As you prepare for university life, you probably have a lot of questions: How will I find my way around? How do I go about writing a university-level essay? Where can I turn if I need advice?
University Ready is your hub for information on how universities are offering support and help to make sure you get the most from higher education.
On this page, we highlight just some of the ways universities in Wales are supporting students during the pandemic and beyond.
The various lockdown and travel restrictions over the past year or so may have made it impossible to visit your chosen university. In common with many others, Aberystwyth University has been offering online open days and virtual campus tours.
The virtual campus tour takes the form of an eight-minute video, so you can view it any time, and look around the campus and accommodation to give you a taste of what awaits you when you arrive.
When you’re on campus, you will want reassurance about keeping safe. Cardiff University offers just that, with new measures like one-way systems, extra cleaning, and staggered timetables to reduce the number of people moving around. There’s also a free COVID-19 screening service.
And the university is recruiting extra counselling and wellbeing staff, including Residence Life Assistance – current students to support you if you’re living in university accommodation.
The way you learn at university may be slightly different from what you’re used to. Bangor University provides an online Study Skills Centre, which will take you from the basics of studying at university to specific guidance on using Microsoft Office software and how to avoid plagiarism.
Making notes in a lecture is a different skill from making notes from reading, and there are different kinds of academic writing too. The resources here will put you on the right track for writing essays or reports or for putting together and making a presentation.
The Open University in Wales
As an Open University student, you won’t be attending a campus, so you may have different concerns ahead of your studies. That’s why the university offers a special online course in Being an Open University Student.
It aims to give you a head start by getting you used to how you’ll be supported, the technologies you will use, and what will be expected of you – meaning you can start to develop the skills you’ll need to succeed.
University of Wales Trinity Saint David
There’s nothing quite like a first-hand account of the university experience, and University of Wales Trinity Saint David gives you the chance to chat to current students before you arrive.
Through the Unibuddy programme, you can have an online chat with a student ambassador of your choice. Their profiles are open for you to browse, so you can find someone you feel most approachable or appropriate – maybe they are studying your subject, or they have similar interests, or maybe they even come from your hometown.
These student ambassadors answer thousands of questions a year, so there’s no need to worry about asking for their opinion or advice.
Wrexham Glyndŵr University
At Wrexham Glyndŵr University, meanwhile, you can also gain this kind of first-hand insight through a lively and accessible blog. Written by current students and staff, it covers virtually everything you could want to know about - from surviving your first weeks away from home or learning to cook to campus life and things to do in the local area.
There are also blog posts with parents in mind, covering topics such as finance and how to support your child in practical terms as they set off on their journey into higher education.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
If you’re heading to Cardiff Metropolitan University, the i-zone offers personal help for virtually any non-academic matters. Based on both the Cyncoed and Llandaff campuses, the friendly staff are part of the Student Support and Employability team.
They can help with any questions about Student Services, help you book an appointment or fill out any relevant forms.
And if they can’t help you themselves, they can put you in touch with the people who can – whether you’re having trouble with tuition fees, enrolment, or almost anything else.
Wellbeing Services provide vital support as a new arrival and throughout your time as a student. At Swansea University, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the service has introduced a special request form to give you more specific resources or refer you to the best service for your query. They can also offer advice and guidance appointments by phone or Zoom.
The form is available online, along with a range of information and contacts, as well as related services like the Students’ Union and the Welfare Team.
University of South Wales
Sometimes, university life can present unfamiliar circumstances, which you may find too challenging. Counselling can be a good to way to work through these issues, and at the University of South Wales, the Counselling Service aims to help you realise your potential and get the most out of your studies and university life.
After making a Wellbeing Advice appointment, you may be referred to one of the team of counsellors, who can help you to explore your situation and make appropriate choices.
This is just a small sample of the support available from the universities around Wales.
You can explore the University Ready hub to find exactly what you’re looking for.
This resource is part of the University Ready hub.
Find more resources like this on the hub homepage.