Opening Doors Support and Services for Refugee-Background Students at Victoria University

Page created by Justin Powers
Opening Doors Support and Services for Refugee-Background Students at Victoria University
     Support and Services for
Refugee-Background Students
         at Victoria University
Opening Doors Support and Services for Refugee-Background Students at Victoria University
                     This booklet was created by staff and students from across Victoria
                     University with the institutional support of the Deputy Vice Chancellor
                     (Academic) Penny Boumelha.

                     The production team would like to acknowledge the involvement and
                     contributions of the following people:

                     Students: Daniel, Faiza, Hibba, John, Nasra, Morsal, and several others
                     who did not wish to be named.

                     Staff: Liz Chinlund, Hyekyung Chung, John Dance, Karen Davis, Laura
                     Dimock, Millie Douglas, Hayley Everingham, Gerard Hoffman, Bridie
                     Hood, Angela Joe, Colin Kennedy, Catherine Nelson, Diane O’Rourke,
                     Meredith Price, Mary Roberts.

                     Community Partners: Alia Bloom (Changemakers Refugee Forum),
                     Judi McCallum (Refugee Services, Pathways to Employment).

                     Images: Victoria University Image Services, Vanessa Rushton,
                     GEOG 404 2008 Global Remix Research Team.

                     Editorial Oversight: Kate Arrowsmith.

                     Design and Editorial Advice: Geoff Hume-Cook

                     Production Team:

                     Writers/Researchers: Rahma Adan, Kristine Ford, Tania Sawicki Mead.

                     Desktop publishing and cover design: Laila Faisal.

                     Managing Editor: Sara Kindon
                     (VUW Network to Support Refugee-Background Students).

                     Originally printed in February 2012, reprinted May 2012

ii | Opening Doors
A warm welcome to Victoria
I would like to offer you a warm welcome, both to Wellington (if you are new
to the city) and to Victoria University.

Victoria University has a long and distinguished tradition of education and
research, and we are strongly committed to serving the needs of our students
and those of our community. We aim to give all of our students the very best
opportunities to learn, to enhance their personal development, and to enjoy the
rich social and cultural life of the capital city. Victoria is also very proud of the
diversity of its students and staff. We believe that this diversity gives us greater
intellectual strength, and enriches our learning experiences.

As Refugee-Background Students, you all bring something special to the life of
the University and have already achieved so much. We want you to continue
to be successful in your studies here and to enjoy the experience along the way.
We have people who can help with everything from—useful tips on studying
successfully, to talking to you about the careers for which your degree is
preparing you, to advising on how to draw up your weekly budget.

Even if the University may be quite new and daunting for you, I can promise
you that Refugee-Background Students are not new to us. Whatever your
question, there will certainly have been other students before you who have had
to deal with it. I am confident that there is someone at Victoria who will be
able to give you the answer, or to direct you towards the right place to get the
help you need.

Your success is very important to us at Victoria so this booklet is designed to
help you get settled, establish good study habits and connect with others in
the University community. I encourage you to read it thoroughly and keep
it carefully, so that you can familiarise yourself with the many services and
support staff that are available to you.

I will look forward to the opportunity to celebrate your academic achievements
at one of our graduation events in a few years time. In the meantime, good luck
with your studies and with every aspect of your life as a Victoria student.

                              Professor Penny Boumelha
                              Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
                              Victoria University of Wellington

                                                                                        Opening Doors   | iii
Welcome to ‘Opening Doors’
                     and Victoria University
                     This booklet gives you information on how to get ready to apply and to start
                     studying at Victoria and how Victoria works. It also has details of how to
                     approach your studies and what services and support people are available to
                     help you.

                     In each section, contact information for key support people, resources or
                     websites are provided wherever you see envelope and computer mouse symbols.

                     There are also helpful lists of key people and services, as well as key terms, at
                     the back of the booklet. You can use these if you need to find something or
                     someone quickly.

                     Throughout there are thoughts and words of advice from Refugee-Background
                     Students already studying at Victoria. They worked with staff to produce this
                     booklet to encourage you and help you.

                     We hope you keep this booklet with you throughout your studies and look
                     forward to working with you to support your academic success and enjoyable
                     time at Victoria!

                     We’d also love to hear from you about how you’ve used the booklet and what
                     we can do to make it even better. Contact any one of the staff in this booklet
                     and let them know what you think, or use the feedback form on page 63.

                     With warm regards and respect,

                     Sara Kindon
                     Coordinator of the VUW Network to Support Refugee-Background Students

iv | Opening Doors
How to navigate the different parts of the

Preparing for Victoria......................................................................... 1

           Thinking about going to Victoria?.....................................................................2
           Differences between secondary school and university........................................8
           Summary of resources to help you prepare for Victoria......................................9
           The Refugee English Fund and preparatory courses at Victoria........................10
           Enrolling and getting started...........................................................................12
           Resources to help as you get started at Victoria ...............................................15

How does Victoria work? ................................................................. 19

           University structure.........................................................................................20
           Undergraduate degree structure.......................................................................22
           Course organisation.........................................................................................23

Successful Study................................................................................ 25

           What is expected of students at Victoria?.........................................................26
           Services and resources to support your successful study...................................31
           Using the Library and computers....................................................................34
           Troubleshooting problems...............................................................................36

