On Thursday 12th September, the team from the Centre for Enhancement in Learning and Teaching (CELT) at Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU) held ‘Over 21s Only!’ a welcome event for incoming mature undergraduate students.

Mature undergraduate students can sometimes find settling at university difficult due to the age and experiences differences with their peers. ‘Over 21s Only!’ is designed as a way for these students to ‘kick-start’ their studies at BGU by meeting others in their position, learning about available support, and chatting with existing mature students.

Over 40 new students attended the event, representing a range of subject areas and disciplines. They were joined by current BGU students Chris, Stef, Claire, Mick, Judith, and Melanie, who shared their own experiences as mature students at BGU, assisted in workshop sessions, and delivered a campus tour. Students’ Union (SU) President Alan Foster and Vice President: Education Jordan Fane also dropped in to meet the new students and introduce them to the services offered by the SU.

The day began with an inspirational talk by Dr Sacha Mason, the Programme Lead for Professional Studies, who emphasised the importance of independent learning and excellent time management for students who may have additional commitments. Other workshop sessions were delivered by Learning Development Tutor Dr Hannah Grenham on developing a growth mindset, problem-solving potential issues while studying, and critical thinking. The day was organised by the CELT team and facilitated by Student Engagement Facilitator Helen Waters-Marsh.

The day was warmly received by all who attended, with feedback indicating that 91% felt more confident about beginning their studies as a result of the event. One attendee noted that the event made them feel ‘so excited and much less anxious’, while another expressed relief at ‘Knowing I am not alone on this journey’.

This is the third time this important event has been run and it continues to evolve every year. If you are a mature student and would like to be involved in next year’s event, please contact studentchange@bishopg.ac.uk to register your interest.

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