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Coronavirus: FAQs [Updated 12/8]

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We will update this page regularly, please continue to check for updated information.

Please read the questions and answers below, if your question isn't covered here, then please get in touch by emailing Internal Communications.

How can I assess my personal Covid-Vulnerability (Added 12/8)

We have developed a self-assessment questionnaire to help you identify your vulnerability to Covid-19 using a medical risk assessment developed by the Association of Local Authority Medical Advisors (ALAMA). The questionnaire allows you to assess your vulnerability to Covid-19 based on the main risk factors associated with the disease (age, sex, ethnicity, BMI and medical conditions). 

Please note: If you are studying in the Faculty of Education Health and Human Sciences and your course includes a mandatory placement or period of work experience.  Please do not complete the questionnaire above as your faculty team will send you a link to a separate questionnaire designed for you, and completion is mandatory.

Can I study my course completely online during term 1? (Updated 12/8)

We are encouraging all of our students to join us on campus from September 2020 because we want you to make the most of the whole student experience and take part in socially distanced activities including welcome week, seminars and tutorials, using buildings such as our student centres and libraries and where you have requested it, a place in halls of residence. We are putting a range of health and safety measures in place to ensure our campuses are safe and secure.

We do, however, recognise that some students may not be able to join us in person during term 1 due to coronavirus related circumstances. If this is the case, then we will ask you to submit a request to study completely online for Term 1, by 31 August 2020. If you need help to decide whether you are at higher risk to return, we have created a covid-vulnerability questionnaire to help you identify your vulnerability to Covid-19.  We will work directly with any students who are considered to be high or very high risk to adapt your timetable for you, which includes anyone who is due to start a placement in September (for more details please see the question above).

Once we have received your request, a member of your faculty team will contact you to discuss how your timetable will work and whether we can adapt it to be delivered completely online. Please note, that some programmes will not be available to be taken completely online in Term 1 due to restrictions from professional bodies. If this applies to you, we will contact you to discuss this in more detail.

What is the university doing to make it safe for staff and students to return to campus? (Updated 12/8)

We have followed the government's five steps to working safely (called being 'COVID-secure'). Our COVID-19 risk assessment and guidance, explaining the changes we are making to keep our campuses are safe, can be found on our COVID-secure arrangements webpage.

Our halls of residence, libraries and social spaces on campus will reopen but you can expect to see some additional health and safety measures, for instance fewer people being allowed in smaller spaces at the same time, hand sanitiser points and one-way systems inside our buildings to help you to follow the government's advice about social distancing.  We will provide further information over the summer. 

Update 12/8:  We have acquired the 'Good To Go' Industry Standard, which recognises that we following government and industry Covid-19 guidelines, have a Risk Assessment in place, and a process in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing

Will I have to wear a face covering on campus? (Added 23/6)

We are preparing our advice for students and staff on face coverings while on campus and we will provide further information.

Will the university provide hand sanitiser?

You can expect to see hand sanitiser points, and one-way systems inside our buildings to help you to follow the government's advice on social distancing. 

What is blended teaching? (Added 23/6)

Blended teaching is a combination of face to face sessions on campus with online lectures.  Your course will have the usual amount of teaching time and include lectures, seminars/discussions and practical work (where this is part of your course).  You can expect a mixture of on and off campus classes depending on your course and your ability to attend campus due to your personal circumstances.

What if I can't come to campus? (Added 23/6)

If you can't come to campus because you are shielding, self-isolating, ill, quarantining or have not been able to return to the UK yet, then all your lectures and course materials will be available online and you will be able to talk to your personal tutor and join online group discussions.  

Microsoft Teams is available for students to use for your studies and for your student life.  This Student News article provides more information.

How will I be able to access my course materials online? (Added 23/6)

We will release videos and interactive learning materials online at a timetabled point in the week.  You will be able to watch your main lectures via Moodle at this time and/or at any time later when it suits your personal circumstances.

How will my seminars and classes be held? (Added 23/6)

Where possible these will be held on campus with your tutor (following social distancing guidelines) and also online.  Regardless of whether these are on campus or online, seminars and classes will include discussions, debates and interactive sessions that will support and extend what you have learned from your lectures that you will have viewed online.

