Student Services News

News from the Student Services Centre (Carrington Building)

Author: student-services-news (Page 1 of 44)

Get ahead with a placement

 

Taking part in a placement as part of your degree is a great way to boost both your employability and your confidence. See below for our top reasons for doing a placement!

 

Life after university

Doing a placement will give you an idea of the type of thing you might like to do in the future. Whether you have a solid idea of what you’d like to do, or don’t know where to start, your placement will help you figure out what you do and don’t want. You’ll also get a better grasp of what it’s like in the world of work (read: it’s not as scary as you think!)

You can do it!

It might seem daunting to join a new environment, but you might surprise yourself with what you can achieve. From giving a presentation to forming a good working relationship with a colleague, you’ll come away knowing that you’re ready to tackle the working world!

Make some money

Whether it’s that dream holiday you’ve been planning, or just a little financial security, your placement will help you save the pennies.

Your job prospects

On placement, you’re bound to interact with new people, learn new skills, and even get to take on some responsibility. All of these are important things to tick of your employability to-do list – by the time you’ve finished, you’ll have amassed a wealth of experience to add to your job applications.

 

Whether you’ve got a placement or want to line one up, hear from some of Reading latest’s placement students here.

If you’d like to do a placement but need to transfer to a four year degree, it’s worth speaking to your department placement coordinator to explore your options.

Library refurbishment: latest news and progress

Work on our major refurbishment of the University Library is progressing well, with the project currently on track to meet its target completion date in late 2019.

Much of the work over recent months has focused on the Library’s exterior, in addition to the basement, ground, first and third floors. Work will continue in these areas and other floors over the coming months, which will inevitably include periods of noisy work. Over the next few weeks, noisy works are expected around the ground floor and the exterior of the Library, with a cherry picker on site to carry out important works.

One of the biggest phases of work recently has been the move of books from the second and fourth floors to the third floor, which was reopened in early May. The moves were completed ahead of schedule on Wednesday 6 June, with the Library catalogue updated daily to show the correct locations for moved books.

This floor is not currently furnished with study space while refurbishment work continues. Library staff are available on the floor to help with any enquiries about finding books, using the catalogue, or subject queries.

With the books now removed from it the fourth floor, it is now closed for refurbishment.

Much of the work taking place over the summer vacation has been designed to meet our goal of reopening the refurbished ground and first floors in September 2018, including some study space. This will be a key milestone for the project ­– however, please note that work will continue on these and other floors, and will include periods of noisy work. The URS building will therefore continue to be used in its current capacity for the remainder of the project, and will include periods of noisy work.

For the latest information and updates, please visit the Library refurbishment webpage and Library blog.

Queen’s Drive road closure on campus, 18 June – 21 September

A section of Queen’s Drive, the road running from the Shinfield Road entrance to campus, will close for major maintenance work from Monday 18 June, with work expected to run until Friday 21 September. The works mean that Queen’s Drive will be inaccessible to all vehicles, including buses.

The works will be carried out in three phases:

  • Phase 1 (Monday 18 June – Wednesday 1 August): Russell Building to the entrance to car park 5.
  • Phase 2 (Thursday 2 August – Friday 31 August): Car park 5 to halfway across road junction between Old Whiteknights House and Estates & Facilities.
  • Phase 3 (Monday 3 September – Friday 21 September): Halfway across road junction between Old Whiteknights House and Estates & Facilities, to end of blue railings opposite the rugby pitch.

Maps have been prepared to highlight the work taking place in each phase, including diversions for cyclists and pedestrians and nearby bus stops:

View Phase 1 map >>>
View Phase 2 map >>>
View Phase 3 map >>>

Phase 1: important information

The following arrangements will be in place from Monday 18 June to Wednesday 1 August. Please also check our separate announcement on works taking place at Shinfield Road that may also affect travel during this phase.

Vehicular access:

  • Access will only be available through the Pepper Lane and Shinfield Road entrances.
  • Car parks 6 and 7 will be closed.
  • Access to car parks 1, 1A, 2, 3, 4 and 5 will be available from the Shinfield Road entrance.
  • Access to car parks 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 will be available through the Pepper Lane entrance.

