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[Updated 23/6] Coronavirus update

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We are updating this page regularly, please continue to check for updated information.

23 June

An update for students on our plans for September

Your safety continues to be our priority, and we are preparing our campuses so it is safe for you to return. This update lets you know what to expect next academic year, so that you can start making plans and get excited about coming back to university in September.

Teaching on AND off campus

  • Your safety continues to be our priority and we are preparing our campuses so that it is safe for you to return.  We are also preparing advice for students and staff on face coverings.
  • We will be using a blended teaching model next term. This means that we are combining 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) and will be a mixture of on and off campus classes, depending on your individual course (and your ability to attend due to your personal circumstances).
  • If you cannot come onto campus because you are shielding, self-isolating, ill, or 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 to join online group discussions.
  • During your course we will be releasing 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 you and your personal circumstances.
  • Seminars and classes will be held on campus with your tutor (following social distancing guidelines) where possible 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.
  • How often you will attend on campus will depend on your course, but 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.

Other activities and campus services

We want to welcome everyone back to campus as soon as possible and we're organising a whole range of activities for you at the start of term; some will be online and some on campus. Our aim is to make sure that you continue to enjoy your student experience beyond the classroom, while also making sure that everyone is safe.

Halls of residence, libraries and social spaces 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 be sending more information about this to you over the summer.

We hope that this information will help you to make decisions about living arrangements and your student loan application and we'll keep updating you, and our FAQs, with more information over the coming weeks.

If you have any concerns or worries, please access the university's support services. The details of the Student Wellbeing Service and the Students' Union Advice Service can be found on our website.  The Big White Wall is also available for you to use, providing confidential support and advice whenever you need it. You just need your university email address to register, and then choose an anonymous username.

18 JuneWe have updated our FAQs with information for PGR students, which has also been shared by email.
 We have also updated our FAQs for staff.
15 June

Apply now for your student funding for next year - deadline 30 June

The deadline for applications is Tuesday 30 June, but the sooner you can complete the application, the the better for ensuring your funding is in place. If anything changes between now and the start of term, you do not have to take the funding and there are no penalties for making an application and then not using it.

12 June

July Graduation Awards Ceremonies: Virtual, and when we are able to, in person events

We are committed to celebrating your achievements in person. Until we are able to do this, we are additionally planning to hold virtual ceremonies.  

The Awards Team will contact all eligible final year students by email shortly with full details on how to register interest and secure a place.  We will be very pleased to welcome you to a virtual ceremony and an 'in person' ceremony when we are able to hold these.

Thank you for your continued understanding

11 JuneDr Denise Miller, Dr Helen Elliott and Dr Gordon Ade-Ojo are inviting students to complete this survey as part of a research study to explore your views on the effectiveness of the support provided by the university during the COVID-19 emergency.
10 June

Getting NHS help when you need it during the coronavirus outbreak

NHS England have released a handy guide to accessing services, from opticians, to medications and routine appointments.
10 June

Temporary changes to the Academic Regulations to support your assessments

Supporting your learning remains our top priority. We intend to progress and graduate as many students as possible over the coming weeks.

We are putting in place some temporary changes to our Academic Regulations for taught awards for the 2019-20 academic year to support the university's no detriment policy and ensure your academic performance does not suffer during this period of disruption. These changes cover the period from the start of lockdown (23 March 2020) to the end of the 2019-20 academic year (i.e. the summer assessment period).

4 JuneRead the Natural Resources Institute's insightful opinion articles in response to Covid-19.  In this collection of short opinion articles, Natural Resources Institute (NRI) scientists respond to COVID-19, discussing the possible impacts of the pandemic on certain fields and consider how best we can work to overcome the challenges.
29 May

Contribute to our research project: Managing your wellbeing during Covid-19

The project covers four areas: activities for happiness, coping with social restrictions, exercise for wellbeing and managing mental health while studying - and contains activities which you may find helpful, even if you choose not to complete the survey after all.

Though of course we hope you will complete the anonymous survey after taking part in one or more of the activities for a week or so, as what you tell us will inform our Institute for Lifecourse Development research project, which is designed to provide some guidance on potential ways to manage your wellbeing.

28 May

It's Our Wellbeing, but what are we doing about it?

We've achieved a great deal since we set out our strategy to support our students and staff health and wellbeing, and we have more planned to help support you, especially in these uncertain times.
22 May

Do we have your correct name and address information?

We require all students to keep their information up to date, but it's especially important if you're graduating this year to ensure your certificate and transcripts are issued correctly.

