Parents guide

  • Parents' Guide

    Going to University is a stressful time for a student's family as well as the student. We know that some parents have been involved with the application process and continue to wish to be involved. This page explains what you can do to help with the transition.

    Going to University isn’t just a period of change for students, it can impact the whole family. For many students it is the first time they have lived away from home, and had responsibility for looking after themselves.

    Before arrivals weekend

    To help students prepare for their first year at university there are some things that you can do before they leave home:

    • encourage them to learn how to cook basic meals
    • show them how to use a washing machine
    • discuss money management skills
    • discuss issues relating to personal safety to ensure they can keep themselves safe
    • make yourself aware of what they should and cannot bring with them, and help them to pack appropriately
    • make sure they know who to contact if they have any problems.

    It is normal for students to feel a little unsettled for the first few days or weeks as they get used to their new environment and routine. Most students feel significantly better once they are a few weeks into the term. If they continue to have problems they can talk to hall staff or the University Wellbeing Team for help and support.

    moving in 3
    moving in 1

    Where to get help

    We understand that you want the best for your child while they are away at University. If you have concerns about their living conditions or experiences there are some things that you can do that would be helpful.

    Talk to them

    Sometimes what upsets you might not upset them (and vice versa). Make sure that you fully understand their point of view. If they are unhappy or upset about something, what it is that has made them unhappy or upset? Also if something isn’t a problem for them, try to understand why it isn’t concerning them and respect their views. Remember that it is the student who lives in halls and who needs to feel safe and comfortable. They may find it embarrassing if you make a fuss about something that they aren’t concerned about.

    Understand who our contract is with

    We have a contractual agreement with the student. The money used to pay hall fees may not be theirs, but the agreement is with them. We cannot discuss their contract with anybody else. The student can set up a password that other people can use to verify that they have given them permission to talk to us on their behalf. This is standard practice across all industries. If a member of staff tells you they cannot talk to you, it is because they are adhering to Data Protection legislation. This legislation exists for the benefit of the student.

    Encourage them to speak to us

    Always encourage the student to speak to us first. The first step is always contacting the Hall Office to discuss the specific issue. If this doesn’t resolve the issue, or for any reason they don’t want to discuss it with hall staff, they can come to the Accommodation Bureau instead. It is the student’s responsibility to raise issues through the appropriate channel. They are the resident and you cannot do it for them.