Let the journey begin : cultivating student identity and a sense of belonging through a formal academic welcome

Medew, Karin & Harden, Tanya (2013) Let the journey begin : cultivating student identity and a sense of belonging through a formal academic welcome. In International First Year in Higher Education Conference, 7-10 July 2013, Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington. (Unpublished)


Queensland University of Technology [QUT] Caboolture campus is a satellite campus co-located with Brisbane North Institute of TAFE. Building a sense of belonging on-campus continues to be challenging, with anecdotal evidence suggesting that QUT Caboolture students feel like second-class students, isolated from the prestige and excitement of the city campuses. A student identity and fostering a sense of belonging are fundamental to on-campus engagement and have been linked to retention (Field & Morgan-Klein, 2010).

A formal welcome ceremony, including an academic procession in full regalia, was a new inclusion for QUT Caboolture’s 2013 Orientation Day. The ritual was intended to be a temporal mark for students to recognise their personal transition and emerging identity as a university student. Cultural capital is one ingredient in a complex mix of interactions and relationships to build a sense of identity. (Ecclestone, Biesta & Hughes, 2010). Fostering a sense of belonging and a connection to the campus and its staff was also anticipated. Students responded positively to the event, reporting feelings of excitement, inspiration and being welcomed into the university culture. The ceremony marked the beginning of the students’ journey together as QUT Caboolture students.

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ID Code: 61469
Item Type: Conference Item (Poster)
Refereed: No
Keywords: Sense of belonging, HERN, Academic culture
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Higher Education (130103)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Division of Technology, Information and Library Services
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 The Authors
Deposited On: 21 Jul 2013 23:34
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2015 06:04

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