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Starting university can be a big step for new students and also marks the beginning of a new phase for the whole family. There will be anticipation, apprehension and excitement, and the University of Chester is keen to ensure parents and carers understand what support is available for your child.

We pride ourselves on the quality of the support that we provide for our students. With a range of support across our sites, and dedicated staff, we're on hand to offer information, advice and guidance to all students on every aspect of their life whilst at university. Our aim is to ensure that everyone is able to experience an enjoyable and enriching student experience.

Student Support Concerns

Please see below for our services to support students.  

If the student about whom you are concerned is not finding it easy to settle in or to find like-minded people, encourage them to take action themselves. As part of their induction, they should have accessed the University of Chester app and the Pre-Arrival Student Site (PASS) through the student portal. Here, they can find information about induction activities, networks, clubs and societies. And the Students' Union has a range of activities. 

In our accommodation, there are Residential Assistants, who volunteer to help students settle into their accommodation as they get used to some of the challenges of living with new people who have different ways of doing things.

Welcome Week is not a typical week; it takes time to settle in anywhere new and time to meet people you want to spend time with. Services are all fully staffed and we really do want to talk to any student who is not having the best of times yet.  

Why can’t you tell me how my student is doing?

University is an adult environment; our students, whatever their age, have a legal right to confidentiality under UK law. There are exceptional circumstances where we can share an individual’s information with a parent. If you are really concerned, you can telephone the relevant service or department. We can and will listen, even if we can’t discuss the student in particular. Where we have information that a student is struggling, we will always follow up with the student directly.

How can I get items to a student in a University hall of residence?

If posting essential items to a student living on campus, please mark clearly with the student’s name and room number alongside the address.

University Support Services

The following support is available to all students at the University of Chester: 

  • Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) – an academic member of staff from the student’s academic department
  • Residential Advisors – offer support out of hours
  • Wellbeing and Mental Health – practical information and advice about issues and concerns that may be impacting on study or University experience
  • Disability and Inclusion – supporting and advising students with disabilities
  • International Student Support – providing support and advice to international students
  • University Proctor – deals with complaints, investigates disciplinary issues, addresses antisocial behaviour and advises on personal safety
  • Chaplaincy – pastoral and spiritual support to the University community
  • Student Counselling – professional counsellors
  • Financial Support Team – for those in financial hardship
  • Careers and Employability – advice and guidance to help students find work and improve their employability skills
  • Mentoring – provides opportunities in the University and local schools
  • Volunteering – enable students to develop their skills and make the most of their time at University
  • Sport and Active Lifestyle – get a healthy study/life balance through sport, fitness and lifestyle advice
  • Porters and Security – 24/7 365 days a year
  • The Students’ Union – represents students on all aspects of student life, enhances student experience and offer social, sporting and non-sporting activities and societies.

Are you concerned about your child?

If you believe your child is experiencing difficulties and needs additional support you could encourage them to contact the Wellbeing and Mental Health team.

If you have serious concerns about your child's wellbeing or welfare, you should contact the Wellbeing and Mental Health team, or the Porters (campus security) when outside of office hours. Please note that due to the Data Protection Act (2018) we will not be able to share any specific information, including progress, about a student, to any third party, this includes family members.

If your concern is urgent please contact the emergency services on 999.

Sharing information

Parents and carers should note that due to the Data Protection Act (2018) we will not be able to share any specific information, including progress, about a student, to any third party, this includes family members. University staff will be happy to provide you with general information about University.

In exceptional cases we may contact a student’s trusted contact.  It is important that students ensure this contact remains up to date.

Trusted Contacts

At the University of Chester, we have a protocol which outlines the situations in which we may take the decision to involve a ‘Trusted Contact’ where there are serious concerns about a student’s safety or mental health.  All students are asked to nominate a ‘Trusted Contact’ at enrolment, and to inform their Trusted Contact that they have been nominated for this role. Trusted contacts may be expected to work in close partnership with the University in situations where we determine it would be helpful to actively bring you into the support network for the student, or where we feel it is necessary to inform you of a student’s situation so that you can take appropriate action.

We will always put the student at the centre of decisions about their care, including who they would like to have involved when there are serious concerns about their safety or health.  In the majority of circumstances, we will contact a Trusted Contact with the student’s full knowledge and consent, and with agreement on the information that is to be shared.  However, there may be occasions where it is not possible to gain this consent prior to making contact, for example where a student is seriously injured and is not in a position to give consent.  Moreover, we do not rely upon consent as the lawful basis for making contact and as such there will be times where contact is made without the consent of the relevant student being sought. 

Decisions to involve a student’s Trusted Contact will only be made by senior staff within Student Services.

If you have any questions about our Trusted Contact protocol, please contact

How can you help

  • Be at the other end of the phone for them
  • Listen to them
  • Show them that they are important
  • Reassure them it is normal to feel anxious during transition
  • Encourage self-confidence and independence to help them adjust
  • Try not to contact them too much. We know that you may feel a sense of loss, but they need to know that you trust them; let them make their own decisions…and mistakes sometimes
  • Encourage them to access University support 
  • Help with managing a student’s expectations

Here are some examples of potential signs that a student is requiring additional support. However, please be aware that someone may still require support even if none of these signs are present.

  • They want to come home every weekend
  • They are upset or crying when they call you
  • They start calling you very often
  • You have a feeling that there is something wrong but they will not talk to you
  • They want to leave soon after arriving at University