members of the panel were keen to demonstrate that their provision goes much further than just providing cheese and wine evenings. Colleges, they explained provide a sense of identity and community in which student can develop their confidence and offer lots of opportunities for inter-generational mixing. The type of informal space they create helps to facilitate non-formal learning opportunities.

We had a whistle-stop tour of the different schemes available in some of the colleges represented at the talk. We learnt about a new mentoring scheme which was successfully piloted in Langwith College is now about tobe rolled out to another three colleges. This second and third year mentor scheme (SYTMS) aids the transition of new students into college life. The SYTMS gain employability experience by giving them experience in peer mentoring, which aids their communication and time-management skills.

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Goodrick College has piloted an intercultural competency programme in which is aims to develop students’ interest in engaging with difference. They hope that with this programme they will create a more inclusive and respectful university. The students participation in this scheme counts towards the York Award as students are required to participate in a range of sessions around cultural competency which include guest speakers and performances – all of which have a critical thinking component.

We discussed the colleges approach to enhancing their students’ employability through encouraging the students to learn through student lead activities such as running large events, managing teams and working on projects and campaigns. We learnt student led initiative where a fifty students annually take part in the Amsterdam marathon – raising money for charity and getting fit while another fifty students travel with them to cheer them on.

This was a greatly informative session in which we learnt more about the role of the colleges as one which can boost engagement in campus life, to give them a sense of belonging and support their transition to independent life and study. By engaging students in purposeful learning activities the colleges encourage collaborative learning; extra-curricular learning and values based learning – all of which are great assets to their employability.

Madeleine Mossman,  Learning Enhancement, University of York 

One thought on “L&T Session A2: Beyond free wine: non-formal spaces for learning and leadership to support academic outcomes

  1. Pingback: University of York Annual Learning Teaching Conference 2016 | York Learning & Teaching Forum

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