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As a former student at Leeds Trinity University, I know from experience the relationships that I had with my tutors helped shape the person I am today and convinced me to continue to postgraduate study. My personal tutor was the first person I met at an Open Day, and she was also my research supervisor. As I progressed to do my masters at Leeds Trinity we kept in touch and would often talk about future career plans and opportunities. Despite no longer being an active student of hers she still cared and made time to help me and latterly became the person who helped me get my job here, in July 2020.

Making the decision to go to university is always one that takes time and consideration. For many it involves leaving their home, their support network and their familiar environments which can be daunting. One of the great things that Leeds Trinity does is it provides a support network and community, and encourages Leeds to become a second home for many. This is all enabled through our Student Support services who are always willing to listen, our Students’ Union who encourage interactions, and our academic staff who are always on hand to help if necessary.

Relationships with students are formed on a name basis demonstrating our ‘name not a number’ ethos which we value highly. These bonds with students are maintained through both individual and group meetings, personal tutor meetings and even smiling at each other in the corridor as you move about the day. I think this personal approach is something that students value and it enables them to come to us for a chat or to help with any difficulties they may be having.

As a result of this, many choose to continue their learning with us. For some it’s the routine that they have already established and the familiarity that it brings. For others it’s the connections they have made in Leeds be it through friends, a job or just enjoying the city. The University offers a wide variety of courses and with one-to-one meetings in Level 6 to establish next steps after graduation, many desire this support to continue throughout the rest of their education and learning.

Now as a Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies, I am in the position to help students like I was once helped myself and it is amazing to see so many students continue their learning with us. Feeling safe and being supported by people who want the best for every student plays an important role in an individual’s learning journey and many do not feel the need to change when they have already received this support which has helped them to the point they are at now.

Hannah Crooks is Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies at Leeds Trinity University. She is also an alumna of the University and has degrees in Early Childhood Studies and MSc Psychology (Conversion).

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