If you have changed your name since you registered and have not officially notified the university of this change and provided the appropriate evidence, your certificate and transcript will be issued in the wrong name.

Students are also responsible for the accuracy of their address information.  So if you have changed either of these please follow the guidance below to let us know your changes

22 MayWe have updated our FAQs for students remaining in halls.
20 May

Results letter: Communicating your academic progress

We aim to publish all student results letters within 10 working days of the Progression and Award Board meeting. This article provides information on how you can access your results letter once it's published.
20 May

Our virtual campuses will be quieter than usual on 26 & 27 May

Where there are teaching commitments these will continue, and the GSU and GKU remain available. You will still be able to access our student services, although we will have less people available than usual.

Following the work by staff across the university to move to virtual campuses, and the continued efforts to support you and each other while operating and working remotely, the Vice-Chancellor's Group have awarded two additional days leave, which the majority of staff will take on 26 and 27 May.  

It's important that our staff look after themselves and take proper breaks during this time too.

20 MayA new Moodle site, Adjusting to Blended Learning Environment, along with support from Greenwich Learning & Teaching, aims to support academic staff prepare for teaching, assessing and supporting students as we deliver our key priority of flexible learning
19 May

Apply now for your student funding for next year

Students in England should act now and apply to Student Finance England for your 2020/2021 student support.

We know that you have a lot on at the moment, but applying as early as possible will ensure that your financial support is in place for the start of term, our article on Student News has more information.

Renewing is easy; login to your online account at www.gov.uk/studentfinance  and click on 'renew'. 

19 May

Using videos to keep our university community connected

Even though our campuses are operating virtually, we're still here, working together and sharing videos - some reminding you of the services which are still available, others co-created with students, and even some 'virtual fieldtrips'. 

19 May

Book now for Employability and Careers Service virtual workshops

Our new virtual workshop series, offers an exciting and convenient way to gain skills in a wide range of relevant topics
18 May

We are holding online Q&A sessions for staff.  These provide the opportunity for you to comment, share ideas and ask questions on our two key priorities for the months ahead.

There are currently four sessions, if they are popular we will arrange for more to take place as we are keen to speak to as many of you as possible.

18 MayWe are holding online sessions for staff to provide an update on the technologies available for remote and collaborative working, signpost you to the support available and answer your frequently asked questions on Teams and Outlook.
15 May

University gym membership refunds and extensions

With the Government's latest advice, it looks unlikely that gyms and other sports facilities will reopen for some time so we will refund/extend gym memberships.  Further details are available on Student and Internal News.
14 May

Changes to how we record attendance this term

Following the move to online teaching activities due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we have made some important changes to how we monitor and record student attendance.
13 May

Learning and support for 2020/21: A message to students from Prof Jane Harrington, Vice-Chancellor

As we continue to operate as a virtual university, I want to reassure you that I and many colleagues across the university are now thinking and planning ahead for September. Whilst our short-term situation may be uncertain due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we are all united in our commitment to provide you with the best possible ways to learn and get the most out of your time with us.

I can confirm that we are working on creating an enhanced and personalised learning journey for every student. This means that regardless of when we return to our campuses and whether we need to adopt social distancing, or a staggered reopening, or whether we are required to adopt further lockdown operations, and if our students or staff are shielding, we will provide you with a flexible and integrated package of learning support.

We know that everyone is different and likes to learn in their own way and that this is even more important when we don't know when and how our campuses will reopen. We are working on updating our timetables and adapting our teaching so that we provide flexible options for you, while following the government, NHS and Public Health England advice.

Our planning includes how, when the lockdown ends, you can attend lectures and seminars in person, join small socially distanced seminars or practical work groups and how we continue to provide access to online recorded sessions via our student platforms, Moodle or Microsoft Teams if you aren't able to come to campus.

We will continue to offer online submissions for course work and assessments and will add more options for you as soon as we are able to. We will also continue to support your other needs too. If you need help with books, accommodation, finance, part-time work, placements, or just some reassurance and support, we will be ready to help through our Libraries, Students' Unions and Student Centres. We will continue to offer these online until we are able to reopen them on campus and will keep them open for as long as you need them.

We will keep sharing our progress as we continue to develop our services for you and want to reassure you that we are always here for you and that we are doing everything we can to provide you with the best experience no matter what the future brings.

12 May

Staying safe and comfortable using DSE at home

As we continue to work from home, it's even more important that we look after ourselves and the way we use our display screen equipment (DSE).

We have also provided guidance for working from home and how to make use of dictate and speech recognition systems.