Pedestrian and cycle access:

  • The public footpath which leads from Earley Gate through to Chancellor’s Way and Shinfield Road will remain open for both cyclists and pedestrians through the works.
  • The footpath along Queen’s Drive from the Shinfield Road entrance will remain open as far as car park 5.  Diversions will be to the rear of Whiteknights House to pick up the existing signed pedestrian route behind Blandford Lodge.
  • Diversions for cyclists will go through car park 5 and across the Whiteknights House quad before picking up the internal loop road running past car park 8 towards Pepper Lane.

Buses:

  • No buses will be able to access the campus during this phase.
  • Instead, route 21 will call at the bus stops on Shinfield Road at the end of Chancellors Way. There are stops in both directions, into and out of town. (Service 21a runs in term time only. It will stop at the end of term on Friday 8 June and restart on Monday 24 September. A special service will run on 15 June and 16 June for the Open Day). Additional routes 3, 9 and 10 serve this bus stops and the town centre, please see the Claret route map for full details of nearby services.
  • However, please see a separate notice about works to Shinfield Road additionally closing the bus stops on Shinfield Road between 28 May and 29 June.
  • During these additional closures, those travelling on the 21 route from the town centre will need to alight at the Christchurch Green bus stop and walk into campus using the Queen’s Drive footpath.
  • Those intending to use the 21 route into the town centre will need to use the bus stop on the adjacent side of Christchurch Green, just past the row of shops.
  • Alternatively, you could use the bus stops outside the Pepper Lane entrance for travel in either direction if this is closer to your destination on campus.
  • Route maps for all services are available on the Reading Buses website.

Phase 2: important information

The following arrangements will be in place from Thursday 2 August to Friday 31 August.

Vehicular access:

  • Access will only be available through the Pepper Lane and Shinfield Road entrances.
  • Access to car parks 1, 1A, 2, 3 and 4 will only be available from the Shinfield Roadentrance and access to car parks 5, 6, 7 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 will only be available through the Pepper Lane entrance.

Pedestrian and cycle access:

  • The public footpath which leads from Earley Gate through to Chancellor’s Way and Shinfield Road will be open.
  • The footpath along Queen’s Drive from the Shinfield Road entrance will remain open as far as the Estates and Facilities Building.  Diversions will be to the rear of Old Whiteknights House into car park 5.
  • Cycle diversions will be as above.

Buses:

  • Claret 21 buses towards Reading town centre will be able to access campus via Pepper Lane, and so will call at the bus stop on Chancellors Way.
  • Claret 21 buses from Reading town centre will not be able to access the campus – instead, buses will call at the stop at Shinfield Road, just to the south of the end of Chancellors Way. They will continue on to Pepper Lane as usual.
  • Alternatively, those travelling on the 21 route from the town centre can alight at Christchurch Green and walk into campus using the Queen’s Drive footpath. The journey can be reversed by using the adjacent Christchurch Green stop, just past the shops. Other routes – 3, 3B, 9 and 10 – can also be taken into the town centre. Please see the Claret route map for full details of nearby services, or the Reading Buses website for all routes.

Phase 3: important information

The following arrangements will be in place from Monday 3 September to Friday 21 September.

Vehicular access:

  • Access will only be available through the Pepper Lane and Shinfield Road entrances.
  • Access to car parks 1 and 1A will be available from the Shinfield Road entrance.
  • Access to car parks 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 will be available through the Pepper Lane entrance.
  • Pedestrian and cycle access:
  • The public footpath which leads from Earley Gate through to Chancellor’s Way and Shinfield Road will be open.
  • The Queen’s Drive footpath will be open.
  • Diversions will be in place for cyclists around the works using the Queens Drive footpath from the Estates and Facilities building to the end of the works for those entering campus from either the Pepper Lane or Shinfield Road entrances.

Buses:

  • Claret 21/21A buses towards Reading town centre will be able to access campus via Pepper Lane, and so will call at the bus stop on Chancellors Way.
  • Claret 21 buses from Reading town centre will not be able to access the campus – instead, buses will observe the stop at Shinfield Road, just to the south of the end of Chancellors Way. They will continue on to Pepper Lane as usual.
  • Alternatively, those travelling on the 21/21A route from the town centre can alight at Christchurch Green and walk into campus using the Queen’s Drive footpath. The journey can be reversed by using the adjacent Christchurch Green stop, just past the shops. Other routes – 3, 3B, 9 and 10 – can also be taken into the town centre. Please see the Claret route map for full details of nearby services, or the Reading Buses website for all routes.
  • When the 21a resumes in late September this route will also call at the bus stops on Shinfield Road and Pepper Lane before turning around at the roundabout on Elm Road and entering campus at Pepper Lane.

