Important Information for Students
A pdf copy of this section is available for download: Important Information for Students
Aberystwyth University and Aberystwyth University Students’ Union have worked together to develop a Student Charter that clearly sets out what the University, the Union and students can expect of each other. A copy of this Charter is available at: https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/student/charter/
1.1 Students should take care of their property as neither the University nor the Students’ Union accept responsibility for loss of, or damage to, students’ property on University or Students’ Union premises.
1.2 Misplaced/lost property found within University buildings and premises will be transferred to the Campus Security Team, who are based at Campus Reception at the entrance to Penglais Campus. The Security Team are contactable on 01970 622900 or email@example.com. Items will be stored for a period of three months.
Residents should ensure that they know and adhere to the conditions that apply to their residency. The Terms and Conditions of the Accommodation Licence Agreements and the Residents’ Handbook which forms part of that agreement, is at https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/accommodation/current-students/living-residences/handbook/
General advice on living in residences is at https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/accommodation/current-students/living-residences
3. Intellectual Property
Students should note that in most cases they own the intellectual property which they create independently of others during the course of their studies and research subject to the provisions set out in the Aberystwyth University and Bangor University Common Intellectual Property Policy. This Policy also sets out the position of the University with respect to the creation, ownership, protection and exploitation of Intellectual Property together with procedures for, and obligations of, staff and students. The policy is available to view at: Intellectual Property Policy
4. Students' Union
Full details about Students’ Union membership benefits can be found Students' Union.
The Students’ Union Disciplinary Committee is empowered to deal with offences committed on Students’ Union premises or premises hired by the Students’ Union and offences as defined by the constitution of the Students’ Union. The relevant Bye-law can be found here.
5. Health Issues
While the Student Wellbeing Services (Student Support and Careers Services) are available to offer advice and support to students on a range of student related health issues the service does not replace/duplicate national health care. Further information is available at Student Health : Student Support & Careers Services , Aberystwyth University
6. Support for Students
Support is provided in a number of ways. For academic support, every student will have a personal tutor appointed by the Department. In Residences, there is a Residence Life Team providing a support service. Residents should ensure that they know how to access the support services that apply to their particular residence.
The Student Wellbeing Service houses a range of specialist support services and support is also available at the Students’ Union. For international students based at Aberystwyth there is also an international student adviser: https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/international/
8. Careers Advice
The Careers Service is available to all present and former students of the University. Careers Consultants provide information, advice and guidance on all kinds of job opportunities and courses of study or training, and work with students to support and empower them in developing self-awareness, motivation and a positive attitude and to help them understand the range of skills, experiences, abilities and expertise that they have gained and how those relate to the world of work. Careers Education sessions are delivered across all academic departments of the University and some are embedded into core modules, thus attendance on these is compulsory. Further contact with the Service is voluntary but all students are strongly encouraged to use its facilities and services from year one of their programmes, as they are designed entirely for their benefit. However, bearing this entitlement in mind, students and graduates are responsible for making their own career related decisions and for the direction and course of action they choose to follow. Careers guidance is given to students on the understanding that neither the University nor any member of its staff shall be liable for the consequences of any decisions made by a student or graduate on the basis of information, advice or guidance received from the Careers Service.
9. Photocopying of Copyright Material
9.1 Multiple Copies
Multiple copies of copyright material may not be made except subject to the strict limitations, agreed with the Copyright Licensing Agency. Details are posted in locations adjacent to photocopiers.
9.2 Single Copies
Single copies of copyright material recommended to students at a lecture, seminar or tutorial may be made, subject to the limitations prescribed by the Copyright Licensing Agency. Single copies may also be made subject to limitations, provided the copy is used for private study or research for a non-commercial purpose by the individual concerned.
Details of limitations are available from the Director of Information Services.
The University reserves the right to recover from any individual full costs arising from an infringement of the Copyright Law.
10. Booking of Rooms
Students may book University rooms for meetings and other activities. Details of how to do this will be made available on the University website. In using University rooms all students agree to abide by the Student Rules and Regulations, particularly observing any licensing or copyright restrictions relating to the use of audio visual media.
Students should try to ensure that personal mail is addressed to their Hall or lodgings address. The University accepts no responsibility for mail addressed to the University or Students' Union.
