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Student Support Policy

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Section 1 - Introduction

Purpose

(1) Hibernia College is committed to providing support to all students to enhance their journey and to afford them the best possible chance to complete their programme of study successfully. This policy sets out the principles for student support within Hibernia College.

Scope

To whom does the policy apply?

(2) This policy applies to all students on Hibernia College programmes, in particular those on programmes leading to awards in the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).

Who is responsible for implementing the policy?

(3) The Head of Student Affairs is ultimately responsible for ensuring the consistent implementation of this policy. 

(4) All Staff, Faculty and Adjunct Faculty are jointly responsible for ensuring that the principles in this policy are implemented in respect of the experience of the students they interact with.

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Section 2 - Context

Legal or Regulatory Context

Quality Assurance Guidelines

(5) The policy is designed with regard to both the European Standards and Guidelines and QQI’s Core Statutory Quality Assurance Guidelines, which both specify that Hibernia College must have appropriate support mechanisms and resources available to support students during their studies.

Provision of Education to International Students 

(6) The Irish Higher Education Quality Network’s Code of Practice for supporting international students was formally adopted by QQI and is a required standard for providers of programmes leading to QQI awards.

Programme-Specific Contexts

(7) Where, due to professional accreditation requirements for particular programmes, the College has particular support obligations for students, these will be specified in the relevant programme document and complied with fully.

Student Charter

(8) The Student Charter is the published framework which sets out for students our commitments to them and their obligations to the College throughout their time with the College.

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Section 3 - Policy Statements

Part A - Principles for Student Support 

(9) The following principles for student support guide our interactions with all students on their journey with the College from applicant to alumnus.

Accessibility and Openness

(10) We provide equivalent access to support facilities to all students regardless of their programme, ability, location, mode of study or life circumstances. 

(11) Staff and Faculty ensure that they provide clear information and opportunities for students to seek support and guidance.

(12) Staff and Faculty who become aware, or are made aware, of a student difficulty in their engagement on their academic programme ensure that this information is brought to the attention of any relevant party, and this is done with due regard to confidentiality.

Impartiality and Equitable Treatment

(13) Student support is provided to students on the basis of need, and no other criteria.

Caring

(14) Staff and Faculty are mindful of student needs in their interactions with students and, where appropriate, reach out to offer guidance, support and information which will contribute to a student’s successful completion of their academic programme.

Confidentiality

(15) Services offered operate within clearly defined boundaries of confidentiality. 

Comprehensiveness

(16) The College provides:

  1. A Student Support Officer who manages pastoral support resources, including the provision of a free counselling service
  2. Programme teams and Faculty who provide academic support
  3. Learning supports such as the online library, the virtual learning environment (VLE), online training and support courses
  4. Clear policies and procedures to assist students in undertaking their academic programme in a high-quality online and/or blended learning environment
  5. An IT helpdesk and a technical support team who provides technical support

Collaboration

(17) Students’ representatives’ feedback is used to inform the range of student supports provided.

(18) Student Support Staff are represented in strategic and operational decision-making.

Causes for Concern

(19) The College proactively seeks to support students who give cause for concern to members of Staff, Faculty and Adjunct Faculty due to their academic performance, conduct or level of engagement.