Why are the works being carried out?

The works will rebuild a collapsed and failed section of road, which was identified after the severe weather conditions earlier this year. Carrying out maintenance work now will ensure that the road remains safe for years to come.

While these works are essential, we recognise that they may cause inconvenience to students and staff, especially those travelling by car or bus. Should any of the above information change, we will share any updates with you as early as possible.

Ideally, these works would not have been carried out at the same time as the SGN gas pipe replacement work along Shinfield Road. However, given that the University received notice of these works recently and that our maintenance work needs to be completed by the start of the autumn term, it is unfortunately not possible to delay these works.

If you have any queries, please contact

Shinfield Road lane closures to affect traffic and bus services, 28 May -29 June

SGN will be carrying out gas pipe replacement work along Shinfield Road from Monday 28 May until Friday 29 June. These works will require lane closures and temporary traffic lights on Shinfield Road.

The work is likely to affect car traffic around Whiteknights campus. It may take more time than usual to access the Shinfield Road campus entrance, so please allow sufficient time for your journey in case of delays.

As a result of the works, the bus stops on Shinfield Road at the end of Chancellors Way will not be operational during this time. This will largely affect routes 3, 9, 10 and 981. Students wishing to use these routes will need to use the stops at Christchurch Green, or further down Shinfield Road.

 

Route 21 and 21a campus bus stops closed – Monday 18 June- Friday 29 June

Due to planned roadworks on Queen’s Drive the bus stops on campus will also not be operational during part of this period. The 21/21a service to and from Reading town centre will not be able to enter campus and therefore will not stop at either of the campus bus stops during this period.

From Monday 18 June until Friday 29 June those travelling on the 21/21a route from the town centre will need to alight at the Christchurch Green bus stop and walk into campus using the Queen’s Drive footpath. You will need to use the bus stop on the adjacent side of Christchurch Green (just past the row of shops) for journeys towards the town centre. Alternatively you could use the bus stops outside the Pepper Lane entrance for travel in either direction if this is closer to your destination on campus.

Service 21a is term time only, and will stop running for the summer break from Sunday 17 June, resuming ahead of Welcome Week from Monday 24 September. Please see our Term Dates page for the full list of term dates.

Freezing your SportsPark membership for the summer

Are you going away for the summer break and wont be using your SportsPark gym membership?

Students wishing to freeze their SportsPark membership over the summer will need to email sport@reading.co.uk by the 13th of the month before the month that they wish to freeze from.

Within the email the student will need to give their name and student number, and state the months they would like their membership frozen.

SportsPark are only able to freeze memberships from 1 July at the earliest and each month from the 1st as additional requests come in.

All frozen memberships will unfreeze for the first day of fresher’s week.

Please note: SportsPark do not reply to freezing emails unless you specifically ask for a reply.

Night demolition noise this week

Please be aware that if you are in the Library building late in the evening this week, you could experience some loud noise.

In preparation for constructing our new Library café, the former Ground floor female toilet-block will be demolished. Contractors will be working throughout the night this week (Tuesday 5 to Friday 8 June) in order to get urgent work done, though the noisiest work will be restricted to 20:00 – 22:00 so that residents in Halls or surrounding areas are not disturbed. Anyone using the study spaces in URS in the evening should be mindful that some noise from the Library may be audible from 20:00 – 22:00.

Alternative toilets

During works you can use unisex/gender-neutral toilets on the Library’s Ground Floor, south side – these were converted from the former male toilet-block. The nearest single-sex toilets are located in the URS Building. Please ask Library staff at the Ground Floor Help Point for directions if you need help finding them.

Gender-neutral and single-sex toilets will be permanently available in the Library building once the refurbishment is complete.

More Information

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

Summer term week 8 highlights

Check out what’s happening on campus this week…

Monday 4 June

VC/RUSU Open Meeting
1pm-2pm
Find out more here.

