Starting university is an exciting time for any new student but it can also be a period of uncertainty. If you are a parent or carer it can be a challenging experience for you too. At the University of Birmingham we value your vital supporting role and welcome you as part of the University community.
Student education and welfare is of utmost importance to us and we can assure you that our duty is to our students. Students here at the University of Birmingham have access to a wide-ranging network of support services for both academic and non-academic issues. There are also processes in place to identify a student who may need support and can then be referred to the relevant service.
If you have a concern about your son or daughter, in the interests of respecting student privacy we are unfortunately unable to discuss these concerns with you without your son/daughter’s permission, by way of Disclosure of Information. We appreciate that this can be frustrating, particularly if it relates to their accommodation account and you are paying the fees, however this is legal requirement (1998 Data Protection Act) and University policy prohibits the disclosure of an individual's information. There are only certain situations in which this may not apply, and is dealt with in respect to the University’s duty of care.
What can I do if I am concerned?
The University will take your concerns seriously. Whilst we cannot discuss a student’s situation or circumstances with you (without their permission), including giving confirmation of whether they are attending the University, we can contact the student and offer appropriate help. It is then the student’s responsibility as to whether they choose to take advantage of that support and advice.
We would advise you to explore the full set of Undergraduate Pages for detailed information on studying and living here, but this section details the key points in regards to Accommodation and Community Living.
What is the accommodation application process?
All accommodation is allocated randomly through our automated allocation process, to ensure that offers of accommodation are as fair as possible. Some accommodation is inevitably more popular than others, which means we can’t always guarantee you will get your preferences.
The University guarantees accommodation in University owned or our partner accommodation, which is privately owned, to students who meet certain criteria under the Fresher’s Guarantee. Among other criteria, to be eligible for this Guarantee students must apply for accommodation by:
UK and EU Students – 31 May 2016
International Students – 31 July 2016
For more information please visit our Guarantee Schemes page.
What University accommodation is available?
We offer a wide variety of accommodation over a number of villages. They range between:
single study bedroom accommodation based in cluster flats sharing kitchen and bathroom facilities
en-suite accommodation, where each bedroom has its own bathroom but flats share kitchen facilities
studios and apartments, where residents have exclusive use of a kitchen and bathroom
Our detailed guide to accommodation is available to download. This includes a useful summary with prices and accommodation map.
We offer both self-catered and catered accommodation whereby the student signs a contract to take up Meal Plan, which is provided at the Vale Village.
For all you need to know about living here at the University Birmingham you may wish to take a look at our Living With Us page, where you will find information including paying fees, welfare support, code of practice and what you get for your money.
Can my son or daughter rent accommodation privately?
Students have access to the free service of Birmingham Student Pad the official University of Birmingham student accommodation search engine. This service is run alongside LIVING (Accommodation Services) and allows the user to search for all types of short or long-term accommodation. We have properties available within close proximity to the university, comprising of rooms, house shares, self-contained flats and houses for couples or families. Living holds copies of Landlords Gas Safety Certificates, Electrical Safety Certificates, HMO Licences, Tenancy Deposit Scheme details and EPC (Energy Performance Certificates) on all properties where applicable. Properties will only be advertised if the relevant certificates have been presented. ALL landlords/agents are MLAS (Midland Landlord Accreditation Scheme) accredited and we can therefore guarantee at least a minimum set of accommodation standards.
What is the best advice for visiting Birmingham?
If you are visiting your son/daughter at University we recommend staying with venuebirmingham. Venuebirmingham is part of the University’s Hospitality and Accommodation Services and located at The Conference Park, having 106 en-suite bedrooms available year round, with prices starting from £40 per night, and is the closest bed and breakfast accommodation to the University accommodation villages and campus itself.
What if my son or daughter has concerns with their flatmates?
If your son or daughter is having issues with flatmates, whether it is due to personality or lifestyle differences, their first port of call would be their Village Reception, as site management may be able to assist. We also have the Student Mentor Scheme who can offer mediation to resolve these issues.
Should issues persist, Living can help if your son/daughter would like to move accommodation. This would be by way of transfer.
What about flat maintenance?
If there are maintenance issues these should be reported to the appropriate Village Reception promptly with your son/daughter providing as much information as possible to ensure that it is dealt with accordingly. Maintenance requests are graded according to their priority.
What if my son or daughter gets into financial difficulties
At The University of Birmingham we provide a free professional advice service to all of our students which deal with issues from student funding to complex debt problems.
What if I have other questions?
We hope this gives you the vital information you require on accommodation available to your son/daughter. Please also note that we have a FAQ page that aims to answer many of the most common questions; however, if you should have any further queries then please do not hesitate to contact LIVING via email firstname.lastname@example.org or 0121 414 8000. LIVING is open Monday-Friday 9am-5pm (from 10am Tuesdays).