A university vice-chancellor has offered her advice to new students starting their university careers this weekend.

Professor Sasha Roseneil, vice-chancellor at the University of Sussex, is set to welcome thousands of students to the Falmer campus this weekend.

She said that, for many students, it will be their first time leaving home which can be “quite a nerve-wracking time”.

“There’s a large number of students for whom it’s a really major transformative moment in their lives, and it is for their parents as well,” Professor Roseneil said.

“You see their parents coming and dropping them off and there’s quite a lot of tears being shed - that’s very moving.”

Professor Roseneil said there is a “real sense of responsibility” among staff to make the transition for new students as smooth as possible.

She said: “We want to try and do everything we can to accelerate that sense of belonging, and there’s lots of stuff that will be happening on campus with Welcome Week to try and help students meet each other and feel like they can build those connections quickly.”

Sometimes new connections aren’t forged instantly and take more time, through meeting people on their course or through societies.

Professor Roseneil’s message to new students was to “hang on in there and keep reaching out and try to make new connections”.

“You will find people who you gel with and you never know where they’ll be or who they’ll be,” she said.

Professor Roseneil, the university’s first female vice-chancellor, marked her first year in the job last month.

She said: “I feel like it’s a huge privilege to do this job - to be entrusted with shaping the future of this amazing university.

“Sussex has this incredible community of people who’ve been here and I have met people who were in the first cohorts back in the early 1960s, right up to recent graduates.

“The passion that people have for Sussex is unlike anything I’ve experienced at other universities I’ve worked at.”

The University of Sussex, as well as the university’s student union, are organising a number of events for new students arriving in Brighton this weekend to help get to know the campus and make friends.