Published September 2016
The rise in tuition fees and increased cost of higher education has made it more important than ever for universities to provide support to their students to improve integration and to reduce drop out rates.
According to the Higher Education Funding Council for England more than 8% of undergraduates drop out in their first year of study. This costs universities around £33,000 per student – and costs students lost time, money (spent or borrowed), and the devastating confidence knock from failing. Because of this, it's more important than ever for universities to support their students to help them to succeed in higher education.
Many universities are now taking action to reduce drop out rates and to improve student integration within their campuses. In particular, a number of universities in the North West of England have turned to Aim for the Sky and our team building activities to help out with their student retention initiatives.
So why does team building help?
Studies have shown that peer-to-peer interaction as well as positive engagement between students and staff can make a real difference in making students feel at home at university. Once a student creates a support network, they are better equipped to deal with any challenges they may face enabling them to continue with their course and complete their degree.
Our team building activities usually take place at the start of the academic year and are designed to get groups laughing and working together. These events give students the opportunity to meet classmates and tutors and to work with them in a fun, low-pressure environment. This helps students to foster and develop relationships with a few key individuals improving integration within the university.
We just wanted to formally thank you and your team for the two fantastic team building sessions you delivered on Tuesday with our new students at our Queen's Park Campus. On behalf of all staff and students we would like to say how much everyone enjoyed it! The students clearly got a lot from the different activities. There was a fun sense of competition in the two finales and the staff themselves all enjoyed 'manning' the stations. We hope to get to work with you again in the future.Maeve, Emily & Jane - Chester University
Getting to know the University
Another key factor in creating a sense of belonging for students is to ensure they get the chance to familiarise themselves with their surroundings. With many students coming from other cities and even other countries, it's really important to ensure they know their way around their university and the surrounding area.
One of our most popular activities for university events is our Treasure Chest, team challenge. This activity is usually spread across the campus, with different activities and challenges at key locations such as the library and student union. Each team, armed with our treasure map will have to navigate their way around their university, completing tasks along the way.
I just wanted to get in touch to say a big thank you to you and your team for our away days last week. They were a massive success and everyone had a great time.Lucy - Lancaster University
If we have inspired you to organise an event for your university or college then please contact us. We would love to help you plan a team away day for staff or students.