Will my sessions take place on campus? (Added 23/6)

We intend to timetable as many sessions on campus as we can, aiming for all students to come to campus at least once per week where possible. Your faculty team will send you more detailed information by end of July 2020 and if anything changes, we will be in touch.

Will social spaces on campus reopen? (Added 23/6)

They will reopen but you can expect to see some additional health and safety measures, for instance fewer people being allowed in smaller spaces at the same time, hand sanitiser points and one-way systems inside our buildings to help you to follow the government's advice about social distancing.  We will provide further information over the summer.

Will libraries on campus reopen? (Added 23/6)

They will reopen but you can expect to see some additional health and safety measures, for instance fewer people being allowed in smaller spaces at the same time, hand sanitiser points and one-way systems inside our buildings to help you to follow the government's advice about social distancing.  We will provide further information over the summer.

Can I book a room in halls? (Added 18/6)

Yes. If you're feeling uncertain about whether you want to commit to staying in student halls next year, then our accommodation promise is designed to help give you some extra peace of mind.

With the ability to cancel your contract up to three weeks before your contract begins (usually 12 September 2020), and our Coronavirus break clause, living in halls for 20/21 is a great choice. 

Where can I find information on my results? (Added 19/6)

We aim to publish all student results letters within 10 working days of the Progression and Award Board meeting.  Your results letter will be published on the student portal, this recent Student News article provides more information.

What is happening about graduation ceremonies in July? (Updated 26/6)

We are committed to celebrating your achievements in person. Until we are able to do this, we are additionally planning to hold virtual ceremonies.  We will be very pleased to welcome you to a virtual ceremony and an 'in person' ceremony when we are able to hold these.  This recent Student News article provides more information.

Reminder: the deadline to register for a place is Tuesday 30 June, see this Student News article for more details, and for an update on why we are still unable to hold 'in person' ceremonies even though the lockdown restrictions have changed since our update on 12 June.

Will the university extend the 36 month PhD contracts?  [Added 18/6]

The University's regulations already allow for significant extension. Wherever possible, established processes and practices will be adopted. Extensions are granted through the RDA5 process, where Faculty Research Degree Committees (FRDC) will consider periods of no longer than six months at a time, and 'normally' only two such extensions are considered. However, FRDCs recognise the current COVID-19 related disruption and every case will be viewed in a supportive manner. Virtual FRDCs are running as scheduled. Any requests made outside of these planned FRDCs can be actioned through Chairs Action as appropriate. If you are considering an extension, please discuss with your supervisors and RETI.

How will the university be supporting the extension of VISAs for international PhD and PGR students? [Added 18/6]

Visa compliance is a complex and changing environment, and RETI will liaise with the International Student Advice Service to help you.

How will the university help us with our careers and the competitive job market? [Added 18/6]

RETI has already started to broaden its offering (e.g. the recent 'Careers outside of academia' training) and has adapted most of its current provision to an online format. RETI are sourcing further bespoke support.

Can the university provide relevant courses and training we can benefit from while working remotely on PhDs and PGRs? [Added 18/6]

RETI training during the COVID-19 period has been replaced with online training and additional bespoke training has been added. This information was circulated to the PGRs in March, April and in May, and we will send out further reminders as usual. Further additions are being agreed and these will be announced in due course. If you have additional needs, please get in touch with RETI at reti-training@greenwich.ac.uk

Will the university provide an extension to compensate for the time we were unable to do PhD and PGR work in the lab? [Added 18/6]

Other universities are asking PGRs to submit additional justification for an extension. Our regulations already allow for flexible extensions and we plan to use this mechanism to assess the appropriateness of any extension requested.

As the Covid-19 pandemic will have affected PGR projects to varying degrees, a blanket extension is not deemed appropriate. Therefore, the level of disruption to each project is being collated within your Faculty on your behalf, so that we may make informed decisions. Hence, we encourage you to follow the normal processes – e.g. engagement monitoring, RDA4s as this will form an essential component of that decision process.

We encourage you to continue to work closely with your supervisors to carry out those aspects of your work that may be done remotely to help minimise the need for any extension. Interruptions are an additional mechanism that might assist here, but please note that whilst interrupted, you do not have access to your university emails/library services.

