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December 10, 2018
» Christmas - Stay Safe During the Festive Season

Christmas is a great time to relax, enjoy yourself, or catch up with loved ones. Unfortunately, Christmas is also a time for a spike in criminal activities, so follow the advice below to make sure you Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

Driving Home for Christmas

If you are driving home for Christmas, make sure you have checked your car before you go (fluid levels, petrol, tyres). The weather at this time of year is unpredictable; make sure you pack a drink and some non-perishables as well as a blanket

Rocking around the Christmas Tree

Christmas is a time to relax and let your hair down…especially as you have been studying hard for the past few months. Follow these tips for a safe night out on the town

  • Do not drink and drive – always book a reputable taxi home.
  • On the subject of taxis – use a firm you trust. There are many stories of illegal companies operating throughout the UK
  • Never leave your drink unattended even for one second
  • Never leave your bag or phone unattended
  • Always stay with your group while out. Do not wander off on your own and make sure your friends don’t either.
  • Stay in well-lit areas if walking from pub to pub or home. Never walk home alone.

Is Your House All Alone at Christmas?

An empty house is an easy target for would be burglars. Here is some safety advice to make sure your property is safe this Christmas.

  • Check all your windows and doors before you leave to deter would-be burglars
  • Make sure you either take your valuables home with you or hide them out of sight!
  • Ask someone you trust to keep an eye on the property while you are away, get them to check no mail is left hanging out of mailbox
  • Close the ground floor curtains
  • If you have the technology, have the lights in the house come on at set times.
  • Keep the heater on timed to avoid any frozen pipes on your return.
  • Ensure any boxes from gifts are well disposed of; you don’t want to advertise any expensive goods you may have had for Christmas

More student safety information can be found here.

Merry Xmas Everybody, wrap up warm in this Winter Wonderland, because Baby it’s Cold Outside!

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» Self-Care For The Festive Season

Here in Wellbeing we are aware that Christmas is a difficult time for many of us.

Xmas Tree

So if you’re not exactly fizzing with festive spirit and know that for you this is a time to survive rather than celebrate, here are some really useful suggestions from our friends at The Blurt Foundation: Self-Care for the Festive Season.

December 6, 2018
» Christmas Closure Dates


Get ready for the Xmas break! Ensure you have all your study skill resources ready.

The study skills team will be unavailable from Friday 14 December 2018 to Monday 7th January 2019

Therefore the study skills team are encouraging all our students to prepare for any assignments they have to do during the Christmas vacation period.

Visit the Study skills website for a range of online resources; alternatively book an appointment or drop-in to see the team before the end of term.

Ask a Tutor is also available until Tuesday 18 December 2018.

December 5, 2018
» Ice Fest

Join us for an evening of live music and seasonal food open to all FCES students and staff.

Ice Fest will take place this year on Saturday 8th December, 7.00pm at the Students’ Union, Treforest Campus.

The dress code is white or silver (optional) and tickets can be bought for £5.00 from:

  • Students’ Union Information Desk – Students’ Union, Treforest Campus
  • Glyntaff Shop, Elaine Morgan building, Glyntaff Campus

Get in the spirit of Christmas and enjoy an evening of seasonal food and live music!

Ice Fest is open to all Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Science students and staff. We hope to see you there!

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December 4, 2018
» Personalised Christmas Gifts at USW Print and Design

Back for Christmas 2018 – USW Print and Design’s exciting range of personalised Christmas products are available to order now!

USWPD Xmas

Santa letter scrolls…We check twice!

Order a personalised Christmas scroll from Santa or Siôn Corn for a child or adult – naughty or nice! You will receive a named traditional style scroll Letter, a ‘Nice’ or ‘naughty’ List certificate and Christmas Eve note – sealed with a wax sticker – ready to open! Perfect for hiding in the Christmas Tree or by the fireplace!
The letter scrolls cost £3. Orders can be requested until Friday 21 December 2018. You will need to complete a santa letter form and see order details below.

'Believing in Santa’ Gift range

Personalised items in this range include:

Mug £8 – three designs available

An image is required for two mug designs available. This image must be suitable to crop as a circle. You can either provide a personalised Christmas message OR a specific name/ year of birth. For example, “Nadolig Llawen! Cariad Rosie x” or “TRISTAN – Believing in Santa since 2015”.

There is a general mug design available which only requires a name/ year of birth to personalise or a Christmas message. No image required.

