How Universities Look After Students | A Guide for Parentsby Judith Charlton
It’s a difficult thing to wave goodbye to your son or daughter as they head off to university and their next big adventure.
This might be the first time they’ve had to live independently, cook their own meals, or travel to and from a city far from home. How can you be sure they’ll be happy, healthy, and looked after while at university? And how will they cope, if Covid-19 restrictions are still in place.?
Here at Newcastle, we're committed to making sure our students are safe and supported, both during the pandemic and when life gets back to normal. From settling in to their accommodation, to helping them grow academically, we'll be there for them.
Wondering how exactly? Read on to find out…
A safe student city
Newcastle is known for being a safe student city.
One in six people in Newcastle is a student, so your son or daughter will be surrounded by like-minds and potential new friends. We were voted the No. 1 city to visit in the world in Rough Guides 2018, and more recently have been ranked 4th in the UK for local life (WhatUni Student Choice Awards 2020).
We take extra care on campus, too. We’ve invested in cross-campus CCTV, 24-hour porters at some of our halls of residence, security staff on duty across campus at all times, and a SafeZone app – which sets students up with emergency ‘tap’ alerts to first aiders, security, and support staff.
Settling in to accommodation
Going to university is likely to be the first time your son or daughter has lived away from home and we want to make sure their time with us sets them up with the skills and memories to last forever.
“I lived at Windsor Terrace, which is University-owned accommodation. I would highly recommend this type of accommodation to new students, especially in their first year when you’re getting used to being away from home.” - Matthew, Physics BSc Honours
To keep all our students safe during the pandemic, we’ve been reviewing our accommodation to make sure it supports social distancing, self-isolation and quarantine regulations.
We've introduced a number of measures, including targeted cleaning, to make sure all our sites are clean and safe. And we've been working to ensure our students have a purpose-built study bedroom during their first year with us, For our international undergraduate students, this offer is available for each year of their study, if they want it.
Each of our student villages - Castle Leazes, Park View and Kensington/Park - has a dedicated ResLife co-ordinator and assistants who help students settle in during their first year living away from home. Our teams foster a sense of belonging, community, friendship, and independence, working with our Students’ Union, Sport, Health and Wellbeing and other teams, to offer a programme of social events and life skills sessions.
During the pandemic this programme has been offered virtually, and our ResLife Connect service has been available, seven days a week, if students need someone to talk to.
If restrictions continue, we’ll make sure our sites follow government guidelines, so our students feel safe and supported living with us.
Our Students’ Union is at the heart of campus and is the hub of student life. With over 200 richly diverse societies and 65 sports clubs to join, no matter what your son or daughter is interested in, they’ll be able to find some like-minds to be friends with.
And if Covid-19 restrictions are in place, they'll still be able to access events safely, in a blended virtual or physically distanced way. This includes our Give It A Go programme which has been designed to help students try something for the first time, meet new people and enjoy new experiences.
Dedicated to student well being
Students are at the forefront of everything we do, and we’ve invested millions in our support services.
We do everything we can to give students the best experience possible while they’re with us, but sometimes life gets complicated. If students need someone to talk to, our in-house counselling and mental health services offer 1-2-1 sessions and referrals to specialist resources.
We've been making sure our students can access our services online during the pandemic and have extended our offer so that support is always there when students need it.
And, if at any time you’re concerned about your son or daughter while they’re with us, parents can contact the Student Wellbeing Service who will be able to help.
Our Students’ Union hosts a dedicated Student Advice Centre where students can book an appointment to talk confidentially to someone about housing, academic worries, finance, personal issues, or anything else that's worrying them.
And our Student Services hub at King’s Gate, provides help with academic support, accommodation, careers, student finance, personal well being, visa support, and more.
Published By Judith Charlton on 21/01/2020 | Last Updated 23/02/2021