As well as our Service Standards we also ask students to sign and agree to our User Agreement when accessing the service.
What You can Expect from Us
The Advice Service provides free advice on academic issues to all students who are studying at The University of East London and are members of the University of East London Students’ Union. This also includes distance learning students but does not include students at partner institutions of the University of East London.
The University of East London Students’ Union is its own charitable organisation and all advice offered from the service is independent of all external and third parties including the University of East London.
The Advice Service will give impartial advice to students making sure that all options are explored with the student and making sure that all consequences of each option is explained without prejudicing the student to a particular viewpoint.
We will make sure that the advice we give to students is informative to allow students to make their own decisions about the best way forward. The advisers will not make decisions on behalf of students but will explore all options and give students the information needed to make their own decisions.
We will assist and advise all students and consider all cases regardless of their current situation and how it arose. We will not ask questions or ask for information unless we feel it is relevant to the case.
• Equality and Respect
In line with our equal opportunities policy we provide equal access to all students and not discriminate on any grounds including, but not exclusive to disability, gender, race, age, religion or belief, sexual orientation, pregnancy or maternity, or marriage and civil partnership.
All information that students share with us will be treated with the strictest confidentiality. An advisor may share information with another advisor within the Advice Service but will not share any information with a 3rd party outside the service without the students full consent. All face to face interviews are conducted in a dedicated private space and our e-mails are accessed by Advice Service staff only. We may make an exception to this if we feel that the student is at risk of harming themselves or others.
You can request a copy of your full case file by emailing the Advice Services Manager.
Advisers will provide honest advice and guidance on academic issues and university procedures based on experience and knowledge of the regulations. Advisers cannot guarantee a successful outcome for any case they deal with and will only provide guidance and advice based on criteria and rules set out in the policy of the University of East London. The advisers will not provide any advice on issues outside their field of competence. If an adviser cannot give advice on any issue then they may refer the student to another source of assistance such as University Student Services.
What We Expect from You
We expect all students to treat our staff with respect. Students’ are expected to adhere to University’s Personal Dignity Policy and the Responsibilities of Students’ Policy. Service will be withdrawn if a student exhibits verbally abusive, threatening, discriminatory or violent behaviour toward a member of Union staff or any other persons accessing the service. Service will also be withdrawn if, despite verbal or written warnings, a student continues to exhibit offensive or insulting behaviour toward a member of Union staff or any other persons accessing the service. This can include behaviour where a student is rude or unpleasant or repeatedly uses inappropriate language.
We are here to provide advice and support on your case but the ultimate responsibility for moving the case forward rests with you. This means that you must submit forms and take necessary action on your case within set time limits as per University policy or agreement with your Adviser, and ensure that you follow advice provided in a timely way.
Students are expected to be open and honest about their situation to enable us to give the best advice possible. Failure to disclose all relevant information in good time may affect the outcome of your case.
We expect students to keep us up to date with any developments in their case. If the student hears from the University or another 3rd party then they should inform the Advice Centre.
It is important that all students arrive to their appointments in good time. Failure to attend an appointment or arrive on time will result in the loss of the appointment and the student may not be seen for a full week after. We will cancel an appointment if the student does not show within 10 minutes of when it was due to start. Where possible students should notify the Advice Service if they know they can’t attend or are going to be late. We expect students to fulfil any course of action agreed between them and an adviser. Failure to carry out agreed actions or to present relevant documents and information can considerably delay any further action in a case.
You can book appointments from Monday to Friday between the hours of 9:30 am and 4:30 pm. Email advice can be accessed by using our Contact Form.
Accessing the Service
We encourage students to book appointments in advance in order to best guarantee that they can be seen. Appointments are best booked over the telephone or face to face with the Students’ Union reception staff who will be able to book an appointment at the soonest convenience. We cannot book appointments via email.
We will provide written confirmation of an appointment to your e-mail account.
We provide email advice but require students to fill in our Contact Form on this page.
We aim to respond to all Contact Forms and emails within three working days*.
If a student is receiving email advice after using our Contact Form, then also books an appointment at the same time, the appointment will be cancelled. Normally, students are not able to book a face-to-face appointment at the same time as receiving email advice without authorisation from their Adviser.