Application essentials: CVs, covering letters, application forms (careers workshop)
1pm-2.30pm
Sign up here.

 

Tuesday 5 June

RED Award completion session 
1pm
Register your attendance here.

Reading Film Theatre – screening ‘The Divine Order’ (12A).
8pm – 10pm. Palmer Building.
Purchase your tickets here.

 

Wednesday 6 June

Placement year boot camp – Are you a part 1 undergraduate and are thinking about doing a placement year? Don’t miss this fantastic event!
9am – 4.30pm, Chancellor’s G04
Sign up here.

RUSU Wednesday Union
10pm – late. Students’ Union building.
Purchase your tickets here.

 

Thursday 7 June

Reading Film Theatre – screening ‘That Good Night’ (12A).
8pm – 10pm. Palmer Building.
Purchase your tickets here.

 

Friday 8 June


 

Saturday 9 June

Summer Ball 2018
8pm – late. Students’ Union building.
Click here for more details.

 

Council tax exemption

Not sure if or when you need to pay council tax?

 

Who is exempt? 
Households where everyone is a full time student are exempt from paying council tax. This meaning if any resident is not classified as full time or is studying under one calendar year, then that individual is required to pay council tax. A full time student must be on a course that lasts at least one year and involves at least 21 hours of study per week. By visiting https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/Information–Advice/Fees-and-Money/Council-Tax students can find all the relevant information regarding council tax.

 

I’m not a full time student – can I get a discount?
Yes – you may be eligible for a 25% if you do not meet the requirements for a full exemption.

 

When am I classified as a student? 
Your student status is applied from your course start date through until your course end date. If you are unsure of these, please refer to your Certificate of Enrolment.

 

When do I start paying council tax? 
Once a student’s course has ended, you will be required to pay council tax. Many people are often under the impression they are a student until they graduate; however this is not the case and therefore you are not exempt from after your graduation date as some may think.

For example, if the course end date is 8th June 2018 then you will be required to start paying council tax from 9th June 2018 as opposed to your graduation date.

 

What happens if I get a bill? 
Sometimes council tax bills are sent in error if your local council have the wrong information. If you receive a bill, you must check that you meet the requirements of being exempt. If so, contact your local council as soon as possible to prevent further bills and payment reminders. They will require evidence.

If you’ve received a bill and you do not meet the requirements, then you will be liable to pay. If you are unsure as to what reason you have to pay, please visit www.gov.uk/council-tax or phone your local council.

 

Where can I get proof that I’m a student?
Please visit your RISIS portal to find your Certificate of Enrolment. This document outlines your student status and can be provided to the council as evidence to eliminate you from paying tax. Please ensure that if you print this certificate, it must be done in colour otherwise the local authorities will reject it. The document is already signed and stamped so no need to visit a Support Center or Student Services Reception. If you do not have this facilities on your RISIS portal, please speak with your Student Support Coordinator.

 

Useful Contact Details
Reading Borough Council
Civic Offices
Bridge Street
Reading
RG1 2LU
0118 937 3727

Wokingham Borough Council
Civic Offices
Shute End
RG40 1BN
0118 974 6000

Summer opening hours

The academic term is nearly over, but there will be plenty of services, support and facilities open for you to use over the summer vacation period…

Student Services reception: Monday – Thursday 9.00am-5.00pm and Fridays 9.00am-4.30pm.

 

Library: The Library building will be open 9am – 5pm and the URS building 8.30am – 5pm on weekdays during the vacation period and both will be closed on weekends. The only exceptions are:

• Saturdays 14 July, 18 August & 22 September the Library Building will be open 11:00 – 17:00
• Both buildings will be closed on the August bank holiday (27th).

 

Support Centres: Open Monday – Friday 9am – 4pm. You can find your Support Centre here.

 

Student Financial Support Team: The team do not provide a drop-in service outside of term time so recommend that students email on studentfunding@reading.ac.uk or telephone 0118 378 5555 to ask for an appointment to speak with a member of the team, or visit the money matters website.

 

Careers: The Careers Service is open as usual during the holidays:

• Monday, Tuesday Thursday 9am – 5pm
• Wednesday 10am – 5pm
• Friday 9am – 4.30pm
• From Monday 11 June until Friday 28 September there will be reduced Quick Query hours (11am – 12pm & 1pm – 2pm daily).