11 May

Temporarily pausing Time Allocation Survey data collection, NSS improvement plans, subject-level TEF work and the portfolio review, to enable staff to focus on the new academic year. Time schedules collection will resume in November 2020 and further information on the other items will be available when we are back on campus.

We have also made some changes to the appraisal process this year to support how we are working virtually. We are proud of the contributions made by staff to enable our move to virtual campuses and we encourage you to record this in this year's appraisal.

5 May

Get your CV, application form or cover letter checked at a virtual career clinic

Virtual career clinics are running weekly as the Employability and Careers Service (ECS) remains open for access to students and recent graduates.
6 MayThe priority of our action plan for the My University, My Voice is the mental health and wellbeing of our university community to ensure we all feel protected and supported.
5 MayProfessor Derek Moore talks about dealing with the ups and downs of life, sharing some tools and techniques that are useful during the pandemic and at any time.  This talk was recorded at this year's University Mental Health Day.
1 MayThe Vice-Chancellor's Group have approved additional leave as recognition and thanks for the work moving to virtual campuses.  We have also updated the Staff FAQs.
28 AprilReminder: the early option choices system has reopened until 5pm 1 May.
27 AprilWe have updated our FAQs on Examinations and Assessments and share details of online exam support available.
27 April

Academic and Library Support now available after hours

Thirty minute slots for individuals or groups for advice from an Academic Skills Tutor or an Academic Services Librarian, are now available later into the evening.

24 April

You can use Teams for your studies and student life

Now we're operating as virtual campuses we have extended access to Microsoft Teams to all students, so it's now easier for you to communicate and collaborate with your tutors, our virtual campus services and each other.

24 AprilWe have published an update on university approval for using the Zoom application.
23 April

Our Employability & Careers Service (ECS) remains open and here to support you

As well as phone and Skype 1-2-1 consultations and appointments, you can access our eLearning career resources 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  See more on Student News.

22 April

Examinations & Assessments: The university's 'No Detriment' approach

We have published further information on how the 'No Detriment' approach will support students and enable the to progress and graduate as many students as possible over the coming weeks.  This includes the principles which apply and the three exceptions. 

We know you will have some questions and we have updated our Examinations and Assessment FAQs. If you have further questions which aren't covered here please get in touch with your Programme Leader and/or Personal Tutor.

17 April

Ask Alumni is now available to all Greenwich students

It's never been more important to remain connected and the global alumni community is a powerful resource for support.  We've extended access to our online community to all students at our university.  Whether you want to explore a particular career path or are looking for internship or employment opportunities, or looking to build connections with alumni in your local area, now you can using the Ask Alumni online platform.

Registration is free at askalumni.gre.ac.uk and you can use either your LinkedIn profile or personal email address to sign up.  

17 AprilWe have updated the Examinations and Assessments FAQs
17 April We have published updated guidance for working safely and comfortably at home.
16 April

A summary of recent updates for staff:

15 AprilWe are accelerating our Office 365 rollout and staff email accounts are moving to the Cloud.
14 April

Reminder: You can find Faculty Exam Timetables on the My Learning portal page

The updated timetables, which are only available on the portal this year, are now available.  A link to the Examinations and Assessments FAQs is also included there.  These FAQs are also available in the blue header of this page.
9 April

Postponement of our Graduation Awards Ceremonies scheduled for July 2020

It is with great reluctance that we have taken the decision to postpone our Graduation Awards Ceremonies scheduled for July 2020 due to the ongoing situation with Coronavirus. We have made this decision now to allow you, your families and supporters to plan ahead.

We know that our whole university community will be disappointed. The Awards Ceremonies are the culmination of all your hard work. We remain committed to celebrating your achievements, and are working hard to make alternative arrangements and we will share these plans as soon as possible.

Official awards results will be published as normal and will be available in an Results Letter on the portal.  We thank you for your understanding and are happy to help with any queries you have. 

8 April

Virtual volunteering opportunities 

We're sharing a list of online voluntary opportunities which the Greenwich Students' Union have put together.  

 Our staff FAQs have been updated to include information on the importance of taking annual leave whilst we are operating as virtual campuses.
7 April

All campus car parking charges suspended until further notice

All car park fees are suspended from 1 April as we are operating as virtual campuses. See further information for staff and students who have paid for permits.

3 April

Arrangements for Examinations and Assessments

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.  

This Student News article sets out the arrangements for examinations and assessments.  You can find Faculty Exam Timetables on the the My learning page on the portal.  