12. Electoral Registration
The University and Students’ Union encourages all students to ensure that they are registered to vote in elections. Registration must be undertaken by each student themselves and cannot be done by the University. To facilitate the work of the local Electoral Services office, the University (UK) must supply the County Council with lists of students who may be entitled to vote, in order that they may be contacted for the purposes of updating the electoral roll. Students can register to vote by visiting the gov.uk/register-to-vote website.
Permission must be obtained from the Police before public demonstrations, processions, etc. are organised in the local area. Students are advised to consult the Pro Vice-Chancellor (or designated authority) before an approach is made to the Police by email to the Vice-Chancellor’s Office (firstname.lastname@example.org).
14. Deferred Payment
The Director of Finance & Corporate Services has discretion to authorise deferred payment of fees and other debts to the University in cases of hardship or for other good cause.
15. Disability/Specific Learning Differences/Health Conditions (including Mental Health issues)
Aberystwyth University is committed to enabling all students to achieve their full potential. We aim to provide all students with an experience of the highest quality, and to make our academic facilities available to all who meet our entrance requirements. To facilitate this we encourage all students to disclose to us, as early as possible, any disability, specific learning difference or chronic health condition (including mental health). The Accessibility and Student Wellbeing Services within Student Support and Careers Services are available to offer advice about provision at the University and to co-ordinate support needs. We offer a range of support and adjustments including, where appropriate, notetaking services, adapted accommodation, assistive technology, individual examination arrangements.
16. Code of Practice on Freedom of Speech
In accordance with Section 43 of the Education (No. 2) Act 1986, the University's Council has approved a Code of Practice on Freedom of Speech to “take such steps as are reasonably practicable to ensure freedom of speech within the law is secured for members, students and employees of the establishment and for visiting speakers". A copy of the Code can be found at: https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/media/departmental/governance/policies/2020-07-30---Code-of-Practice-on-Freedom-of-Speech.pdf
17. Guidance for Students on the Use of Social Networking Sites
17.1.1 The University recognises that many students use social networking sites, and appreciates that the use of these tools can enhance student life and promote participation in social and professional networks. Similar technology may also be utilised to support teaching and learning.
17.1.2 However there are some dangers associated with social networking that students need to be aware of. In particular it is necessary to understand that certain activities can bring students into conflict with University regulations. The issues discussed here fall into three categories:
(i) internet safety
(ii) general interaction
(iii) reputational issues
17.1.3 This information is of relevance to undergraduate, postgraduate and others studying at the Institution, whether that is on a full or part time basis. This also includes students who attend short courses and Summer Schools.
17.1.4 The University may have to become involved and take subsequent action in cases where a student has acted inappropriately towards another student, a member of staff or towards an individual unconnected with the University, especially in instances whereby the student has misused University computer facilities to this end.
17.1.5 It should also be noted that extreme misuse of social working websites might be interpreted as criminal acts and repercussions from such activity would involve the police or other authorities.
17.2 Internet safety
17.2.1 It is possible to use social networking and related tools safely, but this requires an awareness of the kinds of dangers that exist in an online environment. It is possible to be perfectly safe online as long as individuals adhere to a number of basic principles.
17.2.2 Above all else, individuals must protect their identity and information which they would consider personal. Unscrupulous people can use any number of methods to try and obtain someone’s identity and use this data to perform embarrassing, harmful and possibly illegal acts. This might include:
(i) using a social media account in order to insult someone anonymously
(ii) using account information in order to download illegal or inappropriate internet content
(iii) illegal, fraudulent activities such as posing as someone else in order to obtain important personal information from family and friends
(iv) Illegally obtaining money from an individual’s banking or Paypal account.
17.2.3 Students should, therefore:
(i) Never disclose their username and password information to anyone
(ii) Never share address book or contact information with anyone online
(iii) Think carefully before disclosing their University or personal e-mail address online
(iv) Always take care to keep login information and contacts private when using them in a public space or on a PC used by others
(v) Never respond to e-mails or messages from unknown individuals and never disclose login information in an e-mail, no matter who asks and for whatever reason
(vi) Never accept invitations to access any site or online service using details that have been created for another purpose.
