To understand what students are experiencing, especially when they first start at university, you may find it helpful to do some background research. The website, Studential, provides some general guides, such as Student guides and Guide to freshers week. In addition, Save the Student is a useful source of tips to help students survive and thrive at university. Look out for our own welcome site with full details about how to enrol, and do continue to check it for updates over the summer period.
Probably the best way you can help once a student is settled in is to let go, but stay in touch. University is an opportunity for students to develop into fully independent, mature adults, and learning through their own mistakes is part of that process. On the other hand, a quick text, some FaceTime, or a catch-up over a coffee are easy ways to find out how things are going and keep that connection with home. Sometimes it helps to agree a time in the day or week that you will spend time together catching up.
Get to know about student finance
Before the student starts their course, there are specific ways you can help prepare them. Becoming familiar with the basics of student finance is essential. Take a look at the video Student Finance explained from Student Finance England. Make sure your student has applied for their student loan. Online applications usually open in February and need to be completed before the end of May. Applications are still accepted after May, but the Student Loans Company cannot guarantee the money will arrive on time. As a precaution against delays, it is always useful to bring some money to last for at least the first few weeks. Even if you help them think about budgeting, some students will still encounter financial problems. The University has a discretionary Hardship Fund that students can apply to for assistance.
Explore our accommodation guides
Moving into university accommodation for the first time is a whole new experience for students. Please look at our Accommodation pages to get a good overview of what is involved. The inventories of what to bring are also essential reading. Not everything needs to be bought new. Charity shops are a good source of items.
Where a student has declared a disability on their UCAS application, our Disability Advice team will contact them to ask them to register with the service. An appointment with a Disability Adviser can then be arranged over the summer period, the best way of ensuring reasonable adjustments are in place for the student when the course starts. If you have any queries please contact our team:
For information on Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) and how to apply, please visit GOV.UK
To see our full set of information pages relating to every aspect of student life, please visit our Student Hub.