Information for parents and supporters - Section contents

Starting at University can be both exciting and challenging. Students often take the whole first year to really settle in. These tips will help you provide support as students enter a new community, meet new expectations, and take on new challenges and responsibilities.

Differences students may experience

There are over 45,000 students at the University of Melbourne. Students may take time to build new networks and make new friends in an unfamiliar environment.

There are very different study expectations placed on students compared to secondary education:

  • University treats students as independent learners.
  • Students are responsible for managing their own time, including knowing when assessments are due, how to make the most of their out-of-class study time, and how to ask questions.
  • Students sometimes find there is less direction than they are used to and nobody chasing them up.

Students often develop new ideas about themselves, their family and their world. When starting University a lot of students begin to develop as individuals, start creating their own support networks, and may not depend on you as much as they have before.

As per the University’s privacy policy, student records and information cannot be disclosed to parents or supporters without the student’s prior consent.

What can I do as a parent or supporter?

  • Encourage them to become familiar with their rights and responsibilities, as outlined by the Student Charter
  • Support them to make informed decisions, remembering that they are responsible for their own decision making and the outcomes of their decisions
  • Encourage them to ask questions, clarify information and gain feedback on their studies
  • Provide them with a good study environment if living at home
  • Encourage them to seek support at University from the range of services available
  • Encourage them to develop new social and professional networks
  • Be patient with them as they transition and learn what is expected of them
  • Look out for their health and wellbeing and speak with them honestly and supportively if you have concerns
  • Encourage them to plan their time well and keep a timetable – not just their ‘contact time’ (in classes) but their study time, paid employment or volunteering time, sports commitments, extra curricular activities and social activities.