Fostering student connection: ‘Business Lunch’ and the Tandem scheme

In his role as PGT Director for Religions and Theology Dr Michael Hoelzl has used the PGT allowance budget allocated to MA students to hand out book vouchers and spent the rest on a business lunch at the end of semester 2. The group of students and staff normally meet at Christies Bistro on campus and Michael set them up for a ‘tandem system’ to support each other over the summer when MA students work on their dissertation.

Students are informed about the tandem system right from the beginning of their programme (in the core courses) in order to enhance communication and cooperation among them throughout the academic year.

The support is meant to be not just pastoral but also implied mutual proofreading of the thesis and drafts of chapters.

This ‘business lunch’ allows students to ask questions about PhD application procedures.

So far, the tandem system has worked very well and fostered the emergence of genuine friendships between students.

Evaluation / Student Feedback

Anecdotal evidence and quality of MA theses.

  • Manage large groups effectively
  • Requires low level of technical expertise/technical confidence
  • Facilitates/supports peer learning
  • Encourages original writing and responsible use of source material
  • Raises interest, focuses students’ attention on a topic
  • Encourages continuous learning and progression
  • Encourages motivation and self-responsibility
  • Personalisation
Top Tips

The physical, real business lunch in a quite formal environment is crucial because the event benefits from its ceremonial character.



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School: Arts, Languages & Cultures

Discipline: Religions and Theology

Academic: Michael Hoezl

Course: PGT

Themes: Student Community

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