Student Services News

News from the Student Services Centre (Carrington Building)

Month: March 2018 (Page 1 of 2)

‘Best University Careers Service 2018’ Award

The University of Reading and Henley Business School Careers teams took home ‘Best University Careers/Employability Service’ at the National Undergraduate Employment Awards held last month [February].


This award, sponsored by Microsoft, celebrates the outstanding contributions made by career services in helping students apply and maximise their work experience opportunities. The judges highlighted the collaboration and creativity of the careers offering and the further development of industry and employer relationships, which saw a 34% year-on-year increase in employers on campus.

“We are delighted that Reading Careers and Henley Business School Careers have jointly been awarded Best Careers Service 2018. The Award recognises the comprehensive work the University and the School undertake to provide students with best in class career education, exposure to organisations they care about and dedicated one careers coaching when it matters most.”
Dr Andrea Kreideweiss, Director of Careers and Employability, University of Reading
Naeema Pasha, Director of Henley Careers, Henley Business School

Judges highlighted the outstanding services offered by both services, commenting on their innovation with sessions such as using Lego and comedy classes to stretch creativity, as well as services offering daily workshops to develop confidence and skills. They also commented on the quality and breadth of the comprehensive career support available to help students at every stage in their career.

Hannah Houston, final year student said: “Help from the Careers centre has surpassed all my expectations. It helped me understand what was important when writing a cover letter to make yourself stand out, challenged me when learning about competency based interviews and provided a number of workshops which have been vital to my job search.”

Why not help us celebrate by attending a careers workshop or booking a one-to-one careers discussion? Visit My Jobs Online to book your session now.

Check out the Careers website for further information and online resources.
Visit Henley Business School Careers website.

Easter Opening Hours

Find out what’s open and when on campus during the Easter break…

Library & URS Building

The Library and URS Building will be open until Wednesday 28th March, where the University will close for the Easter Holiday. URS will then reopen at 8.30am on Wednesday 4th April. From then it will be normal opening hours (9am – 10pm) in the Library and 24 hours in URS except 9pm on Saturdays – 8.30am on Sundays through the remainder of the vacation period.



Reading University Student’s Union will not be open during the University closure days (29th March – 3rd April). The RUSU reception desk will remain open from 9am – 5pm on week days and Café Mondial will also be open from 9.30am – 2.30pm. Mojo’s Bar & Kitchen will be closed over the Easter break and will reopen on Monday 16th April.



Careers will be closed for the University closure days (29th March – 3rd April), however the service will otherwise be open as normal from 9am – 5pm Monday to Thursday, and 9am – 4.30pm on Fridays.


Student Services Desk

The Student Services desk on the ground floor in the Carrington Building will be closed from the 29th March and will reopen on the 4th April. The service be open as usual during the remainder of the vacation period from 9am – 5pm Monday – Thursday, and 9am – 4.30pm on Fridays.


Counselling & Wellbeing

The Counselling & Wellbeing reception and waiting area will be open as usual 9am-5pm Monday – Friday, apart from the University closure days from 29th March to 3rd April. The service will then resume as normal for the remainder of the Easter vacation period, apart from Friday 6th April with opening hours of 9am – 1pm. Please note that the service will not register any new students between 2nd – 6th April.


Disability Advisory Service

The Disability Advisory Service reception desk will be open from 10am – 4pm and will continue with normal hours after the University closure days (29th March – 3rd April). On the 6th and 13th April, the reception desk will be closed after lunch, so please direct your queries to Carrington G03 during this time.


Erasmus & Study Abroad

Study Abroad are closed from 29th March and will reopen on 4th April. They will otherwise be open as usual from 9am – 5pm in Edith Morley (room 203) throughout the remainder of the Easter vacation period.


International Advice

Access to email enquieries ( will be open and appointments booked via the RISIS portal will still be available but at a reduced service.


The Coop

The Coop on campus will be closed from the 29th March until the 4th April. The store will continue to be open daily throughout the vacation period, typically open from 7am – 10pm.


Halls Hotline

The Halls Hotline is available over the Easter break. If you have any queries, get in touch with them here.



The University Security Services will also still be available over Easter, so if you need to get in touch with them, you can find all the relevant information here.

Foodie Thursday Market To Break For Summer

The Foodie Thursday Market has enjoyed another immensely successful term, thanks to all of you!

We hope you have enjoyed another term of fantastic food from the market, offering a wide range of dishes from around the globe.