We know you will have some questions, so we have developed a set of Frequently Asked Questions to help answer these.

1 April

Changes to Academic Regulations 

We have made an amendment to our regulations that will enable us to take appropriate decisions about your studies without losing academic integrity.  

We have also developed supplementary procedures to support students as we recognise that the number of complaints may increase following a period of major disruption. You can read the full update in the Student News story which provides details of the Student Complaints Procedure in the event of Major Disruption.

31 March

Support and further information for students who remain in halls

We've created a specific set of FAQs for our students still in halls that you can read here. They go into more detail on how you can get support, including food delivered to you, who you can contact for help or with questions, dedicated support for care leavers, and what will happen about your halls fees in the coming months.   You can read the full update on Student News.

30 March

Academic support, electronic resources and study guides

Whatever and wherever you're studying, we have the electronic resources you need. LibrarySearch is now focused on our huge range of electronic materials. We have temporary access to additional online resources to support your learning and research activities, and the eResources page is being updated frequently with the latest ebooks and ejournals.

Find out more, about the support available from our campus libraries on Student News.
30 March

Join the chaplains for a Zoom virtual world cafe on 2 April

It's taking place on Thursday 2 April, between 11am and midday. We'll supply the company, bring your own coffee and snacks.  See details of how to join in on Student News.

27 March 

A letter to students from Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan MP

As Universities Minister, I wanted to write to students in higher education to explain the latest developments in the battle against COVID-19.

I want to reassure you that we are doing all we can to keep you safe and to mitigate the worst effects of the virus on you and your education. The Government is working closely with the Higher Education sector on a wide range of issues, and student wellbeing is at the heart of those discussions.

Read the full letter on Student News.

27 March

A video message from Prof Jane Harrington, Vice-Chancellor for students and staff

I wanted to provide an update at the end of the first week where our university has operated as a virtual campus.  As we all have been working and studying from home I thought I would record and share a video.  

I want to thank everyone at Greenwich who has been absolutely amazing, in what is a really difficult and alien environment for us all.

27 March

Book a virtual 1-2-1 with the Employability and Careers Service

Our advisors can support you with anything from postgraduate study or securing your dream job.  They are still available to help you, and have moved their service online.  Find out how you can book an appointment and get the help you need.
 

Keeping your information safe while studying online

More and more scammers are taking advantage of the fears around Covid-19, so it's more important than ever to keep your information secure.  See more information on how to keep your information safe on Student News.

 

A summary of today's updates for staff:

26 March

Support for International Students

While we can't offer face-to-face support at the moment, our International Student Advice Service is still here for you.  Appointments are taking place by Skype, on the phone or by email, find out how you can book an appointment or ask any questions that you have.

26 March

Join our Academic Support events online

You can take part in 1 to 1 tutorials, our weekly virtual drop-ins or any of the MASH online sessions which are taking place three times a week.  You can also find out more about the online services our Academic Support team have to offer.

25 March

Greenwich Research & Enterprise: Supporting PGR students

A message to PGR students from Prof Jane Harrington, Vice-Chancellor:

Following the Prime Minister's announcement and latest government guidance it is now essential that you follow the advice, stay safe and look after yourselves and loved ones.  I also ask that you stay in close contact with your local research support structures, especially your supervisory team.  They are uniquely positioned to provide detailed guidance on what changes to your activity, such as research ethics, may need to be undertaken and how to go about this.  The external research environment is also responding to the changing social one, and colleagues in Greenwich Research & Enterprise (GRE) will share this information with you as soon as there is some clarity.

GRE are working to modify processes and structures to minimise the impact of COVID-19 as far as possible.  Colleagues aim to support you to work from home where you can and conduct PhD viva's, FRDC meetings and RETI training remotely to provide continuity.

GRE will collate articles and tips to help you through this period, and you are asked to provide them with regular updates on your progress. Please complete your attendance monitoring as normal and make specific notes in your log book to highlight aspects of your research impacted by the current situation, and how you have tried to mitigate these. This will help us manage and support individuals towards future extensions and other interventions on a case by case basis.

If you are facing any specific issues, please raise these with your supervisory team in the first instance, and you may also wish to follow this up by accessing the wider support structures within the university:

  • These pages will link you to student support services that can provide wellbeing support and advice, including in relation to finances, if you are experiencing difficulties.
  • Greenwich Students' Union advisers are there to support postgraduate research students too and can offer advice and support on various issues including childcare, finance and housing.  

