In the summertime
14 August 2013
It's a common misconception that University life stands still once the students leave for their summer break. Whilst for many August is the time for holidays and relaxation there's also much to be done to ensure key events and projects continue to be successful. We take a quick look at some of the activities happening across campus this month.
Admissions and Clearing
August is THE most important month of the admissions calendar. As A-Levels results are published, colleagues in Registry are working with all academic schools to confirm student places. There's a certain amount of uncertainty and number juggling involved: until the results are published it's not known how many students have achieved their predicted grades.
Any remaining places are advertised in clearing. At this point the baton is passed onto the University's student recruitment team who, despite the uncertainty of the outcome, have extensive plans in place to advertise and fill remaining places. Senior Schools and Colleges Liaison Officer Ruth Thomas explains: "Whilst we won't know exact number of places available until the last minute we have to have the infrastructure in place to cope with a high volume of calls during Clearing.
"To give you an indication of how demand has increased – in 2008 we took 800 calls over a four day period whilst in 2012 we took over 4,200. To ensure we can meet the demand, should we need to, we have two enquiry centres staffed from 6.30am on results day. Our enquiry centre in the Glamorgan building has 12 lines using traditional technology whilst, in case of any problems with the University's phone system, our enquiry centre in the Julian Hodge building has 18 digital lines."
The clearing team act as a filter for enquiries coming in from prospective students, allowing admissions tutors to concentrate on speaking to the best students. Throughout the week they will be working closely with colleagues in academic schools, particularly admission tutors, to ensure we recruit the highest calibre of students possible.
All the Universities Confirmation and Clearing operations are overseen by the Intake Management Group (IMG), chaired by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor.
Refreshing the estate
The summer break offers a window of opportunity for the Estates team to carry out maintenance and refurbishment work at student residences as well as lecture theatres and pool rooms across campus.
Refurbishments are underway at more than 25 of the University's residences with work including decorating, re-carpeting and replacing furniture and white goods.
Lecture theatres and seminar rooms are also being refreshed to ensure that standards are high for the start of the next academic year, with target areas including the Glamorgan and John Percival buildings as well as Ty Dewi Sant.
Cultivating alumni relations
Whilst many members of the University community are preparing for the arrival of new students, colleagues in the Alumni Office are busy cultivating their relationship with those who have just graduated. Following on from a hectic Graduation week the team have been using social media to raise awareness of the alumni programme and last week a welcome email was sent to all of the Class of 2013.
All graduates were invited to join the alumni LinkedIn group (with over 7,000 members so far) and to take advantage of careers support from the University. The team will be sending a follow-up email along with a reminder of postgraduate programmes and the free careers service for graduates later this month, so if you have a note for your recent alumni, let them know.
One of the new things the team is doing this year is the Alumni Guide to Cardiff University, where graduates are invited to write a quick note of advice for Freshers (staff are welcome to add a line in too). Once completed the team will be working with the International Office and Undergraduate Recruitment Team to distribute the guide which will hopefully make a real difference to some of our new students.