How do universities
help students in
need of additional
support whilst at university? A school and college guide.
Universities can offer support in many ways
to ensure that the needs of students are
addressed. Under-represented students come
from an extremely wide variety of backgrounds,
subsequently there is no one way to support
Many universities have a wellbeing, disability
and mental health team that are dedicated to
providing a confidential and non-judgemental
space, in which students can discuss any
issues that may be affecting their ability to
Some universities offer support for all students
at a base level. At UCL for example, every
first-year undergraduate student is assigned
with a personal tutor. First-year undergraduate
students are also matched with a transition
mentor to offer guidance and advice in the
transition to university.
What support is available for students whilst at university?
The additional support offered by universities varies but can include:
- Academic support: Universities can offer
additional guidance for learning and studying
- Financial support: Finances can be
concerning for students. There can often be
a range of funding available to students who
meet certain criteria. It is worth encouraging
your students to research different universities
to find out what types of funding is available.
This can include scholarships and bursaries.
- Mental health and wellbeing support:
Universities can have different support
systems in place to support the mental health
and wellbeing of students
- Disability support: Students with disabilities
face certain barriers and universities can offer
appropriate help, reasonable adjustments and
personalised support. The earlier universities
know about a student’s disabilities, the earlier
students can benefit from support options.
- Social support: Social support networks
are an important part of students feeling
connected with people of a similar interest or
background when joining university.
- Careers support: Some universities may offer
additional activities and support for careers if
students meet certain criteria.
Please ensure students are aware of what
support is available to them at university
Universities are accessible and the support
is available to enable students to study as
independently as possible during their time
Different universities will offer different types of
support as mentioned above. To support your
students who have additional considerations,
it is worth advising them to research what
support systems are available at their chosen
universities. Often students in need of additional support
can contact universities prior to joining to
discuss support to help with the transition to
Some groups that may be able to access
additional support at universities include care
experienced students, estranged students,
disabled students, forced migrants, mature
students and young adult carers.