Student Services News

News from the Student Services Centre (Carrington Building)

Month: November 2017 (Page 1 of 2)

Awards for sustainability achievements

We are delighted to announce that we have won a prestigious Green Gown Award for our achievements in reducing carbon emissions. The annual Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges Green Gown Awards are a celebration of sustainability achievements across the higher education sector.

In December 2016, Reading hit its target of reducing carbon emissions by 35% compared to a 2008/9 baseline, delivering a 63,000 tonne reduction of CO2 and £17.1 million in cumulative savings.


Student Sustainability Award

The University’s Sustainability team has recently launched the Student Sustainability Award, a new scheme to help students get involved with environmental issues that matter to them during their time at Reading. Students will have the opportunity to work with the Sustainability team to help shape the University’s strategy for becoming more environmentally friendly. Activities are flexible and could include anything from producing a video or piece of writing to organising events on campus.

Any time spent volunteering as part of the programme can be used towards the Reading Experience and Development (RED) Award.

Dan Fernbank, Energy & Sustainability Manager at the University of Reading, said: Winning a Green Gown Award for our carbon reduction achievements is a great endorsement of how far we have come in the last few years. Our work to date has demonstrated that practical, cost effective solutions can be delivered on a large scale to make real impacts.

“The launch of our new Student Sustainability Award during our annual Green Festival is an exciting new step in enabling our students to take a central role in making the University a more environmentally friendly place to study and to work, and we look forward to supporting a new generation of sustainability advocates.”


Green Festival

Last week, the University hosted its annual Green Festival – a week-long series of events designed to educate students and staff on green issues and to encourage them to become more environmentally sustainable in their everyday activities. This year’s events included a talk on careers in the green sector, tours of the University’s Energy Centre, a session on bike skills and David Attenborough Day, where students could watch back-to-back documentaries in the Students’ Union.


Sustainability achievements

In October 2017, the University was named among the top five universities in England for reducing its carbon emissions by the University Carbon Report 2015/16, published by sustainability consultants Brite Green.

More recently, Reading was also ranked joint 16th in the People and Planet University League 2017, which is a comprehensive and independent league table of UK universities ranked by environmental and ethical performance.

For more details on the University’s Sustainability Services, please go to:

Top students celebrated at our Chancellor’s Awards ceremony

This week saw the celebration of our Chancellor’s Awards, which recognise the highest achieving students from across the University.

66 students who achieved top results in their subject at the end of either their first or second year of study attended a reception hosted by the Chancellor, The RT Hon. The Lord Waldegrave of North Hill PC, William Waldegrave, and the Vice-Chancellor, Sir David Bell. RUSU’s Education Officer, Ed White, handed out the awards and each student also received a keepsake yearbook with the winners’ names, photos and profiles.

Of the 66 winners, 11 were recipients of the award for the second time. In addition to the family and friends of the winners, the ceremony was also attended by senior University staff and colleagues from academic departments.

Congratulations to all the winners!

New study spaces to be created in Halls

We are pleased to announce that we will be creating over 100 new study spaces across our Halls of Residence which should be ready for use in the New Year.

We understand study space is a priority for our students and have been working to identify opportunities to create additional spaces where possible. This new project will see the University working with UPP to refurbish a number of currently underutilised spaces in our Halls, and to install new furniture to create a productive study environment for students.

The locations of these new study spaces are as follows:

  • Wessex Library
  • St Georges Computer Room
  • Wantage Computer Room
  • Stenton JCR
  • Childs JCR
  • Mackinder JCR

As these spaces are located in Halls, their use will be specifically for student residents and their guests. We believe the spaces will provide a convenient study option for students living in Halls, whilst also freeing up space elsewhere across our campuses.

Work is scheduled to start in January 2018, with the aim that the spaces will be open by the end of February. As with all building work scheduled around Halls, any noisy works will be limited to take place between 9am and 5pm.


Study space across our campuses

We have provided some helpful resources to make it easier for students to find a suitable space to study. These can be easily accessed through our Library refurbishment project page, and include:

Library staff in the URS Building at the Information Desk or Reception will be happy to try and help or advise students looking for study space.

