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Academic Handbook Student Welfare Policies and Procedures

Student Welfare Policy

Introduction

Purpose

  1. This Policy sets out the steps Northeastern University London (the University) will take to support the welfare of all students to enable them to fully engage with their studies and perform to their full academic potential.

Scope

  1. This Policy applies to all individuals studying at the University, including undergraduate and postgraduate degree students, apprentices, work related learners and mobility students. 
  2. This Policy should be read in conjunction with the:
    1. Undergraduate Student Attendance Policy
    2. Academic Engagement Policy
    3. Support to Study Policy
    4. Safeguarding Policy
    5. Prevent Policy
    6. Misuse of Substances Statement
    7. Bullying, Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy
    8. Student Confidentially Statement

Definitions

  1. Student: any individual enrolled on a programme of study at the University including undergraduate degree programmes, postgraduate degree programmes, work related learning, apprenticeships and mobility programmes.

Support and Monitoring of Student Welfare

  1. The University recognizes that students’ health, mental health, and personal circumstances can impact on their ability to engage with their studies. 
  2. Students are expected to take responsibility for their own learning experience and to seek out advice and support should they begin to experience health or personal difficulties which may impact on their studies.
  3. The University will provide a range of services to support the welfare of students and help them to address welfare issues and enable them to continue to meet the requirements of their programme of study. 
  4. Student Support and Development (SSD) provides individualised advice and support to students experiencing welfare issues. In addition to the in-house staff, SSD works with external partners and may, where appropriate, refer students to specialist services such as counselling or may guide students to access NHS or community resources.
  5. Residence Life provides on-sight support for students living in University procured accommodation. 
  6. Faculty and staff of the University will be mindful that welfare issues can have a negative impact on students. Where faculty or staff become aware of a student experiencing difficulties, they will signpost them to SSD and Residence Life as appropriate.
  7. The University will put into place mechanisms to try to identify where a student may be experiencing difficulties but have not sought support. This will include monitoring attendance and engagement as set out in the University’s Undergraduate Student Attendance Policy and Academic Engagement Policy. 
  8. The Student Welfare Oversight Group will be responsible to ensure that the University is making reasonable efforts to identify and assist students experiencing significant welfare issues.

Care Meetings

  1. In order to ensure that the University is providing coherent and coordinated support to students were there are significant welfare concerns regular Care Meetings will be held. 
  2. Care Meetings will normally be held on a weekly basis and will be chaired by the Head of Student Support and Development, or their nominee.
  3. The purpose of the Care Meeting is to review the support and services being provided to the student and their engagement or lack or engagement with this. Consideration will be given to whether or not the support being provided is sufficient and effective for the students’ needs. Consideration will also be given to whether referral to external services is appropriate or, if the student is already accessing external services, whether the University is working effectively with them. Where the available support is not proving to be sufficient for a student’s needs referral to the Change in Circumstances: Break in Study Policy may be considered. Where the student is not engaging with support, consideration may be given to invoking the Support to Study policy. 
  4. A register will be maintained by Student Support and Development of students about whom there are significant welfare issues for review at the Care Meetings. This will include students experiencing physical or mental health problems and students where there is a safeguarding concern. At the discretion of the Chair, students with poor attendance, at risk of academic failure and those undergoing disciplinary, complaint or academic misconduct procedures may also be included should there be concerns for their welfare.
  5. Care Meetings will normally include those staff directly involved in the delivery of support and advice to the students. This will normally include Student Mental Health Advisers, Student Wellbeing Coordinators, Residence Life Manager, Residence Life Supervisors and Academic Advisers and, for Care Meetings involving mobility students, the Northeastern Director, Global Network Pathway Programs. Other faculty and professional service staff may be included in meetings as needed to ensure that appropriate support is provided.

Student Welfare Oversight Group

  1. There may be occasions where students experiencing significant welfare issues may not seek out support and they may not be visibly unwell or distressed. However, there may be more subtle indicators that the student is experiencing difficulties, such as high levels of absences, making numerous applications for Extenuating Circumstances, missing of formative and summative academic deadlines, and minimal engagement with CANVAS the virtual learning environment. The University will take steps to identify and contact such students in order to offer support.
  2. The Student Welfare Oversight Group will be responsible for commissioning and reviewing attendance, submission and VLE access reports in order to identify students who may be in difficulty but who have not accessed support.
  3. The Student Welfare Oversight Group will be Chaired by the Academic Registrar and will include the Associate Dean Teaching and Learning, Head of Student Support and Development, Residence Life Manager, Lead Academic Adviser, Head of Visa & Compliance, Head of Registry.
  4. The Student Welfare Oversight Group will meet at least twice in each term.
  5. The Student Welfare Oversight Group, where it identifies students that may be in difficulty, will direct SSD and/or Residence Life staff to make contact with the students to try to establish whether the student is experiencing difficulties and, if so, offer support.
  6. The SSD or Residence Life staff, after meeting with the student, may deem that the student would benefit from structured pastoral and academic support, and the Support to Study Policy may be implemented.
  7. The Undergraduate Student Attendance Policy and the Academic Engagement Policy will run in parallel with the work of the Student Welfare Oversight Group. The Student Welfare Oversight Group will seek to identify and support students to improve their attendance and engagement before they are subject to action under the Undergraduate Student Attendance Policy or Academic Engagement Policy. 

Version History

Title: Student Welfare Policy

Approved by: Academic Board

Location: Academic Handbook / Policies & Procedures / General

Version number Date approved Date published  Owner  Proposed next review date
6.1 January 2023 January 2023 Head of Student Support and Development May 2024
6.0 July 2022 August 2022 Head of Student Support and Development May 2024
5.0 January 2021 January 2021 Head of Student Support and Development January 2023
4.0 October 2019 October 2019 Head of Student Wellbeing April 2021
3.0 April 2018 April 2018 Registrar April 2021
Related documents Student Disability Policy; Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy; Support to Study Policy; Undergraduate Student Attendance Policy; Bullying and Harassment Policy; Misuse of Substances Statement; Safeguarding Policy; Prevent Policy; Extenuating Circumstances Policy; Declaration of Criminal Convictions Risk Assessment; Prospective Student Disability Disclosure Form; Prospective Student Disability Disclosure Form – Guidance; Specific Examination Requirements Disclosure Form; Student and Staff Death Policy and Procedure; Student Confidentiality Statement; Student Disclosure Form; Student Disability Policy
External Reference Point(s) UK Quality Code Theme: Enabling Student Achievement; Camden and Islington Crisis Line; Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015