University Tips Blog
An image to illustrate a student having support to achieve their higher education goals
A headshot image of the author, Rebecca Breen

by Rebecca Breen

Student Recruitment Officer at the University of South Wales

posted on 18 Jun '21

A school and college guide to how universities support students in need of additional support

How do university support departments operate?

A main priority for universities is to ensure students who require additional support and advice whilst studying know where to find, and how to access the support that is available to them.

University student support teams exist to help those students to realise their potential, get the most out of their studies and thrive at university, and are the first point of contact for students requesting additional support.

Encourage students to let universities know if additional support will be required

It is important that universities are aware of the specialist support students require, early on in the application process, so that the appropriate support can be put in place for them in sufficient time, before arriving at university. Students can let their selected universities know what additional support they require through the UCAS application process, at open days, or by contacting student support departments at universities directly.

An outline of the available support offered by universities

Here are some of the services available at the University of South Wales as an example. Every university will have similar services:

What does the disability service team at university do?

The disability service at university provides information, advice and guidance to and co-ordinates support for disabled students. This includes students with physical, sensory, mental health or unseen disabilities, specific learning difficulties (e.g. dyslexia) and autism.

The team offers help and advice, ranging from organising note taking services, library support, overnight transition events for students who have an autistic spectrum condition, to specialist mentoring support.

What do counselling, mental health and wellbeing services at universities do?

Counselling, mental health and wellbeing services provide impartial, confidential, non-judgmental advice through one-to-one appointments via telephone or Skype. They offer a range of practical support in a confidential and professional setting, and try to respond sensitively to the effects that challenging circumstances can have on individuals. This will help them to explore their situation and make appropriate choices. Students who experience mental or emotional distress can access support through this service as well.

If students do experience mental health problems whilst at university, it is a good idea to seek help as soon as possible. Students who are struggling with overall wellbeing, including physical and mental health and social welfare, can also seek help to address these issues.

What do Student development and study skills services teams at university do?

Student development and study skills services offer advice, information and resources to help students raise their aspirations, improve their academic performance and develop transferable skills for employment. From referencing and critical analysis, to help with mathematics and statistics, students who require additional support will have access to one-to-one or group support sessions through this service.

What do the student money advice team at university do?

The student money advice team provides support and advice to help students manage money, and can provide emergency support to students who experience financial difficulties whilst at university.

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