One Thing to know about UCD Student Advisory Service in 2024
Who are you guys?
University is a big part of students’ life when they are here with us for the duration of their studies. However, it’s not the only part. UCD Student Advisers support students in dealing with issues that are impacting on their capacity to fully engage with college life, and to provide support when it comes to UCD policies, procedures and services. We also work with staff right across the University to ensure that the student experience is as fulfilling and enjoyable as possible.
Where do you fit in in the broader UCD picture?
Every academic programme in UCD has its own Student Adviser who can offer students time and space to explore any issues of concern in confidence. There are also dedicated advisers for Mature Students and Postgraduate Research Students. The team is dispersed across the university and is highly visible and accessible to students. Student Advisers can assist in signposting students to more specialised services when appropriate.
What would you like to make your colleagues aware of coming into 2024?
This academic year, we are proud of the launch of the new Student Adviser website which is a comprehensive resource for students and staff supporting students. The website features various Student Guides, ranging from academic and financial support, to guidance on well being and UCD policies.
We want to highlight the ongoing professional development that our team will be undertaking through our continuing training seminars, workshops and independent study. In 2024, our monthly ‘Lunch & Learn’ sessions will continue. These training sessions enhance our skills and knowledge of topics as well as providing us with the opportunity to network and exchange best practices with other professionals in the field. Next year, we will hear about such topics as social prescribing and supporting transgender students.
This year has seen the highest demand on the Student Assistance Fund from students experiencing long-term financial difficulties due to the rising cost of living. Our team is continuing to support students in finding the financial solutions that can help them continue in their studies and improve their well being. Many of our team are members of the Student Emergency Fund Committee, working with colleagues across other student support areas in providing a valuable and vital resource for many students who experience unexpected financial difficulties. In 2024, the Student Advisory Service will be responsible for managing the Food Voucher scheme which is a UCD Students’ Union initiative intended to help students who are experiencing food insecurity.
This year, the Student Adviser Team took responsibility for the management and delivery of the UCD-wide Orientation programme, as well as enhancing the Peer Mentor programme through the development of an extended orientation programme which ran throughout trimester one covering topics such as making friends, supports on campus, and stress management. We look forward to continuing to deliver the Orientation and Peer Mentor programmes in 2024.
Written by Aisling O’Grady and the Student Advisory Team