17.2.4 In addition to this, it is important to protect other forms of personal information. Students should be wary of placing photographs, video clips or text on sites that would allow them to be identified or contacted in wider society. Even if it is necessary to use a site to promote a band, society or other enterprise, it is safest not to reveal home addresses or those of fellow students and friends. It is also sensible to refrain from advertising other means of contact such as mobile phone numbers.
17.3 General interaction
17.3.1 Students should be acutely aware of the way in which they interact with other users of social media and networking sites. The need for respect and courtesy should be borne in mind. The use of derogatory or abusive language can easily lead to charges of bullying and harassment, whether that was what was meant or not. It is the effect on the recipient that counts, not the intentions of the sender.
17.3.2 Bullying covers any behaviour that is calculated to offend, alienate or intimidate another person and accusations of bullying will always be investigated and may result in disciplinary action.
17.3.3 Harassment is considered to be unwanted and persistent conduct which has the purpose or effect of either violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating or hostile atmosphere for an individual. In relation to this, and to other categories of discrimination, the Equality Act 2010 recognises 9 protected characteristics: age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage/civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex (gender); sexual orientation. Similarly, such actions will be investigated and may result in disciplinary action.
See also the Code on Student Dignity and Respect at point 18 below.
17.3.4 Students should be aware that bullying or harassment may arise not only from the posting of offensive language but also from the use of images or multimedia.
17.3.5 Students should also note the following broader points:
184.108.40.206 Thanks to the anonymity it affords, the internet is home to standards of behaviour that often fall short of those expected in an academic environment. It is not unusual to find very dismissive and sometimes highly offensive language on the internet or language of a highly personal nature or that which derives from homophobic, sexist or racist stereotypes. Deliberately provocative, careless and even casual use of this kind of language is liable to cause offence and has no place in any activity related to educational courses or in circumstances which might cause a student to be associated with the University. Any deviation from this principle will be treated as prejudicial to the wellbeing of other students and staff.
220.127.116.11 In addition to this, modern technologies allow people to produce photographs, sound recordings and video clips which can be placed on the internet very easily. This allows information to be made public, and the person who created it can very quickly lose control of its dissemination. In cases where these recordings capture individuals in compromising or embarrassing situations, or in cases where a recording is used in a way that makes the subject the object of fun, derision or contempt, the author may be held responsible for bullying.
17.4 Reputational issues
17.4.1 In addition to bullying it is important that students consider carefully their online identity and the impact that this could have on their personal and professional image. One of the great freedoms that the internet affords is to be able to ’recreate oneself’ and to explore different aspects of one’s character in the creation an online identity. However, it is important to be aware of the repercussions of any unwise decisions in this regard. Even something as simple as adding a Facebook ‘like’ to a particular page might have unforeseen reputational impact.
17.4.2 It is now common for potential employers to search social networking sites for evidence of a job applicant’s character or credentials and the same information might be viewed by potential clients. It is also possible that colleagues or clients might come across this information and form a negative or unhelpful opinion of someone as a result.
17.4.3 Students intending to enter the legal or teaching professions or other positions where there will be significant responsibilities should be particularly sensitive to how they are portrayed on the internet.
17.4.4 Those students who undertake placements as part of their degree, or who come into contact with any individuals from any outside organisation in the course of their studies must be particularly aware of the dangers involved in discussing them in any way that could cause them to be identified or which might cause them embarrassment or distress. This is particularly important for students undergoing teacher training and it is also vital that photographs of children are not placed on the internet without the express permission of teachers and parents.
17.5 Privacy settings, terms and conditions and other regulatory issues
17.5.1 Many online social networking or media facilities allow users to set privacy levels. It is important that students are aware of how these work and recognise the importance of implementing appropriate settings. However, even the use of these settings does not preclude an account being ‘hacked’ or a friend copying material which has been uploaded and posting it in a more public forum.
17.5.2 Students should ensure that they know the identity of people whom they add to networks as friends, remembering that anyone can search for names on Facebook and similar sites and access profile pictures. It is also possible for people to “fish” many sites for names and other personal details.
17.5.3 Where students are in a position of trust or responsibility they should take particular care not to breach that trust by placing online any information which may be confidential or may compromise their position. This is especially important for anyone acting as a mentor or counsellor.
17.5.4 Similarly, students should also consider the wisdom of accepting invitations to join the networks of other individuals, especially if these are children or persons over whom they have a duty of care or confidentiality. This can also have unforeseen consequences and may compromise professional relationships with that individual or cause others to question judgement and even motives.
