In March, members of the Alumni Advisory Panel 2023-2025 were invited to consult on the CSC’s pre-arrival and on-boarding communications and processes for new scholars.

Supporting scholars through the pre-arrival period

Following scholarship selections, the CSC notifies applicants of their application outcome and how to start arrangements for their arrival in the UK. The pre-arrival process consists of emails and supporting documents outlining important next steps, such as visa and flight booking processes, and award information.

In 2023/24, the CSC Programme Team sought feedback from panel members on the CSC communications and operational processes confirmed scholars are expected to complete. Panel members were also invited to share ideas and thoughts on ways that these could be altered or amended to improve the arrival experience for future cohorts.

Panel insights

Members of the Alumni Advisory Panel were asked to review email communications, supporting documents and resources.

All panel members were invited to consult on this activity and 70 shared their feedback, a response rate of 60%.

Below you can read some of the key insights:

  • Participating panel members reported that communications were clear and actions were easy to follow across all documents and email communications.
  • It was suggested that in some cases, information may be overwhelming and that new ways of formatting or communication information could be tested.
  • Whilst panel members felt the welcome to the CSC scholar community outlined sufficient and interesting opportunities for new scholars to meet and engage with each other, greater emphasis could be placed on the importance of getting involved in these activities and the value they bring to scholars.
  • It was also suggested that a timeline on the pre-arrival process and different actions could be provided to scholars to help them understand the process, as well as clearer deadlines to complete tasks.

A full report on the responses gathered is available on the CSC website. The report will be used to advise future updates.

Thank you to all panel members who took part in this consultation.

About the CSC’s Alumni Advisory Panel

The CSC’s Alumni Advisory Panel provides a platform for Commonwealth Alumni to support the future of the programme and its Scholars by sharing personal insight and expertise to contribute to the development of CSC activities. Panel members are appointed for a two-year term and represent the multitude of knowledge and expertise within the CSC alumni community, with members selected from across the Commonwealth and CSC Scholarship and Fellowship schemes.

You can find out more about the panel on the CSC website.