Moving to university is a big change and choosing which one you go to is a step into the unknown - even for those students who researched the options extensively and went to as many open events as possible.
So it isn't uncommon to feel like something just isn’t clicking - even just a few weeks into a semester.
If this sounds familiar there are two things you should know. First, you are not alone - our research found that 1-in-3 students felt this way! And second, we believe in different and are here to help!
If you’re thinking about switching to a different university, we want to give you all the information, advice and guidance you'll need to make an informed decision and have pulled together some useful resources to help guide you through the process of switching universities.
If you would like impartial advice, please email us here.
Advice for if you’re thinking of switching uni
Speak to someone you trust such as a friend, family member or your university student support
If you’re struggling at university, it’s ok to reach out for support. Speaking about your problems may seem daunting but it can help as you may find that other people can offer a different perspective that you hadn’t thought about.
Think about the reasons why you want to change university
The reasons you want to switch university are personal to you, but it’s important to get to the root cause of why you want to leave your current university. By getting to the bottom of why you are unhappy at your current provider you'll be in a strong position to find a better fit for your studies.
Seek advice from your current university and explore all of your options
Depending on your situation, your university may be able to offer some flexibility or additional support to help you overcome any challenges you may be facing. By reaching out to someone who works at your university, a quicker and better solution could be explored, such as changing courses, instead of deciding to leave the provider altogether.
Research your new course and university
If you want to transfer onto the second or third year of a course, you will need to do some research to ensure the new one has a lot in common with the course you have just spent your time studying. You will need to check with your new provider if you’re existing achievements meet the requirements to transfer onto your new course. In some cases, you may have to repeat your first year again at your new university.
How to change university
Contact your new university
Don’t apply for a course without speaking to your new university first. Give them a call and ask who you need to contact in regards to your situation. You may need to ask for the contact information of the admissions tutor for a specific course. Don’t just email the general enquiries.
When contacting your new university, provide them with information such as the course you are currently on and the course you want to change to. Include any qualifications, grades, work experience and the reasons why you want to switch universities.
It’s also important to make sure they will be able to support you alongside your studies. Click here to access our handy guide on questions to ask when making enquiries about a degree.
Check your accommodation/halls of residence T&Cs
If you’re living away from home, you are likely to have entered into an agreement with an accommodation provider. You may be obliged to pay at least your first terms’ rent, meaning that if you do decide to switch to a new university in a different city, you may not have sufficient funds to pay for new accommodation.
Always check the T&Cs of your contract before making your decision to find out how much you have to pay or whether you are entitled to receive any of your deposit back.
If you have money concerns, UCEN Manchester has a variety of finance packages in place to support students facing a range of different circumstances. Please speak to our Careers and Welfare team to find out more by emailing the here.
Inform your current university provider that you will be leaving
If you have been accepted onto a course elsewhere and are confident that you have explored all options available to you, it is important to let your current university know that you will be leaving your course and moving to a new provider. Make sure you notify everyone at your current university including your tutors.
Update your details on the Student Finance England (SFE) website
To ensure your tuition fees will be paid accordingly, you will need to inform SFE about your change of circumstances. Watch our step-by-step video on how to do this in the 'How to switch your student finance to a new course' tab.
For more information, speak to our Careers and Welfare team by emailing them here.
Video: How to switch your student finance to a new course
Video: Managing your finances whilst at university
For some people, the first time they are financially independent is when they go to university. All of a sudden you might be presented with a big lump sum from your student loan and it's tempting to overindulge.
You could also find yourself in a situation where your funds have depleted much faster than you anticipated it and you're not sure what to do.
In this webinar, we discuss ways you can budget, making the most of Student Finance England and the bursaries that may be available at your university.
Video: Dealing with university worries
Going to university can present some people with new challenges to overcome in all manners of ways. The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone and we are here to help.
The academic step-up can demand a lot more independence that not everyone is prepared for but our team are here to share some useful tips to help you deal with these challenging situations.
Spotting the signs of poor mental health
It’s normal to experience a change in behaviour, emotions and thoughts when you start university
You’ve moved to a new area, making new friends and living independently, so changes to your behaviour and emotions is natural as you adjust to your new life at university. If you feel these changes are affecting your physical and psychological health and you are feeling anxious and upset then don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Ask for help if you are struggling with your emotions
It’s natural for your emotions to change when you start university but if you are feeling low, suffering with moods swings, manic and unpredictable emotions, feeling irritable, sad, depressed, anxious, fearful or angry, this could be a sign that your mental health is suffering. There are loads of techniques available that can help you manage your emotions, from yoga to swimming.
Check with your family if they’ve noticed any changes to your behaviour
Your family are the people who know you the best and would be the first people to spot any changes to your behaviour that could indicate any mental ill health issues. If you are worried ask them if they have noticed anything different.
It’s good to talk
Sometimes seeing someone else’s perspective and knowing there is a support system around us can really help. If you feel overwhelmed it can make you think and feel in a certain way, but having someone to talk to and connect with, can help you explore these feelings. Enquire about any counselling and tutorial support on offer.
Award winning student support from UCEN Manchester
Whatuni Student Choice Award 2021 Student Support Winner
Whatever stage of the journey you’re at, you’ll never be alone at UCEN Manchester. From the moment you start looking at courses with us, to after you’ve earned your qualifications and for as long as you need, we’re here to help. Here at UCEN Manchester, our students have access to a dedicated support team - Future U. They’re here beside you helping you knock down barriers to education and support you in your academic, personal and professional development.
To best support you with any additional needs, inclusive of mental health, we need to know more about you. Speak to our team about your needs so we can plan how we can best support you.
Whether it’s about finding the degree that’ll lead to your dream career, finding part or full-time work during study or providing advice on your CV and cover letter as you take the next steps into industry, we’re here for you.
Finance and Welfare
Money matters. If you need additional support, there are hardship funds available. You can also get advice tailored to you personal circumstances from our team who know a lot about life and how it can throw up unexpected challenges that can be difficult to overcome.
Counselling and extra services
As well as on-site and remote counselling run by our in-house team, students can also access support from our partner PAM Assist who are available 24/7 online and over the phone to support you with counselling and other wellbeing services.
Get advice on what to look for in a home, how to budget, what benefits or exemptions you could be eligible for and more.
Study skills (Libraries)
Brush-up your academic skills with our dedicated resources and on-campus advice from our Librarians. Learn critical reading and writing, note-taking hacks, how to set goals, work as a team, proofread and more.
Services available to applicants
We know that not everyone’s lucky enough to have a careers advisor or tutor helping them when it comes to applying and preparing for the transition to degree-level study. You can access a lot of our services before you even start with us.
- Personal statement support
- Interview support/advice
- Student Finance support
- Disability support applications
- Careers and course advice