Work/Life Balance............................................................................ 39

  Student facilities..............................................................................................40
  Making friends................................................................................................42
  Stay connected to family.................................................................................43
  Working .........................................................................................................44
  Faith and spirituality.......................................................................................45
  Mauri Ora: Student Health and Counselling Services and the
		         Victoria Physiotherapy Clinic...........................................................46

Staying Safe...................................................................................... 49

           Campus safety.................................................................................................50
           Advocacy and advice.......................................................................................51
           Getting advice - overcoming barriers...............................................................53

Thinking beyond Victoria................................................................. 55

Quick Guide: List of Key Services and Support People..................... 58

Key Words......................................................................................... 61

Opening Doors - Feedback Form...................................................... 63

                                                                                                                                  Opening Doors   | v
How to navigate the different
parts of the booklet

                                                            The Refugee English Fund and
                             Useful contacts
                                                            Preparatory Courses at Victoria
                Angela Joe
                (for EPP, WRIT 151 and WRIT 251)            The Refugee English Fund is for                                                 English Proficiency Progra
                04-463 5607
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                      Opening Doors                                                       or
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                                                             10  | Opening Doors
                     10 | Opening Doors
                                                               10 | Opening Doors

vi | Opening Doors
ou learn how to use                          solve problems you may face when
and computers. It’s a                         reading and writing in English.                                  language. We have the
ay to meet other students                     The course also helps you increase                              same challenges to work
riends. You can choose                        the richness and accuracy of your                                with and that made it
from a list of twelve.                        written English. It runs for three                                   easier for us.”
 is full-time over two                        hours per week. It is a 20-point
                                              one-trimester course, and is
                                              completely internally assessed.
 ents have successfully
 Foundation Studies                                      WRIT 251 - Academic Writing
 aranteed entry to most                                  in English as a Second Language
egree programmes at                                      (trimester two only)
 IT 151 - For
niversity.        Writing   morein English as
n         Language (trimester
    on Foundation                   Studies one          This course will help you develop
  )Masters.                                              greater skills        “The   andFoundation
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       Victoria’s Foundation Studies
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                                               This course helps you develop all of all        usof uscome         from a
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                                                                                                  easier for us.”

                                               one-trimester course, and is same challenges to work                           yourself a good grounding
       The course is full-time over two        hours per week. It is a 20-point
 course      also helps you increase

  ichness      and accuracy ofWRIT
       When students have successfully
       completed Foundation Studies
                                               completely internally assessed.
                                                 your   251 - Academic Writing
                                                                                  with and that made it                              in English.”
ten English.               It runs for (trimester
       they are guaranteed entry to most
       Bachelor degree programmes at
                                               three two only)
                                               in English as a Second Language
                                                                                          easier for us.”
  s perinformation
          week.onIt           is a 20-point
       Victoria University. For more
                          Foundation Studies This course will help you develop
 trimester course, and is greater
       contact Ian Masters.                             skills and awareness about
                                               effective reading and writing in

 pletely“EPP  internally            assessed.
                    teachers give you
                                               academic contexts. It runs for three
                                               hours per week. It is a 20-point
                                      one-trimester course, and is
          feedback on what to do in   completely internally assessed.
                                                                           “Do as many English                                       An asterisk (*) after a
IT 251 - Academic Writing                                                courses as possible to give
                                                                        yourself a good grounding                                    word or phrase means
nglish as a Second Language                                                    in English.”                                          that you can look it
                                                                                                                                     up in the Key Words
mester two only)
                                                                                                                                     section at the back of
                                                                                                                                     this booklet
  course will help you develop
ter skills and awareness about“Despite adversity, refugee background
 tive reading and writing in                                                                     Boxes like these have photos
                                students                inspire
                          “Despite adversity, refugee background
emic contexts. It runs forstudents
                             threeinspire others through their           others   through their  as well as quotes from staff
                                                                                                 and students who work
 s per week. It is a 20-point   resourcefulness, persistence, and motivation.
                          resourcefulness, persistence, and motivation.
                                                                                                 closely with Refugee-
 trimester course, and is All are key qualities for successful study.”                           Background Students
                                All    are       “Do
                          Angela Joe, Director, English
pletely internally assessed.
                                                           as   many
                                                        Proficiency       English
                                                                              for  successful study.”
                                                               courses as possible to give
                                               Angela Joe, Director,     English Proficiency Programme
                                                                 Opening Doors | 11

                                                              yourself a good grounding
                                                                     in English.”
                                                                                                                                  Opening Doors         | 11

 espite adversity, refugee background                                                                                                                           Opening Doors   | vii
udents inspire others through their
                  for Victoria
This section provides information about how to prepare
for life at Victoria and what to do in the weeks before
courses start. Use the Checklist at the end of this section
  to help keep track of all the important things to do.
                                                 Opening Doors   | 1
Thinking about going to Victoria?