Will PhD students be asked to comply with regulations/deadlines, such as transfer reports, though no data acquisition has been possible since 23 March? [Added 18/6]

Yes, we are keen to help you maintain some momentum, but we are very sensitive to the issues. These activities allow us to build up a detailed picture of how COVID-19 has impacted your work. RETI is recording how the progress of all students has been impacted through your logbook and annual progress RDA4 form.

Will extensions take into account the loss of samples and the time required to resynthesise/re-culture them? [Added 18/6]

Yes, this is an essential element being captured on your behalf through conversations with supervisors. Therefore, it is essential you maintain a close dialogue with them.

Will the university grant more time to those writing their PhD or PGR thesis if they could not do so from home? [Added 18/6]

Yes, not being able to access on-campus facilities will be a key criterion in granting an extension. If you do not have access to a laptop, please contact your Faculty Research Office to explore whether this may be arranged. 

Will any extension take into account that we were unable to collect biological samples of a particular season because of lockdown? [Added 18/6]

Yes, supervisors' guidance and input is being sourced on a project by project basis.

Will PhD and PGR extensions take into account the decrease in efficiency safety and social distancing, eg rotation for lab space, might cause? [Added 18/6]

Yes, where that is appropriate. There are considerable discussions ongoing at the moment around how to access on-campus facilities in a safe manner, and we will share information when it is available. You should discuss with your supervisor how physical distancing will impact your project.

Will there be a discount on the next PhD and PGR tuition fees equivalent to our time away from the lab? [Added 18/6]

Funding to support research at the university arises from an annual central award from government, and individual projects are funded directly from external funders e.g. research councils or private companies. Announcement of the government allocation is still awaited, but this element of funding offers a small degree of flexibility in how it may be deployed. Any funding intervention from this source will be targeted to those PGRs that most warrant it, hence the need for us to collect information on how your project has been affected. External funding must be utilised as per the funders expectations. Tuition fee discounts and any stipend support will be considered through the same universal mechanism. Further details will follow once the government announcement has been received. Further support may be sought from the Greenwich Hardship fund or the reduced tuition fee scheme.

Will travel bursary deadlines be extended? [Added 18/6]

GRE will look positively on any such request. Budgets are often "annual" so allocations cannot be "rolled" into the next year. It is quite probable that the event has been cancelled or will take place online, but where not, we will look favourably on re-applications. Obviously, we also have to adhere to funder requirements. For example, the DTA Summer School is now being run remotely and RETI is working with the University Alliance and a university working group to enable this in a revised, alternate and remote format in July 2020.

For PhD students on VC scholarship, will there be a paid extension of the scholarship? [Added 18/6]

Funding to support research at the university arises from an annual central award from government, and individual projects are funded directly from external funders e.g. research councils or private companies. Announcement of the government allocation is still awaited, but this element of funding offers a small degree of flexibility in how it may be deployed. Any funding intervention from this source will be targeted to those PGRs that most warrant it, hence the need for us to collect information on how your project has been affected. External funding must be utilised as per the funders expectations. Tuition fee discounts and any stipend support will be considered through the same universal mechanism. Further details will follow once the government announcement has been received. Further support may be sought from the Greenwich Hardship fund or the reduced tuition fee scheme.

For PhD students who are self-funded, will there be a financial help also, or only an extension of the course? [Added 18/6]

Funding to support research at the university arises from an annual central award from government, and individual projects are funded directly from external funders e.g. research councils or private companies. Announcement of the government allocation is still awaited, but this element of funding offers a small degree of flexibility in how it may be deployed. Any funding intervention from this source will be targeted to those PGRs that most warrant it, hence the need for us to collect information on how your project has been affected. External funding must be utilised as per the funders expectations. Tuition fee discounts and any stipend support will be considered through the same universal mechanism. Further details will follow once the government announcement has been received. Further support may be sought from the Greenwich Hardship fund or the reduced tuition fee scheme.

For PhD students on other scholarships (e.g. DTA), will there be an extension of the scholarship also, or only an extension of the course? [Added 18/6]

Funding to support research at the university arises from an annual central award from government, and individual projects are funded directly from external funders e.g. research councils or private companies. Announcement of the government allocation is still awaited, but this element of funding offers a small degree of flexibility in how it may be deployed. Any funding intervention from this source will be targeted to those PGRs that most warrant it, hence the need for us to collect information on how your project has been affected. External funding must be utilised as per the funders expectations. Tuition fee discounts and any stipend support will be considered through the same universal mechanism. Further details will follow once the government announcement has been received. Further support may be sought from the Greenwich Hardship fund or the reduced tuition fee scheme.

