Madison Soutar is part of a very special bunch of 18-year-olds. Beginning uni in 2018 at Victoria University, she is part of the first cohort of students to study within VU’s First Year Model – also an Australian first.

With so many firsts – in addition to their excitement – it’s not surprising Madison and her mother Sharon Walker were apprehensive about the transition to uni.

This mum and daughter take a moment before taking the leap.

Madison Soutar starts uni in 2018 with the First Year Model.

First year of uni and the First Year Model

“Madison is my first child to start university. People might not realise it can also be a very daunting experience for the parent,” says Sharon.

VU’s First Year Model is alleviating those fears for first-year students and their families, setting them up for future success.

“The First Year Model ensures Madison will receive one-on-one attention from teaching staff and the support from her classmates,” says Sharon. “If Madison finds her first year of uni relatively stress free, she will be more inclined to succeed and gain more satisfaction from her studies.”

Through the globally-successful ‘block mode’ learning structure, students complete one subject at a time before moving on to the next – all in a smaller, workshop-style class setting. And with a focus on hands-on learning and gaining skills for the workforce, students become more confident and attractive to employers.

Bachelor of Exercise Science (Clinical Practice) student Madison is just excited for her studies to begin now.

“First Year Model seems like a great idea to help first year students adjust to uni life,” she says. “I’ve told my friends [attending other unis] about it and they think it will be so beneficial – they actually sounded a bit jealous!”

We wish Madison, and all our first year students a warm welcome to VU and all the best in settling into uni life. Stay tuned for more of Madi’s journey.


Writer: Jessica Jury