  “Don’t rush into a decision    Before Year 13                         Planning ahead
   about uni life. Take time
                                 It is important to start planning      Thinking about study, some people
  to think about your study
                                 your future early. When you are        always know what they want to do,
   options. Are you going to     in Year 12 – or even earlier – you     while others have a few options that
 enjoy yourself at university?   will naturally be thinking about       they are tossing up. Either way, it
  Ask questions of yourself.”    potential careers and what study       is a good idea to keep options open
                                 you need to undertake to get there.    by making smart choices for what
                                 The team at Victoria University are    subjects you study during your
                                 always here to help you.               time in school. Take some time

                                     Admission requirements*

                                     Admission to Victoria is in two parts – you must gain University
                                     Entrance* and also attain the Guaranteed Entry Score* to be
                                     automatically admitted into the degree of your choice (note that
                                     there are additional requirements for Performance Music majors
                                     and students taking teaching degrees).

                                     Read more information about admission to Victoria in the
                                     Introduction to Victoria website

2 | Opening Doors
to talk over your selection with       make your transition to university
your parents, teachers and careers     as easy as possible, take these
adviser.                               subjects in Year 13.
                                                                             Useful contacts
                                                                             Hayley Everingham
All of our degrees* have               Scholarships and accommodation        Liaison Officer, Student
                                                                             Recruitment, Admission and
recommended background subjects,       As your applications for our
which are listed on the degree         scholarships and Halls of Residence   04-463 7442
pages in the booklet Introduction      are due before your Level 3 results
to Victoria. In nearly all cases,      are out, your performance in Year
introductory or bridging courses       12 really does count. Try your
will be available if you want to       best so that you don’t miss out on
study towards a degree or major*       opportunities. Doing your best can
                                                                             Useful websites
where you do not have enough           really pay off!
background knowledge – but to                                                Future Students

      Stay in touch

      Once you have given some thought about what you might
      want to do at Victoria, come and see the team at Student
      Recruitment, Admission and Orientation (SRAO), Level 1 in
      the Hunter Building, Kelburn Parade. Or alternatively you can get
      in touch with Hayley Everingham who will arrange an appointment
      with one of our Liaison Officers.

                                       “My team and I are really looking forward to
                                       doing all we can to help Refugee-Background
                                       Students plan their courses and degrees. We aim
                                       to help Refugee-Background Students start their
                                       university careers off on the right foot, ensuring
                                       that they are heading down the path that is right
                                       for them.”
                                       Hayley Everingham, Liaison Officer
                                       Student Recruitment, Admission and Orientation

                                                                                             Opening Doors       | 3
“Working with Refugee-Background Students
is a wonderful opportunity for our team to
engage and connect to new stories and
cultures. We love it! We are always available
to work together with students to discuss the
opportunities at Victoria and to make sure they
get off to a great start.”
Col Kennedy, Student Recruitment, Admission and Orientation

                                    Year 13

                                    There are plenty of opportunities       School Tours – you may have the
                                    for you meet with the Victoria          opportunity to come and have a
                                    University team in your final year      look around the campus with a
                                    of secondary school, these include:     group from your school. You will
                                                                            be given a guided tour and will be
                                    School Visits – someone from the        given information about courses,
                                    Student Recruitment team will           campus facilities and student
                                    come and make a presentation at         services.
                                    your school. This will give you an
                                    insight into life at university, help   Study @ Vic Open Day – this is
                                    you with your course* planning          Victoria’s annual open day, where
                                    and help you to understand how          future students can check out the
                                    the university system works.            facilities and support services on
                                                                            offer. There are also sessions for
                                    Information Evenings – Victoria         parents and students about the
                                    hosts these evenings for all            transition from school to university,
                                    prospective students and their          and making good study choices.
                                    families to come and meet staff
                                    members and current Victoria            So make sure you keep an eye
                                    students.                               out for when these events are
                                                                            happening around you so that you
                                                                            can make the most of these chances
                                                                            to find out more about Victoria.
                                                                            To find information about all these
        Useful websites                                                     events go to
Introduction to Victoria                                                    futurestudents.
4 | Opening Doors
You could also visit the Career        Services, Judi McCallum for
Development and Employment             additional advice. She will assess
Team (Vic Careers) to talk about       your language and other skills to
                                                                             Useful contacts
your career ideas and aspirations.     create an employment plan, which      Judi McCallum
                                                                             Refugee Services
They can help you see how              may include further study. She can
                                                                             04-805 0308
particular subject choices at school   also advise you on the preparatory
or university might affect your        courses that you may need to take     Vic Careers
future careers, or you can view the    to get ready for university study.    04-463 5393
page; ‘What Can I Do with My           The ultimate goal of her service

Degree/Subject’ on their website to    is to help you find work that you
see where specific courses of study    will enjoy and for which you are
can lead.                              qualified.

Vic Careers are happy to meet with     Adult/Mature Students                 Useful websites
secondary school students, as well                                           Future Students
as anyone thinking about study at      Adult/mature students (if you’re
Victoria. You can come in without      over 20) who do not hold              Mature Students’ Orientation
booking during the Drop-In times       University Entrance* can apply for
                                       Special Admission*.                   newstudents/orientation/a-z/mature.
for 15-minute meetings or you                                                aspx
can book online. For a full-length
                                       If you are a mature student looking   Mature Students’ SLSS
guidance appointment allow a                                       
                                       to study at Victoria please contact
two-week wait time, but they can                                             infofor/maturestudents.aspx
                                       SRAO for more information.
usually see you within 5-10 days.                                            Vic Careers
                                       Student Learning Support Services
If you are a Work and Income
                                       (see page 31) also provide support
New Zealand (WINZ) client
                                       for Adult students. Check their
considering enrolling at Victoria,
                                       Mature Students’ Orientation*
you can visit the Pathways to
Employment Manager at Refugee

