To people potentially investigating University of Derby: Support is not great.

Badges: 19
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
To those potentially investigating Derby as a point of call, I would suggest being very careful. Support for students is lacking in my experience, even atrociously so.

Here has been my experience:

1) I am the primary carer of a toddler who suffers from anxiety. I attended Get Ahead(Their program for people who suffer from things like anxiety, dyslexia or any other disability) and notified them that I had anxiety that was mainly under control, but wanted it on record in case I had an issue.

In the second semester, I had a severe issue with anxiety due to something non-school related. By week 3, I had arranged for a meeting with their mental health department. It took several weeks to get an appointment and, when I showed up and explained, they said they needed a Doctor's note to make any concessions. I arranged a Doctor's appointment, got the note, provided the note to Student Services and asked if that was what they needed.

I was informed that, yes, it was all they needed. The week before everything was due, I was sent an email saying my request was denied because the Doctor didn't provide specific information of what my day to day disability might cause. I had requested an extra week as I had spent the first 6 weeks staring uncomprehendedly at my work due to the anxiety.

I still finished with a 2.1 in the first year, but this lack of support and lack of communication was ridiculous.

2) In attempting to switch courses to something more in keeping with what I discovered my talents and passions lie(I wanted to be a teacher of Computing and learned I could do an Education/Data Analytics joint degree). At the beginning of summer, I approached my Tutor who agreed with me. I spoke with my current Course head who asked that I think about it. I spoke with Rosemary Shepherd(A brilliant and wonderful teacher who the Uni should be proud of) and explained what I was looking for and she agreed that I could do the degree on the Education side.

I attempted to contact the Data Analytics side and was told the person responsible was on vacation for 2 weeks. Then, during Clearing, I showed up to speak to the person and was told he was still on vacation for the third week in a row. Turns out that he wasn't on vacation when I first showed up. The person I was speaking to just had better things to do than confirm information for me.

I have a toddler. I am responsible for his childcare. They have delayed and prevaricated and excused for weeks on end, so I went directly to the Deputy Head. He was a brilliant, helpful, intelligent person who also agreed I could go in to second year on his end. Both of the heads of their departments agreed and had no problem with this.

I explained that spots for childcare fill up quickly and that my odds of finding childcare are vanishing. Days passed. I called again last week. Made an appointment, was promised they would verify.

Nothing. No contact. No information. This week has showed up and I arranged another meeting. I was informed it would be a matter of hours.

No one got back to me. No one has answered their phone for me. No one is taking responsibility and the odds that I will be able to return to school with no childcare(Because I have no idea what my schedule will be) is vanishing.

All because nobody will stand up and take responsibility and say "I will help you."

The professors are great. The facilities, I am a fan of. Student support has failed every single time I have required anything of it.

Every. Single. Time. Think on that if you have any special needs before you apply.
Badges: 9
Report 4 years ago
I feel you, dude. We have quite a few mature students in our class who struggle to find care for their kids during 5PM-9PM lectures. Can't imagine what it's like trying to look after a toddler and cope with your anxiety. Hope you're in a better place now.

I can back up your claims about how rubbish the support services at Derby are. I struggle with insomnia anyway but last year my first year flat was a literal hellhole with a rude, antisocial flat below us. They would blast their music all day and night, throw parties at least three times a week and yell, scream and bang on the ceiling with their chairs at like 3AM. My flatmates had to stay at their friend's flats/houses because of how bad it got. I notified the accommodation office so many times they knew me by name after only a few months. The flat was given loads of warnings but the accommodation office didn't want to take it any further. My health suffered as a result of the lack of sleep. I felt like I was going crazy most days. It got to the point where I was becoming physically ill from exhaustion.

The halls office just didn't care. They even suggested I was overly sensitive to noise. They kept telling me just to call it in when it was happening so their staff could report the incident. A few of the night guards sat in our kitchen at 4AM once to be a witness to the noise and at points we could barely hear them speaking. Yet nothing more was done until like... a month before I moved out and it was for something totally unrelated to my noise complaints.

On top of that, I tried seeking help from student wellbeing as I was starting to feel depressed and anxious, I flinch at even the slightest bits of noise fearing the music would start up again. I explained the situation to them and all they suggested was get some pills from the doctors. I'd tried Night Nurse and that but didn't want to be reliant on them to sleep. I went to two sessions before giving up. It was clear they didn't take my issues seriously and just thought lack of sleep was a 'student thing'

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