According to a recent Australian Government report, Improving Retention, Completion, and Support in Higher Education, the right kind of preparation for study makes an enormous difference to a student’s chances of success at university. The report indicated that a healthy institutional culture that embraces diversity and flexibility, and puts the student first, is a key factor in whether students feel supported and valued as members of the learning community.
This is certainly the philosophy behind the robust framework of support services at UTS Insearch, the pathway to study at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). These services are tailored to meet the needs of every student, whether it’s an international student from Nepal adjusting to a new education system, or an Australian student seeking additional support. Learning Support Programs, one-on-one tutorials, study skills workshops, and full-time Study Success Advisers are all readily accessible to students at UTS Insearch. The programs at UTS Insearch are designed not only to help students earn a place at UTS, but to help them thrive there.
Big in support, small in size
UTS Insearch Dean of Studies, Tim Laurence, says the difference with learning at a higher education institution like UTS Insearch, rather than diving into first-year university, is the personalised attention students can receive. Many of the lecturers are from industry, some are from UTS, and of course, all are hired for their teaching and communication skills. “We off smaller tutorials with about 20 students in each, and the maximum number of students in a lecture is 80,” Mr Laurence says.
These smaller classes offer a more personalised, less intimidating learning environment, where it’s much easier for students to make friends. Apart from the obvious benefits of being able to socialise, when students get to know their classmates they’re able to help each other and share resources. Students who lack confidence also feel more comfortable learning to participate in discussions and speak up in class.
A student-centred learning environment
In addition to Study Success sessions during Orientation and Preparation Week, students at UTS Insearch have access to free weekly one-on-one learning support sessions, designed to help students prepare for assessments and exams. Study Success Advisers can also help should students experience any personal difficulties that may affect their studies.
English language confidence
Higher Education Language Presentation Support (HELPS) is available for English language and academic literacy support. The HELPS Centre has a wide range of resources for learning English, such as grammar books, dictionaries, reading and writing materials, audio materials and listening kits, as well as computers, DVDs, videos, newspapers and magazines. There are also English language team staff who are happy to help guide students.
What the students say
Students who have prepared for their university studies with a diploma from UTS Insearch may find they can bring a little more to their degree. This is because the material their diploma has covered helps develop life-long learning skills, making them ready for the challenges and opportunities ahead.
Rohit Maharajan is one student who has experienced the UTS Insearch advantage. Originally from Jawalakhel, he completed a Diploma in IT at UTS Insearch before joining the Bachelor of Science (IT) program at UTS. He says, “UTS Insearch was the best thing to happen to me. It was amazing – more than I expected. The environment is great for studying and makes it easy to interact and partake in extracurricular activities.”
Sajiya Sherchan, who came to UTS Insearch from her home in Pokhara, to complete a Diploma in Science, agrees with Rohit. “For me, UTS Insearch was a place of hope, encouragement, and development,” she says. “My teachers and friends there were very supportive and uplifting, and I am forever grateful to each of them.” Sajiya is now studying for her Bachelor of Medical Science at UTS.
About UTS and UTS Insearch
UTS is rated as the top young university in Australia (under 50 years of age), and it consistently ranks highly in many prestigious international rankings.UTS Insearch offers leading academic English programs, UTS Foundation Studies, and higher education diplomas that are designed with UTS entry requirements in mind. It welcomes students from Australia and overseas, and prepares graduates to enter their UTS bachelor degree with confidence.
In many cases, depending on the course chosen, successful students can move straight from their diploma into the second year of a corresponding UTS degree.This is because the diploma courses are created in collaboration with UTS, so the educational outcomes are the same as for first-year students in a UTS undergraduate degree.
Students starting at UTS Insearch in Sydney also benefit from a unique combination of ongoing academic support, small class sizes, and practical learning. The program is designed to help them not only earn a place at UTS, but to thrive there.