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Universities with excellent pastoral care

(13 Posts)
selly24 Thu 29-Oct-15 10:01:02

Does anyone have opinions on the above please?.
East of England and middle of the country pref. But open to all ideas. Could you share your experiences please. Thanks in advance

goinggetstough Thu 29-Oct-15 10:11:35

Hi, you will get better answers if you post in higher education. Do mention also what your DC wants to study and any other relevant issues as all universities are different including the types of pastoral care.

bruffin Thu 29-Oct-15 10:12:30

DS has just started at Surrey and that appears good, ie mentors coming to his room the first weekend to make sure everything is ok etc. Lots going on in freshers week on how to use library etc. He seems to be doing alright so hasn't needed much help IYSWIM.
My sis works at UEA and from what I can gather it is supposed to be good for pastoral care as well.

lionheart Thu 29-Oct-15 11:00:48

Really depends on a range of factors but pastoral care is very much a part of the package for any university these days (or should be). Usually, it will include a personal tutor, someone who is involved with additional needs and year tutors--all of this is within the department.

Within the university as a whole there should be an educational support unit for additional needs, sometimes a health centre, counselling and various workshops, supports for exam stress, anxiety and so on.

Bath is supposed to be the place for additional needs.

It is also going to depend in part on personalities (whether you gel with your personal tutor--if not, ask for another), whether the department and university really embraces an ethos is which the pastoral matters beyond ticking boxes.

You will probably need to think about staff-student ratios and the course numbers in general because, with the best will, this is going to have an effect.

Peer support or buddy/mentor schemes are a good sign that pastoral care matters and that the department is aware of issues around transition from school to university.

If a student has specific issues, disability, additional needs, mental heath difficulties it is well worth contacting the university in advance and asking specific questions: you can tell a lot by how they respond to this kind of approach.

ragged Thu 29-Oct-15 11:26:12

I think you need to talk about what subject too, because pastoral care is going to vary within departments as much as by Uni.

I would
* ask about this on the student room,
* check the student satisfaction surveys (they are broken down by dept)
* check the PG satisfaction surveys. Depts. that look after PGs are more likely to look after Ugrads, too.

I wonder if Unis that run tutorial systems are going to win out on avg, because the students establish relationships with tutors & visa versa.

LBOCS2 Thu 29-Oct-15 11:35:32

UEA wins the student satisfaction survey year on year, and did have very good pastoral care when I went there (some time ago now though!). And it's in the east of England smile

Needmoresleep Thu 29-Oct-15 12:11:22

More expensive but Buckingham, the private university, has a good reputation, and can be a useful option for kids who perhaps have previously lost their way. My understandng is that the feel is closer to a small American Liberal Arts College.

Frankel1 Thu 29-Oct-15 16:29:00

Do not, I repeat, do not suggest Newcastle to your dc. I hate that university, or those in charge of it, with a deep seated loathing after the way my dc was treated. I hope they rot in hell.

TalkinPease Thu 29-Oct-15 22:26:30

Define pastoral care?

Uni is not like school.
What specific issues are you meaning?

fastdaytears Thu 29-Oct-15 22:36:55

The biggest problem with pastoral care IME is not what's available (loads basically everywhere) but whether or not the student will choose to access it. If they don't then there's very little that anyone can do.

I'm always advertising Durham. It's definitely not in the middle of the country but the collegiate system is more like school which means more support especially in the first term. Even there though if you don't ask for help then you don't really get it and lots of people don't.

Zodlebud Fri 30-Oct-15 18:02:25

I think it should be described as pastoral support, not pastoral care. An 18 year old is an adult by law and should have the life skills to be prepared for university. Not every young adult is the same and some need more help than others in the transition BUT there will be nobody checking that they're eating three nutritional meals a day, that they are doing laundry and not living in squalor etc. Tutors will keep an eye out for obvious problems but it's definitely not like at school. Pastoral support and advice is there but needs to be accessed by the individual as opposed to the other way round.

I guess it depends on what you expect pastoral care to include???

onadifferentplanet Fri 30-Oct-15 18:16:47

Speaking from personal experience Ds had excellent support from UEA last year during a difficult time when it became necessary for him to have some time out. He's back there this year loving every minute of it! Feel free to pm me if you want to ask anything more.

mudandmayhem01 Fri 30-Oct-15 18:26:25

Sheffield Hallam have always been extremely helpful when I have helped disabled students though the application process. The people at Cardiff were amazing when one our students who was homeless and vulnerable, missed her grades by quite a margin but because of the relationship they had built up with her and the good communication with school, she still got her place on a very competitive, professional course. The person who made that decision on results day could have literally saved a young woman's life, by getting her to a new city far away from a terrible home life. Thank you Cardiff University!

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