UCU is a unique community of students living and studying together, and the Student Life Officer works in partnership to ensure that the student experience at UCU is a rewarding, productive, healthy and fruitful one. Mark Baldwin is UCU’s Student Life Officer.
Room 112 College Hall.
The Student Life Officer is a point of contact for all students to discuss any aspect of their personal UCU experience. Mark speaks, on average, with around 200 individual students per semester, on a variety of topics including health, workload, finances, new campus initiatives, planning, family circumstances, making effective decisions, or simply putting things into perspective and making it through the next semester. He can quickly connect with several other support-providers throughout UCU, UU and the city. He is available to meet by appointment or spontaneously – all meetings are confidential (unless disclosure is agreed with the student) and there is no topic off limits.
Mark is a member of the UU Wellbeing Taskforce, and has a wide range of profesisonal training and qualifications as counsellor, mentor, coach and guide. His special fields of training and knowledge include: Students and Mental Health; Developing Resilience in Study Life; Supporting Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder; Guiding Students Towards Personal Agency; Perfectionism in Students in Excellence Settings; Intercultural Competence; Developing Wellbeing Initiatives; Equal Opportunities & Diversity; Building Successful Communities,; Careers Guidance; Sexual Health / Harassment Amongst Students; Professional Athlete Life Skills; Athlete Transitions.
Mark is available to meet with students by appointment but also (depending on availability) at short notice. The best times to request appointments are...
Mondays 13:00 - 15:00
Tuesdays 11:00 - 13:00
Wednesdays 13:00 - 15:00
Thursdays 13:00 - 15:00
Making an appointment in advance is a safe way to guarantee undivided attention! The times above are a guide, and there is always the option to meet outside of those if the situation demands.
Students may wish to talk about their own health and welfare concerns, or that of family members, and how this impacts upon their UCU experience. In some cases it is useful to talk about personal coping strategies and special co-operation with the university. In other cases, it might help to simply talk and be heard.
For students with disabilities or learning disorders, Mark can help assess whether or not there is an entitlement to special flexibility from the university (e.g. extra tie in exams), and put this in place.
Mark frequently connects with Tutors in his work, as well as with the UCU Management Team, the Housemaster and other colleagues both internally and externally. Wherever necessary, he will refer your enquiry to the appropriate person.
Mark can also help you decide when is a good moment to consult a psychologist, if you haven’t already done so.
Mark is also Head of UCU’s Futures Centre, and has a professional background in careers consultation for universities and recruiters. He is part of a UU-wide team to develop services and resources for students considering their future. The ‘Futures Centre’ is there to help you prepare for your next steps after graduating. You may use this help from your first semester onwards! The Centre acts as a hub for a wide range of information, advice and guidance on CVs, internships, further study, employability, exploring options, alumni connections and the labour market. See here for further information.
Mark is Founder and Chair of the national University College Guidance Network, a professional forum for Senior Tutors, Student Life Officers, and other Guidance staff at all the Dutch university colleges teaching liberal arts and sciences. This network shares best practice in guiding UC students, policy and professional development.
Mark has a special interest in students’ self-reflection and personal development, and is jointly responsible for introducing the UCU ‘portfolio’. This is designed to help each individual capture their growth and development at UCU through self-reflection, goal-setting an connectivity with the surrounding world. Ask Mark or your Personal Tutor for more information about this.
Mark is a member of the UCU ‘Town and Gown’ Advisory Group, stimulating and supporting student-led initiatives which connect the college with our external communities in mutually beneficial ways. He is also Faculty Advisor to the UCU Enactus Team.
Mark meets frequently with the UCSA and ASC to support the realisation of their goals in the interests of the students they serve and represent.
It is also one of Mark’s responsibilities to advise the UCU Management Team, Exam Board and Senior Tutors on special student cases requiring their attention, such as probation cases, expulsion, leave of absence, or other urgent situations. He also steers the college’s crisis intervention and general welfare policies.
In the UK, Mark was formerly a mentor in the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme, an initiative by Sport England to support elite athletes who were also in higher education to balance their academic and sporting lives. Mark is also a former national competitor in martial arts, and a keen mountaineer.
Mark’s earlier career also includes:
- Exhibitions Officer at Cecil Higgins Arts Gallery and Museum
- Tree Surgeon
- Development Officer at the University of Manchester, developing academic fieldwork programmes and professional internships for humanities students, with a side role as Advisor to a student residence.
- Consultant at the University of Manchester’s Careers and Employability Division, co-ordinating professional skills training for students/graduates, and increasing co-operation between the institution and the region's cultural and business sectors.
- MBA Programme Manager at Laureate Online Education (e-learning partner of Liverpool University), based in Amsterdam.
- Senior Project Manager for the Benelux region at the British Council in Amsterdam, responsible for those countries' input to international projects across arts, education, business, government, national security and the media.