17.5.5 If students are working in, or with, external organisations such as schools or companies, they should familiarise themselves with, and pay due regard to, any regulations which that organisation has in place governing the use of social networking sites.
17.5.6 It is important that students are also familiar with the terms and conditions set down by the social networking sites themselves and any updates or modifications made to those terms and conditions. They should particularly note any third party recipients of their personal data (i.e. anybody the website may pass personal details on to) and details relating to ownership of any material they post on the website (e.g. who owns the words, sounds, photographs and other images once they have been uploaded).
17.5.7 Care should be taken when re-using any comments or images posted on social networking sites. Students should respect the ownership rights of copyright holders and should seek appropriate permission for the copying and re-use of material.
17.5.8 Students should never attempt to pass off others’ works or as their own, whether that is within, or external to, an educational setting. This includes anything from minor comments to artistic works. Any attempt to pass off another person’s work as one’s own in an academic context is likely to result in disciplinary action.
17.5.9 In addition to clauses 17.5.7 and 17.5.8, students should refer to the University’s Regulation on Unacceptable Academic Practice which can be found at: https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/academic-registry/handbook/regulations/#academic-regulations
18. Dealing with Harassment or Bullying
The University has a student code on dignity and respect which is available on its website.
19. Student Complaints Procedure
The University’s Student Complaints Procedure can be found here: https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/accommodation/current-students/living-residences/complaints/
21. Omission or Misrepresentation of Significant Information during Application or After Registration
21.1 Omission or Misrepresentation of Academic Information
21.1.1 All applications are considered by the University on the basis of information provided by the applicant. The UCAS handbook can be accessed here: https://www.ucas.com/
21.1.2 Undergraduate applicants are informed at the offer stage under the verification section of the offer package that all new undergraduate students should be able to prove that they have fulfilled the necessary academic conditions for admission. Aberystwyth University reserves the right to cancel registration if the applicant once admitted as a registered student is unable to prove that they hold the appropriate qualifications that were stipulated for admission.
21.1.3 Postgraduate students are subject to the matriculation requirements of Aberystwyth University and must, if they are not graduates of Aberystwyth University, provide evidence of their qualification to Aberystwyth University.
21.1.4 If, after registration, the student is unable to provide evidence of the academic qualifications or academic history claimed for the purposes of admission, the relevant Faculty Pro Vice-Chancellor will consider the case.
21.1.5 The student will be invited to attend an interview with the Faculty Pro Vice-Chancellor either alone or in the company of a fellow student of the University, a representative of the Students’ Union or a member of his or her family.
21.1.6 The penalties open to the Faculty Pro Vice-Chancellor will be:
(i) to impose certain conditions on the student being able to continue in the University;
(ii) to require the student to withdraw temporarily or permanently.
21.1.7 The student will have a right to request a Final Review under the terms of the Academic Regulation on Academic Progress. In requesting a Review the student must give grounds for not making the new evidence available earlier.
21.2 Omission or Misrepresentation of Medical Circumstances
The existence of medical or other problems does not obviate the responsibility of the student for their education or their responsibility towards other members of the academic community. In line with the ‘Omission or Misrepresentation of Significant Information During Application or After Registration’ (point 22. above) students are required to declare any illness or disease likely to interfere with their health or studies or the health or studies of other students. This is to ensure the University is in a position to discharge its duty of care to safeguard the health, safety and wellbeing of all its students and to enable reasonable adjustments to be made to support students in their studies in line with Equality Legislation.
21.3 Fitness to Attend/Return
Where, as a result of ill health or disability a student’s behaviour is impacting adversely on the health, safety, wellbeing or academic progress of themselves or others, and requires positive management rather than disciplinary action, the University will invoke its Fitness to Attend Policy. The Fitness to Attend Policy are intended to provide an effective framework for protecting the integrity of a student’s learning, academic achievement and student experience and for ensuring that effective and appropriate support is available for those facing a health crisis which includes mental health issues. For further information about the Policy please contact Student Support Services.
