How does a sense of belonging develop?
Building an inclusive, warm, accepting and safe environment will facilitate belonging across our University. Together we’re discovering how we facilitate belonging. Collectively working towards creating an environment that supports belonging and enables all students and staff to flourish and thrive.
How can I facilitate a sense of belonging?
Belonging is rooted in connection; every meaningful interaction can contribute to developing a sense of belonging.
There are many ways to build meaningful connections across campus. Some are through formal spaces – including accessing services and support, teaching, supervision, laboratory and seminar sessions and office hours. Others are less formal – for example, corridor conversations or ‘hanging around’ for a chat at the end of an MS Teams call. Key connections that students tell us are important in making meaningful connections include:
- Academic Personal Tutor – every student has a personal tutor and this relationship is an opportunity for students and tutors to work together.
- Welcome and induction events – all students are invited to attend these events including freshers and returners. To create belonging in these contexts have a look at our tips for supporting belonging.
- Social events – Leeds offers an abundance of social events, such as sports and volunteering, as well as other co-curricular and complementary activities. Each of these activities offers opportunities to meet liked-minded people, create connections and feel part of something.
- Accessing Student support – within a supportive context comes a valuable opportunity to develop belonging, particularly when discussing concerns of pastoral care. Our tips for supporting belonging could be of help. You may also find “Signposting Resources” -a summary document signposting relevant resources – helpful in supporting you to direct students.