University welfare services


I’m Dee Bunker and I’m the head of student welfare at the University Buckingham. Student welfare offer services for emotional health and physical well-being and academic well-being. At the University of Buckingham, we offer a GP service. A GP comes to the students rather than students having to go to the surgery. We offer mental health support. We offer drug and alcohol support. We offer physical health support and we have a disability officer and a learning support officers all within the same department, so it’s an easy department to come to. If a student has disclosed that they’ve got a serious illness, we would make sure that they’d seen a GP and that the GP is on board with their illness and that he can then refer them on to the appropriate departments that can help the student. We would also get the person to see the disability officers, so we can put in any reasonable adjustments the student is entitled to. That can be anything, from having extra time in their exams or having rest breaks. It could be changing their course for them, it can be adapting the course so that it’s more suitable for their disability. If a students needs time off for treatment, it could be that they get extra time for that instead of being penalized. Students come in for a variety of reasons with a variety of treatments, there are mitigating circumstances forms that all universities would complete so students would automatically get mitigating circumstances, which would mean that the examination boards are aware that the person has an illness that’s affected their ability to study. Also, students can take time out of their studies and they can self-rusticate, which is like suspending their studies until they’re well enough to return to their studies. If a student wants to take time out, that’s absolutely no problem. We welcome that if that’s what they’re wanting to do. Being at university can be quite stressful and it can be anxiety-provoking, especially if you’re dealing with a physical illness as well. It’s useful to take some time to reflect get yourself completely better and then come back to your studies when you’re fit and well and you’re more focused. There’s nothing worse than having any illness which you’re completely focused on and then you’re unable to study. If your long-term goal is to go to university and to complete your degree, you should not be hampered in doing that. If you wanted you to take time out and you wanted to restart your program, there are restart options in most universities. You would have to find out more from the university you’ve applied to, about what options you have. We get lots of students that are nervous about coming to student welfare for whatever reason. Luckily, with this university, when meet every student, we meet them at registration, so they get to know the student welfare from their very first day. If anybody does disclose that they’re unwell, we invite them within the first 2 weeks into the department to meet one of us so that we can make sure that they’re cared for appropriately. Lots of students get referred to us, by their departments. Within this university, you would have a personal tutor and lots of tutors and administrators pick up on various issues They’ll recommend that we contact the student and we normally make the first move in that respect. Every university within the country has a student welfare or well-being service for the students and that includes learning support, counselors, mental health advisers. There’s always someone around for students to go to with any issues whatsoever. They are free and they’re waiting to help you The services utilize very well and they’re there for the students to make sure that their journey through university is successful.

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