Under the overall guidance of the Senior Tutor, the tutorial team aims to guide students who are encountering difficulties that are not purely academic.
Every student at Clare is assigned a personal Tutor to whom they can turn for confidential advice and support about anything that is troubling them, including problems about work, money, illness, or friends and family. There are eight undergraduate Tutors and two graduate Tutors; the assigned Tutor always teaches a different subject from the student’s, but is the person responsible for signing official forms (eg for joining a specialist library, or applying for a particular grant) and for representing the student’s interests when liaising with the University or other institutions. Whoever their assigned Tutor is, any student may ask to see any other Tutor (or the Senior Tutor) in complete confidence.
When students first arrive in Cambridge, their assigned Tutors will speak to them in small groups about what to expect, and will then see each student individually in the course of that first autumn. During the following three or four years, assigned Tutors will contact their students from time to time and invite them to come and have a private chat – and of course, students can always write to any Tutor whenever they like to ask for an appointment. Students are strongly advised to see a Tutor regularly. When everything is going well, it can be helpful to discuss plans and review progress. For students who are experiencing difficulties, talking about them is the first step towards resolving them.
There are other important members of Clare’s tutorial team. The Dean offers confidential support to College members of all faiths or none; The College Nurse provides confidential advice on the full range of health problems, both physical and mental, and she has recently been joined by our part-time Mental Health Adviser. For both graduate and undergraduate students, the Dean of Students is in charge of fines and disciplinary matters, while the Financial Tutor allocates bursaries, hardship awards, grants etc. Clare’s International Tutor can provide advice on a range of matters affecting overseas students (including native English speakers), such as cultural differences or visa difficulties.
In general, a student wishing to see a Tutor should email or telephone to set up an appointment. However, in emergencies students should contact the porters (24 hours) or the Tutorial Office, who will alert the Duty Tutor or take other appropriate action; a Duty Tutor is on 24-hour emergency call at all times between the September Open Days and graduation.