Full details of the Library refurbishment, including FAQ, project summary, latest news and study space links, are available on our dedicated project website:


Week 10 Highlights – upcoming events 27th November – 1st December


Artificial Intelligence and Christian Faith
7.30pm, Zero Degrees Restaurant and Bar

RUSU Housing Talks (with free pizza!)
5-6pm Monterey Lounge

Introduction to the RED Award
1-2pm Carrington Building 201

How to Prepare for and Give Successful Academic Presentations (Life Tools Talk)
2-3pm Palmer G06



‘How Science Got Women Wrong’ Lecture
6pm Bulmershe Theatre, Minghella Studios. Register to attend!

Blackwell’s Book Launch Event
7.15pm Blackwell’s bookshop Oxford. Purchase your tickets today!

RUSU Curry Night
7.30pm Mojo’s Bar

Reading Film Theatre – Screening ‘Land of Mine’ (Under Sandet) (15)
8-10pm Palmer Building. Book your tickets now!



RUSU Trip to London’s Winter Wonderland
12.30-9pm (coach leaves campus at 12.30). Book your ticket now!

Christmas Wreath Making
2-5pm Student Activities RUSU

Careers with my Degree
1-2pm Carrington Building 101

Referencing: why, how & when
2-3pm Palmer 105



Sport in Mind – Tennis drop-in session
2-4pm Whiteknights Indoor Tennis Dome

Fairtrade Christmas Fair
12-2pm Palmer Building
Book a stall space by emailing:

Christmas Lights Switch On
5.30pm Palmer Quad
Light up the university Christmas tree with music and an extended Thursday Food Fair!

Reading Film Theatre – Screening: ‘The Party’ (F-Rated) (15)
8-10pm Palmer Building. Book your tickets now!



RUTAM presents: Battle of the centuries
Annual dance showcase in order to raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust!
7pm 3sixty RUSU. Purchase your tickets today!

Christmas Cocktail Making
8pm Mondial

RED Award Completion Session
1-2pm Carrington 201



Faith and Religion at UoR

There are many opportunities to get involved with faith and religion during your time at university. Aside from practising your faith they offer a great community and can be a huge support to you.

Here are some of the faith societies that you could join:

  • Islamic Society
    This society aims to provide support to students in their academic and social life alongside their religious journey. Join their Facebook groups and see how you can get involved!
  • Christian Union
    The Christian Union vision is that every student at Reading Uni will have the opportunity to hear the gospel and respond to it. Throughout the autumn term, they are holding their CU Central meetings on Thursdays in Humss G27 at 7pm. Come along and find out how you can get involved.
  • Hindu Society
    Join the Hindu Society and become part of their learning and sewa (selfless service) events and gain a deeper understanding of Hinduism. Immerse yourself in celebrations at their flagship Diwali Ball and Holi events. With regular events and socials in collaborations with other societies, you can easily make new friends.
  • Sikh Society
    The Sikh Society holds regular talks, Kirtan Darbars, social events, and Gurdwara trips in order to raise awareness about Sikhi on campus. They also host many fun social events such as bowling, go-karting and paintballing!
  • Jewish Society
    This society hosts events such as weekly Friday night dinners on campus, challah baking, Hebrew lessons and also running assemblies in local primary schools about Judaism.

All these societies meet regularly and run events, so they’re a great way to meet new, like-minded people!

In addition to this, the Chaplaincy on campus is a great way to get involved too! They offer other faith groups such as the Atheist, Humanist and Secularist Society (RAHS). They are open 8.30-5.30 Monday-Friday in Park House Lodge for anyone to drop by. The Chaplaincy has six chaplains who are a diverse group from many local churches who can offer support to students and staff, whatever their religious beliefs. They have a weekly schedule of events which include Catholic Mass, soup lunch, Quaker Meetings and even Bread Making!

Click here to view the weekly chaplaincy events.

The campus also hosts other facilities such as the Muslim Centre, which is found at Archway Lodge.


Safety on your night out

For many, being at university means getting a first taste of independence – knowing you can stay out as late as you like, meet new people and make your own rules. But new freedom comes with new responsibilities. Below are a few tips to ensure your personal safety – so that fantastic night out doesn’t become the night you wish you could forget.

