Parents and family


Whether your son or daughter is away at a local university or is a few hundred miles away, their health, happiness and wellbeing, although affected by different factors, is paramount to their enjoyment of the whole experience.

We understand you will be concerned for your son' or daughter's welfare during their time at university and we provide a dedicated range of support services to ensure your son or daughter is happy and healthy during their time at Kent.

What if my son or daughter has study problems?

At Kent we want to make sure your son or daughter has the best possible learning experience while they work for their degree. The Student Learning Advisory Service (SLAS) is a free and friendly resource for students from all campuses, subjects and levels of study.

It provides information, one-to-one sessions and workshops to improve study skills. The workshops cover a variety of areas including grammar and writing style, essay writing, effective research techniques, identifying and using online sources, referencing and plagiarism.

What if my son or daughter needs support during their degree?

The Advice Centres at Kent Union (Canterbury) and GK Unions (Medway) are here to help all University of Kent students, including part-time as well as full-time students and those students studying franchised courses at other colleges.

They provide advice on issues that may affect your son or daughter while they are a student. This includes the all-important finance questions, legal advice, questions about their course, health matters and other issues.

Kent Union was awarded the Quality Mark which sets the standard for legal information and advice and is overseen by the Community Legal Service. It is designed to ensure that the service is well run and that the quality of their advice is monitored to maintain high standards.

My son or daughter has a disability, dyslexia or a long term medical condition – what support is available to them?

Kent has a dedicated Student Support Service. Its core services include support for students with specific learning difficulties, support for students with physical or sensory impairments and medical conditions, and help with applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance. We also have a team of tutors who provide individual specialist tuition and support assistants who can help with note-taking and other learning support requirements.

If you son or daughter requires this type of support, they should contact the University as soon as possible so we are able to arrange timely provision of the appropriate support services.

What if my son or daughter falls ill? (Canterbury campus)

If your son or daughter is studying on the Canterbury campus, they should contact the University Medical Centre - a GP practice offering a same-day appointment service.

There is also an on-site pharmacy next door. The University Nursing Service is available to students for support, advice, treatment of minor illness and injury and contraceptive advice (including supply of emergency contraception).

The service provides a drop-in facility, where no appointment is necessary to discuss health problems with the nurse and receive treatment where appropriate.

What if my son or daughter falls ill? (Medway campus)

There is a new first aid/medical room in the Medway Building (Room M0-04) where your son or daughter can seek medical advice from a Nurse Practitioner from the Sunlight Surgery.

The Sunlight Surgery Clinic will be held on Thursdays during term-time from 11.00 - 15.00. The clinic is nurse practitioner led with GP back up at the Sunlight Surgery. The clinic is aimed at ailments that need an urgent appointment, for example:

  • a sudden onset of abdominal pain
  • a productive cough
  • sore throats
  • urinary infections
  • morning after pill.

These clinics are primarily for patients registered at the Sunlight Surgery, but the Nurse Practitioner does have the ability to register patients at the point of contact.

About the Sunlight Centre Surgery
The Sunlight Centre Surgery is a specialist GP practice providing medical care tailored to meet all the health needs of students at Medway. For a full range of services available and opening times, please visit their website

Registering with a doctor
Your son or daughter should register with a local doctor near to their accommodation in order to receive treatment under the National Health Service (NHS). A list of medical practices in the Medway area is available from

The nearest hospital with A&E services is Medway Maritime Hospital:
Medway Maritime Hospital 
Windmill Road 
Tel: 01634 830000

Further information
Please contact Student Services by email at Alternatively, call 01634 88 8474.

Who can my son or daughter talk to if they experience personal difficulties?

Going to university is a time of transition and personal development, and there may be times when your son or daughter may feel they would benefit from some professional counselling. The goal of counselling is to empower, encourage and support your son or daughter to help themselves.

The University Wellbeing Service offers students and staff a completely confidential service, and is open throughout the year. In addition to individual counselling sessions, there is the opportunity to take part in groups, workshops and courses.

What prayer and worship services are available?

We have a Chaplaincy team at Kent which is both ecumenical and multi-faith. We have two full-time chaplains (Anglican and Catholic) and several part-time members who serve all the main Christian denominations as well as the Buddhist, Islamic, Hindu, Sikh and Jewish faith communities.

There is an attractive small chapel in Eliot College on the Canterbury campus which is regularly used for worship and is open to everybody for quiet prayer and meditation. There is also a mosque near to the Sports Centre, which used by students and members of the local community.

There is a new multi-faith prayer and reflection room in the Pilkington Building at the Medway campus, and a chaplain who can arrange introductions to local places of worship and offer spiritual advice to all students.

Is childcare available for student parents?

The Oaks Nursery on the Canterbury campus provides a warm, caring, happy and stimulating environment in which children can develop. We have 20 qualified members of staff providing the highest standard of care for children between three months and five years old.

Busy Bees is a purpose built nursery that provides childcare for students at the Medway campus. A recent OFSTED inspection rated it as ‘outstanding’.

The Students’ Union offers a subsidy on any childcare costs for appropriately qualified students and the nurseries also accept The Early Learning Grant provided for children from government money that is given to children the term before their fourth birthday.

What security measures are in place on campus?

We have a team of specially trained security officers who patrol the Canterbury campus 24 hours a day, CCTV cameras, a staffed reception area in each college and our security centre, Campus Security. We also offer an on-campus security service which means your son or daughter can be accompanied, on foot, by a security guard at any time. We also organise a term-time, late night bus service to local towns.

Access to the Medway campus is monitored by the gatehouse staff, members of security patrol the site 24 hours a day and all areas are covered by CCTV. The student accommodation at Liberty Quays features comprehensive CCTV coverage, 24-hour security and electronic entry systems.

Student welfare

We recognise that our students come from a variety of backgrounds and, during the course of study, family circumstances may change.

We take the welfare of our students extremely seriously and would ask you, in your role as parents and carers, to encourage your son or daughter to report any special circumstances to their academic schools so any factors that may affect their ability to study are taken into account in the earliest possible instance.

Student confidentiality

The University of Kent is a registered Data Controller, and collects and processes personal data under the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998.

This means that University staff are prohibited by law from disclosing any information about students to unauthorised third parties, which includes family members and friends. In practice, this means that any request to disclose personal data to anyone other than the person to whom it relates, will be politely refused.

For further details about our Data Protection policy, please visit our information compliance webpage

“There are services here to help you with lots of things, such as essay writing, so you never really feel as if you are on your own”

Alan McGuinness

Publishing Office - © University of Kent

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 764000

Last Updated: 23/10/2017