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What do you do?

In this video you hear from University of Reading academics discuss how they help prospective students find out more about what university is like.
Hi, guys, and welcome to the University of Reading. Name is Puja, and I’m going to be talking to some staff and students about the support available at University. [LAUGHTER]
So hi, Rebecca. I wanted to talk to you today about your role at the University. I’m a lecturer in the English department. I teach here. And what are the other things that I do is that I’m the admissions tutor in the department. So that means I handle all the applications. I read all the UCAS forms, all the personal statements from people who are applying to us. So I’m really involved in people’s application journey all the way from before they apply when they come to open days, all the way through to the time when they arrive with us here. I’m a lecturer in pharmacy. But one of my main roles is outreach.
So that’s thinking about bringing prospective students here to university and giving them a taste of what university life would be like. My role as school director of academic tutoring is about supporting all the students in our school, as it’s called, or department or faculty or whatever word you want to use. And my role is to ensure that, well, students are successful. You know, and also that the people who support them, the other tutors, know how to support those students. And so it’s a bit like– as I say, I’m a bit like a year head in a school. And then the tutor are a bit like form tutors in school. So it’s that kind of role.
I’m professor of phonetics at the university. But also for my school, I make sure all the staff who are going to be meeting students have training in how to support students and how to make sure, while they’re here with us that we look after them and they get the kind of support they need to complete the studies effectively. I work in the department of chemistry. I’m a member of the teaching staff. So I work a lot with part one and part two students. I’m also an academic tutor, and I’m the admissions tutor. So I work a lot with prospective students as they’re applying to university. What sort of support do guys offer for individual students?
So I get in contact with people before they arrive. And one of the first things that I do, once we’ve got all of our people who we know are coming up, we send them a reading list. And then we invite them, when we do that, to get in touch with us to chat about what’s on it, what do they need to buy, what do they need to bring. And because we know that coming to university can be quite a daunting process for some people, and we just want to reassure people about what they need when they arrive here. Getting an experience of what university life is like before they come on campus is ideal.
And so here, at the University of Reading, we run taster days. So that gives you an experience of what the lectures will be like, but also getting into the lab and getting some hands-on practical experience, because for some of these students, coming to university will be a big challenge and a big change in the way that they learn and the way they experience education. So these are little things that they can do to get a taste of what life could be like.
We have so many lovely games and activities that we do with you, just for you to– not only get to know us as just people– just people who are working with you, who are in partnership with you, but also the other students. Because the other students will kind of– if you get to know the other students, and you get to know us well, and you join in with things, you’ll have a fabulous time. So each student within the chemistry department is assigned an academic tutor. So when you arrive at university within the first week, within welcome week, you’ll meet your academic two times within that first week. First time is a little bit more informal.
It’s just to get to know you, to meet you, and to have a little bit of a chat. And it’s also to provide you with that point of contact within the department, so that if you have any problems during that first week with your module selection or anything along those lines, you’ve got somebody that you know that you can come and speak to. After that, we have a little bit more of a formal meeting towards the end of the week, where we can talk a little bit more about your potential career plans and help you with anything along those lines throughout the rest of the term.
Any tips for anyone applying to university? Come and see us. So we’ve got a beautiful campus here in Reading. We’re a really friendly staff. We’ve got wonderful students. And we love talking to people about our university and about our courses. We have open days for anybody at all who wants to come and see us. And if you’ve made an application to us, we’ll invite you to a visit day where you can come, you can chat to staff, you can talk about the course, you can ask if particular topics or modules are covered here at the University just to check that we match your interests.

In the first of our vox pop videos, our academics explain how they help prospective and new students discover what life at university is like.

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