Our top tips:

  • If you’re going out, make sure a friend or flatmate has your mobile number, knows where you’re going and roughly what time you plan to get back.
  • When you’re out, don’t leave your drink unattended, and keep track of what you’re drinking.
  • If you can, try and leave with a friend or a group of friends. Avoid walking home alone in the dark.
  • Don’t let anybody into your room if you don’t yet know them well enough.

More things to think about…

Before going out

  • Why not cook a group meal with your house or flatmates? There’s nothing worse than drinking on an empty stomach.
  • Plan ahead for getting home – especially if you’re going somewhere you don’t know.
  • Charge your phone before heading off and consider taking a portable charger with you in case you get caught out
  • Save a reliable and recognised taxi number in your phone; the University’s Security Services team will be able to recommend a company.

When you’re out

  • Remember you can ask for Angela. If you’re on a date you don’t feel comfortable on, the person you’re meeting is not who you expected, you feel unsafe, or just something is a bit ‘off’, go to the bar and ask for ‘Angela’. The bar staff will know what to do and will be able to discreetly help you out of the situation. This is a campaign by the Met Police, for more information click here.
  • Never accept a drink from a stranger. If you feel ill or drunk when you shouldn’t, your drink could have been spiked and tell someone you trust or a member of staff at the bar/club immediately.
  • Don’t feel pressured to drink if you don’t want to. You can opt for soft drinks instead, or in between alcoholic drinks.
  • Walk away from conflict or a tense situation. Alcohol fuelled fights at 2am are never a good idea and you’ll always regret it in the morning.
  • Try to stay in a group, and look out for each other.

Heading home

  • Let your friends know if you’re leaving.
  • On the bus? Don’t sit in an isolated area.
  • If you decide to walk, stick to well-lit paths and busy areas.
  • When you’re walking, stay alert. Don’t get distracted by your mobile or headphones.
  • If you think you’re being followed, cross the street. If it persists, get to the nearest busy location and phone the police on 999.
  • If you feel nervous at night walking through campus or back to your room, the University offers a chaperone service, where a member of security can walk you to your destination on campus.
  • When you get back to your room, have your keys ready before you get to the door, so you can get straight in. Always lock your door when you’re in your room.

Day to day

  • Be aware of campus security – they can help in case of an emergency. Find out more about the service, including the Chaperone service and a ‘stay safe’ guide here.
  • Be aware of campus surroundings. Although the University environment is generally a safe place, it is not a ‘bubble’ and you should still be vigilant.


For more information, see:

Useful telephone numbers to save in your phone:

Around campus…

  • University emergency security services: +44 (0)118 378 6300
  • University general security services: +44 (0)118 378 7799

When out and about…

  • Non-emergencies or reporting an incident: 101
  • Emergency: 999

International Student Focus Groups

The University of Reading urgently needs international students for 1 of two focus groups happening tomorrow (Friday 24 Nov) to find out what information will benefit new international students most upon arriving at Reading. The focus groups are 1 hour and participants get free lunch and a £5 EAT voucher for taking part. You don’t need to prepare, just go along and share your views on what information you think is most useful to new international students getting settled to life at the University of Reading. The main focus will be giving feedback on the current version of the International Student Survival Guide in order to improve the guide and the overall welcome experience for future international students.

Taking place this Friday (24th November) in the Edith Morley Building 243c, there will be two focus groups running during the day:

Group 1) 11:00am – 12:00pm
Group 2) 01:00pm – 02:00pm

To take part, students will need to email Mark Peace, with their name, student number, nationality and the programme they’re studying (BA, BSc, MA etc).

Open to international first year undergraduates and PGT students only!


Your Personal Tutor and how they can help

When you begin your studies at the University you will be allocated a member of academic staff from your School/Department as your Personal Tutor.

Your Personal Tutor acts as a key point of contact within your School/Department throughout your degree. They will help to guide you in your studies and introduce you to a wider network of development opportunities within the University.