Please also see the FAQs on extensions. Where the funder has stipulated a costed-extension, that will be implemented.

For students who finish their PhD three year period during lockdown, will the £500 for the write-up year extension be required on the original date? [Added 18/6]

Funding to support research at the university arises from an annual central award from government, and individual projects are funded directly from external funders e.g. research councils or private companies. Announcement of the government allocation is still awaited, but this element of funding offers a small degree of flexibility in how it may be deployed. Any funding intervention from this source will be targeted to those PGRs that most warrant it, hence the need for us to collect information on how your project has been affected. External funding must be utilised as per the funders expectations. Tuition fee discounts and any stipend support will be considered through the same universal mechanism. Further details will follow once the government announcement has been received. Further support may be sought from the Greenwich Hardship fund or the reduced tuition fee scheme.

Will the university provide PPE for lab work, or will we have to provide these ourselves? [Added 18/6]

Detailed conversations are ongoing around a safe, staggered reopening of on-campus facilities. These conversations are happening at speed at Faculty level with input from technical support staff. The university will ensure you are provided with a safe working requirement, including PPE and hand sanitisers, and within detailed standard operating procedures. We will provide further information in due course.

Will the university provide some general safety standards and operating procedures to train virtually and make us ready for when the labs reopen?  [Added 18/6]

Yes, the detailed guidance and operating protocols of each lab will form a key element of the approval sign-off that is required before the lab will be opened. Engagement with on-site induction will be mandatory.

When will the labs be reopened for postgraduate students? [Added 18/6]

Our priority is the health, safety and wellbeing of students and staff. The reopening conversation is ongoing to ensure that the working environment is safe. Access will be staggered and timetabled to ensure physical distancing, and PGRs at a critical stage of their studies will be prioritized. Further announcements will follow in due course. 

How will training be provided on equipment following the re-opening? [Added 18/6]

Training on equipment will be proved as per normal, within the new operating procedures/physical distancing.

In case of slow reopening of labs for postgraduates, how will work in labs be synchronised so that everyone can work as fast as possible? Will there be a prerogative to work based on urgency? [Added 18/6] 

Our priority is the health, safety and wellbeing of students and staff. Detailed conversations are ongoing around a safe, staggered reopening of on-campus facilities.

These conversations are happening at speed at Faculty level with input from technical support staff. The university will ensure you are provided with a safe working requirement, including PPE and hand sanitisers, and within detailed standard operating procedures.

Access will be staggered and timetabled to ensure physical distancing, and PGRs at a critical stage of their studies will be prioritised. Further announcements will follow in due course. 

What is the university doing to plan for the coronavirus pandemic?

We continue to closely monitoring the information and guidance published by the government and providing updates to student and staff on our Coronavirus information page, and by email as appropriate.

The university has an Emergency Response Group which is ready to respond if/when this becomes necessary. If invoked, the Group will follow the university's Emergency Response Plan. A working group chaired by the Chief Operating Officer is also meeting regularly to plan and prepare for a range of potential scenarios relating to COVID-19 to ensure that we are best able to support students and staff.

Are any changes being made to the academic regulations for taught awards? [Added 1/4]

Yes, In light of current events we have made an amendment to our regulations that will enable us to take appropriate decisions about your studies without losing academic integrity. You can find the full details in this article on the portal.

I want to make a complaint to the university, what should I do? [Added 1/4]

We understand that during this period of major disruption, you may have complaints. To address any concerns you may have about the impact of recent and ongoing disruption and how we have dealt with it, we have developed an additional complaints procedure for students on campus-based taught programmes of study to deal specifically with these complaints related to the disruption.

For further information and guidance, please go to the Student Complaints Procedure in the Event of Major Disruption page.

How will my assessments and examinations be affected [Added 3/4]

Supporting your learning remains our top priority.  We intend to progress and graduate as many students as possible over the coming weeks.  We have listened to your views, read your emails and noted the issues raised by the Students' Union and we understand the disruption that the Coronavirus situation has caused to your lives.

