In an effort to develop a meaningful and sustainable study programme, the Polish Virtual University (PVU) has undergone a dramatic transition from the formula of a traditional university adapted for the purpose of online learning and teaching to a fully integrated, student-centred modern higher education institution functioning in the environment of e-learning. The independence of students as clients and addressees of the virtual university offer has been nurtured in the course of the PVU's transition, and the practice of online tutoring has improved significantly. The student and tutor support system has been developed and become a critical component of the PVU system. This article gives an overview of the actions initiated at the PVU which helped to create an atmosphere of fearless learning and support students in their pursuit of knowledge expansion and upgrading practical skills. It also discusses the importance of taking into consideration the whole scope of overlapping commitments that online students have to cope with.