Student services: a one-stop shop but not one size fits all

“Increasingly we are faced with students whose emotional needs are complex. Working in isolation is not a healthy option; collaboration is hugely beneficial both for the student and the college”

In recent times, schools, colleges, and universities have had to accept and adapt to the demands of an increasingly consumer-driven education market, writes Mary Memarzia, director of student services at Bellerbys College. They are embracing, albeit at times uncomfortably, the language of the commercial world.

However, the benefit of this shift has been a renewed focus on the whole student experience.

Creating and sustaining an effective interplay between academic provision and pastoral care lies at the heart of the matter; an effective student service provision is key to a truly student-centred institution. In the business of education, the students’ needs must come first.

A tall order

The responsibility of student services is to identify what those individual needs are and to put in place practical and relevant support. We can only do this if we make sure that the services provided are inclusive, equitable and tailor-made. The challenge is to have close oversight of the individual, whilst also keeping an eye on the context of international education. All members of the team have a vital part to play.

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