A welcome ambassador giving advice

Student leadership opportunities

Make the Welcome Ambassador pledge

Any student can make the Welcome Ambassador pledge, even if you are a new student yourself. Pledging to uphold the Student Charter is a great foundation for your wellbeing, personal development and learning. It is the first step on the pathway to many other student leadership and co-creation opportunities which will in turn help you fulfil your potential and have a life-changing student experience.

Student leadership and co-creation

At Portsmouth students are partners in creating the outstanding teaching and learning experience and welcoming learning community that we are known for.

Developed in collaboration between staff, students and the Students’ Union our Student Charter provides the principles guiding this partnership in co-creating an outstanding student experience, and offering every student the opportunity to fulfil their potential and demonstrate the Hallmarks of a Portsmouth graduate.

Building on the foundation of the Student Charter, students can now follow a leadership learning pathway to complement their studies and gain recognition for their formal and informal leadership and co-creation activities.

Welcome Ambassadors

The leadership pathway starts with our award-winning Welcome Ambassador programme. As a Welcome Ambassador you agree to be a role model in your everyday student life, pledging to uphold the values of the University’s Student Charter – Support, Community, Opportunity, Respect and Education. Any student can be a Welcome Ambassador, even if you are a new student.

Taking the Welcome Ambassador pledge is a great way to connect with other students, to inspire others and be inspired. Being a Welcome Ambassador is about playing your part in strengthening the friendly, welcoming learning community that we are known for here at the University of Portsmouth.

There are no set duties as a Welcome Ambassador, but plenty of opportunities to get involved and build your leadership portfolio. Taking the Welcome Ambassador pledge is the starting point for your leadership pathway, and follows completion of the first level in our online Learning Well Leadership course.

Leadership learning

The Learning Well Leadership course has four modules and you can choose how far you go in completing them. The learning is designed to support your development and build your leadership skills, and includes:

  • Identifying your personal values and valued identities
  • Knowing and respecting your own and others’ boundaries
  • Assertive communication and listening skills
  • Bystander intervention and peer support
  • Restorative practice principles and conflict resolution skills
  • Constructive housemate and groupwork agreements
  • The difference between equality and equity
  • Protected characteristics and inclusion
  • Understanding privilege and micro-aggressions
  • Respectful interactions and general consent
  • Consent as the basis for good sex

The principles and skills you learn will complement your university learning and reinforce the Hallmarks of a Portsmouth graduate:

  • Leadership Module 1 – Giving & Getting Respect
    Open to all students and based on the Student Charter. Develops skills for stepping up to opportunities for leadership in everyday student life. Essential foundation level for any UoP student leadership or peer support position.

  • Leadership Module 2 – Supporting Others & Resolving Conflict
    Open to students who have completed Leadership 1 and covers skills for effective teamwork and peer support. Intermediate level helpful for UoP and UPSU student leadership and peer support positions.

  • Leadership Module 3 – Building Inclusive Communities
    Advanced level for qualification as a Speak UP Step UP Champion, open to students who have completed Leadership 1 and 2. Covers skills for actively promoting inclusive, welcoming communities and a sense of belonging, including understanding and challenging prejudice, discrimination and hate.

  • Leadership Module 4 – Promoting Consensual Relationships
    Advanced level for qualification as a Speak UP Step UP Champion, open to students who have completed Leadership 1 and 2. Covers skills for actively promoting a culture of respectful and consensual relationships, including recognising and tackling relationship abuse and sexual harassment or misconduct.

Your leadership portfolio

Once you have taken the Welcome Ambassador pledge you can collect and wear a Welcome Ambassador badge, and you could earn a Welcome Ambassador T-shirt by participating in activities such as Freshers’ Fayre and Ambassador-led Welcome Events.

You can also start recording your leadership activities in your leadership portfolio. This consists of informal leadership activities in your everyday student life, such as bystander intervention incidents, as well as activities in more formal leadership roles such as UPSU Group committee, Course Rep, Peer Assisted Learning Mentor and so on.

You will be able to access regular support from the Wellbeing staff who co-ordinate the course, and as you work through the Leadership course you will be supported to collaborate with other students and develop your own leadership or co-creation projects. For example, students in the School of Law developed a new Law Wellbeing Champion role as part of a wider co-creation project.

Awards and recognition

Working through the further levels of the Leadership course and building your portfolio could make you eligible for awards and recognition. Submitting your portfolio and making a further pledge can earn you the advanced leadership status of Speak UP Step UP Champion.

Producing a reflective account demonstrating your leadership competences can also lead to accreditation with an Active Change Leader award. Completion of course modules could also give you the edge in gaining paid employment in one of the UoP leadership or co-creation roles such as UoP Ambassador or Digi Champ, or may be a requirement for certain specialist paid Peer Mentor positions which focus on inclusion.

For further information, email welcomeambassadors@port.ac.uk or to get started, complete the Learning Well Transitions course and from there follow links to Leadership 1.