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The University of the West Indies Open Campus Saint Lucia is currently conducting their annual orientation exercise (August 22-23, 2017) to welcome over 160 new students to the institution.
Students will converge on the Morne Fortune Campus each evening over the two-day period to attend informational sessions on various aspects of student life.
In her address to students delivered via video recording, Open Campus Principal Dr. Luz Longsworth promised a range of new measures to be implemented, beginning this academic year.
“One of the major initiatives for the Open Campus is ensuring student success through robust support systems, and we will be working closely with you to ensure that we are providing you with the support…. Another exciting element that will come to the fore in 2017-2018 is the establishment of the [UWI] Faculty of Sport. The Open Campus will also be establishing its Academy of Sport.”
Head of Open Campus Saint Lucia, Dr. Veronica Simon, explains why the orientation exercise is so important for new students.
“First of all, it enables them to gain a better understanding of the UWI as the region’s leading institution of higher education. Secondly, they are able to interact with others who have embarked on similar journey and to begin to form critical supportive networks with alumni of the institution,” she said.
Reinforcing her principal’s commitment to continuously improving the level of service delivery to students, Dr. Simon continued: “This year we are focusing on supporting the Alumni Association in its efforts to provide ongoing mentor-ship. Studies have shown that this is one of the most successful strategies in increasing student retention and success.”
Apart from receiving a brief on the operations of the Student Guild (along with an invitation to join the organisation), students participating in the orientation programme also are able to attend micro-workshops on effective use of the library services, improving budgeting and financial literacy skills, and other educational topics.
The University of the West Indies is preparing to celebrate their 70th anniversary in 2018, while the Open Campus will observe their 10th anniversary in the same year.