                                                                                               Opening Doors        | 5
“In spite of the challenges, Refugee-
Background Students manage to succeed in
their new home country, and that really is so
impressive. Their stories are a vital contribution
to the university environment.”
                             John Dance, Accommodation Service

                                     Accommodation                            repayment threshold (currently set
                                                                              at approximately $19,000), and
                                     While studying, you can live in          there is no interest on the debt if
                                     ‘Halls of Residence’ (apartment          you remain in New Zealand. Many
                                     blocks run by the university), ‘flats’   people see borrowing for education
                                     (shared houses with other students),     as a good investment because
                                     or at home (with your family). The       it could increase their earning
                                     Accommodation Service can help           potential in the future.
                                     you find the accommodation you
                                     want. They process applications          StudyLink is a service of the
                                     for all the halls of residence and       Ministry of Social Development
                                     offer advice about a range of            and is responsible for Student
                                     other accommodation options.             Allowances, Student Loans, and
                                     The manager, John Dance, is              Unemployment Benefit Student
                                     dedicated to working with Refugee-       Hardship. StudyLink may provide
                                     Background Students. No need to          additional support depending
                                     book, just drop in.                      on your circumstances. From the
             Useful contacts                                                  Student Loan, you can get your fees
                                     Costs                                    paid, as well as up to $1,000 per
John Dance
Accommodation Service                                                         year toward course-related costs,
04-463 6886                          University fees can be around
                                                                              and help with living costs.                 $5,000—$8,000 per year, so it
                                     can be a big decision to take on         There are certain requirements that
                                     a loan to study. The terms for           students have to meet to qualify for
                                     the New Zealand Student Loan             assistance from StudyLink. These
                                     mean the debt cannot be passed
        Useful websites              to other family members, you are
                                                                              include a limit on the amount of
Vic Careers
                                                                              time for which you can get the
                                     not required to make payments            Student Loan (7 EFTS*), which
                                     if you are earning below the             means about seven or eight years of
6 | Opening Doors
full time study. Most undergraduate      Financial Support and Advice
degrees* take three or four years,       also administers the Hardship
                                                                                Useful contacts
but if you do a double degree, or        Fund, which provides emergency
change degrees halfway through           assistance to students in financial    Financial Support and Advice
your study, it will take you longer.     difficulty.                            04-463 7474
You can apply for more EFTS* if
                                         Most students are eligible for a       Scholarships Office
you enrol in postgraduate* study.                                     
                                         Community Services Card, which
You also have to pass at least half of   helps with medical costs, including    Work and Income New Zealand
                                                                                0800-999 999
your courses over a two-year period      prescriptions. You can get an
to keep receiving the Student Loan.      application form from the Student
This means it’s important to make        Health Service (see page 46) or
wise choices about what you want         Work and Income New Zealand
to study, and what you are capable       (WINZ), phone: 0800 999 999.
of completing each year. If you
                                                                                Useful websites
think your achievement has been          To talk with someone about             Financial Support and Advice
affected by something beyond your        financial support, contact Financial   Hardship Fund
                                         Support and Advice. Allow 2-3
control, you may be able to keep                                                finadvice/hardship
accessing the Student Loan even          days for an appointment, a week
                                                                                Scholarships Office
if you have not passed half your         at the most. They can also see you
courses.                                 promptly in an emergency.              payments/scholarships
For more information check out           Scholarships                 
the StudyLink website or contact
                                         There are a range of awards and
Financial Support and Advice, who
                                         scholarships available for all
can help you with StudyLink and
                                         Victoria University students,
work out what you’re entitled
                                         including some for targeted
to. They offer a wide range of
                                         groups, such as women and school
other support and advice such as
                                         leavers. Contact the Scholarships
budgeting, help understanding
                                         Office for details of undergraduate
taxes, and where to get good deals
                                         and postgraduate awards and
for glasses and dental work.

                                                                                                 Opening Doors    | 7
Differences between secondary school
 “When you come to uni you
  must become independent
                                  and university
  and take responsibility for     The rules and regulations are         discouraged from attending
       your learning.”            different at university compared      university by teachers and careers
                                  to secondary school. It is worth      advisors at secondary school. Try
                                  thinking about how you approach       not to let this discouragement get
                                  learning and what you want to get     to you. Always try to get a second
                                  out of it.                            opinion.

                                  At university you decide on the       There are many staff available at
                                  amount of time you spend studying     Victoria to help and support you in
    “I guess they think that      and whether you go to class. You      your learning (see pages 58 to 60).
   because of our language        are responsible for your own          For many Refugee-Background
    we’re not really capable      learning and your success. In order   Students at Victoria University,
     of doing these courses       to succeed you need to have self-     earlier discouragement has become
  [Achievement Standards*]        discipline and to be proactive.       their motivation to succeed, and if
                                                                        they can do it, so can you!
  or able to go to university.”   Perhaps, like many of the current
                                  Refugee-Background Students
                                  at Victoria University, you feel

