The FINANCIAL -- LSE undergraduate and master’s students have paid glowing tributes to the team at LSE LIFE, the School’s centre for the academic, personal and professional development of taught students, as it marks its first full academic year in operation.
Since opening in September 2016, LSE LIFE has transformed the student experience for thousands of LSE undergraduate and taught master’s students.
An in-house team of study advisers and academic skills developers have provided one-on-one services for more than 2000 students over the past nine months, as well as a range of workshops (nearly 300 of them) and online study support including Skype sessions, according to LSE.
Students have also made heavy use of online resources: Head of LSE LIFE, Dr Claudine Provencher, said there had been more than 80,000 visits to the LSE LIFE website in its first year, with the Moodle pages in particular proving a reference point of choice for LSE students, generating 103,300 page views.
“LSE students have embraced the centre wholeheartedly and the feedback has been exceptional,” she added, with more than 90% of surveyed respondents rating the centre’s talks and workshops as either excellent or good.
Many have emailed their personal thanks for the support and services offered, especially first year undergraduate students, and master’s students, most of whom are here for just a year and keen to use their time effectively.
“LSE LIFE has given me LIFE! The staff members are inspirational. Their guidance and advice as well as their patience has made my first week at LSE so wonderful and inclusive”;
“Having been out of the academic atmosphere for a while now, the thought of writing essays – especially up to the high standard demanded by LSE – has been daunting. However, the advice and tips provided by you has reduced the worry and provided a clearer path for me. A big thumbs up for LSE LIFE!”;
“I am writing to say thank you for your excellent advice at LSE LIFE. The integration of practical, professional and personal support made me feel heard, understood and helped me to construct my decision-making process.”
LSE LIFE works in close collaboration with academic departments and other parts of the School, including LSE Careers, the Library, and LSE Counselling.
“We cover all facets of a student’s journey once they arrive at LSE, from making the transition to (or back to) university through to how to plan one’s time better, how to read academic papers more effectively and how to prepare for exams,” Dr Provencher said.
“Also, because of the 2000 square metres of open space that we offer and the happy, relaxed atmosphere in the room, we have created a very welcoming, informal environment.
“LSE students tend to be over achievers and for many of them to admit needing help is a big step.
“The layout at LSE LIFE promotes collaboration and closeness, encouraging students to reach out to others and discuss their concerns. Students have reacted very positively to this new environment and more than 10,000 visited the LSE LIFE space this year.
“In fact, even though we have not yet been able to measure it, we believe that we have been able to resolve many of the students’ anxieties before they reached a critical stage, having a positive impact on their mental health. That is a nice feeling.
“Starting university can be a stressful time and the more we can do to help and encourage students in their journey at LSE, the better for everyone,” Dr Provencher said.
Like the PhD Academy, which opened in 2015, LSE LIFE is a one-stop shop for undergraduate and master’s students, alleviating the need to go to several different areas of the School to get the information they need.
Dr Neil McLean, the Director of the Academic and Professional Development division at LSE said: “The starting idea for LSE LIFE was that any student could come at any time and ask any questions about studying at LSE. This is a crucial part of its success.”