Fitness to Study

Fitness to Study – A Procedure


Situations sometimes arise when for a variety of reasons, for example health issues, personal matters or family problems, a student may be having difficulties studying. In the majority of cases the student affected will ask for help from the various sources available in the College and the University and the problem will be adequately addressed so that the student can continue with their studies or make the decision, with their advisers, to take time out to resolve the situation.

There are occasions, however, when a student may be unable to fully appreciate the impact that their problems are having on themselves or those around them. In some circumstances they may be very resistant to advice or to help, or be unaware of the sources of support available to them in Cambridge.

In such circumstances it is important that there are clear and transparent procedures to help resolve the problems, in the interests not only of the individual student but also of their colleagues and the College and University staff with whom the student interacts.

A Fitness to Study Procedure has therefore been developed to address such situations.  Its aim is to achieve a resolution of the issues that are interfering with the student’s ability to study effectively and to take full advantage of all aspects of University life. Use of the procedure will also ensure that a student is fully and appropriately supported, and take into account the needs and rights of all members of the University. It is not a disciplinary procedure but inevitably has to have a formal structure if it is to operate fairly and effectively.

In essence the procedure has three stages:

1. An informal stage during which it is hoped the issues will be resolved by mutual consent in the majority of cases.

2. A second, more formal stage involving a Case Review Group, where problems can be worked through and a plan of support and guidance decided upon for the individual student, with his/her agreement.

3. A third stage Case Review Panel to consider situations where arrangements agreed by the Case Review Group have broken down, or where there are serious concerns for the health and safety of the student or for other members of the College or University community. The aim is still to reach a mutually agreed resolution of the situation. This stage can be used where it is necessary to put a stop, albeit temporarily, to a situation which is damaging to all concerned.


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