Support your teenager in their first year

There are steps you can take to support your child and help their first year go smoothly.

Learn about the university’s support systems

UC offers a network of support services for students, including health services, learning support, financial, accommodation help and career coaching. Student Support is a great place to start, as the team are experienced in assessing students needs and advising on the best options to help them succeed.

Our information for new students page has key guidance that is useful in the first few weeks of study.

At Rā Tōmene | UC Open Day and Herea tō Waka | UC Orientation Day, we offer Parent and Whānau Information Sessions to provide an overview of the support available for your teens.  We encourage you to attend these for the most up-to-date information, however you can also watch the video below from the February 2022 session. 

Investigate help from government

StudyLink manages Student Loans and Allowances, and Inland Revenue has information about paying back Student Loans.

Help them stay healthy

Meningococcal disease is an infection caused by bacteria. It can develop in just a few hours and lead to two serious and potentially life-threatening illnesses – meningitis and septicaemia. Young adults living closely with others (eg: in halls of residence or student flats) are at high risk.

The UC Health Centre strongly recommends students are vaccinated before arriving at UC.

There are two vaccines available.

  • Menactra/Nimenrix protects against strains A, C, W and Y, and is free for all domestic students up to 25 years living in/about to enter halls of residence.
  • Bexsero protects against strain B meningococcal disease.

Before your taiohi begins university is also a good time for them to get a MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccination if they need one.

Contact your GP or the UC Health Centre for more information.

Encourage your young adult to keep life in balance

Students can engage with other parts of the university by joining a club or getting involved with the vibrant student community.

The years spent at university can be a fun and rewarding time in your teen's life. Students can get involved in different university activities to learn new skills and meet interesting people.

There are about 160 clubs that students can join, as well as fitness programmes run by the recreation centre.

Understand the nature of a student’s workload

It’s important for students to get on top of their workload right from the beginning by establishing good study habits. Most students will only have 14–18 hours of lectures and tutorials a week, but we recommend spending two hours of preparation and revision for each contact hour as a general rule.

This means that in total they can expect to be spending 36–45 hours a week on their studies.

There may be quiet times at the start of the semester, but when assignments are due or examinations are held, students will need to spend many hours studying.

Keep in touch

We have found that students are a lot happier if they feel that they can tell their parents anything, especially when they are going through tough times.

Keep in touch. If your child is living away from home for the first time, they will appreciate getting calls, emails or surprise parcels from you.

Take action if you are worried about their academic progress or health and wellbeing. First speak to your child directly and encourage them to approach the various academic or support services on campus. The Student Support team is a great place to start if your student isn't sure who can help.

Students have the right to have their personal information and privacy respected, but the University is very committed to supporting students who are at risk of failing or who may have serious health or safety concerns.

If you have more immediate and serious concerns about their health or safety, then you can speak to someone at the counseling services run by the UC Health Centre who can help address your concerns.

Student privacy

Even if you have contributed financially, the University enters into a contract with the student, and we are unable to give out phone numbers, grades or other personal information to you without the permission of the enrolled student. If you have concerns, you can contact our Student Care team.