Personal Tutor Responsibilities
4. Whilst personal tutors can be approached about any issues a student has relating to their time at University, the tutor may not be able to provide specific guidance on academic studies or the choices that have to be made. In these circumstances a personal tutor may refer matters relating to a student’s academic programme or module choices to an adviser of studies in the first instance.
5. Personal tutors should be able to give assistance to students with general areas where they need to improve but specific feedback on assessments should be obtained from module co-ordinators.
6. It is expected that tutors should meet with their allocated students at least twice a year for around 30 minutes. The first meeting with new students should be within two weeks of their programme commencement. Continuing students should be met within six weeks of the start of their programme. These meetings will normally take place in the tutor’s office.
Suggested topics of discussion include:
At the first meeting
- Make sure the student knows how to contact you and agree the process you want to follow for setting up subsequent meetings.
- Do mutual introductions to get to know each other and help the student relax.
- Make sure the student is aware of their responsibilities and what support they can expect from you as their tutor.
- Encourage the student to maximise the opportunities available to them as part of the wider student experience and direct them to the employability student guide.
At subsequent meetings
- Ask the students if they are enjoying their time at the University.
- Ask the student if they have any issues they would like to raise.
- If they are experiencing any academic or personal problems that are affecting their academic work, chat about these issues and, where necessary, point them in the right direction for additional support.
- Discuss learning strategies and where they can get help to improve these.
- Ask students to reflect on their personal and academic development to date.
- Review how the student is getting on with their studies and perhaps reflect on work that has been completed, and on any feedback received.
- Discuss career aspirations and what they can do to improve their employability, and encourage them to seek advice from the Careers Service.
7. It is the responsibility of the tutor to establish contact with the student and to arrange meetings. Tutors should encourage students to attend meetings and make reasonable efforts to contact their students. However, ultimately it is the student’s responsibility to attend meetings and they cannot be forced to attend. If the tutor suspects there may be a reason for non-attendance this should be reported to the School Manager in the first instance.
Personal tutors should familiarise themselves with the support and services that are available elsewhere within the University so students who require support can be directed to the relevant areas. Academic queries should be directed to a member of the advisory team in the first instance. Personal tutors may want to follow up with a student if they have referred them to a service or colleague. This could be done by asking the student to come back and see the tutor to let them know how they are getting along or by asking the student to email the tutor.
8. Tutors are encouraged to take a note of attendance at meetings and, although not obligatory, they may wish to make a record of the meeting.
9. Where a personal tutor does not have the relevant knowledge or expertise to advise a student on their programme of study they should refer their tutee to the School’s Advisory Team.
10. Students should be made aware that it is for them to decide whether or not to seek guidance on personal problems from their personal tutor. Students have the option to self-refer themselves to Student Support Services and the Students’ Union.