The Student Advice Team provides generalist welfare advice to students on a wide-range of issues. Typical areas we assist with include:
- Social Security Benefits
- Legal Issues
The above list is not exhaustive and we are happy to discuss any issue that is giving you cause for concern. For example, you may wish to discuss an academic issue with someone who is independent of your course team.
We subscribe to the Citizens Advice “AdviserNet” information system. This holds a massive amount of information on many subjects – please ask us about accessing the system to find any information you are looking for.
Please refer to our links page for information on a wide variety of issues.
Our Student Advice Team offers a confidential environment in which you can discuss your situation in detail – any information you disclose will be handled sensitively and professionally in accordance with our confidentiality policy.
Our team has specialist knowledge of issues affecting students in higher education. We have many years’ experience of advising students and we are committed to constantly updating our knowledge, skills and resources.
The Advice Process
We will give you the opportunity to give a full account of your situation, and the issues arising from it, from your point of view. Once we have clarified that we have correctly understood what you have told us, we may ask you some questions to further explore your situation – there may be further issues or considerations that have not yet become apparent that we need to discuss with you.
Once we have made a thorough assessment of your situation, we will assist you in exploring the range of possible options available to you. This allows you to explore the likely outcomes any given action will bring about. You can then decide which action will bring about the outcome you want and this process allows you to make an informed and considered decision about the next step you are going to take.
We will not tell you what to do at any stage – it will be your decision which path you choose to follow. If your situation is more complex, we will be happy to meet with you on an on-going basis.
Unfortunately, we are unable to take any responsibility for your situation: the responsibility will remain with you. However, we will always try to ensure you are able to make progress in dealing with your situation, and moving it towards a resolution. We will help you as far as we are able to, including dealing with third parties on your behalf if you require us to.
We have links with local solicitors, so if you are facing a serious situation with legal implications we are able to refer you to a specialist, if necessary. Legal aid is usually available to students due to their low level of income, but students should always ask about the cost of advice, or any action carried out by a solicitor (e.g. a letter).
If you wish to make a formal complaint about the University, Student Advice can assist you in following the proper procedures. If your complaint is not resolved satisfactorily, we can also give you information about taking your complaint further. The Office of the Independent Adjudicator considers complaints that have not been resolved at institutional level. You can follow the link below to find out what types of complaint are covered by the OIA scheme:
The Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education
OIAHE – resolving student complaints
Financial Ombudsman Service
If you have a compliant about our money advice services, you can take your complaint further via the Ombudsman once you have explored the University’s complaints procedure.