The university believes that some form of assessment is important to the majority of you as it gives you an opportunity to get the recognition you deserve for the hard work you have undertaken.

We have set out our arrangements for examinations and assessments in the Student News article published on 2 April. We have also developed a set of FAQs on Examinations and Assessments which provides answers to questions you may have.

Where can I find my exam timetable [Added 3/4]

You can find the documents for faculty exam timetables on the My learning page on the portal.

To provide you with all the extra information you need for the alternative exam arrangements, this year your exams timetable will not feed into your exam timetable app, meaning that the timetable will not appear there. We will only be providing the timetable as pdf documents on the portal.

I'm on an ITE progamme and have questions about my placements and how the situation will affect my award [Added 21/4]

What is going to happen to my recommendation of EYTS/QTS/Professional Standards if I am unable to complete my placements?

Those who have a trajectory which indicates that by the end of the programme they are on course to pass will be recommended for QTS in the usual timescale.

Whilst we are still waiting for additional and further guidance from the government, they have stated that trainees will be assessed based on their 'current trajectory' for meeting the standards at the end of their programme. Within each phase, the teams are working hard on the criteria for this to ensure that decisions made are fair, robust and equitable and that no one will be disadvantaged. The criteria for these decisions will be released soon.

What if I am considered to be in tier two ie on trajectory to pass subject to recommendations, what does this mean?

Following the initial assessment made, as on your  'End of Programme Trajectory' form, the final recommendation for your award will be subject to the additional training that has been recommended and how you have engaged and learnt from this. This will be considered in depth at your final progress review meeting.

Will I get support to help me with the recommendations following a tier two judgement?

Yes. Your personal tutor and/or programme leader will meet with you to discuss your plan of action and will support you along the way, to ensure that you are successful.

What if the schools/settings go back before the end of the summer break, will I be able to resume my placement?

No.Whilst we do not have anything official, it is unlikely that schools/settings will go back before September; in the event of an early return, schools/setting will no doubt themselves be busy in wanting to get back to some sort of  normality for their children, staff and communities. Therefore, the decision has been made to suspend all placements for the remainder of this year. We will continue to use the agreed criteria for recommendation for QTS for the remainder of this academic year until further notice.

Do I still have to pass the academic elements of my course?

Yes. Teams have been working very hard to ensure that online materials, support and guidance are available for students to be as successful in normal circumstances; the quality and robustness has not changed, just the mode of delivery.

How long will my programme continue if I am not able to complete placements?

Your programme will continue until the date published in your programme Teams will be providing additional CPD materials and online teaching in place of the time that would have usually been spent in schools/settings. This will ensure that you continue to develop your skills and knowledge.

What if I am adversely affected by Covid 19 – childcare, key working or unwell? Will this affect my QTS?

No. QTS will be judged on your trajectory to this point. You will however need to ensure your academic studies are completed in due course in order to complete your programme.

Guidance has been circulated to students about extenuating circumstances for this and can be found here: https://www.gre.ac.uk/articles/public-relations/a-further-update-on-assessments-and-exams

Do ensure you talk to your personal tutor, programme leader or module leader if you need further support or advice on any academic assessments.

How can I apply for jobs?

You need to apply in the same manner or as the school/setting request, ie through application on online or post. It is expected that most schools/settings will offer other modes to interview such as online until the lockdown procedures are relaxed.

We are also working with schools/settings to ensure that you are kept informed and updated of any vacancies as they occur. We are trialling other ways to keep you informed but do keep a look out on Moodle and Programme pages and our social media avenues.

Will schools/settings judge me differently if I haven't had the same experience as those previously?

No. Schools/setting will be fully aware of both the governments guidance and our response in recommending QTS. We are waiting further guidance from the DfE on what schools will need to do to support your further in your NQT year and as soon as this is released, we will let you know.

I'm pregnant and on placement, what should I do? [Added 20/3] 

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have issued a statement to say that there is no further evidence to support pregnant women as being at high risk, but social distancing is still recommended. The government advice is that pregnant women are in the group classed as vulnerable and also suggests social distancing. has issued similar advice.

For this reason, we are advising pregnant students not to go into placement and to inform their programme leader that they are self-isolating.