The market will be taking a break for the summer from Thursday 22 March, and will return to campus on Thursday 27 September for the start of the autumn term. This is so that the Palmer Quad remains as quiet as possible during the exam period and the summer term.

The break also ensures that our vendors don’t lose out during the summer vacation – campus is much quieter during the vacation, and so taking a short break over summer helps keep the market financially viable for each trader, so that they can continue to return each week during autumn and spring terms.

In the meantime, don’t forget that our very own Catering Services offer a range of catering options across campus all year round – for further details, please visit the Catering Services webpage.

We look forward to welcoming our weekly market traders back to campus this September for another successful term.

Spring Term Week 11 Highlights

Find out what’s happening on campus this week…


RED Award Completion Session. 1.00-2.00. Carrington 101
Sign up here.



Reading Internship Scheme Introductory Session. 1.00-2.00. Carrington 101
Click here for more details.

Comedy Central Live ft. Laura Lexx. 7.30pm. Mojo’s Bar Reading.
Click here for more details.

Reading Film Theatre. Screening ‘Loveless (Nelyubov)’ (15). 8pm-10pm. Palmer Building.
Purchase your tickets here.



Fairbrother Lecture – Would You Let Your Phone Tell You What To Eat? The 2018 lecture will be delivered by Rodrigo Zenun Franco who is undertaking a PhD in Computer Science. Rodrigo will be talking about his research on online personalised nutrition advice. 7pm. Henley Business School, Whiteknights.
Find out more and register your attendance.

UROP Information Session. 1.00-2.00. Carrington 101
Click here to sign up.

Reading Film Theatre. Screening ‘The Miracle Of Santa Luzia (O Milagre De Santa Luzia)’ (U) + Q&A with Sérgio Roizenblit & Luciano Maia. 7.45pm-10pm. Palmer Building.
Purchase your tickets here.

FLUX. 10pm. RUSU.
Click here to get your tickets.



Quiz & Karaoke. 7.30pm. Mojo’s Bar, RUSU. Join us in Mojo’s Bar every Thursday evening for the legendry mid-week quiz, followed by a chance to take the microphone and sing your favourite tunes.
Click here for more details.

Reading Film Theatre. Screening ‘The Post’ (12A). 7.45pm-10pm. Palmer Building.
Purchase your tickets here.





Varsity Union. The Official Varsity After Party. Entry from 8.30pm for those with Varsity Wristband. 10pm entry for ticket holders. RUSU.
Find out more here.

St Patrick’s Day

St Patrick’s Day is celebrated every year on the 17th March. This is the anniversary of the death of Saint Patrick, the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland, in the 5th century.

St Patrick first came to Ireland at the age of 16, when he was captured and brought over as a slave from Roman Britain. Despite escaping Ireland, he returned there later on, credited with introducing Christianity to its people. Popular legend has it that Saint Patrick rid the country of its snakes; however, there have been no snakes reported in Ireland since the last Ice Age and so may be referring to the pagan worshippers of serpent or snake gods instead. Legend also tells us that Saint Patrick infamously used the leaves of a clover, or shamrock, to explain the Holy Trinity (The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit).

St Patrick became ever more ingrained in Irish tradition, that Saint Patrick’s Day is still celebrated today by Irish citizens and communities around the world. Celebrations often include parades and parties symbolised by the colour green and also with the consumption of traditional Irish food and drink such as Irish stew or a pint of Guinness. For many, it is a time to go on a pilgrimage to St Patrick’s Purgatory, a place associated with spiritual healing and repentance since the 13th century.

Click here to find out more about what’s going on in Reading to celebrate St Patrick’s day.

Student Surveys & Why They Matter

We want to ensure that you have everything you need to succeed in your studies and have a great time at university. That is why we take the Reading Student Survey (RSS) and other surveys extremely seriously – it means we can listen, understand and act on your views.

This year, for the first time, we will be asking all of our undergraduate students to complete a survey, whether or not they are in their final year of study. This will provide us with the most accurate overview of our students’ individual experiences, what you think is working well and where we can improve.

For non-finalist students (first and second year undergraduates), the Reading Student Survey (RSS) or the UK Engagement Survey (UKES) are the surveys for you! You will find your link for UKES in an email sent to your university email address on Thursday 1st March. Both of these surveys run from February to April, the first involves questions relating to out provision of support services and other campus facilities, with the latter being centred on your academic experience.

So what are the benefits of completing the surveys?

The first benefit about completing these surveys is improving your university experience. Having the opportunity to express your opinions is an effective way to improve the facilities on campus and therefore improve your overall experience at university.

