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‘Our biggest Welcome Program in three years’

This article is sponsored by the University of Sydney. Authorised by Vice-Chancellor and Principal Prof. Mark Scott. Enquiries: 9351 2000;


The University of Sydney kicked off its biggest-ever Welcome Program last month as students began to arrive on campus for the start of the academic year.

Held over nearly three weeks (February 6–24), the extended Welcome Program featured orientation events to help new students get started, workshops for continuing students as they transition into their next year of study, information sessions and fun social events for all students.

Welcome 2023 – As part of the welcome celebrations, the University of Sydney Union (USU) hosted Welcome Fest (February 15–17), featuring more than 180 club, society and faculty stalls; food trucks and giveaways; and live music performances each day by some of Australia’s hottest artists. Former Australian of the Year and Paralympian Dylan Alcott AO gave the keynote address at the official Welcome Ceremony (February 15).

Watershed year for student experiences – USU President and final-year Engineering/Science student Cole Scott-Curwood expects 2023 to be a watershed year for student experiences.

“The USU is investing $1.2 million in new initiatives this year to improve campus life. This includes further support for student wellbeing, clubs and societies, inclusion and accessibility, and reconciliation. We’ll host events on campus to celebrate WorldPride and the performing arts while bringing back initiatives we trialled last year, such as the popular Someday Soon music festival and Foodhub free food pantry.

“At Welcome Fest, students had access to more than 180 club stalls, the inaugural Disability Hub and Diversity Hub, massive gigs outside the Quadrangle, and more – the perfect launchpad to a new year,” Cole said.

Special welcome for first MySydney students – The University hosted a special welcome for the first cohort of students beginning their degrees through the MySydney Entry and Scholarship scheme. We are delighted to have made more than 1200 MySydney offers, and to have welcomed our biggest cohort of students from under-represented areas ever to join us this year.

MySydney student Mia Nikolic is excited to start her Master of Pharmacy. Her mum came to Australia as a refugee from Bosnia, and her dad came as a working immigrant, which meant that, while raising her in Mount Pritchard, they didn’t have many family members in Australia.

Mia shared that the scholarship has allowed her to focus on her studies without worrying about her finances.

“The biggest [difference] one is just the pressure off my family’s back, and knowing that I can completely focus on my studies instead of having to work a lot [while studying at] university, and having a job to sustain myself. Of course, as a teenager, you want to be working a little bit, but just having that financial pressure off my back, I’m a hundred percent ready to focus on my degree and really show what I can do.”

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