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About ASK

ASK is a free and confidential service that is independent of the University and is staffed by professional and experienced advisers trained to provide advice and support to students

 

Meet The Team!

 

Matt Steele

 

Matt Steele

Membership Services Manager (Advice & Advocacy)
Vicky Jackson

 

Vicky Jackson

ASK Adviser
Charlotte Jones

 

Charlotte Jones

ASK Adviser
Debby Taylor-Woods

 

Debby Taylor-Woods

ASK Adviser (Mon-Wed)

We will soon be moving to an online booking system, but in the meantime you can contact us for email advice, or to book a phone appointment, by emailing su.ask@keele.ac.uk.  Please email us from your Keele account if possible so we can be confident of your identity.

We aim to reply to emails within 3 working days. You usually will not have to wait the full 3 days for a reply, but our response times can be longer during periods of high demand or short staffing.  We will try to prioritise enquiries by urgency and if you have a deadline we will try to get back to you within this timeframe but we cannot guarantee this. We may not be able to give advice or attend meetings at short notice.

Please don't message or call individual advisers on Teams; however you can email us to request a video appointment when needed.

Due to the ongoing situation with Covid-19 ASK is not currently providing a face-to-face advice service but we hope to return to the office in the near future. We also cannot be contacted on our listed telephone numbers.

You can help us to improve our service by completing this survey. Your feedback is important to us and the survey should only take about 5 minutes of your time and your answers will be completely anonymous.

If you wish to make a complaint about our service, please read our Complaints Procedure.

Our office is currently closed but we are still available to advise you remotely.

ASK operates Monday-Friday, including over the summer vacation. Please note we do not monitor emails over the weekends or bank holidays.

ASK advises students in a number of areas - our most common enquiries include university issues such as appeals, ECs, academic misconduct and disciplinaries; housing problems both on and off campus; Student Finance and other income sources such as benefits; and general welfare concerns. We will listen to you explain your situation and provide you with advice and support, identifying appropriate services for you and next steps you can take.

We can also support you during formal University meetings, such as academic misconduct, disciplinaries and Fitness to Practice. If you would like our support it's really important that you contact us as soon as you have been made aware of any allegations made against you and give us plenty of notice if you have a meeting you'd like us to attend.

We work with the elected officers and other agencies and organisations to ensure that students' rights are upheld.

Our service is based on the following core aims and values:

 

Free

All our advice is free and we will not charge you for using our services.

 

Independent

We are independent from the University so are uniquely positioned to support you if you're having problems, or are in trouble, with the University. We can also assist you in challenging them and can take wider-reaching issues to elected officers to campaign on behalf of the student body.

 

Confidential

Any information you tell us is treated in complete confidence and is not disclosed to anyone outside our confidentiality policy without your express permission. Please see our Confidentiality Policy for details on the very exceptional occasions where we may need to breach confidentiality and the process we would follow.

 

Non-judgemental

We care about making sure you feel supported and that you are aware of your rights and responsibilities. We will not judge you for any reason.

 

Empowering

We aim to empower students to take control of their circumstances, with our support. We will explore the options available to you, but any decisions made are yours so you are can make the choices you feel suit you best.

 

Honest

It's important that we are trusted by the University and other organisations so that they can be confident of our integrity when we contact them on behalf of students. We will not assist students in lying to the University or other organisations and we will not advise students to use fraudulent or unscrupulous means to achieve their aims.

 

  • Arrive on time for your appointment or inform us if you are unable to attend.
  • Be honest when you tell us about your issue - we can only advise you based on what you tell us and the sooner we have a full understanding of your situation, the better we can help you. We won't judge you and will advise you to the best of our ability, no matter what you tell us.
  • Provide accurate information and keep us informed of any developments in your case.
  • Provide requested information which will help us with your case in a timely manner.
  • Carry out any action agreed with the ASK Adviser, or tell us if you're having difficulty doing this.
  • Give us plenty of notice if you would like us to accompany you to a meeting.
  • Treat all our staff with respect.
  • Not to expect us to advise you out of working hours.
  • Not to expect us to discuss the particulars of a case other than your own.

Our Withdrawal of Service policy explains situations where we might not continue to assist you.

If you have any feedback or any suggestions of ways we can improve our service, please use our feedback survey.

ASK advises all current students, except in cases of conflict of interest (please see our policies section) or where we have previously withdrawn service from that individual. Where alternative sources of assistance are necessary or recommended, ASK will assist in finding appropriate agencies.

We will also advise potential students and recent leavers in matters relating to the University and their course, such as accommodation, complaints, and appeals.

Members of staff are requested to seek advice from other organisations, such Citizens Advice, Union representatives, solicitors, or the ASK Legal Surgery.

Please note we do not advise landlords, including student landlords.

We understand that students' parents are emotionally and often financially involved in their children's lives, however ASK is a confidential service and we are unable to discuss a student's case with their parent or guardian, or any other third party, unless the student has contacted us directly to give us explicit consent.  We are also not able to say whether a student is accessing our service or if they have accessed our support in the past.

We will be able to give you general information, such as what support is available to students and directing you towards any appropriate information that you and the student can read.

If you have any concerns regarding a student’s wellbeing, we advise getting in touch with Keele University’s Student Services

‘Very welcoming and understanding, they took the time to understand the issue so they could solve it most effectively. They also followed up with an e-mail which made me feel very supported’

‘Great for advice; welcoming & friendly yet professional’

‘Couldn't have asked for anything better. Excellent service in every way’

‘An exceptional service that offers support to students in times of need. The friendly service offers student centred advice’

‘A friendly, helpful service that gave me an external perspective on the situation that helped me resolve it’

‘The receptionist was very understanding and helpful, the staff member who I spoke with was very accommodating as I was extremely late however I was still assisted in completing my form and was not rushed in anyway. Overall I felt that staff were excellent and I came away feeling so much better than when I arrived’

‘Simply amazing, they listen to every word and they're very supportive and friendly. Brilliant people. Truly’

‘The service was really useful for me as I found myself in a situation that required legal guidance but didn't know who to talk to. I was directed to ASK from Student services and they were brilliant at providing not only legal support but also emotional support and understanding. They kept in touch and made sure I was okay, and made me feel like I had somewhere I could go for help which would stay confidential’

‘They’re amazing, love their support and I am thankful for the support that they have been providing me’

‘Fantastic service, calmed my stresses about an Academic Conduct Officer meeting and were welcoming and assuring’

‘ASK is a great tool to get another, knowledgeable, point of view on any questions, concerns, or issues with the university. Along with the support provided it is a great service’

 ‘They helped me deal with a major issue that had been bothering me for a long time. After I talked to them I was a lot more at ease and better able to deal with the issue. I wish I had contacted them sooner’

‘The whole process was excellent, efficient, informative & non-judgemental’

 ‘Staff were very welcoming and understanding and made me feel like I had a safe and comfortable place to go and talk about my problems’

‘ASK were amazing and even through this horrendous virus they both continued to support me. I can’t thank them enough’

‘Very helpful, they got back to me fast even during the pandemic and summer vacation and were able to read through our housing contract and find somethings we asked our landlord to change’.