6.6 Personal Tutors

1. Every student is allocated a Personal Tutor. Personal Tutors have an important role within the overall framework for supporting students and their personal development at the University. The role is crucial in helping students to identify where they might find support, how and where to seek advice and how to approach support to maximise their student experience.

2. The Personal Tutor should provide a regular point of contact between student and academic department, subject or institute. Tutors will be available for consultation at reasonable times by appointment, and able to refer students for specialised advice elsewhere in the University.

3. Institutes will retail overall responsibility allocating Personal Tutors, but will delegate implementation to Departments or subject areas as appropriate. Personal tutors will be allocated before the academic year begins, and students will begin the personal tutorial process during induction week. When that is not possible – for instance where students are at the University on exchange – then arrangements for personal tutorials will be made on the start of their studies at the University to ensure that new students have guidance and support.

4. Full time undergraduate students will be given the opportunity to meet their Personal Tutor at least five times during the first year, at least four times in the second year, and at least three times in the third/fourth year. Full time postgraduate taught students schemes will have a minimum of three meetings during the course of their studies. Some tutorial sessions may be group meetings. The University will provide additional guidance to Institutes on the timing and content of the meetings.

5. A student may have the same Personal Tutor throughout their studies at Aberystwyth if this is deemed appropriate by the Institute, but they may be allocated a new Personal Tutor each year if this better fits the pedagogy and course structure in that subject area. In the third year, reallocation of personal tutors to dissertation tutors, where that subject has a dissertation, may be appropriate to ensure regular contact with that student.

6. If either the student or a member of staff requests a change of tutor, Institutes should have clear procedures for response.

7. In allocating Personal Tutors, Institutes should be sensitive to the needs of specific groups e.g. international students, mature students.

8. In allocating Personal Tutors, Institutes are expected to identify Welsh speaking students in order to allocate a Welsh speaking Personal Tutor. If individual support cannot be provided from within a department or subject area, Institutes should discuss with students before making alternative arrangements. This could mean an alternative Personal Tutor or the provision of a second member of staff to support the main tutor.

9. Every undergraduate should have a Personal Tutor in his or her main department or subject area. For Joint Honours students the personal tutor will be allocated in the lead named subject, but there will also be a named contact for each student in the second subject.

10. All members of academic staff except Pro Vice-Chancellors, Institute Directors, Institute Directors of Learning & Teaching and Heads of Departments should be expected to act as Personal Tutors. Staff in these roles may serve as Personal Tutors where this is not possible due to staffing or student numbers, but every effort should be made to reallocate personal tutees when staffing and student numbers allow.

11. Tutors should ensure that their students know how to contact them if necessary. Institutes should ensure that in the Personal Tutor’s absence, a student can see another member of staff during office hours or by appointment.

12. Appropriate tutorial provision should be made for Distance Learning students, Continuing Education students and part-time students.

13. Institutes should maintain an up-to-date list of Personal Tutors and their tutees. Institutes should also allocate students a new Personal Tutor whenever necessary (e.g. change of study scheme, staff movement or return after withdrawal from the University).

14. Each Institute should ensure that one person is nominated within each of its departments/subject areas to be responsible for the organisation of its Personal Tutor system.

15. The Personal Tutor system will be monitored by the Student Support Committee, reporting to Academic Board.