UniSmart UK Tour 2015 Kicks Off
London, United Kingdom. As universities throughout the United Kingdom welcome a fresh intake of new students, a group of ‘international lecturers with a difference’ are rolling out their UniSmart™ induction presentations. The unique UniSmart presentations combine educational messages with comedy, multi-media, animation, street theatre, escapology and save-your-life skills, delivered with rapid fire information that all new students need to know.
The UniSmart 2015 UK tour kicked off at St Andrews University, Scotland in September. Over the coming weeks, a group of four acclaimed presenters will deliver 65 solo presentations at universities throughout the UK: from the University of Manchester in the Midlands, to City University London and Bristol University in the southwest, with many campuses in between. This autumn, the presentation has attracted a record number of participating universities, including the universities of Strathclyde, Bath, Bristol, Coventry and Kent, Oxford Brookes, Winchester, Wolverhampton, Lancaster and London.
The UniSmart presentation prepares students for the range of experiences, exploits and emotions that commonly go hand in hand with life on campus. For students visiting the halls and theatres featuring the UniSmart presentation, the one hour lecture is likely to be one of the most memorable they will experience all year, or ever. During that hour, new tertiary students are exposed to unexpected and exciting opportunities as they get to grips with life on campus. For some, the transition from school to university will be seamless. For others, the changing environment, study expectations and challenges that come with embarking on tertiary studies – close to or far away from home – will be daunting.
Commenting on the presentation, Mr Rob Warren, Senior Assistant Director of Student Services at the University of St Andrews, said, “I feel confident that the messages about looking after yourself and getting help will remain in the minds of all who attended the UniSmart presentation. The vehicle was perfect for our bright, young, cosmopolitan undergraduate community”.
Caption: UniSmart lecturers delivering their high octane presentation to fresher students
The high impact, energetic presentation is designed to engage and empower students as they navigate the challenges of moving from secondary to tertiary education. By training up street performers to present the lecture and fearlessly tackling topics like money, sexual consent, drugs, alcohol and study choices in a surprising, entertaining and at times outrageous ways, the presentation exposes many of the pressure situations that students may face. An award-winning performer provides punchy, effective information on how to deal with the thorny challenges of student life. The presentation is designed to appeal to young undergraduates and is of relevance to international students as well as domestic students living at, or away from, home.
UniSmart has achieved outstanding reviews since it was first presented in 1999 and to date more than 552,000 students in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the USA have experienced the presentation. University administrators and those involved in student welfare and pastoral care have embedded the edgy presentation into their orientation week programmes. Survey results* overwhelmingly support the effectiveness of the presentation for students and their university support services providers.
UniSmart co-founders and co-directors Trudi Urlwin and John Davey, (New Zealand / UK) share a background in theatre, street performance and communications. They recognised the potential for using creative performance to engage and inform students to smooth the often tricky transition from school to university. “The challenges are universal,” Urlwin says. “Students are often overwhelmed by the massive changes that come with leaving home and taking on full time study.”
UniSmart raises all the tough-to-talk-about issues, in a surprisingly refreshing and candid way. Unexpected stage antics and candid banter are just some of the tactics used to impart information to the young and savvy audience. In an hour, students are given a comprehensive overview of what to expect at university and where to go for help and support. Each year the presentation is revised and updated to reflect relevant issues and the fast pace of change that influences youth culture.
The presentation promotes the power of choice and self-management in challenging situations. Urlwin continued, “It’s about recognising students as adults and empowering them to make their own decisions. Students retain the information because it is delivered in a way that grabs their attention by the throat and doesn’t let go for 60 minutes.”
About UniSmart (http://www.unismart.biz/)
UniSmart is the creation of New Zealand-based Ideas Agency Ltd Directors John Davey (UK) and Trudi Urlwin (NZ). By assembling a top team of professional performers and training them to be presenters, they launched their mission to support new tertiary students to be the best they can be, through making personal choices that will lead to a positive university experience and a powerful future.
UniSmart new student surveys reports are available on www.unismart.biz. *To access the full report of the 2014 UniSmart UK Survey, visit: http://www.unismart.biz/assets/pdfs/new_students__survey_uk_2014__1_.pdf
UniSmart has also published a book Say Something – a witty, straight-talking guide for any young person facing the big step into tertiary education, whether they are moving countries to study, leaving home or staying put. Readers follow Bruce and Priscilla’s experience through the ups and downs of life in university residence, in the lecture theatre, on campus and in a whole new social solar system. The book is available internationally from the UniSmart website.