Supporting informationfor applicants

Policy and Procedure for Students Under the Age of 18 Years

(Admissions Policy section 7 paragraph I)

Introduction

The University treats all its students, regardless of age on entry, as independent, mature individuals. However, under 18s living in England are considered by law to be children, which means the University has additional responsibilities towards students it admits who are under the age of 18 years one week prior to the start of their course until the date at which they turn 18, even if this period is relatively brief.[1]

Where this is the case, the University will require the applicant and their parent or guardian to sign the University’s Consent Form and return it to the University as confirmation that both parties have read and understood the nature of the obligations which the University owes to its students under the age of 18 and the extent of the services and facilities available to them. The policy covering these obligations is outlined below. This policy should be read in conjunction with the Loughborough University Safeguarding Policy

www.lboro.ac.uk/media/wwwlboroacuk/external/content/services/studentservices/downloads/LU_SafeguardingPolicy_v2.3.pdf.

No applicant under the age of 18 will be admitted by the University until the Consent Form has been signed and returned.

For international applicants needing a visa to study in the UK, the University must comply with regulations set by the UK Visas and Immigration. As such, parents or guardians must ensure suitable care arrangements are in place for a child under the age of 18 who will study in the UK and be sponsored by the University under its Tier 4 license (see Admissions Policy Section 8 paragraph A). The consent form must be returned to the University prior to the issuing of a Certificate of Acceptance of Study (CAS).

Principles of Consent [2]

The following guidance seeks to ensure that the respective responsibilities of the University and parent in relation to the applicant are clear. By signing the University Consent Form, it is deemed by the University that the student’s parent or guardian has given their consent to the following:

I. Parental responsibilities

The University is not able to take on the usual rights, responsibilities and authority which parents or guardians have in relation to a child, and it will not act in loco parentis (assuming parental responsibility) in relation to students who are under the age of 18 years. 

II. Contracts

As a student who is under the age of 18 years may not be able to enter into legal contracts, the University requires a student’s parents/guardians to honour all obligations under any contracts that the student enters into with the University prior to his or her eighteenth birthday (e.g. payment of tuition and accommodation fees due to the University). 

III. Student Accommodation

Parents and guardians should recognise that residential accommodation offered by the University is generally intended for the use of adults.

IV. Field Trips

Courses may involve compulsory or optional field trips, excursions or other periods of study away from the University campus.  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. Risk assessments are carried out before all field trips and provision is made for inclusion of under 18s where possible. Participation in some activities may be limited.

V. Sale of alcohol and other restricted goods and services

It is illegal for alcohol and other restricted goods to be sold to, or bought by, students who are under the age of 18 years. The University endeavours to 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. An up-to-date list of age restricted products can be found on the PASS website.

VI. 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.  Further details regarding this can be found in Appendix 2: Guidance for Staff on Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults of the University Safeguarding Policy www.lboro.ac.uk/media/wwwlboroacuk/external/content/services/studentservices/downloads/LU_SafeguardingPolicy_v2.3.pdf.

VII. Child Protection

As a matter of law, a person under the age of 18 years is a child.  The University has a responsibility to protect those under the age of 18 years from abuse and will report any suspicions or allegations of abuse of children to the appropriate Social Services Officer.  Any such suspicions or allegations will be reported to a Designated Safeguarding Officer as per Section 5 of the University Safeguarding Policy. Wardens, the student’s Personal Tutor and any other appropriate staff will be DBS checked as per Section 9 of the University Safeguarding Policy www.lboro.ac.uk/media/wwwlboroacuk/external/content/services/studentservices/downloads/LU_SafeguardingPolicy_v2.3.pdf.

VIII. 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 or guardians and this approach will apply equally to students who are under the age of 18 years. The University will therefore correspond with students, and not normally with parents or guardians. 

IX. Provision of IT services

The University offers email and unregulated internet services for all its students. These services are provided on an unsupervised and unmonitored basis. Students are expected to act in an adult and responsible manner when using these facilities and to abide by the University’s IT Acceptable Use Policy www.lboro.ac.uk/services/it/staff/help/policies/aup/.

X. Data Protection

Although those under 18 are regarded as children under the law, they still have the right under the Data Protection Act for information about them not to be disclosed without their consent. This means that the University is not able to give information to parents regarding the student's progress, results or any other personal circumstance unless the student has given his/her specific consent. However, if the student fails to pay any sums agreed on contract (see Contracts above) then it may be necessary to disclose this to any guarantor and possibly to a debt collection agency.

XI. Notification

The relevant Dean, Associate Dean of Teaching and School Administrator will be notified, prior to registration, of any student within their School or Hall who will be under the age of 18 years on entry to the University.  The Personal Tutor will also be notified.  Teaching and other staff will not routinely be made aware of a student’s age.

XII. Emergencies

The University will collect emergency contact details for students under the age of 18 years. If an emergency arises, for example, medical or criminal and it is not possible for the University to contact the named individual within the timescale necessitated by the particular situation then the University may be required to act on the student’s behalf. In such circumstances a senior member of the University will, on behalf of the student’s parent or guardian, give such consent to treatment as is in the best interests of the student. 

Procedure

The Academic Registry are responsible for seeking consent from the applicants and parent/guardian and will ensure that no identified applicant under the age of 18 is able to register for their course until a completed University Consent Form has been received.

The process will follow as below:

  • All applicants identified as being under 18 one week prior to the start of their course are contacted by email by the Admissions Office in June of their year of entry asking them to read the above policy guidance and complete and return the University Consent Form.
  • Upon return of the University Consent Form, the Admissions Office will note that consent has been given and upload the consent form to the application.
  • The Admissions Office will provide details of applicants expected to register with the University to the Student Office, including emergency contact number.
  • The Admissions Office will continue to chase the return of any outstanding University Consent Forms until one week before the start of the applicant’s course. Details of any outstanding consent will then be passed to the Student Office and registration prevented until the Consent Form has been signed and returned.
  • In mid-September, the Student Office will provide details of applicants under the age of 18 to the Director of Student Services. This information will be shared with Hall Wardens for those students in University Accommodation and will also be shared with the Loughborough Student’s Union in order that they can ensure that under 18s are monitored in use of their facilities, in particular in respect of alcohol.
  • The Student Office will also provide details of applicants under the age of 18 to the Dean, Associate Dean of Teaching, and School Administrator relevant to the applicant’s course to ensure an appropriate personal academic tutor is assigned.

For further information with regard to the above policy and procedure please contact the Admissions Office admissions@lboro.ac.uk

 

Approved 14th June 2017

 



[1] Cases whereby an applicant is identified as being under 16 at the start of their course will be considered on an individual basis. [back^]

[2] Once the student reaches the age of 18 this policy will no longer apply. At this point the student will become liable and responsible with regard to all matters including, but not limited to, fees and accommodation. [back^]