Pastoral Support


All students at Newnham, both undergraduates and graduates, are assigned a Tutor who is responsible for their general welfare and is the first port of call for help and advice relating to the College. Each Tutor has responsibility for normally no more than 35 students. Undergraduate students are allocated to tutors whose own teaching and research is in a different subject area to their own. All undergraduates are also assigned a Director of Studies, who is responsible for advising them on their studies and for arranging supervisions.

All Tutors have access to rooms in College to see their students privately and to discuss matters with them in confidence. The role of the Tutor is to provide all-round support and guidance on any aspect of student life, including personal welfare, financial support available, health issues and also to provide links to additional sources of support where appropriate.

Every student at Newnham has a personal tutor, who they will meet in Freshers’ Week (undergraduate) or during the first term (graduates). Cambridge, like any institution, can be confusing to navigate, but your tutor will have experience of the system and be on hand to provide advice on any issue, from health or financial concerns, to filling in paperwork. Tutors are an invaluable resource, and it’s important to keep them in the loop if your circumstances change or any difficulties arise.

Tutors are a student’s main point of contact with the College on many issues, and listed below are some of the ways in which they regularly provide help:

  • Introducing and welcoming new students to Cambridge and College life.
  • Meeting students each term.
  • Confidential discussions of health matters and problems
  • Providing information about College counsellors, the University Counselling Service, etc.
  • Provision of advice on financial issues – budgeting, hardship, delayed loan payments, funding opportunities.
  • Examinations – special arrangements for examinations, appeals/complaints.
  • Change of course, intermission.
  • Support in the event of difficulties with courses or supervisors (however, tutors do not provide academic support).

Students can find a list of Tutors here.

College Nurse

Our College Nurse, Anne Schumann, has regular office hours during term-time (further details available here). Her office is in the College Health Centre in the Pfeiffer building, and she can help students with minor illnesses and injuries, referring them on for further support if necessary – we are lucky to have the Newnham Walk GP Surgery very close to the College.

On-site counselling provision

Newnham also employs a Counsellor, Elrika Erasmus (further details), for those students who need appropriate support. Students can self-refer, although they can also use the resources provided by the University Counselling Service. (Note that the University Counselling Service also has a dedicated BME Counsellor.) Her office is in the College Health Centre in the Pfeiffer building.

Adviser to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Students

Any student can speak to the Adviser to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Students. She is available to talk to BAME and non-BAME students with general or specific concerns relating to race and minority ethnic backgrounds. The Adviser is currently Dr Thanuja Galhena.

Chaplain at Newnham

Although Newnham was founded as a non-denominational College (‘for all religions and none’), and we therefore do not have a Chapel, any Newnham member is welcome to attend services at Selwyn Chapel (just over the road), and we also ‘borrow’ their Chaplain, Rev Canon Hugh Shilson-Thomas, who can provide pastoral support. You can also find his contact details on the Chapel term card and on the Chaplaincy noticeboard in the Porters’ Lodge.

Further information

See also the Student Handbook and the College’s Procedures and Guidance for Students, which gives further advice and procedures for academic, welfare and safeguarding matters.