8 | Opening Doors
Summary of resources to help you
prepare for Victoria
The following resources can be obtained from the Student Recruitment,          Useful websites
Admission and Orientation Service and are also available online.               Publications
For students thinking about            For Students Enrolled at Victoria:
coming to Victoria:
                                       New Student Guide
Introduction to Victoria               (available in January)
(available from March each year)
                                       This guide has important
This booklet is designed for year      information about what to do
12 and 13 students. It lists all the   before you arrive at Victoria,              “Them saying, ‘you
degrees* on offer at Victoria and      what to do at the New Students’          can’t study at university
the recommended subjects you           Orientation* (see page 14), and the      because of your English’
should study at school. It also        facilities and services available to    was encouraging. I know
describes the admission process        help you succeed in your studies.       what I want and I can do
to Victoria, and key dates and
                                       Campus Connections                       it. Believing in yourself
deadlines you should know.
                                       (available in February)                   is something that will
Guide to Study                                                                encourage you as well; we’ve
(available from June)                  This booklet outlines the support        got an opportunity to do
                                       services, workshops*, and
This guide outlines all                programmes available for students
undergraduate degree* courses          at Victoria. It is produced by
and programmes. It has                 Student Learning Support Services.
detailed sections on admission
requirements, planning your            Faculty Handbooks
studies, costs, and student support    (available in August)
                                       These handbooks give detailed
Guide for Parents                      information about each faculty*,
(available from June)                  the schools*, and information
                                       about staff.
                                                                                     “Despite the
The Guide for Parents is designed
to give you and your parents an
                                                                                discouragement, if you
idea of what to expect at Victoria.                                            have the dedication and
It explains what to do to get ready                                              potential to succeed,
for university, what a typical first                                                  you will.”
year experience is like, admission
requirements, and the student
services available.

                                                                                                Opening Doors    | 9
The Refugee English Fund and
             Useful contacts
                                       preparatory courses at Victoria
Angela Joe
(for EPP, WRIT 151 and WRIT 251)       The Refugee English Fund is for    English Proficiency Programme
04-463 5607                   students who:                      (EPP)*
Ian Masters                            • have English as an additional
                                                                          The EPP helps you improve on
(for Foundation Studies)                 language;
04-463 9672                                                               reading and listening to complex                  • are NZ citizens, permanent       information, taking an active part
                                         residents or have a returning
                                                                          in discussions, expressing complex
                                         resident’s visa;
                                                                          ideas and facts through speech
                                       • and come to NZ:                  and writing, and becoming an
                                             a) as NZ government          independent learner of English.
         Useful websites                        quota refugees;
English Proficiency Programme                b) under the family          The EPP prepares students for            reunification scheme;
proficiency-programme.aspx                                                either admission into Foundation
Foundation Studies
                                                                          Studies, undergraduate or the
                                             c) as convention or other               refugees eg. asylum       postgraduate degree* programmes
study-options/foundation/index.aspx             seekers.                  at Victoria (depending on your
To find out more about EPP and                                            EPP grades). The programme is a
Foundation Studies check out the       The fund pays your tuition and     full-time one trimester* course, and
Pathways booklet: www.victoria.        student levy fees for the four                                        is offered three times throughout
foundation/downloads/Pathways%20       preparatory courses listed here.   the year. For more information on
Programme.pdf                                                             EPP contact Angela Joe.
10 | Opening Doors
Foundation Studies                       WRIT 151 - Writing in English
                                         as a Second Language (Trimester
Victoria’s Foundation Studies            One only)                               “The Foundation Course
programme offers students the                                                   was really helpful because
academic skills and competence           This course helps you develop              all of us come from a
in English language required to          academic writing skills in English.
                                                                                   different country so we
succeed in university study. It          It will help you to recognise and
                                                                                have English as our second
also helps you learn how to use          solve problems you may face when
the Library and computers. It’s a        reading and writing in English.           language. We have the
fantastic way to meet other students     The course also helps you increase       same challenges to work
and make friends. You can choose         the richness and accuracy of your         with and that made it
six courses from a list of twelve. The   written English. It runs for three             easier for us.”
programme is full-time over two          hours per week. It is a 20-point
trimesters.                              one-trimester course, and is
                                         completely internally assessed*.
When students have successfully
completed Foundation Studies             WRIT 251 - Academic Writing
they are guaranteed entry to most        in English as a Second Language
Bachelor degree* programmes              (Trimester Two only)
at Victoria University. For more
information on Foundation Studies        This course will help you develop
contact Ian Masters.                     greater skills and awareness about
                                         effective reading and writing in
                                         academic contexts. It runs for three
                                         hours per week. It is a 20-point
    “EPP teachers give you
                                         one-trimester course, and is              “Do as many English
  feedback on what to do in              completely internally assessed.         courses as possible to give
                                                                                yourself a good grounding
                                                                                       in English.”