22. Statement on Confidentiality
22.1 The confidential nature of information provided by students will be respected by the University.
22.2 Confidential information will only be shared in accordance with the Procedure on confidentiality and sharing of student information which can be found here: Confidentiality and Sharing of Student Information. Aside from particular circumstances set out in the above document, staff will respect the confidentiality of the student and restrict any information to as few relevant individuals as possible. Any student wishing to further restrict the sharing of such information should clearly make his or her wishes known to the appropriate members of staff at the earliest opportunity. However, students should also be aware of any consequences that may result from non-disclosure of relevant information. Normally such wishes will be respected unless to do so would be prejudicial to the best interests of the University community or the safety or security of any person. If, following a request by a student, relevant information is withheld from an individual or University body (for example an examination board) it will not normally be admissible during any later appeal against the original decision of that individual body.
22.3 Subject to any specific restrictions on, or exceptions to, the duty of confidentiality imposed or recognised by the law, confidential information will normally be disclosed to an outside agency or person only with the consent of the student to whom the information relates. In exceptional or emergency situations there may be a need to release information, for example to external medical staff, if this is deemed to be in the best interests of the student.
23. Problems with the Law or Criminal Convictions
23.1 Students are advised to contact the Advice, Information and Money Service (Student Support Services) for signposting advice and support if they face legal problems or are placed under arrest.
23.2 Students are required to inform the University if they are convicted of a criminal offence (with the exception of motoring offences for which the penalty was no greater than a fine and/or three penalty points) before entry to the University or whilst registered at the University. Details of the offence and the penalty (pre-entry and post-entry) should be sent to the Academic Registrar either by email to email@example.com or by post to Academic Registrar, Academic Registry, F5 Cledwyn Building, Aberystwyth University, Penglais, Aberystwyth, SY23 3DD.
23.3 Any student who is convicted of a criminal offence whilst registered at the University must inform the Academic Registrar immediately (see Rule 28.2). Students are not required to report any motoring offence for which the penalty was only a fine and/or three penalty points.
23.4 The Academic Registrar, in consultation with the Pro Vice-Chancellor as appropriate, will determine on the basis of the information received (or will contact the student for further information and/or permission, as necessary, to approach others for further details) whether to recommend further action by the University in the interest of its students and staff.
23.5 The following considerations inter alia will be taken into account by the Academic Registrar and/or the Pro Vice-Chancellor:
23.5.1 whether the criminal offence has any bearing on the student's suitability to be a member of the University (e.g. violent, sexual or racial crimes, drug dealing);
23.5.2 whether the student has re-offended, and, if so, whether there is a pattern to the re-offences;
23.5.3 whether the criminal behaviour has any bearing on the safety, rights and freedom of other students and staff at the University.
23.6 If the Academic Registrar (in consultation with the Pro Vice-Chancellor) wishes to consider the matter further by interviewing the student, an interview panel, consisting of the Pro Vice-Chancellor, President of the Students’ Union and Academic Registrar (or nominee), will be arranged.
23.7 The Interview Panel will be required to establish the level of potential risk to the University community (as far as it is possible to ascertain).
23.8 Where the Interview Panel decides in the words of the Human Rights Act that it is 'necessary in the interest of ... public safety ... for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of rights and freedoms of others' to recommend that conditions should be set (e.g. that they may not live in or visit halls of residence or University licensed premises), then these conditions will be made explicit, in writing. This letter must also indicate that compliance will be monitored and that the decision of the Panel is passed to certain members of staff of the University (e.g. Residences Team or the Students’ Union as appropriate) on a ‘need to know basis'. The student will have a right of appeal against the decision of the panel to the Pro Vice-Chancellor.
23.9 Where the Interview Panel decides that the student poses a continued threat to others in the University community and that a clear case for suspension or expulsion exists, the matter shall be referred to the University Disciplinary Committee (see 5.3.57, 5.4 and 5.5 of Rules and Regulations).
23.10 Documentation and information relating to the criminal conviction will be kept for no longer than is necessary for the purpose for which it was provided, namely to ascertain the risk to others. If the decision is taken to impose conditions on a student (as in paragraph 24.9) the documentation will be made available to University staff on a 'need to know basis'.
23.11 All documentation and information will be destroyed immediately a decision is taken that no conditions are necessary.
23.12 Information provided by students about their criminal convictions will be kept by the Academic Registrar (subject to 3 above) and will not be made available to academic departments.
Updated September 2021