Further details about social distancing and at risk groups is here.

Should I still be on my health, education or social work placement when most students have been moved to online teaching? [Updated 27/3]

We are aware that there is understandable concern about attending placements in light of the spread of COVID-19. We are actively monitoring the situation with our education, NHS and other partners and we are also in close contact with our university colleagues across London, Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

In light of the ongoing disruption caused by the spread of the coronavirus and the mass closure of settings, the university has suspended placements for all ITE until further notice. We are also awaiting guidance from the DfE. However we recognise that in light of the unprecedented situation we are in, trainees may want to volunteer to support the care of keyworker children. This is not an expectation and is an agreement between the setting and the trainee outside of your programme of study. More information can be found on the Department of Education's website, and if you have any concerns relating to your course, please contact your programme lead.

Currently the advice is that students should remain on other health or social work placement unless the placement provider advises otherwise. Students who fall into the government's category of a vulnerable group should employ social distancing and are advised not to attend placement. You can find more information about that, and about caring for vulnerable individuals here with specific guidance for households with vulnerable family members here.

Nursing and midwifery students in the final six months of study

Students in the final six months of your studies can choose to complete your programme in clinical placement. If you choose not to complete your programme in clinical placement you may be able to complete your programme under "normal" NMC standards, however a placement cannot be guaranteed for you potentially for some time.

Please head to your course Moodle pages for the full details.

We need to let HEE know the intentions of each of our completing student nurses and midwives, so we  have prepared a short survey which will be distributed soon via Moodle. Please respond to the survey promptly as it is imperative that we can provide HEE with data for their emergency workforce planning.

As you will also be aware there is the possibility that the NMC will introduce  a specific temporary register for nursing students in the final six months of their programme, so the survey will also ask nursing students if you would opt to join the register. 

09/19 and 01/2020 nursing and midwifery students

We continue to work closely with placement providers and given the exceptional circumstances and fast moving situation with COVID-19 we have taken the decision to [exceptionally] extend your Easter break by two weeks;  you will now be on leave starting Monday 23 March. There is no need to contact your placement provider. The expectation is that you will return as planned w/c 20 April, and the week will be used for online teaching/tutorials.

Given the pace of change, we ask that you remain in touch during this period, regularly accessing Moodle and checking university emails as there may be further announcements forthcoming. If you have any concerns or queries in the first instance contact your programme leader.

We're continuing to monitor the implications for placement students closely and we will contact students directly and update this FAQ as quickly as possible if official advice changes.

How are the university's  research activities affected by Coronavirus? [Added 26/3]

Greenwich Research and Enterprise have provided an update for staff advising that our research facilities should be scaled back to the minimum sustainable level or shut down completely where that is feasible.

PhD students have been asked to work closely with their supervisors to identify essential research activity and to work with supervisors to curtail this safely.  

A message to PGR students from Prof Jane Harrington, Vice-Chancellor was emailed to students on 24 March, details of this communication are on our Coronavirus update page, see: 25 March: Greenwich Research andEnterprise: Supporting PGR students. 

Is the Village Shop at Avery Hill still open? [Added 24/3]

The Village Shop is not open as usual, but is instead offering an order and collect service. All the details are on the GSU website. 

Do I need to/when should I self-isolate? [Updated 19/3]

You should follow the new advice issued by government on if/when to self-isolate. The most up-to-date information is published on the gov.uk website, which is updated daily. We are continuing to monitor this advice and update our Coronavirus information page. 

There is also new guidance for what to do and how long you and/or the people you live with should self-isolate for.

If you self-isolate, you should inform the university of this so we can help support you.  Please advise us in the same way you would normally report absence through sickness indicating that you are self-isolating.

Students you will need to complete an complete an authorised absence form and submit this to your faculty Retention and Success Officer.

I am self-isolating/ have no childcare following school closure / have limited access to IT equipment / have returned home overseas and have an assessment, what should I do? [Updated 24/3)

Students should make every effort to engage with planned assessments in the normal/published timeframes and, where appropriate, use the late submission link. 

However, with the current changing circumstances, we have updated the way you can make use of the extenuating circumstances procedure. Read the full details here.  