Your Personal Tutor can help you to:

  • Make decisions about your course and reflect on your academic progress
  • Formulate plans to support your academic and personal/professional development
  • Connect you to other academics and opportunities in your field of study or subject area

Meeting with your Personal Tutor

Regular contact with your Personal Tutor is important and will help you to get the most out of your University experience. You should meet with them regularly (at least once a term) to reflect on your academic progress and support your personal/professional development.

Keeping your Personal Tutor up to date with progress in your studies and your involvement in any co-curricular and extra-curricular activities will allow them to give you better advice and sounder references to support your academic or career progression.


Changing Personal Tutor?

If you feel the relationship between you and your Personal Tutor is not functioning as it should, you can request a re-allocation. Please discuss this with your School’s Senior Tutor in the first instance.

If your Personal Tutor leaves the University you will be allocated another Tutor in their place.


5 topic ideas to discuss with your Personal Tutor:

  1. Improving your knowledge of a topic/subject beyond the classroom
  2. Careers, work experience and networking (including how to network effectively!)
  3. Essay and coursework advice
  4. Extracurricular activities that compliment your subject or area of study
  5. Making the most of your lectures and seminars


For more information, click here.

Safety and security at university

As the winter nights draw in and the evenings are now cold and dark, it’s important to bear your own safety and security in mind when you’re out and about. Whether you live on campus or in private accommodation, it’s good to remember some simple strategies and support services that help you continue your daily routine safely.

Security Services – Staying safe and secure

The Security team at the University of Reading are largely focused on the personal safety of staff and students. They are present on campus, completing security patrols, surveillance and emergency response callouts from any location on university property. With a 24 control room and CCTV networks, the Security Team are here to support you if need help or wish to report something. They can be contacted on:

Emergency telephone: +44 (0)118 378 6300

General enquiries telephone: +44 (0)118 378 7799 (All calls are recorded for Verification and Audit purposes)


It is worth putting the numbers into your phone now, just in case!

Please note: For cases where you require the emergency services (Police, Ambulance, Fire brigade etc.), dial 999 immediately.

The Security Service also offers other services such as Campus Watch (similar to neighbourhood watch), a Chaperone Service (assistance for ensuring you get from A to B safely), and also offer security equipment (such as bike locks, personal alarms and high-visibility vest) to purchase to protect yourself and your belongings.

Security Services also offer advice, as prevention is the best way to tackle crime. They offer advice on a range of topics such as:

  • Personal safety
  • Security advice for schools and departments
  • Keeping your vehicle secure
  • Keeping your bicycle secure
  • Safe cycling

For more information, visit our Safety and Security pages.



Week 9 Highlights – upcoming events 20th-26th November


Housing Talks by RUSU Advice Service (with free pizza!)
16.00-17.00. Monterey Lounge.

Transgender Day of Remembrance
13.00-13.40. Flagpole near Library at Whiteknights.


Reading Film Theatre – Maudie (12a)
19.45 Palmer. Get your tickets today!

RUSU Comedy Central Live ft. Marlon Davis, Kelly Convey & Adam Rowe
19.00 Mojo’s Bar. Make sure you buy your ticket!



Public Lecture – Lost & Found: Excavating the world’s first farmers in Iraq and Iran. 10,000-7,500 BC
20.00, G10 Palmer Building. Register to attend!

Christmas Wreath Making (volunteering society)
14.00. Lakeside residential Care Home

Transgender Awareness Training
14.00-16.00. Palmer 106.
Students can book by contacting Sinead O’Flynn –
Staff can book via Employee Self Service.



Reading Film Theatre – God’s Own Country (15)
19.45 Palmer. Get your tickets today!

Film Night – Beauty and the Beast (Disney, Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror Film society collaboration)
19.00. Edith Morley 125.



Bread Making Workshop
10.30 / 11.30 Chaplaincy Centre. £2. Book your place now at:

Film Society – Comedy Collection
19.00. Minghella Building.



Big Band Swing Ball
19.00, Great Hall London Road Campus. Book your ticket today!

RU Doc Soc Christmas Trip to Bath
Coach leaving from campus at 10am.

A Flower for Oscar Wilde: Being Human Festival
10.00-13.00. Reading Museum, Belgrave Street, RG1 1QH. Register to attend!





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