                                         “Despite adversity, Refugee-Background
                                         Students inspire others through their
                                         resourcefulness, persistence, and motivation.
                                         All are key qualities for successful study.”
                                         Angela Joe, Director,
                                         English Proficiency Programme

                                                                                             Opening Doors   | 11
                                                                                 Foundation Studies

                                                                                         enrol through
                                                                                     Victoria International

         requirements                                                                  :Enrol Online
                                                   use                              (Enrolment Office/
                                             Course Catalogue                  Student Recruitment, Admission
                                                                                       and Orientation

                                      Enrolling and getting started
                                      Enrolment Process

                                      After meeting the admission             important forms of documentation
                                      requirements (see page 2), the          to enrol: a birth certificate or
                                      second step in the enrolment            passport, proof of residency or
                                      process is to choose which degree*,     citizenship, and for some, an
                                      major*, and courses you want to         official academic transcript*. If
                                      enrol in. Make sure you check if        you are enrolling in either of
                                      your degree has compulsory courses      the preparatory programmes—
                                      that you need to take in your first     English Proficiency Programme or
                                      year and use the Course Catalogue       Foundation Studies (pages 10 and
                                      to plan your timetable and check        11)—you apply through Victoria
                                      that your courses don’t clash. If you   International. If however, you are
                                      are applying for a limited entry        enrolling after having taken either
                                      course*, submit your enrolment          of these programmes, you apply
            Useful contacts           application in the second week of       through the Enrolment Office.
Enrolment Office                      December. All other enrolments
04-463 5250 or 0800 842 867           are due mid-January.                    You should then receive an
                                                                              Offer of Study Form and a Fees
                                      Once you have chosen your               Assessment. Read them carefully,
                                      degree*, major* and courses*,           and if everything is correct, send
                                      you can enrol online (https://          them in as soon as you can. If
                             or         you are planning to get a loan to
        Useful websites               phone the Enrolment Office or           pay your fees you should apply to
Enrolment Office
                                      Student Recruitment, Admission          StudyLink right away. If you receive   and Orientation (page 3) for advice     a Conditional Offer of Study
enrol                                 and assistance. You will need some      you may need to provide more
12 | Opening Doors
Conditional Offer

  need to supply more documents/
       wait for NCEA results
                                                     Pay fees                            P
                                                                                   ID Card
                                                         Þ                      Welcome Event
    Offer of Study and                                                            Orientation
     Fees Assessment                       Apply for loan from                  Campus Coaches
            Þ                                  StudyLink
        accept and post back

documents, change your courses,        After enrolling and paying your
or wait until your NCEA* results       fees, you are able to access a range
arrive.                                of programmes and activities
                                       to help introduce you to life at
Once you receive a Confirmation        Victoria and to other students.
of Study*, you become a Victoria       These usually take place in the first
University student. You need to        few weeks before courses start and
pay your fees by the Friday prior to   include:
the start of your course or you will
have to pay a late payment fee.        Welcome Event for Refugee-
                                       Background Students
Staff at the Enrolment Office
provide advice and support             Coordinated by the VUW Network
throughout your enrolment              to Support Refugee-Background           Useful contacts
process. They also issue you with      Students, this two hour event held      Sara Kindon
your Student ID card, which you        in February is dedicated to Refugee-    Senior Lecturer, Geography and
                                                                               Development Studies
will need to access after-hour         Background Students. Come along
                                                                               04-463 6194
computer labs, to use the Library,     and hear from staff specifically
and to get student discounts at        dedicated to supporting your
movies, stores around town and on      learning and life at Victoria, meet
public transport. To get an ID card    other students, learn about useful
you must be fully enrolled and your    networks and services, and eat
fees must be paid.                     yummy food. Find out more from
                                                                               Useful websites
                                       Sara Kindon.                            StudyLink

                                                                                              Opening Doors     | 13
“I love working with Refugee-Background
Students in my classes and around the
University. Through our discussions, I learn
so much and expand my own thinking and
teaching skills.”
      Sara Kindon, Coordinator of the VUW Network to
                Support Refugee-Background Students;
 Senior Lecturer, Geography and Development Studies

                                   New Students’ Orientation              Campus Coaches programme

                                   The New Students’ Orientation*         The Campus Coaches programme
                                   programme helps to give you            offers you the opportunity to have
                                   confidence in where to go and          a senior student help you for the
                                   what to do before you start your       first few weeks of the trimester at
                                   study at Victoria. It is a week-       Victoria. You are put into a small
                                   long programme for new students        group with other new students
                                   to explore and become familiar         studying similar courses to learn
                                   with the campus, participate in        more about what Victoria has to
                                   social events, check out the lecture   offer. Your Campus Coach can
                                   theatres, learn some academic          answer questions you have about
                                   preparation skills, get information    study or social life at Victoria.
                                   about the support services at          Having a role model to help guide
                                   Victoria, buy textbooks, meet new      and motivate you in the first
                                   people and have some fun.              few weeks of your study is really
                                   You can attend as many
                                   orientation* events as you like.       You can pre-register for Campus
                                   Here are some that you won’t want      Coaches online or sign-up at the
                                   to miss: Library tour, ‘UniSmart’      beginning of Orientation* week.
                                   motivational session, Study Starters   To ensure you get put with a group
        Useful websites            works­hops, and the myVictoria*        studying your subject area, it’s best
Campus Coaches                     IT session. Victoria offers New        to pre-register. Visit the website for   Students’ Orientation (page 14)        more information.
New Students                       in the week before classes start in
                                   February/March and there is a one-
Orientation                        day programme for those students
                                   beginning in July.
14 | Opening Doors
Resources to help you get started at
New Student Guide                      Taking on the Challenge
(available in January)
                                       This booklet is designed for
This guide has important               International Students studying at
information about what to do           Victoria. It contains helpful tips
before you arrive at Victoria,         for successful study for students
what to do at the New Students’        who have English as an additional
Orientation* (see page 14), and the    language. It also has sections
facilities and services available to   explaining New Zealand culture
help you succeed in your studies.      and points you towards services on
                                       campus to help and support you
Campus Connections                     in your study. It is produced by
(available in February)                Student Learning Support Services.

