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

COVID-19 Related Information

While the way in which we will deliver some of the services and facilities we provide for our students may have changed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the University of Chester remains fully committed to delivering an excellent range of teaching and learning, student support, student services and facilities. 

We aim to work in partnership with our students to keep our campus and wider community safe. Masks, social distancing, hand hygiene are all vital.

What is the University of Chester doing to keep teaching COVID-secure?

We have worked closely with public health officials and other experts to put in place the best possible provision and guidance to keep our students and staff safe.

We have introduced the Chester Blend for teaching and learning. Where it is safe and beneficial for groups to meet staff face-to-face, that is what we are offering. Where we can’t make an academic activity COVID-secure, it will be provided online.

What is happening about support and socialising?

We pride ourselves on the quality of the support that we provide for our students. With a range of support across campuses, 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.

Many of our activities will be remote and virtual this year.  Any that involve physical attendance are being run with the same protocols in place as those which commercial organisations are required to follow.  

In accommodation, we have segmented larger groupings (such as long corridors) into households or “bubbles.”  Those students can share space such as kitchens and socialise together in groups of six.  We do have to tell students that they cannot have any visitors from outside and cannot visit each other’s households (bubbles.

What is happening about students coming from countries on the list of those required to quarantine?

Any student who has just been in one of the countries on the list with restrictions on entry is required to self-isolate for 14 days. We have provided transport from the airport and accommodation for them and are delivering food. Many of our students whose family home or recent travel is in one of those countries came to UK early enough to self-isolate for 14 days before Welcome Week/start of term.

How do students get tested if they think they have Covid-19?

Any student who has symptoms of Covid-19 on campus should complete an online symptom reporting form - https://v3apps.chester.ac.uk/cv_positive/.

What happens if a student tests positive?

We ask students who test positive to email covidstudent@chester.ac.uk They will have to self-isolate in their accommodation according to Public Health requirements.

We shall contact them to see how they are and what support they might need. We shall also advise any other people in their household of the need to self-isolate and collect some information for the government track and trace teams, which will be in accordance with Data Protection legislation.

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 PASS through the student portal (targeted web pages.)  Here, they can find information about induction activities, networks, clubs and societies. Even though so much is being delivered remotely this year, there are student volunteers out and about wearing red T-shirts, providing information and a welcome. Staff wearing special blue jackets on campus will be glad to answer questions – as well as advising on COVID-secure protocols. And the Students' Union has a range of activities. 

In our accommodation, there are Residential Assistants, who volunteer to help students settle in to their accommodation and with 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 but cannot share that information with anyone outside the University, not even a parent, partner or sibling.

How can I get items to a student who is self-isolating in a University hall of residence?

The University has decided that we cannot have visitors to its campuses.  This is to help prevent the spread of the virus to its students, staff and the wider community.

Any students who are self-isolating in the University’s catered accommodation receive a support package for their wellbeing. This includes food and other essential items, including, where appropriate, medication.  Students can use online shopping if they are self-catered and we also deliver “click and collect” shopping in Chester.  

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

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 & Mental Health – practical information and advice about issues and concerns that may be impacting on study or University experience
  • Disability & 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 & 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 & Active Lifestyle – get a healthy study/life balance through sport, fitness and lifestyle advice
  • Porters & 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 & Mental Health team.

If you have serious concerns about your child's wellbeing or welfare, you should contact the Wellbeing & Mental Health team, or the Porters (campus security) when outside of office hours. Please note that due to the Data Protection Act (2019) 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 (2019) 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 emergency contact.  It is important that students ensure this contact remains up to date.

How can you help

  • Be at the other end of the phone for them
  • Listen to them
  • Show them that they are important
  • Reasure 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