The second is making a difference. Improvements that are implemented from comments and suggestions in surveys have a lasting impact on students, even on those who are yet to arrive at the University. Improving the academic, study, social and wellbeing facilities on campus ensure the future successes for other students, which keeps the University of Reading as a highly regarded institution of higher education.

The final perk is there is a prize! After completing a survey you will be entered into a prize draw to win one of five £20 Amazon vouchers. What could be better than a £20 voucher heading your way from what could be as little as 5 – 10 minutes of survey time? Bargain!


Responding to student feedback

For more information on how the University uses student feedback, including from surveys, please visit our dedicated webpage.


Any queries?

If you have any difficulties accessing the surveys or have any questions, please email

Recent Blackboard & Turnitin Changes

News of recent changes: On Turnitin assignments you can now make up to three resubmissions without having to wait for the Similarity Report to generate. The way lecturers’ feedback is displayed on Blackboard Assignments has changed. Using the Blackboard App, you can now save files from your courses and make them available offline.

Turnitin: On assignments where you are allowed to submit and resubmit drafts, you can now make up to three resubmissions without having to wait for the Similarity Report to generate (previously, after the first submission you had to wait 24 hours for a new report). For more information please see the Student Support site.

Blackboard Assignments: Blackboard have changed the interface used by lecturers to leave feedback on work submitted to a Blackboard Assignment. This affects only Blackboard assignments (not Turnitin) and only those comments left directly on the paper you submitted. Any feedback left this way after 10 January will look slightly different. For more details please see the Student Support site.

Blackboard Student Mobile App: The Blackboard app now lets you download course files to your phone or tablet, so you can access them later without an internet connection. To see how to do this, please visit the Blackboard Mobile support site or see our own Blackboard Mobile guide.

Spring Term Week 10 Highlights

Find out what’s happening on campus this week…


Introduction to the RED Award. 1pm-2pm. Carrington 101.
Sign up here.

UROP information session. 5pm-6pm. Palmer 1.05.
Click here for more details.

The Great Debate: Engineering better food systems. What can engineering do to improve sustainability of food production and distribution as the world population increases? 7pm. Palmer Building G10.
Register your place here.



Explore Careers in Museums and Heritage. 1pm-2pm. Palmer 1.04.
Find out more here.

Finding summer internships and placements. 1pm-2pm. Palmer G.03.
Click here to sign up.

CELM Public Lecture: Celebrating Multilingualism
. Join in the discussion with our expert panel for a lively conversation about what multilingualism means to you. 7.30pm-9pm. Van Emden Lecture Theatre, Edith Morley Building.
Register to attend.

One World Reading Fashion Show. Have an interest in fashion? RUSU will be running a fashion show celebrating fashion from all over the world. 5pm start. RUSU.
If you want to get involved please contact 

Reading Film Theatre. Screening ‘Even When I Fall’ + Q&A. 7.45pm-10pm. Palmer Building.
Purchase your tickets here.



RED Award completion session. 1pm-2pm. Carrington 101.
Click here for more information.

Writing for university exams. 2pm-3pm. Palmer 104.
Find out more here.

The Bee’s Needs: How to save the world’s pollinators. The lecture will outline current evidence on the status of pollinating insects in the UK and across the globe. 7.30pm. G11 Henley Business School, Whiteknights campus.
Register to attend.



RUBAL presents ‘Around the World’. Reading University Ballet Society hosts a night of dancing and singing performances from Around the World! Proceeds raised will be donated to the Malala Fund. 7pm-11.30pm. 3sixty, RUSU.
Purchase your tickets here.

RUSU Quiz & Karaoke. Join us in Mojo’s Bar every Thursday evening for the legendry mid-week quiz, followed by a chance to take the microphone and sing your favourite tunes. 7.30pm. Mojo’s Bar.
Click here for more details.

Reading Film Theatre. Screening ‘The Darkest Hour’ (PG). 7.45pm-10pm. Palmer Building.
Purchase your tickets here.





LGBT+ Society Prom. An elegant evening of awards, music and food, crack out the suits and ties, the dresses and most importantly, the glitter, for our Black Tie themed formal. 7pm-10.30pm. The Meadow Suite.
Find out more and buy your tickets here.

Spring Update: Study Space On Campus

As we approach the end of the spring term, many students are working hard on assignments, projects and dissertations before the Easter vacation, using the study space facilities across campus.

