Parents and supporters’ welcome information

Studying at the University of Plymouth is a life-changing, transformative experience, and we know that at times of change it’s important to feel supported. Because of that, the University offers a range of support services to students – be that helping them find a part-time job, developing their academic skills, finding accommodation or support with their wellbeing.

But, we also know supporting someone at university – a son, daughter, partner or family member, can also be daunting. This webpage outlines key information about the university experience for those of you who are the parent or supporter of a current student, to help you understand their life at university and how you can help them.

Student life during the COVID-19 pandemic

We know that parents and supporters of students may be worried about what life is like at university while faced with the ongoing pandemic, but we want to reassure you that safety is our highest priority. The University has put in place a number of measures to ensure student safety around campus and within accommodation.

We want to ensure that students have the best possible university experience and are able to access all the support that they need. The University has a range of mental health services for students, be that online support via our subscription to www.togetherall.com or ongoing counselling.

For students with underlying health problems or a disability, we also have a dedicated Disability Services Team. Find out more about Student Services.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our Student Services team on +44 1752 587676 or email studentservices@plymouth.ac.uk (opening hours Monday to Thursday 8:30–17:00, Friday 8:30–16:30).

In the event of a crisis out of hours, a range of external services can be contacted. The University Security team should be contacted in the event of an emergency: +44 1752 588400.

Lifting of restrictions and the 2021/22 new academic year

Our priority is that your student has a successful experience in an enjoyable and safe environment, and we hope that the lifting of restrictions will stay in place for the rest of the academic year.

We are planning for a high-quality student experience, designed on the basis of in-person, face-to-face teaching and learning, supplemented with digital resources. You can read more about this in detail in our guide to the 2021/22 academic year, which covers important aspects such as how subjects are taught, face-to-face sessions, learn on demand, meeting with lecturers and arrangements for international students.

Our commitment is to sharing a collective responsibility to minimise risks to others and ourselves. This means and ethos of behaving sensibly and responsibly, being kind, patient and respectful to others on campus and the local community. It also means acting quickly and decisively if there is a need to self-isolate, symptoms are experienced, or if anyone tests positive for COVID-19. We will of course maintain a flexible and adaptable approach as the situation continues to evolve.

Vaccinations and testing

In line with UK Government guidance, all new and returning students are encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as possible – and to receive both doses. This is important so that we can overcome the pandemic and return to a more normal life and university experience.

If a student is already registered with a GP in England, they can book appointments at a location that is convenient through the National Health Service website or by phoning 119. They can also through this service, change their location to their university one for second dose.

All international students are also eligible to receive a free vaccination in the UK, even if they have received a first dose outside of England. If a student had a first dose outside of England, but will be here in England at the time of second dose, they should register with a GP in England and book an appointment that way; or approach a local GP and ask to be vaccinated as an unregistered patient.

Whether vaccinated or not, we ask that all students take two Rapid Flow tests before arriving at university. On arrival at university, students should take another two Rapid Flow tests (3-4 days apart) and test twice a week thereafter until the end of September. Students can collect home test kits from a number of campus locations. These are free and can also be ordered online or collect from a test site or pharmacy.

COVID-19 reporting

Specifically in relation to COVID-19, we ask any students who are displaying symptoms or who may have had a positive test to please let us know by way of a simple form.

If you have any concerns or want to access advice or help from our friendly support teams once you have reported your self-isolation, symptoms or test results to the University, please contact the Student Hub.

Disclosing student information

Parents, relatives and supporters often contact the University to ask for specific information about a student and/or their studies. Due to the Data Protection Act, the University is unable to disclose any information, even to parents, unless the student has given consent for the University to do so.

We do appreciate that this is a difficult situation and do understand that parents and supporters may be concerned about their son or daughter but without their consent, we can only discuss general University procedure and support.

We always ask that parents and supporters contact students directly rather than trying to make contact via the University and encourage our students to talk to their personal tutors or our support services if they have any issues or concerns. Thank you for your understanding.