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Support for students in higher education

There are various support services on offer to students in HE, whether you need to access it or not – knowing it’s there should it be needed is piece of mind.

Student Support Services

All universities and colleges offer a wealth of services to support students whilst they are studying, from physical and mental health, support with improving academic skills, careers services, clubs and societies, advice and guidance, accommodation information. These are often dedicated spaces, with teams of experts in various areas, the video below shows what University Centre South Devon offer students. Each university and college provide an array of support services, and the provision in this area of HE continues to increase in both availability and variety.

Academic support

Students have access to a tutors, members of teaching staff who are there to provide academic guidance and support. Meetings with a tutor are scheduled throughout the year, but students have the option to book a meeting with a tutor at their own request.

Students’ Union

The Students’ Union is an organisation in HEIs that is made up of current students. Student unions are on hand to offer advice and signpost to relevant services. In many cases, they should be the first port of call for students with any issues, queries or ideas.

As well as offering advice and signposting support, student unions are responsible for creating social events, clubs and societies.

Library services

Despite a move towards more digital content, such as online journals and books, libraries still play a key role in HEIs. Libraries provide a quiet place to study, a place to copy and scan documents, and staff who can support learners to improve their independent learning and research skills.

Employability and careers services

Employability and careers services are becoming increasingly popular in HE. They can offer a range of support, from CV writing and interview techniques, to highlighting activities and placements that will give your child an advantage in the job market.

Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA)

HEIs have a range of support for students who have a disability, learning difficulty, mental health condition, or other long-term condition.

In many cases, students can apply for Disabled Students’ Allowances to cover some of the extra costs they might have because of their condition.

More information can be found at gov.uk/disabled-students-allowances-dsas

In addition to DSAs, students with particular conditions might be eligible for other forms of support, such as car parking, or special exam provisions. To find out more about support at a specific HEI, we recommend contacting them directly.

Financial support

For students who are struggling financially, many HEIs have hardship funds available. In the case of a successful application, students could receive a loan or a grant. Bursaries are also available for students who may face more barriers to attending full-time education, enabling them to access university.


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