Remarkably we find ourselves at the end of another interesting year, and with the festive season around the corner this seems a perfect time to reflect on the last few months.
It has been a tough trimester in many ways, as we all adjust to the return to Campus and adapt our lives to this new normal. Challenges have been exacerbated by the interminable transport disruption, added to by the dreadful weather this week. Firstly, can I offer my personal thanks and appreciation for the tremendous efforts made by our student body and professional staff in battling to Campus this week against all the odds to allow the Exam Week to happen undisrupted. It was a difficult decision to push ahead with exams during transport strikes (and it turns out bad weather), but the alternatives, with their impact on quality and progression, were unthinkable. As it stands, we have seen excellent student turnout for most papers, with many achieving about 75% attendance which is close to our normal turnout, so the huge effort has proved worthwhile. Many thanks.
In many ways this has been a tremendous trimester, with our buildings coming back to life with the return to Campus. We have run a large numbers of events across our sites including endless employer visits, employability sessions, Top Achievers Awards, Enterprise Showcases, student Live Projects, Start the Heart initiatives and SU events. We have also held two further graduation ceremonies in Chelmsford Cathedral, where once again we had the pleasure of hearing about the impact our work has on our wonderful graduates lives.
We also have many initiatives underway including the revalidation of our whole undergraduate provision, and three new postgraduate degrees in Hospitality, Finance and Accounting, and Law, our Graduate Trainee Scheme (GTS), research into the Value of Higher Education to mature students with London Higher and UON, our blended learning pilot, and research into the value of Kortext in delivering Higher Education with UCL. Many thanks to all students who have been involved in these initiatives.
I am delighted to announce that we are expanding our Leavers Event pilot for those students who successfully complete their studies in the January 2023 assessment round. We will be inviting every completing student to join us at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge for a formal celebratory dinner to be held on the 14th April. Formal invitations will go out after the February Awards Board, and we do hope those of you completing will celebrate your success with us at the Class of 2023 Spring Ball.
ARUL buildings will formally close at the end of business on the 23rd December, before opening again on the 3rd January to welcome in 2023. Just a reminder for those students studying in trimester 2, teaching begins on Saturday 14th January; let's all hope that the weather and transportation troubles dissipate.
It was a pleasure to welcome you back on campus this September; meeting many new students and catching up with familiar faces, and I look forward to seeing you all in 2023 for another successful year together.
ARU London Principal