Starting off

In a number of countries, and in very many universities, the new academic year has been getting under way this month. For students who are now embarking upon their degree studies, this can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but for many it is also something unfamiliar and occasionally intimidating. It is every university’s obligation to ensure that students feel supported at this time, and that those who are not comfortable know who they can turn to for help.

Orientation for new students should always include information about the help that is available for those who feel the need for it. This can and should be communicated in readily accessible online information – such as this example from the University of Colorado at Boulder – but also in face-to-face meetings and in classes.

Right now there is also a growing and welcome focus in universities on mental health, which must be accompanied by appropriate professional support.

Overall, the message to students must be that they should never feel they have got to face problems alone, and that there is always someone they can turn to who will listen, help and make time for them. That is the key duty that all universities must meet.

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3 Comments on “Starting off”


  1. Is the need greater than it used to be? Have kids become more fragile? “The Coddling of the American Mind” http://amzn.eu/d/c0aLaeB

  2. Vince Says:

    There’s a difference between coddling and a system with internal procedures that those without a history to stabilise them find incredibly disorientating.
    I know that a registration fee demanded by College that for those on a grant is paid by the grant wasn’t clear and many mature students left in the first weeks because of it. Indeed had it not been for a lady in the fees office I would have been one of them. And that was just a miss matching of language between the university and the local council.


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