We all know the important role a parent plays in their child's university experience – from helping choose where to study, to supporting with funds or simply offering an opinion during an open day.
Having your son or daughter go to university can be a stressful time for both of you, especially if they’re moving away from the family home. Some parents find it difficult to advise their child of the options around higher education, especially if they have no experience of it themselves.
To help you to gain a better understanding of the university environment and support your child in making the right decisions about their future, we’ve pulled together some useful information.
Support and Facilities
At Aston University, we provide an excellent level of care for all students. In addition to the academic support our staff provide, we also cater for pastoral needs and leisure requirements. Aston students have access to an extensive network of support services for both academic and non-academic issues. There are also processes in place to identify a student who may not be fully engaged with their studies, who can then be referred to the relevant team.
- The Hub
The Hub brings together all Aston’s key support departments to ensure students can get answers to their queries without having to go from one part of the University to another.
Staff at the Hub reception desk will either be able to provide an immediate answer or arrange a referral to a team of specialist staff who will be able to help.
Frequently asked questions include issues around council tax, disability support, enrolment, student finance and scholarships, record details, counselling, visas and work permits.
- Disability Support
New applicants are encouraged to contact the Enabling Team as early in the application process as possible, so they can ensure that any support required is in place.
If a disability has been declared on a UCAS form or postgraduate application form, students will be sent a questionnaire asking for more information about their particular needs. Current students may contact the Enabling Team in the strictest confidence at any point during their time here.
Please note that applications for Disabled Students’ Allowance and organisation of some services can take several weeks.
- Religious Support
We’ve had chaplains on campus for over 30 years. They give confidential pastoral care to students and staff, whether they hold religious beliefs or not. And they provide advice on spiritual and ethical matters, as well as contact details of local Christian and non-Christian religious representatives such as faith advisers and places of worship.
The prayer room and Martin Luther King Chaplaincy Centre on campus offer opportunity for reflection, while student religious societies (Hindu, Islamic, Jewish and Sikh) offer the chance to meet and worship with people who share religious beliefs.
In addition, the city of Birmingham offers a wide choice of places of worship covering all major religions.
- Health Centres
There is an optician and dentist in the Aston University Health Clinics building.
Free eye checks are carried out by final-year Optometry students under supervision, and reasonably priced spectacles, lenses and contact lenses can be purchased.
Henderson's Dental Surgery offers an independent dental service charging £18.50 for an assessment. They also provide advice on whether further treatment can be offered or whether students need to be referred elsewhere, such as an NHS practice. The Birmingham Dental Hospital, just across the road from the University, is a free alternative source of dental care.
The nearest NHS doctor's surgery is Halcyon Medical based at Unit 8, 24 Martineau Place, B2 4UH. The nearest alternatives are a mile from campus. UK students are advised to show their UK medical card to speed up the registration process with whichever doctor they choose to register with. There is also the option to remain with your home GP, however those suffering from chronic health conditions are advised to register with a local healthcare professional.
Aston University Nursery and Pre-School caters for up to 104 children aged from three months to five years, and is based on Coleshill Street, just a short distance from Birmingham City Centre and a range of transport links.
The purpose-built nursery has been specifically designed to promote learning and development in a safe and secure environment.
Find out more here.
In the interests of respecting student privacy, we are unable to discuss any concerns without a student’s express permission.
The 1998 Data Protection Act prohibits the disclosure of an individual's information, except in specific situations. These include the University's belief that a student poses a risk to themselves or others, or is too unwell to be able to make a decision.
Should there be an emergency, a decision to contact the next of kin is taken on a case-by-case basis by the Chief Operating Officer or their nominee. Students are asked to keep details of their next of kin up to date on MAP (My Aston Portal).
We pass next of kin contact details to a hospital only in a medical emergency and if specifically requested by the hospital. Hospitals have similar data protection procedures and do not routinely notify Aston University about a student who is in their care unless the student asks them to do so.
It is up to students themselves to inform the University that they are in hospital; some choose not to do so. If we do have contact with a student in hospital, we suggest that they let their family know, although we cannot do this for them without their permission.
What to do if you’re concerned
The University will always take your concerns seriously. While we cannot discuss a student’s situation/circumstances without their permission, we can contact students and offer appropriate help even if we cannot guarantee that they will choose to take advantage of the support.
During working hours, please contact Jackie Edwards, PA to the Director of Student Services, on 0121 204 4579 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Out of working hours, please contact Aston University Security on 0121 359 2922 or email email@example.com