Students Under 18

Students under 18–Admission and Support

Policy for students under the age of 18 years

Introduction
The University may admit students who are under the age of 18 years. In most cases this will be a temporary situation, as the student will be approaching their eighteenth birthday.

The University is an adult environment and treats all its students as independent, mature individuals and students who are under the age of 18 years will be treated in the same way. The University will correspond directly with students under 18 years of age, rather than parents.

The usual personal and academic support arrangements will apply to students who are under 18 years. This normally includes the allocation of a personal tutor and, if the student is resident in University campus accommodation, the allocation of a student peer mentor and a resident staff warden. A comprehensive range of general and more specialist student services may be available on campus to support individuals with specific learning difficulties or those requiring more specialist (e.g. counselling or mental health) support.

The University recognises that anyone under the age of 18 living in England is legally a child and that some legal restrictions apply to this group e.g. prohibition on the consumption of alcohol on licensed premises.

Parental responsibilities
The University is not able to take on the usual rights, responsibilities and authority that parents have in relation to a child, and it will not act in loco parentis in relation to students who are under the age of 18 years.
International students aged 16 or 17 must obtain the written consent of a parent or legal guardian(s) that they can live and travel independently when applying for a UK student visa.

Contracts
A person of 16 or 17 has the status to enter into necessary contracts for education and accommodation but until their 18th birthday will not be legally competent to enter into all legal contracts. The University reserves the right, where a person must be aged 18 or over to be legally competent to enter into a contract the University, to require a student’s parents to honour all obligations (under any contracts with the University) that the student enters into prior to his or her 18th birthday.

Student accommodation
Parents should recognise that residential accommodation offered by the University is generally intended for the use of adults and that special arrangements cannot be made for students who are under the age of 18 years. Other students who share accommodation with those under 18 are not advised of this and the University has no right or ability to undertake UK Disclosure and Barring Service (safeguarding) checks on those who live or study with students who are under 18 years of age.

Internet Access
Parents and guardians of students under 18 should note that internet access is unrestricted at the University. It is not possible for the University to limit access to any particular sites or categories of information. Students under 18 will be expected to observe the same rules and regulations about acceptable use of the internet as all other students.

Field trips
Programmes may involve compulsory or optional field trips, excursions or other periods of study away from the University.  Subject to the University’s duties under health & safety law, the University is not able to take any additional responsibility for a student who is under the age of 18 years in relation to such activities.

Alcohol & Tobacco
It is illegal for alcohol or tobacco to be sold to or bought by individuals who are under the age of 18 years. The University will take reasonable steps to seek to ensure that the law is not broken in relation to licensed premises under the University’s control but cannot undertake to supervise any individual student. The Students' Union is responsible for ensuring that appropriate arrangements are in place for its own licensed premises.

Holding office
Students who are under 18 years are not allowed to hold office, for example, they may not be secretary or treasurer to a sports club or other students’ association.

Relationships with staff
Under the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 2000, it is a criminal offence for any person in a position of trust (which may include members of University staff) to engage in sexual activity with someone who is under 18 years. The University has a detailed available.

Child protection
As a matter of law in England, a person under the age of 18 is a child. Where appropriate the University will report any suspicions or allegations of abuse of children to Local Authority Social Services in accordance with the University Child Protection policy.

Notification
The warden in campus accommodation and Head of Student Support will have access to details of students who will be under the age of 18 years on entry to the University. (Teaching and other staff will not routinely be made aware of a student’s age).

Parental involvement
It is the University’s usual policy that it deals with students (with whom it has a contractual relationship) and not with parents. This approach will also apply to students who are under the age of 18 years.

Emergency contact
Students who have not attained the age of 18 can have their refusal to receive medical treatment overridden by parents. However, please note that a child from the age of 16 is entitled to consent to medical treatment, and that such consent cannot be overruled by parents.