What does self-isolation mean? [Updated 19/3]

Self-isolation basically means that a person should remain in their home to reduce the risk of infection being spread. This is now also sometimes being called simply 'stay at home' and it is now recommended that whole households stay at home, rather that just the person with possible symptoms.  

Public Health England have produced advice and information on how to safely self-isolate or for a household to stay at home to reduce the risk of infection being spread.

I have heard there is another student (or students) in my hall who has tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19). Is this true? [Added 16/3]

The university has not received any notifications of any confirmed cases of Coronavirus in any of our halls of residence. The university is closely monitoring the situation and will provide updates to students and staff on our Coronavirus information page and by email as appropriate. If a student tests positive in the halls, the university will contact anyone who needs to be notified and will provide advice and assistance. Please do not speculate about who may or may not have tested positive as rumours tend to spread and may cause unnecessary distress to others.

I am returning home. Is there anything I need to do? [Added 16/3]

You must notify Accommodation Services immediately of your plans, ideally by completing a short form available on the Accommodation Portal.  Accommodation Services will contact you regarding your departure. If you are not planning to return to the hall, you must return your keys and ensure that your room is cleared and left clean and tidy.

If I move out of halls, will I be released from my accommodation licence agreement and will my hall fees be refunded for the remainder of my contract? [Updated 24/3]

If you have moved out, or will be moving out soon, you will not be charged fees for the weeks you are not resident, from 1st April onwards. You must inform us, ideally no later than Thursday 26 March whether you are:

  • remaining in halls
  • have already moved out
  • have left halls but are intending to return if allowed to do so in future
  • intending to leave as soon as travel is permitted

You can do this by filling out the form on the accommodation portal. If you have already completed this form, please update it if your circumstances have changed.

Please note: if you do not complete the form, you will not be eligible for any refund of hall fees so it is essential you complete it now. We will be in contact with you during the coming weeks.  

If I do not have time to pack all my things, will someone send them to me? [Added 16/3]

You must make your own arrangements to clear your belongings when you vacate university accommodation. If you are unable to do so, you must make arrangements with a friend/family member or private moving/delivery company to pack up your belongings and send them to you. It is important that you liaise with Accommodation Services if this happens as special arrangements will need to be made within the hall to facilitate this.

Do I need to return home or can I remain in halls? Will I have to pay my full fees? [Updated 31/3]

You do not need to return home. You can remain in your accommodation until the end of your contract period.

Some services in halls may be reduced so students will receive a discount from April onwards if applicable. You must inform us, ideally no later than Thursday 26 March whether you are:

  • remaining in halls
  • have already moved out
  • have left halls but are intending to return if allowed to do so in future
  • intending to leave as soon as travel is permitted

You can do this by filling out the form on the accommodation portal. If you have already completed this form, please update it if your circumstances have changed.

Please note: if you do not complete the form, you will not be eligible for any refund of hall fees so it is essential you complete it now. We will be in contact with you during the coming weeks.  

We have put together a specific page of FAQs for our students who are staying in halls, that will help you find out how to get food if you can't leave your flat, how to get support with your studies and much more.  

What support is there for me is there if I remain in halls? Are halls still staffed? [Updated 31/3]

We have put together a specific page of FAQs for our students who are staying in halls, that will help you find out how to get food if you can't leave your flat, how to get support with your studies and much more.  

What happens if I am unable to return home at the end of my licence period due to travel restrictions? [Updated 31/3]

If you are unable to return home due to travel restrictions, the university will ensure you have somewhere suitable to live.

We have put together a specific page of FAQs for our students who are staying in halls, that will help you find out how to get food if you can't leave your flat, how to get support with your studies and much more.  

I have a room booked for the summer. Can I cancel?  [Added 16/3]

Yes, provided you let Accommodation Services know as soon as possible and no later than 31 May 2020. This deadline can only be extended in exceptional circumstances.

I am planning to travel soon, should I go? [Updated 19/3]

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has issued a COVID-19 Exceptional Travel Advisory Notice. This means that they advise British nationals against all but essential international travel. 

We understand that some students from overseas may be anxious and considering returning home. If you are, please check the latest government advice and refer to the current FCO travel advice. The FCO has a travel advice page for Coronavirus (COVID-19) as well as foreign travel advice for each country, and this applies to anyone considering traveling to that country, regardless of nationality.