Santa sack £8 or Tote bag £4.50

No image required – just a name/ year of birth. For example, “GLADYS– Believing in Santa since 1928”. Suitable gifts for all ages!

Personalised 2018 desktop calendars – Great stocking filler or new year gift!

You will need to provide 12x PORTRAIT jpegs labelled clearly for each month (USB or email) and a message for the calendar cover.

The calendars cost £5.50 each and will be presented in a plastic case, which can be used as a stand. USW Print and Design will contact you when it is ready for collection – we aim to complete within 48 hours. You will need to complete a calendar form and see order details below.

Other personalised seasonal gifts…

USW Print and Design are offering a number of seasonal gifts in the run up to Christmas – get your orders in before the end of term. Oher seasonal gifts include: design and print personalised t-shirts, Christmas gift stickers, gift tags, Christmas wrap, canvas art, mugs, tote bags, mouse mats, coasters and aprons! Samples of our products are displayed in USW Print and Design reception.

It’s easy to order!

You can order online at USW Print Online Store or visit our shop: USW Print and Design, Central Avenue, Treforest Campus. We can post most products in the internal mail if required – so orders from other campuses are welcome! Any queries or for further information, please contact the USW Print and Design team.

USW Print Online store: uswprintanddesign.myprintdesk.net/dsf
Call: 01443 483 634
E-mail: print@southwales.ac.uk
Visit: uswprintanddesign.co.uk

Keep up-to-date with USW Print and Design news, offers and competitions – Follow us on
Instagram: uswprintanddesign

Twitter: uswprintdesign

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December 3, 2018
» Bounce Back from a Disappointing Mark

So, you have received your assignment result and it is not as good as you expected? Here’s how to bounce back and make improvements for your next submission.

Understand your result

Grades in University are usually lower than in school or college, so your mark may be better than you think!

70% and above – 1st – excellent, this is the highest grade you can get.

60%-69.9% – 2:1 – Very good, keep up the good work, could you push this to a 1st?

50-59.9% -2:2 – good, use your feedback to improve.

40-49.9% – 3rd – pass, use your feedback to improve and explore study skills support.

Under 40% – Fail – speak to your lecturer to understand the impact this result has on the rest of your module/course.

Accept your result

Things did not quite go to plan. You may not be able to change the grade, but you have to forgive yourself. This is just one result of many, so learn from this and move on.

Be honest with yourself

Be honest with yourself. Did you do all of the following things that are necessary to succeed?

  • Manage your time effectively
  • Devise a study plan
  • Proofread your work

Learn from the experience

  • Consider the feedback and note any areas for development
  • Re-read feedback a day or two after you receive it so you can consider any points raised objectively
  • Ensure you take any positive feedback on board
  • Identify the main areas for improvement that will have the most impact on your marks. If you are not sure how to do this, speak to your lecturer or contact Student Development and Study Skills.

This article was written in collaboration between the Progression team and the Student Communications Graduate.
Tell us about how you have used your feedback to improve at progression@southwales.ac.uk

What are these?

November 28, 2018
» Adjusting to University Life

It can be difficult to adjust to university life and during this time you may need some support and guidance. You could be homesick, anxious, depressed, lacking time management and work scheduling skills, you may need to brush up on your grammar or you may just need a cup of tea and a chat!

You are not alone. Many students feel like this when they begin, but help is available. While the University cannot solve every problem, there are plenty of services that you can use for help.











If you struggle or have a problem with… Where to get support
Studying at
university level
Study Skills
Homesickness Mental Health, Campus Life Co-ordinator, Chaplaincy, Students’ Union
Depression/mental health issues/low mood Mental Health, Chaplaincy, Disability
Issues with your course, module or lecturer Student Voice Rep, Course Rep, your Lecturer or module leader
Money (or lack of) Student Money
Accommodation Accommodation
A disability (including dyslexia) Disability
Assessment understanding Study Skills, Lecturer, Students’ Union
Thinking of leaving? Progression

With the right support, most students can overcome difficulties they experience. If, after seeking help, you are considering leaving or changing your course of study, we recommend you speak to someone in your Advice Zone to discuss your situation.

Kelly’s Story

Kelly moved into halls in September and has been struggling with homesickness. She has missed several lessons and skipped out of meet-ups with friends, as she does not feel like socialising. Everything is beginning to feel like a chore and Kelly just wants to go back home to her life with her parents and old friends.