To be clear, I would never pressure any student who is not in a position to dedicate time to their research in the current climate to do so, and I strongly encourage any student who is experiencing difficulties at this time to discuss your circumstances and options with your supervisor(s) in the first instance.  If you are unable to make contact with your supervisors, please contact RETI:

The university will do everything we can to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on your studies and GRE and the senior leadership team are working continuously on your behalf and for our whole university community.

A fuller update was sent to PGR students by email on 24 March.

 

A summary of today's updates for staff:

  • The GOLD scheme and support available to colleagues while we are operating as a virtual campus.
  • Our FAQs for staff have been updated. The questions which have been added or updated have a suffix of today's date, and include the support available to you, how to report/record instances of Coronavirus and self-isolation and if you need time to look after someone.
24 March

Our campus libraries will close at 5pm on Tuesday 24 March

This follows the Prime Minister's announcement yesterday.  Our update provides details of the services and resources you can access online, as well as how you can get help connecting to the university from home.
24 March

A further update on assessments and exams

This update also includes information for students who are self-isolating, have concerns over childcare following school closure, have limited access to IT equipment and those who have returned home overseas.

The extenuating circumstances procedure remains available for students to inform their faculty of circumstances relating to the impact of the disruptions arising from the current spread of Covid-19 and this update provides further details.

24 March

Updated FAQs: Placements and living in halls

We have updated our FAQs to answer questions raised by placement students and for students living in halls

 

A summary of today's updates for staff:

23 March

How you can access our virtual campus services

This update provides information on how you can access our Student Centre, Student Wellbeing, Academic Support and IT Service Desk services. 

Please note: our Student Centres can not currently accept paper forms, electronic versions should be scanned and submitted instead.

23 March

Information for students in halls of residence

The university's accommodation team is now working remotely. Security, cleaning and maintenance are continuing as usual. If you have a query or need assistance please first check on the accommodation portal as there may be an answer to your question or a form that you can complete.

If you need to contact us, you can find further information in the update for residents published on the portal.

 

An update from Greenwich Students' Union (GSU) and GK Unions (GKU)

The Students' Unions have needed to make a number of changes in the last week, but are still here to support our students.

 

A summary of today's updates for staff:

  • Additional FAQs for staff have been added.  These cover resources for online teaching, supporting students online and moving examinations online.
20 March

Important information on assessments and exams

A message to students from Prof Jane Harrington, Vice-Chancellor:

It has been heart-warming to see everyone working together to ensure continuity to your studies while we respond to Coronavirus. I know that many of you have been worried, and my colleagues are working hard to ensure that you complete the year and are not adversely affected.

Please be assured that we will be supportive and pragmatic in our approach to support you through your remaining assessments and examinations.

You can read the full message which covers Live assessments, assessments due to be submitted via Moodle and exams, which has been published on the portal and emailed to students.

20 March

Studying remotely and using Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud is now available to students in all faculties while you're studying remotely.  There is more information on the student portal  about the other systems and applications we have that will help you while you're studying remotely.

 

A summary of today's updates for staff:

19 March

Operating virtual campuses from 5pm on Friday 20 March

A message to students from Prof Jane Harrington, Vice-Chancellor:

I know that many of you are very anxious at the moment and that yesterday's news about school and college closures will have further contributed to this and I wanted to update you on how this affects you as soon as possible.

Campuses: Given the Government's announcement last night, we now need to move to partial closure. This means that we will be closing all of our campuses except for essential services and all of our other staff will be operating a 'virtual campus' from 5pm on Friday until further notice.

Halls: We know that many students are remaining with us in halls. We are working on ways in which we can continue to actively support you during this time. We are keeping our libraries partially open and working through ways in which we can provide you with essential services. I am particularly concerned that none of you become isolated, so we will work on making direct contact with you to support you. Please also seek support from your friends, family and neighbours as already we are seeing communities come together to help each other. If anyone is currently self-isolating and has not be in touch, please do let us know so that we can offer advice and support.  

Student Pay: You have also told me that you are anxious about payments that you were receiving from the university and the Students' Union for paid work. I can confirm that all students who have been employed by either the University of Greenwich and/or the Students' Union will continue to be paid as normal until the end of July. We are looking forward to working with some of you virtually and keeping in regular touch. The details of how we arrange this will be coming out very shortly, but please do not worry as you will still be paid.

