Parents and guardians
Supporting your young person at Warwick
As parents of students at the University of Warwick, we understand that you want your young person to feel able to achieve their best. As a University we are committed to providing a supportive and positive environment for all. Coming to university can be a big adjustment, both for your young person and for you.
Sometimes students encounter personal or academic difficulties. The University has a number of specialist support services to aid students through challenging times, and enable them to fulfil their potential.
- What support is available to students?
- Are students safe at Warwick?
- Will staff update parents?
- Is insurance covered in the rent?
- What should I do if I have concerns?
- Is there a safe in accommodation?
- What can I do to help?
- Are there female only residences?
- What about health information?
You can find out more about the Support Services on the University website; in brief, they include:
- Personal Tutor/Supervisor – an academic member of staff based in the student’s academic department
- Wellbeing and Student Support – providing a range of services that can help students to develop the personal resources and skills they need to navigate the challenges of student life - this includes:
- Wellbeing Support Team -offering practical and emotional support for students' wellbeing, and helping them access other service
- The Disability Team - offering support to manage the impact of a disability, including specific learning differences, mental health, autism spectrum and long term medical conditions
- The Counselling and Psychology Interventions Team - offering a range of therapeutic interventions for students experiencing emotional or psychological issues
The teams offer support in a variety of ways. The first step for students is usually to attend one of our brief consultations to help them identify next steps and decide on the type of support they need, such as self-help resources, workshops, one-to-one appointments, psychological interventions, email counselling, therapy groups and mentoring.
- Dean of Students' Office – promoting the academic welfare of students
- Residential Community Team – living alongside students in University accommodation to provide support and guidance
- University Health Centre – an NHS service located on our campus, providing GP and other healthcare
- Chaplaincy – providing pastoral and spiritual support to all members of the University community
- Students' Union Advice Centre (Warwick SU) – providing generalist advice and representation
- Student Funding – offering advice and guidance on all aspects of financial support
- Community Safety – information about our 24 hour Community Safety (& bus on demand)
- Student Experience - Immigration and Compliance Team – providing immigration advice and support for international students
The University also works closely with a number of local and statutory services where necessary and appropriate.
A student may choose to access support via any of the above services. Support services communicate closely with each other (within the bounds of confidentiality) to provide comprehensive and holistic support and will refer students where appropriate.
Important information about parents contacting the University
UK law (the General Data Protection Regulation) and University policy prohibit the disclosure of an individual’s information to a third party. This means that staff members at the University of Warwick are unable to give any information about a student currently studying at the University to a third party. This includes parents, other family members, friends etc. (All Universities in the UK follow similar guidelines and are bound by the same legislation.)
This means that if you make contact with any member of the University and ask about your young person, staff will not be able to divulge any details concerning their academic progress, their wellbeing, their attendance etc. For this reason, we encourage parents and students to keep in regular contact with each other.
We realise that this can sometimes be frustrating, but hope you appreciate the reasons for this. (Please see section below: 'what to do if you have concerns?')
In general, students are expected to act on their own behalf when dealing with offices and departments within the University, and when requesting services or making complaints. Parents will not normally be allowed to make requests, or otherwise act on behalf of their young person.
(In certain exceptional circumstances and with the student’s written consent, we may communicate with a third party, if the University deems it is in the interests of those concerned.)
What to do if you have concerns
If you have concerns about the wellbeing of your young person, in the first instance you should encourage them to contact Wellbeing and Student Support or the appropriate support service (see above).
If you are concerned because you have not been able to contact your young person, and you are worried about their wellbeing, you can make contact with the University. We will take the details of your young person, and seek to contact them on your behalf to let them know that you have contacted us. We will then ask them to make contact with you (we will not be able to confirm anything back to you). The onus will be on the student to contact parents, and staff will not generally get back in touch with parents direct. If you wish to contact the University, please telephone Wellbeing Support 024 7657 5570 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
You may find this information about what to do if you have concerns about someone and crisis situations helpful.
For other concerns, whilst staff cannot talk to your about your young person, they are always willing to listen to your concerns and give generic advice and information. Please call us on the number above.
In an emergency, if you have severe concerns about a student, you can contact the University 24-hour Community Safety line: +44 (0)24 7652 2083. Whilst, for the reasons outlined above, the University is unable to confirm the student’s identity or attendance at the institution, your concerns will be taken seriously and we will respond to them appropriately.