 

Catering: The cafes, bars and restaurants on campus are open at different times throughout the summer:

• Eat at The Square: Monday – Friday 7.30am – 3pm
• Park Eat: closed
• Dol.cHe Vita: Monday – Friday 8am – 6pm
• Café Libro: Monday – Friday 8.30am – 4pm
• Park House: Monday – Friday 4pm – 11.30pm
• Eat at SportsPark: Monday – Friday 8am-8pm. Saturday – Sunday 10am – 5pm
• The Dairy: Monday – Friday 10am – 1am. Saturday 12pm – 1am. Sunday 12pm – 10.30pm
• Henley Business School Café: Monday – Friday 8.30am – 4pm
• Eat at Enterprise: Monday – Friday 8.30am – 4pm.

You can find a full list of catering venue opening times here.

 

RUSU: The reception desk will remain open from Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm throughout the summer. Other RUSU facilities are open at various times:

Advice service: Drop-in sessions will be available on Monday (11am – 1.30pm), Wednesday (2pm – 4.30pm) and Thursday (11am – 1.30pm). – Appointments can still be made with Advisers by either contacting them via email (advice@rusu.co.uk) or telephone (0118 378 4100)

Cafe Mondial: From the 11 June – 14 June, it will be open from 9.30am – 3.30pm. On the 15 & 16 June, it will be open from 8am – 4pm. After that, it will be open from Monday to Friday 9.30am to 3.30pm. Usual opening times resume from Thursday 20 September.

Mojo’s Bar & Kitchen: 11 June – 13 June, food service will be open from 12pm – 3.30pm. On the 14 of June, Mojo’s will be closed. From the 15 –  16 of June, food service will resume from 12pm – 3pm due to open days. After that, Mojo’s will be closed throughout the vacation period.

 

Study Abroad: Study Abroad are open throughout the summer Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm, with the exceptions of:

• Tuesday 10 July: closed due to staff training
• Monday 27 August: closed due to public holiday.

 

Accommodation: This service is open same hours as usual:

• Monday – Thursday 9am – 5pm, Friday 9am – 4.30pm
• Halls Hotline: The Halls Hotline is a 24/7 on-site service desk dedicated to responding to issues or concerns in halls accommodation. The Halls Hotline team are available seven days a week and 365 days a year. You can call the Halls Hotline by calling 0118 378 7777 or by dialling 7777 from any of the wall-mounted phones located around halls. You can also e-mail reading.helpdesk@upp-ltd.com. If we need to get back in touch with you for more information we will call the mobile number you provide us with.

International Advise: This service will continue to operate their online appointment and email enquiry systems. For further information, click here.

 

Summer term week 7 highlights

Find out what’s happening on campus this week…

 

Monday 28 May

Bank holiday!

 

Tuesday 29 May

Finalist career hacks: master your job hunt (careers workshop). 1pm.
Register your attendance here.

Ace your interview: learn the techniques (careers workshop). 5pm.
Sign up here.

RUSU Says Relax: Bubbles & Pudding. At the end of a long week revising, all you need is a little treat. Pop open a bottle and celebrate the end of a productive week with the many puddings on offer. 7pm-9.30pm. Mojo’s Bar.
Click here to find out more.

Reading Film Theatre – screening ‘Western’ (12A). 7.45pm-10pm. Palmer Building.
Purchase your tickets here.

 

Wednesday 30 May

Volunteering drop-in with RVA. 12pm-3pm.
Find out more here.

Psychometric tests workshop. Help with the numerical questions. 2pm-3pm. Knight 133.
Click here for more information.

 

Thursday 31 May

Reading Film Theatre – screening ‘I Got Life!’ (Aurore) (15). 8pm-10pm. Palmer Building.
Purchase your tickets here.

 

Friday 1 June

RED Award completion session. 1pm.
Sign up here.

Choral Evensong. Join the University of Reading Chamber Choir for choral evensong at one of Reading’s most beautiful churches. Directed by Patrick Barrett, this is an evensong not to be missed. Admission free. No booking required. 6pm. Earley St Peters Church.
Find out more.

 

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