Student Services News

News from the Student Services Centre (Carrington Building)

Month: March 2013

Changes to the Immigration Advice Service

The RUSU Immigration Advice Service has moved to the Carrington Building. From the start of the Summer term the Immigration Advice Service will be located in the Student Services Centre on the Groundfloor of the Carrington Building. The Service will continue to offer:

  • Visa advice drop-in sessions on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 10:00-13:00, and Wednesday 14:00-17:00
  • Visa advice appointments available to book during weekdays
  • Visa application workshops throughout the year
  • Help with meeting your Tier 4 Visa application requirements
  • Updates on immigration rules changes that could affect students
  • Information on working during and after your studies

For further information contact or click here to download our flyer.

Try something new…study abroad with ERASMUS

Ever wished you were somewhere else? Well here is your chance and you could be given money to do so!

ERASMUS logoMost departments at Reading have exchange programmes with some of the best European Universities as part of the ERASMUS programme, which will enable you to go abroad, study your subject and gain some funding, all as part of your Reading degree.

National studies show that students who study or work abroad via the ERASMUS programme have better chances of finding employment, higher wages, better degrees classifications and basically have more fun. It is your chance to live in another country, experience a different culture and lifestyle, learn about your subject from a different perspective and help gain international transferable skills that can help set you up for life. You do not have to speak a second language as many partner institutions teach in English – but there are chances for you to do so if you want!

Most students who study abroad come back saying it is the best part of their degree and they wish they could have stayed longer – click here to read what they have to say. The Erasmus & Study Abroad Office and Erasmus & Study Abroad coordinator in your department can advise and support you throughout the whole process.

It is not often as a student that you receive money to go abroad… why not try it.

Click here to visit the Erasmus & Study Abroad Office website for more information.

Student Community Awards 2013

It is once again time for nominations for the Student Community Awards. These awards recognise the efforts of students who give up their time to help others within the community.

These unsung heroes help with local youth groups, organise fundraising activities for charities, or carry out acts of kindness and generosity just because they see a need and want to help.

Nominations can be from staff, students or members of the local community, and this is your chance to recognise any student you know who gives up their time to help others.

The nominations are considered by the Student Community Awards committee, and all nominees will receive recognition for the hard work they have done. The awards will be presented at a lunch ceremony on 29 May, to which all nominees and nominators are invited.

Previous winners include Janine Holmes who volunteered at local charity Me2 and built a particularly strong relationship with an 11 year old girl named Polly with Autism. Nicola Abram  volunteered as part of the night outreach team which contacted and supported sex workers, and Laura Truesdale set up and ran art workshops for Reading Drugs and Alcohol Information Services.

Ann Westgarth, Community Relations Manager for the University, said:

Every year we are surprised and delighted by the nominations we receive for this award. Many students give up hours of their own time to help others or see a need which they want to try to meet. Students who make a contribution in this way feel part of the local community and are valued for their efforts. I’m sure this year’s award winners will be as equally impressive.

The closing date for nominations is 30 April 2013

To download a nomination form please visit

The award committee made up of representatives from Reading University Student’s Union, local residents, and the University Chaplaincy, will announce the winner of the award at a special ceremony on 29 May 2013.

The award has been funded by donations made to the Annual Fund by Reading Alumni. The prize(s) of up to £250 may be awarded to individual students, specific groups of students or student households.

Easter events

Will you be staying in Reading over the Easter vacation? Wondering what’s on? The Chaplaincy has put together a list of events and activities that are taking placing in Reading and the surrounding area over the course of the break.

You can click here to download the list of events.

Reading Half Marathon – Sunday 17 March

For the third time, the University’s Whiteknights campus will be host to many avid runners from our community in Reading and beyond as, once again this year, we are delighted to form part of the route for the Reading Half Marathon.

The event is the UK’s second biggest half-marathon with approximately 16,000 people set to run approximately 21 kilometres, on Sunday 17 March.