This booklet outlines the support      Faculty Handbooks
services, workshops*, and              (available in August)
programmes available for students
at Victoria. It is produced by         These handbooks give detailed
Student Learning Support Services.     information about each faculty*,
                                       its schools*, and information about
                                       students and staff.

                                              “Education can change your reputation,
                                             so that’s why we have to put our heads
                                             into our study and put 100% into our
                                             learning. We need to believe in ourselves
                                             to achieve our goals.”
                                             Hibba, 23 year-old first year BA student from Iraq

                                                                                     Opening Doors   | 15
 Years 9-12:
 Talk with your school teachers, careers advisors, and adults you trust about career options

 Go to the School Visit from Victoria University (page 4)

 Check out the booklet Introduction to Victoria (page 9)

 Talk with relatives and friends already studying at Victoria

 In Year 12: Look out for the Discover Vic tour

 Year 13 and anyone planning on coming to Victoria:
 Use Introduction to Victoria to plan your study

 Send form at the back of Introduction to Victoria to go on mailing list

 Visit Vic Careers (page 5)

 Go to an Information Evening (page 4)

 Go to the Study @ Vic Day (page 4)

 Visit the Student Recruitment, Admission and Orientation team to plan your study (page 3)

 In the weeks and months before university starts:
 Choose your courses*, major*(s) and degree*

 Check out the preparatory programmes (page 10)

 Consider applying for the Refugee English Fund (page 10)

 Check out the deadlines for your courses and enrol (page 12)

 Apply for StudyLink Student Loan or Allowance (page 12)

 Check out the New Student Guide (page 15)

 Pre-register for Campus Coaches (page 14)

 Check out accommodation options (page 6)

 The week or two before university starts:
 Go to Welcome Event for Refugee-Background Students (page 13)

 Go to New Students’ Orientation (page 14)

 Sign up for Campus Coaches (page 14)

 Get your Student ID card (page 13)

16 | Opening Doors
Opening Doors   | 17
How does
    Making your way around and understanding how
      Victoria works can be a confusing process for all
       students. Here is some information to help you
understand how the University and the courses offered
                               within it are organised.
                                             Opening Doors   | 19
University structure
                     The Vice-Chancellor is the Chief        If you have enrolled in a degree*,
                     Executive of the University,            you will be part of a Faculty. Your
                     and as such is head of the both         Faculty Student Administration
                     administrative and academic             Office is where you can go to get
                     components of the University. The       help from student advisors for
                     Vice-Chancellor is the employer of      things like adding or dropping
                     all staff in the University and chair   courses, applying for aegrotats*
                     of the Senior Management Team.          (page 37) and obtaining academic
                     Below the Senior Management
                     Team, Faculties* are the groups         Within each Facult* there are
                     that administer a general area of       different Schools*, for example the
                     study. Victoria University has seven    School of Geography, Environment
                     Faculties:                              and Earth Sciences is in the
                     Architecture & Design                   Faculty of Science. There is a
                                                             Head of School who is responsible
                     Commerce & Administration
                                                             for the management of academic
                     Education                               programmes, the staff that teach in
                     Engineering                             them and the facilities that support
                     Humanities & Social Sciences            teaching and research. Your
                                                             school is where you can meet with
                                                             your lecturers, get help with your
                     Science                                 courses, and drop off assignments.
                                                             Each school has an Administration
                     Each Faculty is headed by a Dean.
                                                             Office with staff who can help you
                                                             with general enquiries.

20 | Opening Doors
Within each School, a number
of academic programmes are              Faculty
offered, coordinated by Programme
                                        • Dean
Directors. Programme Directors
oversee the courses offered for
different majors* and work with
Course Coordinators to ensure the
effective delivery of their courses.
They also handle student questions,     School
provide advice on course planning       • Head of School
and deal with any complaints
procedures. Course Coordinators
are responsible for the organisation,
content and administration of
a course and are often - but not        Programme
always - the principal lecturer in
it. A Tutor or Laboratory Assistant     • Programme Director
is the person responsible for the
tutorials* or labs* within a course.
They are usually a postgraduate*
student from the School.
                                        • Course Coordinator