If an emergency takes place on campus appropriate staff may contact the emergency contact (without the student’s permission), if it is deemed appropriate. This would normally be on the advice of professionals such as medical staff.
The University offers help to students in difficulty, and we strongly encourage students to pro-actively engage with support services, should help be required. It is important that it is recognised that your young persons are adults / living in an adult environment, and we encourage and expect them to be independent and take responsibility for their own wellbeing. The University takes its duty of care to students very seriously, but it does not have parental responsibility and can only offer support if approached by the student. In cases where the student is thought to be at risk, appropriate action will be taken by those concerned.
What can you do to support them?
Starting at University
Especially when students start at University, the adjustment process can take time. Experience shows us that one of the biggest concerns for new undergraduate students is making friends. A degree of anxiety is a normal part of life, particularly when faced with new situations. Whilst they may feel like they are in the minority, we can assure you, they are not. Information on transitions and settling in, culture shock and emotional resilience from our website may prove helpful. Most students will adjust within a number of weeks, but if your young person is still struggling, please encourage them to get in touch via our Wellbeing Portal. Whilst your natural tendency might be to intervene and help them, we would encourage you to explore with them what they might do to help themselves and to take appropriate action. If they talk about wanting to come home, it might be more appropriate to encourage them to stay at Warwick and arrange a time for you to visit them. Remind them of the importance of taking care of their own wellbeing - a healthy sleep, diet, and exercise routine is really key to a positive all-round student experience. Watch this short video to see how adversity can help people to grow.
Agree with your young person (ideally before they leave home) how often you will communicate and how. Remember to encourage the right balance of contact with you vs investment in new relationships, and gradually encourage a move from the former to the latter. Keeping in regular contact with them will enable you to be part of their experience.
Remember that the first few weeks are very busy and exciting, which means there is also the potential for it to be tiring and stressful. Encourage your young person to try new things and take advantage of the very wide range of opportunities on offer - all tastes are catered for.
Accommodation - we hope your young person will be happy in their accommodation and in the vast majority of cases, experience shows that they are, even if they aren't allocated their preferred choices. Encourage them to be open-minded and flexible; taking opportunities to get to know other students will help them settle. If they are living in Warwick Accommodation and want to move rooms, this may be possible in certain circumstances.
Watch this short video to see how you can help your young person to develop a Growth Mindset which can help them flourish at university.
During their studies
Even if students adjust well initially, there may come a point in their studies when they face challenges. Encourage them to be pro-active about engaging with support at the first sign of difficulty, and talk to them about their general wellbeing.
Help them to have realistic expectations of academic goals and social life. All students at Warwick are high achievers and many may find they need to work on their perfectionist tendencies. Expectations at higher education level will be different to what they were at school. Encourage them to discuss concerns about academic work with their personal tutor. Keeping in regular contact with personal tutors is extremely important.
Leaving: for some students, it may be advisable/ necessary to leave Warwick and indeed, this may well be a positive choice. Warwick may not be the right place to study at the current time. It may be possible for your young person to consider temporary withdrawal or to leave and go to another University (perhaps closer to home). Encourage them to discuss options with their department in the first instance.
What about health information?
All students are encouraged to register with the Health Centre on campus for routine healthcare, including vaccinations.
Some treatment provided by the UK's National Health Service (NHS) is free for everyone. For other treatment, there are fees for “overseas visitors”, including students. For further information please go to the UKCISA website.
Are students safe at Warwick?
The campus is generally a safe place for students and we have Community Safety available 24/7 who advise students about how to keep themselves and their property safe. Any student worried about their safety should talk to a member of staff who will be able to advise them on their best options. See further information on Student Safety.
Is insurance covered in the rent?
It is advised that you check any insurance cover very carefully so you are clear whether you have cover, and whether it is adequate. For Warwick Accommodation contracts, further information can be found here. For example, many students choose to extend their cover to include protection for their laptop outside of their room.
Is there a safe in accommodation?
Safes are not provided in student bedrooms, so all valuables should be stored out of sight, and windows and doors should not be left unlocked when the room is empty.
Are there female only residences?
All residences house both men and women, although a limited number of single sex areas may be available in some accommodation.
Watch our Parents and Guardians video in your own time
Welcome to Warwick: Advice for Parents and Families of New Students - YouTube