Teaching is continuing online, so if you choose to travel abroad you must inform us by completing an authorised absence form and submitting this to your faculty Retention and Success Officer. This is especially important if you are on a Tier 4 Visa. Authorised Absences will not affect your visa but if you do not inform us then that could have a negative effect.

If you have an upcoming assessment you should consider carefully if travel is necessary. If you miss an assessment you will need to complete an Extenuating Circumstances claim and reference your Authorised Absence as the evidence for your circumstances.

You should maintain contact with your faculty Retention and Success Officer to ensure they know when you plan to return.

I have just returned from overseas what should I do? [Updated 19/3]

The government guidance on this has changed as it's now suggested that anyone who may have come into contact with the virus should self-isolate, not just those returning from certain areas overseas. The updated self-isolation guidance for all households with possible coronavirus infection should be followed instead.

What if I am abroad and I cannot return to the UK? [Added 11/3]

You must inform the university, as you would for any other absence and provide regular updates.

Students: Students you will need to complete an complete an authorised absence form and submit this to your faculty Retention and Success Officer.

Staff: Where you are well enough to do so, you should work remotely (i.e. from the location where you are) if this is possible. Where this is not be possible, you should discuss this further with your line-manager. You may be asked to undertake alternative duties which are suitable for remote working.

Where you are prevented from returning to the UK, you will receive your salary as normal.

What support is available to me?

Students: If you have any concerns or would like to access support, the university's support services are available for you to use. The details of the Student Wellbeing Service and the Students' Union Advice Service can be found on our website.

Staff:please speak to your line manager and/or our colleagues in HR in the first instance.

I have experienced/witnessed inappropriate, bullying, or harrassing behaviour due to Coronavirus, what should I do? [Added 11/3]

We are proud to be an international university and it is really important that as a community we are kind, respectful and support each other.

The university will not tolerate bullying or harassment.

Students: Inappropriate behaviour will be treated seriously, in line with the Student Disciplinary Procedure, please inform your faculty Director of Student Experience.

Staff: You should report it following the university's Bullying and Harassment Policy and Procedure.

Is the soap provided in the university toilets antibacterial?

Antibacterial soap is no more effective than any other type of soap. It's important is to wash hands thoroughly, following the general principles of good hygiene available on the NHS website.

Can I have my own bin to put my dirty tissues in and should our bins have lids on them to stop any infection spreading?

Please use the existing bins provided and follow the general principles of good hygiene available on the NHS website.

People don't read the websites, why aren't there more posters telling us what to do?

There are posters in all toilets outlining Public Health England advice, including who to contact and what to do if you have any concerns.

Why aren't there posters in the toilets to show us how to wash our hands?

There are posters in our toilets and in halls of residence which have been updated to reflect information about coronavirus.  If you believe a poster is missing, please contact the FM Help Desk or Accommodation Services to report this.  

COVID-19 has been declared a notifiable disease. Does that mean it needs to be reported on the online incident reporting system?

No – A 'notifiable disease' is one that is on the list of diseases notifiable to the public health authorities by a medical practitioner. In contrast, a 'reportable disease' is an incidence of a work-related/occupationally acquired disease as defined under the Reporting of Injuries, Disease and Dangerous Occurrence Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR).  It is the latter that should be recorded on the online incident reporting system.

Will the university provide face masks?

This isn't in line with Public Health England's advice which is based on the current risk level, which you can find on their webpage.  Research has not shown that masks are necessarily effective in preventing the spread of contamination.  

However, we know that some people may choose to wear face masks to protect themselves and others from possible infection. It is important that we recognise their decision and we encourage our community to be as supportive of each other as possible.

I am really worried about the spread of coronavirus, will the university undertake screening of students?

This isn't in line with Public Health England's advice which is based on the current risk level, which you can find on their webpage. We are continuing to monitor this advice and update our Coronavirus information page. 

Screening must be undertaken by a suitably qualified healthcare professional under clinical conditions.

If you have a concern you should, in the first instance contact 111, where you will be directed to the most appropriate healthcare professional and advised on how to get tested if required.

Should cleaners at the university wear protective clothing?

Our cleaners already follow good hygiene and infection control practices. 

Someone I know has been advised to self-isolate, should I do the same?

You should follow Public Health England advice and if concerned call NHS 111.