The route begins at Green Park and runs through the University campus, entering at the Pepper Lane entrance and moving around the perimeter road in front of Whiteknights House exiting at the main Shinfield Road entrance by the SportsPark.

Although the campus is not an official spectator area, those wishing to view the run as it passes through the site are encouraged. However, please be advised that there will be no vehicular access to the Whiteknights campus throughout the morning, from 07.45 to 13:00.

A number of roads around the town, including those close to the University, will be closed for periods of the day and a number of bus routes will be affected. Please visit the official Reading Half Marathon website for information on the full route and further details of road closures and disruptions and the Reading Buses website for details of changed bus routes.

Absences from the University during term

The PVC Teaching & Learning, Gavin Brooks, has recently written to all Undergraduates reminding them of their  responsibilities and academic obligations whilst enrolled as students at the University of Reading and in particular in relation to absence during term-time. He stated-

“These obligations are covered by the University’s Regulations for Conduct concerning absences (the Regulations for Conduct which apply for 2012-13, together with the penalties for breaking the rules, can be found in the Calendar at In particular, I draw your attention to the following points:

  • During Term, students are expected to remain within the University’s jurisdiction.
  • Students are expected to keep all academic engagements (including examinations, School-based tests, lectures, classes, tutorials, interviews) and to present written work as and when required by the Academic Staff, unless excused in advance. In the case of examinations, leave of absence must be sought from the relevant Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning). Any student who is unable, owing to external circumstances, to fulfil an academic engagement of an individual nature (e.g. a tutorial or interview) is expected to inform the member of the Academic Staff concerned. If it is necessary because of special circumstances to be absent from more than one engagement, the student must obtain permission from his or her Tutor (or from the relevant School Director of Teaching and Learning in the Tutor’s absence).

I want to remind you of these Regulations, particularly in regard to post-exam periods in the Summer Term. You might be aware that some commercial holiday providers are already organising events for students e.g. summer breaks, especially during post-exam periods and within term-time. In some cases, these organisations operate such events with the support of legitimate clubs and societies of Students’ Unions. For example, in recent years some students have attended events in Newquay during term-time. The University wishes to make it clear that it is not involved in the organisation of any such events for students and, moreover, it does not condone the absence from the University of any student who attends this type of event.

I remind you that you are normally expected to be at University during term-time and to attend any classes for which you have registered and/or to prepare yourself for the forthcoming academic year as appropriate. In accordance with the Regulations for Conduct outlined above, the University reserves the right to impose appropriate sanctions on any student who is unable to fulfil an academic obligation because of attendance at an external event during term-time.”

Extra study space over the summer examination period

For the duration of the summer examinations period selected teaching rooms have been converted into extra study areas for any student to use. Most rooms are available from 22 April to 24 May 2013, with some available until 7 June.

From Monday 22 April to Friday 7 June the University Library will remain open 24 hours a day, most of the week. Click here for more information on the extended Library opening hours

There is additional information about our general provision of study spaces on the Student Pages.

Individual quiet study

Please note: these rooms are not open at the weekends or on public holidays

Rooms available during the day
All rooms 09:00-18:00

  • Business School G03 (24 places – available until 7 June)
  • Agriculture GU06 (20 places) – Good Wi-Fi signal

Rooms available into the evening
All rooms 09:00-22:00

  • HumSS 175 (34 places)
  • HumSS 301 (30 places)

Rooms with PCs

  • JJ Thomson 128/129PC (30 places)
  • HumSS 172PC (12 places)

Out of hours study space – available until 7 June, and open at weekends

  • Carrington 101 and 201 (40 places in each)

You will need your Campus Card to use the rooms in the Carrington Building.

Code of Conduct for the Quiet Study rooms

These rooms are for individuals who wish to work in silence. Please be respectful of others studying in the room.

