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1. Introduction and Overview


How To Use This Guide

The information provided in this part of the website constitutes Selwyn College’s Student Guide. Along with its companion, the Student Accommodation Handbook, they aim to pull together the information you will need to know about how the University and College work and your role as a student as Selwyn. It has sections covering everything from the arrangements for coming into residence for the first time, all the way through to how to arrange for graduation.

The amount of information may seem rather daunting at first sight, but in practice you will not need to know about all of these things right away. Rather, as the appropriate time comes along, or as particular issues arise, you should be able to turn to the relevant parts of the Guide to find out the information you need. Try to familiarise yourself with its contents as you start your course and remember or bookmark it so that you can easily find it again.

The information is very full, but the length and complexity of this guide is not an indication that life at Selwyn is excessively bureaucratic or hemmed in by too many rules and regulations. On the contrary, the size of the College and its tradition of openness mean that we can generally be quite informal. You will find that both the Fellows and staff are exceptionally accommodating and helpful, especially if approached in the right way. However, any institution needs to have rules and procedures so that it can function smoothly, and in a community with many people living at close quarters, and often working under pressure, it is important to both understand and follow the rules.

Interacting with the University, its faculties and departments is a more formal and bureaucratic business. The College officers and office staff will help you in this interaction, but to do so they do need your cooperation and understanding.

The various sections of this Guide are organised to help you find as easily as possible the various pieces of advice and information you will need. As well as contact details and information about student life, there are tabs that offer help in understanding the way we teach and learn in Cambridge; assistance with access to welfare and support networks; that will help you with financial matters; and guide you through matters relating to facilities and activities, discipline, life beyond Selwyn and other useful information. If you are new to Selwyn and the University it is especially recommended that you read carefully through the sections on ‘Your Work’ and ‘Support and Advice’. As to the rest of the Guide, it is suggested that you look over all the topics so that you know what is in there should you need to refer to it at a later date. You may want to print off some key sections and bring them with you when you come to Cambridge.

The Guide will be updated through the year as new information becomes available or as policy decisions are made. One of the advantages of not producing a fixed hard copy each year is to make the guide more flexible and easier to update more frequently than a single time a year. In addition it means that it is easier to respond if there are any errors or omissions in this guide, or if you have any suggestions for improvement. If you do, please contact me.

Dr Mike Sewell

Senior Tutor