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University of Leicester welcome families of new students

Family Programme Parents’ Receptions: Saturday and Sunday 2nd and 3rd October

Issued on 30 September 2010

The University of Leicester, named awarded University of the Year for 2008-09 and Outstanding Student Support 2009-10 by the Times Higher Education, is extending its traditional warm welcome to parents, relatives and friends of new students, to offer them information and reassurance about the place where their sons and daughters are about to start a new life.

When Leicester was named Times Higher Education University of the Year 2008/09 the winner’s brochure commended the University for being ‘elite without being elitist’. The award not only acknowledges Leicester’s consistently high research rankings, its rigorous academic standards and its consistent popularity in the National Student Survey, but also its inclusive and accessible culture and its commitment to the welfare and support of its students.

A key factor in the University’s success in national rankings for satisfaction is the holistic approach it takes towards working with its students and those who support them.

In 2000 Leicester was among the forerunners to establish receptions for ‘new’ parents. Vice-Chancellor, Professor Robert Burgess, said: “We are proud to have been one of the first universities offering a reception to parents of new students. It gives us chance to establish strong links with them and to enable them to feel part of the University, which is going to be such a large part of the lives of their sons and daughters over the new few years.”

The receptions are held as part of the University’s Family Programme, which gives students’ families chance to share in the life of the University without intruding on their children’s freedom. Director of Development Steve O’Connor said: “Staff at Leicester are investing time and effort to ensure parents and guardians of new students receive a warm welcome. This is the beginning of an important relationship, not simply with the students but with their families as well.”

Clare Taylor, Head of Student Welfare, commented: “The University of Leicester recognised some time ago the mixed emotions that parents can feel when their children leave for university. After the elation of successful A Level results has passed and the university place is confirmed there comes a realisation that the young person is about to move on in both education and life. The feeling is akin to that first day at school. The actual physical process of dropping them off at their chosen university can be unexpectedly distressing.

“This is a transitional period for students and their parents and we try to make it as smooth as we can. We want parents and students to be reassured by the extensive support systems available through the University and to find out how students can use this support if the need arises.”

Welfare staff will be on hand throughout the reception periods to cushion the impact for ‘empty nest syndrome’ parents, who will also be able to meet members of the Accommodation Office, staff, student ambassadors and members of the Students’ Union Sabbatical Team.

By attending any one of the ten receptions held over the two days, families can find out about the University, its facilities and its welfare services. There will be welcome presentations from the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Robert Burgess, the Head of Student Welfare, Clare Taylor, and Director of Development, Steve O’Connor.

Refreshments will be available and there will be displays in the foyer of the Charles Wilson Building. The refurbished and award-winning David Wilson Library, the Bookshop, Accommodation Office, Library and Café Piazza will all be open

The series of half-hour receptions start at 2pm and run until 4.30pm on each day, offering tea and biscuits as well as reassurance. The University receptions for parents of new students will take place on Saturday and Sunday 2nd and 3rd October.

Notes to Editors: For more information on this please contact Rosemary Faint, Alumni Relations Officer, University of Leicester, tel 0116 252 2418, email rlf9@leicester.ac.uk.

For an interview contact Ms Clare Taylor, Head of Student Welfare, tel 0116 223 1187, email cft3@le.ac.uk

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