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What does 'Support to Study' mean?

The University may call a Support to Study meeting or panel they think that your health may be having an impact on your studies, meaning that you are not reaching your full potential on your course. When the University have concerns that your health, usually either your physical or meantl health, is not allowing you to meet your full potential, they may call a meeting to discuss how you can be supported better and in some cases, if you are ready to be at University at the moment.  

It is important to remember that the University will always try to work with you to ensure your success on your course, it is very rare that a panel that they will insist a student to take a break or leave their course

Support to Study meetings can be difficult and therefore we recomend that you have someone with you to support you through your meeting. You can bring a friend that you trust or a Students Union representative. We highly recomend that you have someone with you throughout the Support to Study procedures.

What is a Professionals Meeting?

This is usually the first stage of Support to Study and it means that the University just want to talk to you about your health and usually what the University can do to support you more. 

Usually members in a Professionals Meeting include: 

Remember that you can bring a friend, or a SU representative to the meeting and, you are able to request any other members of staff you wish to be present. 
This meeting is usually your chance to dicuss what can support you better on your studies. You may find that both staff and students are set targets in order to support you to achieve your potential.

What is a 'Support to Study' Panel?

This is the second stage of Support to Study, although sometimes when the concerns of the University are too serious, they will ask you to attend the panel first. 

Usually members in a Panel include:

  • A chair of the meeting
  • Another member of University Staff
  • A student representative, usually a sabattical officer
  • A secretary to the meeting, usually someone from OSCAR

Know your rights:

  • You are able to bring someone with you - a friend or a SU representative
  • You have the right to reply to any comments made about or against you
  • You are able to take a break at any time
  • You will find out the outcome of the panel immediatley after the panel is finished or, you will be informed why the panel are unable to reach a desicision that day

What do I need to do first?

  • Read the University's Regulations for Fitness to Study. These can be found on the web-site of the Office of Student Complaints, Appeals and Regulations (OSCAR) - https://www.surrey.ac.uk/office-student-complaints-appeals-and-regulation
  • Read through the information that you have been given 
  • You can prepare a short statement to read at the start of the meeting or panel
  • Gather any evidence that supports the points you would like to make. Your invitation should explain when this evidence should be submitted. 

What can the Students' Union do?

It is strongly advised that you seek advice from our Academic Advice team if you have been asked to attend a Support to Study meeting. We can navigate you through the process and what questions may be asked and, we can help you understand any evidence you may be required to bring with you. Our advisors can also talk you through why the meeting has been called, what the likely outcomes may be and, ensure that the process is supportive for you. 

We recomend that you email us: ussu.advice@surrey.ac.uk. 


I need further advice:

You can make an appointment with one of our Academic Advice team. Please email ussu.advice@surrey.ac.uk with the following information:

Name​, Course, Year of study, When your meeting/panel is (invitation letter would be helpful), Details of your case (including any documentation you have received fro​m the University about your Support to Study process), what you need advice on​.

Once you have emailed us, our advisors will aim to respond within two working days


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The University of Surrey Students’ Union is a private limited company, registered in England & Wales with registered number 07470232, registered at Union House, Guildford, GU2 7XH. The Union is also a registered charity, registered with charity number 1142479

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