                                        • Tutors

                                        • Lab Assistants
                                                               Opening Doors   | 21
Undergraduate degree structure
                                 A Bachelor’s degree usually           There is also the option to do a
                                 takes three years of full time        double major such as International
                                 undergraduate study involving six     Relations and Development
                                 or eight courses each year. Each      Studies, or a double (conjoint)
                                 course is worth either 15 or 20       degree such as a Bachelor of Arts
                                 points. To receive a Bachelor’s       (BA) and a Bachelor of Commerce
                                 degree you must also complete         and Administration (BCA).
                                 various requirements:
                                                                       How you structure your degree
                                 1. University Requirements: a
                                   specified total number of points,   can vary and will be influenced by
                                   of which a certain number           the requirements of each Faculty
                                   must be from courses at senior      administering them and the
                                   undergraduate or 300-level,         requirements of each Programme
                                   and of which a certain number       administering the majors.
                                   must meet requirements for
                                   at least one major subject. For     To work out the best structure
                                   example, you may enroll in a        for your degree, take time to talk
                                   Bachelor of Arts (BA) majoring
                                                                       with staff in Student Recruitment,
                                   in Geography, which requires
                                   you to take a specific number of    Admission and Orientation, check
                                   300-level courses, of which two     out the Planning your first year
                                   must be in Geography.               website, and check out the short
                                                                       video on YouTube explaining a first
                                 2. Major Requirements: A major
                                   is the subject you specialize in    degree. (Go to YouTube
                                   within your degree. To gain a       [] and in the
                                   major, you will be required to      search area, type Choosing your
                                   take a set number of core or        degree Victoria University of
                                   compulsory courses as well as       Wellington).
                                   choose courses from a range of
                                   other programme areas.              Also if you are going to take
                                 3. Faculty Requirements: The          a Student Loan or Student
        Useful websites            Faculty administering your
                                   degree (such as the Science
                                                                       Allowance, consider both studying
Planning your first year                                               full-time and limiting the number
                                   Faculty for Bachelor of Science     of courses you take in any one
                                   degree (BSc)) may also have core
Postgraduate study                                                     trimester to those you can
                                   requirements that you need to
                                   meet.                               successfully complete.

22 | Opening Doors
Course organisation
Most of the courses that you take      If you want to talk to your lecturer
(eg. MGMT 101, PHIL 102) will          in person, check out their office
be organised in the same way. You      hours, which will be in your course
will have two or three lectures*       outline*. These are times that the
each week, which you should            lecturer has put aside to talk to
attend as often as you can. Lectures   students, so make the most of
are usually a 50-minute teaching       them!
session (but can sometimes be
longer) taught by a lecturer. From     During the trimester* you will be
the second week onwards you            assessed with tests, assignments
will also have tutorials*, labs* or    (usually essays), examinations, and
workshops*, depending on the           other kinds of projects (depending
course. These can be mandatory for     on your degree). It’s a good idea to
you to attend, check your course       find out what is expected for each
outline* for details.                  assignment and to seek help early.
                                       Also find out what grades you
You will receive your course outline   may need to obtain to get into the
at your first lecture. This is like    second year of your degree - some
a contract between you and the         courses will require a B+ grade
Course Coordinator. It tells you       for entry. If you want to improve
who the key people are for your        your grades then ask your tutor or
course, where and when to find         lecturer for advice on how to build
them, what is required for you to      on your strengths.
pass the course, what topics will
be coveredand what resources and
readings you can use. Read it and
go over it with more experienced
students; the Campus Coaches
(page 14) and the Drop In Centre
(page 32) can help.

                                                                              Opening Doors   | 23
you as a student. It also has information on the services
Library and IT services. It also covers the importance of
 time management and gives advice about common
                                    problems or queries.
                                               Opening Doors   | 25
“To succeed at uni you need to study
                                  hard. If you don’t understand, just push it.
                                  Don’t give up.”
                                  John, 28 year-old BSc graduate student from Sudan

                                  What is expected of students at
  “Missing lectures is bad. I     Victoria?
   learnt that the hard way
  when it comes to revision.      Attending classes and doing readings
  There isn’t much detail in      Lecturers expect you to attend as       study than catch up, especially
      the power points!”          many classes (lectures*, labs*, and     when you are preparing for exams.
                                  tutorials*) as you can. They are the
                                  best way for you to understand          Sometimes the readings can seem
                                  what you are being asked to learn.      long or confusing. Often the
                                  For some courses, attendance at         lecturers or tutors* will explain
                                  tutorials is compulsory for you to      what the readings are about, so
                                  pass the course so make sure to         it helps if you read them before
                                  check your course outline* at the       going to class. Remember you are
                                  start of the trimester* for what is     not expected to understand every
                                  expected of you.                        word or idea that comes up. Use a
  “The University provides a                                              dictionary where necessary; try to
    lot of support for students   Try to prepare for lectures by          get a good overall idea of what is
                                  reading the assigned readings           being said, and work with others
  and if you don’t understand
                                  for the week. At the very least,        in a group to discuss what you are
    something in lectures you     familiarise yourself with the lecture   reading.
   can make an appointment        topic by glancing over the readings.
  with your lecturer or tutor.”   It is easier to keep up with your

26 | Opening Doors
Asking questions

At university you are expected to      For example, if their name is John
engage in your learning and explore    Brown the email will be john.              “I am trying to have
your own interests. Try to ask                         confidence to ask questions
questions in lectures*, labs* and                                                     in lectures.”
tutorials*.                            Tutorials* and labs* are a good
                                       place to start with questions, as
Try not to be afraid to contribute     they are smaller and often less
to class discussions. Try writing      intimidating than lectures. They
down your question first if you’re     are also a good opportunity for you
worried about making grammatical       to talk about specific topics that
mistakes. If you need extra            interest you. Tutorial plans can
confidence in speaking up loud         change to suit your needs, so you
and clear, sit close to the front so   can guide the path of the lesson
that your lecturer or tutor can hear   by asking questions. You may also
you. If you’re still feeling nervous   be assessed on your participation
talk to the lecturer after class or    in tutorials, so it is a good idea to
send them an email. All staff emails   contribute.

                                                                                           Opening Doors   | 27
You can also read