  • do not use your iPod or play any other music that can be heard by others
  • keep laptop speakers muted
  • keep mobiles in silent mode
  • do not take or make calls on your mobile
  • leave the room tidy so that others can use it after you
  • only consume bottled water, no other food or drink may be consumed in the room
  • do not leave your belongings unattended

The closure times noted above are the times that the buildings/rooms will be locked up. You are asked finish working and to leave the study rooms 10 minutes before the buildings are closed.

Contact points

In the event of a problem with the room (or other occupants) please use the contact points listed below:


Times open

Contact room

Agriculture GU06 09:00-18:00 School Office 1U09
Business School G03 09:00-18:00 Ground Floor reception desk
Carrington 101 and 201 19:30-07:00 Ground Floor foyer
HumSS 172
HumSS 175
HumSS 301
09:00-18:00 Room 178
HumSS 172
HumSS 175
HumSS 301
18:00-22:00 The Porter in the HumSS Building
JJ Thomson 128/129PC 09:00-18:00  

New online tool helps students’ job prospects

A new online tool dedicated to helping students seeking work placements and graduate employment within the life sciences industry has been launched this month.

Thanks to the University of Reading and the Biopharma Skills Consortium (BSC), students can readily access advice on how to make stronger applications for work placements and employment. The web pages ( will also improve students’ understanding of the industrial environment and highlight how to make a rapid impact when starting a new job.

The new resource is timely as a High Fliers report released on 14 January 2013 found that a third of jobs will be filled by graduates who have already spent time at a company, through work experience or industrial placements during their degree.

Dr Orla Kennedy, Associate Dean Science (Teaching and Learning), from the University of Reading, which  leads the BSC, said: “The recent High Fliers report shows just how important work placements are for securing graduate employment. This website allows students access to audio clips that provide insights in to working in the bioscience sector and contains guided web links to useful web sites and training materials.”

Dr James Gazzard, Professor of Workforce Futures at the University of East Anglia (formerly based at The Royal Veterinary College, University of London) added “in a globally competitive job market university students and recent graduates need support to help them to effectively engage with employers. It is vital that universities develop platforms to support students to articulate their skills, particularly higher level competences gained through work placements”

The online tool is the concept of the Biopharma Skills Consortium (BSC) which comprises seven universities from across the south-east. The resources form part of the BSC’s on-going commitment to addressing the skills needs of the biotech and pharmaceutical sectors; the BSC encourages STEM students and staff across the UK to use these resources in their placement and employment preparation.

Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey

We’re keen to make sure postgraduate students have the best possible experience while studying at the University of Reading. To do that we need to know what you think we are doing well and what we can do better. To this end we take part in the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) each year to garner valuable feedback from our students. If you’re thinking about taking part this year, these are the answers to some of the questions students often ask:

What is it?

The Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) is a national survey of postgraduate taught students inviting them to comment on their course and experience. The questionnaire takes around 20 minutes to complete.

Why should I take part?

The Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey is your chance to tell us your thoughts about your programme. It is also your opportunity to tell us what you liked about your time here and things you feel could be improved.

What happens to the results?

Your feedback is important.  Over 100 universities and colleges take part. This means we can compare your experience against similar postgraduates at other institutions to see if we are supporting your learning as we should. We use the findings to improve our courses and the learning experience for future students.

What does it cover?

PTES will ask you about things like:  motivations for taking the programme, depth of learning, organisation, dissertation (or Major Project), professional development. It will also include a few extra questions about issues that are particularly relevant to us and to students at Reading.

What do I need to do?

You will receive an email with a link to the questionnaire during the week commencing 10 March. Simply click on the link and enter in your username and password (also in the email) and complete the online form. The survey is open until 16 May. If you want to opt-out of the survey then please respond to the email indicating that this is the case.

Is it anonymous?

The survey is anonymous and the University will not be able to identify you.

Want to know more?

If you are unsure about anything to do with the survey, or have any difficulty, please see your course or programme leader, or contact Dr Nathan Helsby in Planning Support on 0118 378 6972 or by email:

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