Personal Tutors and Student Support Teams

New student support model

Information about the new model of student support.

The University’s current Personal Tutor and Student Support model has been running since 2012.

Feedback from students and staff has confirmed both significant variation in how the current model is delivered, with declining levels of satisfaction from students with the system overall. There have also been significant concerns about sustainability of the approach, with evidence of growing pressures on both personal tutors and school support teams.

Following an intensive review and consultation throughout 2019, proposals for an ambitious and exciting new model of student support were developed.

Integrating ideas and advice from staff and students across the University, as well as benchmarking across the sector nationally and internationally; these bold new plans are designed to transform the way we provide support to undergraduate and taught postgraduate students.

The model is designed to deliver substantial benefits to both students and to staff working in this critical area.

Four complementary and interrelated pillars of support

In the new model, academic staff will be released from Personal Tutor duties. Expanded teams of trained professional services advisers in each School will manage the day-to-day work of supporting and advising students.

The expansion of Professional Services student support teams, with new roles preserving a named-contact relationship for students, will give students access to staff dedicated to and skilled in enhanced course and programme advice and guidance, wellbeing, and mental health, and professional and academic and study skills development.  These teams will connect to the central support services ensuring an ecosystem of support.

Wellbeing advisers will be embedded in each School, in a hub and spoke model, to work in partnership with existing support services such as Student Counselling and Student Disability. New academic cohort lead roles will be created to develop a sense of belonging within programmes of study, support the orientation and induction of students into academic life at the University, create opportunities to build new relationships, and support students as they transition through their studies. The model further recognises that all staff involved in a student’s learning and teaching play a role in providing support during a student’s time at Edinburgh.

The new model will also look to build on and expand the well-established Peer Assisted Learning and Support schemes (PALS), making sure that peer-to-peer support is a key resource for all taught students, UG and PG.

Implementation of the new model

After a delay caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, in October 2021 the University Executive approved delivery of the new model.

This will be implemented in a phased manner across all 3 colleges, with some students receiving support under the new model from September 2022, and remaining Schools and Deaneries moving over from September 2023.

Each College has set up local implementation groups, supported by a central Strategic Change team. The teams working on the new Student Support model are involving staff and students in the implementation of this work across the University and welcome any feedback you may have.

Sharing your feedback

The team is keen to hear from you on how best they can deliver this.

You can find out more about the new model, and the implementation project along with their contact details on the Student Support SharePoint.

Student Support (EASE login required).