There are around 600 study spaces in the URS Building, which increases to around 800 at weekends and during vacation periods when the Large Lecture Theatre is not in use (there is a limit on the total occupancy of the building for fire safety). The closed rooms will therefore be reopened permanently – during Library@URS opening hours – from 6pm on Friday 23 March until the start of next academic year (except during the University’s Easter closure period).

As well as the URS Building, there are more than 900 other study spaces across the Whiteknights and London Road campuses. To help make it as straightforward as possible for you to find study space during this period, we’ve summarised the resources available as follows:


1. Study Space Map
We’ve had great feedback from students who have used this map to find alternative study space, in addition to that offered in the URS Building;

2. Free Room Finder
This online tool displays rooms available for immediate use and you can search based on campus area, time needed, and/or capacity required;

3. PDF study space list
Updated every term, this list highlights spaces across our campuses that can be used for study (subject to scheduled teaching or departmental use);

4. Live list of available PCs
This webpage shows where there are PC’s available on campus in real time;

5. RUSU’s The Study and The Study@TOB2
Study spaces available for all campus card holders;

6. Extended Chancellor’s Building opening hours
This building is available to use as study space from 6-9pm Monday to Friday during term time and also at weekends if study space in the URS Building becomes full. If you would like Chancellor’s to be opened at a weekend, just talk to Library staff at the URS ground floor Information Desk;

7. Additional study space at Eat at the Square
Eat at the Square will be open after lunch from 3-6pm Monday to Friday during term time, providing additional study space as well as refreshments from The Grumpy Mule;

8. Central Room Booking service
Students can book rooms on campus in advance, for example, for group study;

9. Anti-desk-hogging service in the URS Building
If you see unattended spaces ‘booked’ with belongings, speak to staff at the Reception or the Information Desk on the ground floor;

10. NOISYCHAT service in URS Building
If there is noise in a silent study area, use this service to text us quietly and Library staff will investigate as soon as they can.

Study space in Halls

We have been working to create more than 100 new study spaces across our Halls of Residence, which includes refurbishing spaces so that they are more suitable for productive study. The spaces will be located in Wessex Library, St George’s Computer Room, Wantage Computer Room, Stenton JCR, Childs JCR and Mackinder JCR.

We originally hoped these spaces would be ready by the end of February – unfortunately, although the refurbishment work is complete, we have experienced some unforeseen delays with our furniture supplier, which now means that the spaces will be ready in late March. The supplier is working hard to deliver the furniture within the next couple of weeks, and we will of course let you know when the spaces are ready to use.

In the meantime, there are other spaces in Halls that can be used for study, including the Bridges JCR, Benyon JCR and Sherfield Bar. Please call the Halls Hotline if you’re not sure where these spaces are or want to check opening times.

Keep up to date with the latest study space and Library refurbishment news on our Library refurbishment webpage.

It’s International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day – a day for celebrating women all over the world and promoting achievements and progress made by female figures. Times are clearly changing and there is still some way to go to achieve complete gender parity, but nevertheless this still acts as an incentive to #PressForProgress (coincidentally the theme and hashtag for this year’s International Women’s Day campaign).

International Women’s Day couldn’t have come at a more relevant time. This week, the University of Reading hosted the annual Edith Morley Lecture, an event to aspire young women of today to achieve great things. The lecture is in memory of Edith Morley, an alumni of the University and believed to be the first woman to be awarded the title of ‘professor’ in an English university in 1908. Morley believed that women should have an equal place in academia and society, and was an inspiring and motivating force for the young people around her. The guest speaker at the lecture was Polly Vacher M.B.E., a pioneering aviator specialising in long-distance flights, and also another member of the fantastic University of Reading alumni. You can find out more about Polly Vacher’s career here.

International Women’s Day also follows many other successful campaigns such as ‘This Girl Can’, which promotes women’s involvement in physical and sporting activities. This campaign is supported every day across the University through an affective programme of sporting activities across campus, such as women’s rugby union, dance, pole fitness and even self-defence classes. The promotion of sports undoubtedly attribute to women’s sporting success at the highest level, exemplified by Lizzie Yarnold’s gold medal in the skeleton at last month’s Winter Olympics and also by Katarina Johnson-Thompson’s recent victory at the World Indoors Championships.

There are so many ways that you can join in with International Women’s Day. The easiest way is to spread awareness about International Women’s Day and download some selfie cards to post on social media, or indeed write about what International Women’s Day means to you with the hashtag #PressForProgress next to it. However big or small your involvement is, it’s a great way to get involved with a national campaign and can be great fun!

International Women’s Day coincides with Women’s History Month. Find the full list of events here.

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