A fresh approach to orientation for 2023


In the new academic year the University will roll out a fresh approach to student orientation. Instead of the traditional O Week model of onboarding, our students will benefit from a more extensive, personalised and engaged approach designed to enhance comfort and belonging.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Rorden Wilkinson explains: “Our new approach is designed to support students to make the successful transition to tertiary study. It is crucial that our commencing students feel a sense of belonging to our community right from the start. We want them to know that we are as invested in their success as they are.”

To foster this sense of belonging, our orientation and onboarding experience has been redesigned and now comprises three elements: an online pre-arrival module, a ‘kickstart’ program and a refreshed orientation week.

Orientation will now begin with ‘MACQ2023 – Your student starter guide’, an online, self-paced iLearn module that all commencing students will complete prior to the start of session. This module is a practical introduction to iLearn that also provides students with information about their academic journey, their safety and wellbeing, as well as the employability services available to them throughout their studies. Students will be able to revisit this information at any stage during their time with us.

The new Kickstart program runs from 13 to 17 February 2023, and has been designed to provide a soft landing and focused transition for our domestic and international undergraduate and postgraduate students. Kickstart will feature face-to-face and online sessions that provide our students with in-depth information that complements and builds on what they have learned from MACQ2023. This includes important messaging about expectations for academic integrity, and fostering a safe and inclusive environment, as well as practical guidance about writing at university, study techniques and important faculty-specific information.

Much of the content delivered during Kickstart will be presented by student peer educators from later years to ensure that the material is authentic and relatable. Scheduled social activities have been designed to foster connectivity and provide informal opportunities for students to learn about our campus.

Our new Orientation Week will run during the first week of Session 1, from 20 to 24 February 2023. One of the highlight events of the week will be Convocation, an official commencement ceremony held in our Graduation Hall and hosted by Vice-Chancellor Professor S Bruce Dowton. Other activities will include campus and library tours, a parents and carers information evening, student club stalls in the Central Courtyard, ‘speed friending’ events and a host of social activities that students can attend between classes.

Under the leadership of Dean of Students Professor Mariella Herberstein, the Macquarie Kickstart and Orientation team are engaging with key stakeholders and subject matter experts from across the institution to operationalise this new approach to orientation.

You can support Kickstart and Orientation Week by helping the team to recruit 150 current students as Student Belonging Activators. This paid position is an excellent opportunity for students to give back to the Macquarie community, develop skills and make new connections. If you know anyone suitable, encourage them to apply via our careers and employability portal Employability Connect.





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