We only provide appointments to current UEL students. If you have withdrawn from your studies, been withdrawn, graduated, or if you have been expelled we can only offer you advice if you open a case (either via our Contact Form or via Appointment) within 3 months of the date that you ceased to be a UEL student.
We do not provide advice to students who study at most of UEL's collaborative partner institutions. However we do advise students on the following courses:
- MA Social Work (Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust)
- MA Special and Additional Learning Needs (ICEP Europe)
- MBA International Business (Rheinische Fachhochschule, RFH)
- PGCert in Special Educational Needs Co-ordination (London Borough of Barking and Dagenham).
Students (other than the above) who study at UEL's collaborative partner institutions are not classed as members of UEL Students' Union.
Appointments are of a maximum 45 minute duration and we expect students to turn up in good time for those appointments.
If students are more than 10 minutes late for their appointment, the appointment will be cancelled and the appointment slot may be given to another student.
3 or more missed appointments can result in access to face-to-face advice being restricted, and advice provided via email only.
Students should bring any documents, e-mails letters and other materials that are relevant to the case as the details in these items may be central to the advice we provide.
We will provide written notes to the student within three workings day* of the appointment outlining the details of the meeting as well as what advice was offered.
Representation and Advocacy
Advice Service staff may be able to represent students at meetings and panels held under the Appeals against Assessment Board Decisions policy, the Academic Misconduct Regulations, Complaints Procedure, Student Disciplinary Procedure, the Suitability Procedure as well as some other informal and conciliatory meetings with in the University.
This is subject to the availability of an adviser and at least 48 hours notice is normally required in order to allow time for the adviser to familiarise with the case.
Withdrawal of service
In some circumstances we may feel it is necessary to withdraw a student’s access to the service. Reasons for this include:
- Where we find that there is a Conflict of Interest for the adviser or the service. In most cases a student will be provided with another adviser rather than service being withdrawn
- Where a student refuses to sign the UELSU Advice Service User Agreement.
- If we find that a student deliberately withholds information material to their case, or lies on issues material to the case. This can compromise the reputation of the adviser and/or the service we provide
- A student exhibits verbally abusive, threatening, discriminatory or violent behaviour toward a member of Union staff or any other persons accessing the service
- Despite verbal or written warnings, a student continues to exhibit offensive or insulting behaviour toward a member of Union staff or any other persons accessing the service. This can include behaviour where a student is rude or unpleasant or repeatedly uses inappropriate language.
- A student attempts to involve an advisor in immoral or illegal pursuits
- A student persistently and without good cause fails to keep to appointments or in other ways wastes advisers time, such as by continually seeking advice on a topic but never acting upon it. We may withdraw service on particular cases, but not withdraw your ability to access the service entirely. We may also in some circumstances restrict your access to email, versus face-to-face advice. In others, we reserve the right to withdraw service entirely
- A student is seeking advice on the same matter by another agency or service, such as legal counsel
- If the level or type of service required is beyond the scope of the service. In this case we would normally refer you to a suitable alternative
- A student has made a serious complaint against the service and this is currently being investigated
Where an advisor believes that a restriction to or withdrawal from the service is necessary, this will be discussed with the Advice Service Manager. Any student that is withdrawn from the service will be notified in writing and directed to the Students’ Union complaints procedure.
We may also consider a case closed if:
- The case is completed and therefore no further action is required.
- You are no longer engaging with the case. In the event that this happens you will be emailed if there is no contact after four weeks. The email will explain that we have had no contact with you and therefore their case has been marked as inactive. If you still require our support you can re-open the case by contacting us within 2 weeks. If you do not contact us after this your case will be closed.
Feedback and Complaints
We are always looking at ways to improve the Advice Service and welcome feedback from students. Students can write to us to let us know how we can improve our service or fill in our online survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/advice2018
You can find details of our complaints procedure in the Bye Laws of our Constitution which can be accessed on our website here https://www.uelunion.org/about/constitution/
*the first working day is counted as the day the appointment was held, or the Contact Form or email was sent.