Vision statement and service guidelines
Student Money and Accommodation Advice is an integral part of the Student Services Department. The department provides much of the support you might need during the course of your studies. Our Student Hubs should be your first port of call if you are looking to maximise your potential and make the most of your student experience. Student Hub staff can help with finding accommodation as well as with your finances, planning for your future career, and if you require support with a physical or mental health difficulty.
Student Money and Accommodation Advice (SMAA) - Vision
The SMAA team is here to support you in finding quality accommodation in external halls of residence, the private rented sector, homestay or home share accommodation. To provide professional and impartial advice and guidance. The service is available to prospective and current students and staff.
We aim to:
- provide relevant and up-to-date information in a variety of formats to students, applicants and external customers
- work closely with other departments and sections of the University to assist with the recruitment and retention of students
- develop and maintain close links with key external accommodation providers to ensure a broad portfolio of accommodation options
- provide all information in accessible formats
What you can expect
- Informed, non-judgmental, impartial, confidential advice and guidance regarding accommodation
- Guidance regarding applications for halls of residence
- Guidance regarding all aspects of private renting in flats and houses
- Individual advice through drop-in services run at published times with the option of individually arranged appointments where necessary
- Information and advice for prospective students who attend University Recruitment events
General guiding principles
All teams within Student Services are guided by the principles of equality of opportunity, accessibility, impartiality, transparency and confidentiality.
The Department of Student Services adheres to the Data Protection Act (1998) and to the principle of confidentiality. In broad terms this means we do not share your personal information with third parties unless you give consent to do so or when required to by law. Confidentiality can be lawfully waived in certain circumstances, including when there are concerns for a student’s safety or the safety of others. This would usually be done on a need-to-know basis and in consultation with the student involved.
SMAA will hold notes relating to contact with students, these notes will be accessible to staff within the team only to ensure continuity of service to you. If you wish, you are entitled to request copies of the records held about you – please contact us for further information. More information can be found within the University’s Data Protection Policy.
Equality and diversity
The SMAA team respects and welcomes difference and diversity. The Service recognises that many individuals and communities experience discrimination and oppression on the grounds of their gender, relationship or marital status, race or ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, age, health status, appearance, language, background, class, faith or religious belief, physical appearance and political opinions. We believe that equality for all is a basic human right and actively oppose all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination.
Student concern issues and complaints
We continually strive to provide a high-quality service. If you are unhappy with the service provided, we encourage you to first discuss this with the member of staff involved, or by raising the issue in writing through the service manager. You can also raise an issue via the Student Concern form.
If you feel that the matter raised has not been resolved in a satisfactory manner you also have at any stage the option to make a formal complaint – see the University Complaints Procedure.
Feedback is important to the SMAA team and it is sought regularly and encouraged from service users. Comments and feedback are evaluated and used to review and develop the services offered. You can let us know what you think and leave any constructive comments via our Student Services Feedback Form.
In addition to our surveys and other formal feedback mechanisms, any student or service can make comments or suggestions by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Expected staff and student conduct
SMAA staff aim to treat all students and graduates with courtesy and respect. In turn, those who use the service are also expected to behave in an appropriate and respectful manner to ensure that we maintain a safe and supportive environment for all.
To help us provide an effective service to as many students as possible, please contact us in advance with as much notice as possible if you are unable to attend your scheduled appointment, so we can attempt to rearrange an appointment. By advising us that you cannot attend, we are able to offer your appointment slot to another student, which helps us to avoid unnecessary waiting lists. If you repeatedly miss appointments, we may need to reassess what support our service can provide.
Other service deliverables
In addition to direct student advice, the service provides detailed information to academic schools and other support staff throughout the year. The service also has links with other external bodies involved with emergency accommodation support.
Service accessibility and availability
For Student Money and Accommodation Advice service opening hours, please see the details of our contact methods.
Department of Student Services – Policies and Procedures
A full statement of each policy and procedure can be found in our StudentZone Rules and Regulations webpages.