Following research undertaken with current students, the following themes were raised as positive ways in which parents can best support them during their degree programme.
▪ Encouragement in studies
▪ Emotional support/ help with problems
▪ Financial support: assistance with fees, buying food
▪ Allowing independence
▪ Keeping in touch: phone calls, letters, emails, texts
▪ Reassurance/ Positive influence on feelings
▪ Cooking tips
▪ Help moving into new house
▪ Visiting, showing an interest
In addition, for those of you who have a son or daughter living at home during their studies, it is important, even more so than at school, that they have somewhere they can study quietly and be able to spread out books, journal articles etc.
It is also important that students engage with the social activities on campus, such as events in the Students’ Union, and society and sports activities. Research has shown that these activities are essential to students’ development whilst at university. As well as the academic element of their degree, it is vital that they also learn the transferable skills employers are continually asking for. Such skills include communication skills, team working, leadership, time management and many more. Although many of these skills are developed as part of their taught modules, they are also developed outside of the classroom. The contacts made in these activities will also act as peer support during your son’s or daughter’s time at Aston University. Research has suggested that students who live in the family home during their studies have a tendency to only be on campus for timetabled lectures/seminars and leave immediately afterwards. There is a danger that they will not benefit fully from their time at university.