Countdown and Connect Challenge

Welcome ambassador badges

Challenge yourself to learn well

Win prizes by showing up for a year of building your connections and supporting others in their learning journey.

The challenge is back! Whether you're a new or returning student, this is your chance to reboot and set your path to success in the year ahead and beyond. 

Take part in the Winter Countdown and Connect Challenge to get inspiration for putting your best foot forward for the rest of the year ahead. Build connections with other students and your course, win great prizes and enhance your CV by taking the Welcome Ambassador pledge and building a leadership portfolio. 

Countdown to Learning Well

We want you to fulfil your potential and have a life-changing student experience. Our Learning Well and Leadership framework promotes a personalised development plan that supports your learning success while you build a portfolio of leadership experience for your CV.

Whatever stage you’re at in your learning journey, the Countdown and Connect Challenge is a fun way to engage with the Learning Well and Leadership framework – with the chance to win loads of great prizes and build your CV. For more opportunities to win prizes, join in with Connect events, building you own connections and contributing to our welcoming and inclusive learning community.

Registration for the Challenge opens on 24 January, and the first prize draw will take place at the big Connect and Re-Connect event on 16 February.

How to get involved with the Winter Countdown and Connect Challenge

Step 1: Compete the survey

To register for the challenge, all you need to do is submit a short reflective survey. Everyone that completes the registration survey and/or attends the Reconnect event will be entered into a prize draw to win University hoodies. You can register at any point up until 16 February, but the sooner you do it the sooner you can start interacting with the challenge. 

Why do we want you to complete the survey? 

Completing the survey gives you an opportunity to reflect on your skills, confidence and personal development. It also helps us to gain some insight into the current mindset of University of Portsmouth students. 

Step 2: Complete the online mini-courses and take the pledge

Once you have completed the registration questionnaire you can get on with completing the online mini-courses which will set you up for taking the Welcome Ambassador pledge. See below for more details.

Complete the Learning Well Online Courses 

Complete the short online Learning Well - Your Learning Journey mini-course to help you prepare for the next steps on your learning journey - make a personalised wellbeing and support plan to support your learning success. The course takes about an hour to complete but you can do it in short sections in your own time. 

Once you've completed the above course, it’s easy to continue onto the student leadership pathway with Learning Well Leadership 1: Giving & Getting Respect. This course takes about 1.5 hours to complete, and can be done in short sections in your own time. Successful completion of the Leadership 1 assignment qualifies you to take the Welcome Ambassador pledge. 

Take the Welcome Ambassador Pledge

Once you've completed the courses above you can take the Welcome Ambassador pledge, which qualifies you as a Welcome Ambassador. By taking the pledge, you agree to be a role model in upholding the Student Charter and helping to build a welcoming and inclusive learning community for all. Taking the pledge includes offering inspiration to other students by sharing a short example of a challenge you have faced and how you overcame it. 

As a Welcome Ambassador, you can get involved in lots of activities at the University, including planning of future welcome events! Taking the pledge is the gateway to the Portsmouth student leadership pathway, building your leadership portfolio and gaining further leadership recognition for your CV. 

We will have Welcome Ambassadors on hand at the Connect and Reconnect Event to answer any questions you may have about becoming a Welcome Ambassador. Alternatively, you can email us at with any queries. 

Group of welcome ambassadors walk outside, with two smiling in front

Step 3: Attend the Connect and Reconnect Event — 16 February

Some of you may have attended the Big Welcome Event back in October and if so, you’ll remember how fun it was. We have some good news for you — it’s back and rebranded for the new year! 

The Connect and Reconnect Event is a great opportunity for new and existing students to strengthen their connections as well as getting and giving inspiration for making the most of the year ahead. There will be prizes on the day for anyone who attends and we’ll do the grand prize draw for everyone who has completed the Challenge and taken the Welcome Ambassador pledge.

What to expect at the Connect and Reconnect Event

  • Free pizza 
  • Games
  • Quizzes
  • Ice breakers 
  • A chill out zone 
  • Mug and pebble painting 
  • A chance to meet current Welcome Ambassadors and ask about their experiences
  • Information about the student leadership framework and activities to support you in completing Level 2
  • Q&A about how to become a Speak UP Step UP Champion
  • Prizes — those who complete the Challenge can win University hoodies or Amazon vouchers up to £150, and there will also be hoodies and coffee vouchers available for those attending the Connect event

In Summary

How to take part: 

  • Register by completing the survey 
  • Complete the Learning Well & Leadership Level 1 mini-courses
  • Take the Welcome Ambassador pledge
  • Attend the Connect and Reconnect Event on 16 February 
  • Complete the Leadership Level 2 mini-course 
  • Attend the Speak Up Step Up Champion event on 23 March

There will be prizes and incentives for taking part in each step of the Challenge, as well as for going on to take part in the further levels of the leadership framework.

Good luck!