What should Kelly do?

You have just made a massive transition in your life and it is perfectly normal to feel like this. It is hard being away from home for the first time but it does get easier. You have friends, chat to them. Even if it is on a 1-2-1 basis in the comfort of your own room. Who knows, maybe your friends will be feeling the same?

Missing classes is never the answer and going forward, you need to email your lecturer and arrange a chat to discuss what has happened. Kelly is not the first student to miss a lecture and won’t be the last. Take ownership of what has happened, admit your mistake and I bet the lecturer will be pleased that you have confronted the issue as well as offer you support.

If you live in USW halls you can talk to a Campus Life Co-ordinator who has made the transition to university life and will help you do too. The Campus Life Co-ordinators will keep your information confidential. They can also point you in the direction of the Advice Zones, Chaplaincy and Students’ Union who can help you.

The Students’ Union officers are ex-students who are a wealth of information. Mish, Liam, Neil and Rhys visit all campuses and can be a great contact if you want a cuppa and a chat. They are impartial and can liaise between you and the University.

The Chaplaincy (based on Treforest campus) will see you without an appointment and in a friendly place. If you’re on a different campus you can contact them by email or telephone. While ministers manage the chaplaincy, there is no requirement for anyone who uses the service to conform to any religion.

Be self- reflective and pro-active. Go and get a schedule together of study times, class time and free time!

Update

Kelly had a chat with her Campus Life Co-ordinator who talked to her about her issues and she quickly realised that what she was feeling was normal! This was the same with her friends, while several of them adjusted to University life easily, some were still struggling.

Kelly emailed her lecturer. They met up for an informal coffee and a chat. Kelly explained that she had been having issues adjusting. They discussed a plan going forward including how Kelly could catch up on the work she missed.

Kelly still has the odd day where she gets homesick but knows there is plenty of support here at USW to help her!

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November 26, 2018
» Things your lecturers wish you knew

Your lecturers have a great wealth of knowledge when it comes to advice about how to be a successful student, so we have persuaded them to share a few of their top tips with you.

Read, Read, Read some more

Your Faculty Librarian can help you to search for books, e-books, good quality journal articles and information using FINDit, specialist databases and other online resources.

They offer one to one, small group, Skype, or telephone appointments. To make an appointment use Advice Zone Online.

A deadline is a deadline

Handing in your work even just a few minutes after the deadline, can adversely affect your marks.

In certain circumstances, students are allowed a further five working days to submit work but this will be capped at 40%. If work is not handed in within the correct timeframes, the assessment will receive 0%.

However, there may be occasions when circumstances outside your control mean you are unable to meet a deadline or take an exam on a particular day. If this is the case then you may be able to apply for extenuating circumstances.

If you are experiencing difficulties and think you need to apply for extenuating circumstances, please contact your Advice Zone as soon as possible.

Don’t leave referencing until last

We know many students add references after they’ve written their assignment, but it is much easier to add your sources as you go. This will help take the pressure off when you are approaching that all-important deadline.

Referencing is a crucial part of your assignment as it indicates where you have used material that did not originate with you. Making sure you reference correctly will help avoid plagiarising someone else’s work.

If you need help with any aspect of referencing, the Student Development and Study Skills Service has a wide range of resources to support you.

‘Things your lecturers wish you knew’ is compiled and created by the Progression Team.

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November 23, 2018
» Please help test a VR simulator which teaches young children the dangers of railway crossings

There is currently a surprisingly high number of fatalities at unmanned automated crossings in the UK and to help teach young children about the dangers of railway crossings, the Faculty of Computing Engineering and Science has developed a VR prototype.

The Faculty would like your help in testing this prototype before testing in schools.

To take part in the test, you will be asked to wear a VR headset, view and interact with a simulation scenario for 2 minutes and then complete a short questionnaire. The test will take just 30 minutes – tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided.

Tuesday 27th and Thursday 29th November
J346, Johnston Building, Treforest Campus

Please sign up here: https://doodle.com/poll/6s2zrs6ik4t6xvcn

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November 22, 2018
» Advice Zone raises over £300 for Children in Need

The University’s Advice Zones raised a grand total of £338.68 for Children in Need last Friday.

The Advice Zones held cake sales, guess the number of sweets in the jar competitions and wore some great Pudsey clothes!

A very big thank you to everyone who generously donated to a very worthwhile cause

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