Teaching and Assessments: I hope that you are getting used to and enjoying this new way of studying with us, especially those of you who are used to a long commute into our campuses. Our intention is to ensure that we can make it possible for you to graduate and progress this year. We will be continuing with online teaching. I know that for some of you this is making you anxious – please get in touch via Moodle as we can help. We will be sending you a more detailed message about extensions, technical extenuations and general guidance later today. You do not need to worry, we completely understand that you are very concerned and we will make every effort and adjustment that is needed.

Health and Social Care Students:  I am aware that some of you may be called into service in the sectors that you have been training for. We will find the absolute best ways in which to support you with this.

I am very proud of how many of you have adapted to what must be very strange circumstances this week, and for your patience as staff have come to grips with what online teaching means. Many of our staff will now have additional childcare and family responsibilities. I am sure you that you will completely understand that this will mean that we need to respect that they will not be able to work as they normally would, even online. Please bear with us as we try to adapt.

Please can I ask you to keep checking the latest medical advice and to practice social distancing and checking in on each other. There are many free, online support tools for academic study and wellbeing online and I would encourage you to take advantage of them over the coming weeks.

I want to assure you that all of our 1700 staff are working hard to ensure that your academic achievements will not be adversely affected by the coronavirus situation and that we will continue to support you to achieve your academic goals. I also want to assure you that we completely understand the anxiety that this can cause and we will work hard to minimise this. Please do stay safe and look after yourself and each other.

Please note that we are in a rapidly changing situation and therefore will need to keep updating students and staff as things evolve.

 

A summary of today's updates for staff:

18 March

Register to use the Password Reset tool

Registering is safe, secure and easy and means you'll be able to manage and reset your password without contacting the IT Service Desk.  You can find more information, including a video showing how to register on our website.

 

An update from our Student Centres

Our Student Centres and Accommodation Offices remain open on all campuses this week, while we prepare to deliver a full range of services from Monday 23 March.  Details of how students can access our services will be provided shortly.

 

A summary of today's updates for staff:

17 March

Exams: The university is considering alternative arrangements 

The university is currently considering alternative arrangements for formal examinations.  As a consequence there will be a delay in releasing the university examination timetable, but we anticipate that the timetable will be released during week commencing 30 March 2020.

The likely position is that examinations will take place online and in a time-constrained manner through Moodle, although some examinations may be conducted as a coursework-style 'seen' paper.

Further information will follow and in the meantime, you are advised to continue with your preparation for examinations. Please be assured we are working hard to ensure that you will complete your studies, successfully, within the normal time frame.

 

Library opening hours

Our campus libraries remain open.  From 18 March their opening hourswill be 9am-5pm, seven days a week, and we will keep these arrangements under review.

We have also put some other changes in place, including increasing the number of items to 40 and due dates for all loans is now Monday 4 May – you will not be fined if you can not return books due to future disruption.  You can find more information in the article on Student News.

 

A summary of today's updates for staff:

 

A message to students from Prof Jane Harrington, Vice-Chancellor:

I recognise that these are unprecedented times and I am keen to keep communicating with you as much as possible in the coming days and weeks and to reassure you that you have my full support.

As you will be aware, we have moved to online teaching to be able to minimise any disruption to your studies as much as we possibly can and I know that staff are working hard to help and support you.

We are aware that there has been a significant drop in students visiting our campuses, however we are keeping essential front line services, including libraries and accommodation, open to support those of you who need to visit. We will continue to update our information on this page and the FAQsso please keep checking them.

If you have any academic queries, I would encourage you to use your Moodle account as much as possible. We know that some of our staff our self-isolating so we are asking you to bear with us if phone lines or individual emails are disrupted and to make Moodle your first point of contact if you can.

Like many of you, I am worried about my loved ones, especially those with medical conditions, and I am keeping in touch with them regularly. I would encourage you to do the same and to use our Student Wellbeing Service and the Students' Union Advice Service if you need additional support.

Student and staff welfare continues to be our primary concern and we are working hard to do everything we can to provide support and reassurance to our whole university community. Please continue to follow Government and health advice as it is being updated and keep taking care of yourself and each other.

Please be assured that we will keep taking decisions in response to the changing situation and will continue to share them with you as quickly as possible.

This update has also been sent to students by email. 

 

A message to staff from Prof Jane Harrington, Vice-Chancellor:

I recognise that these are unprecedented times and I am keen to keep communicating with you as much as possible in the coming days and weeks and to reassure you that you have my full support.

As you will be aware, we are now moving towards mobilising people to work from home where they can and whilst we have seen a significant drop in students on our campuses, many of our essential services are still operating with reduced staff.

I know that we are asking a lot of you and I am so proud to see so many of you going above and beyond to look after each other and our students. I am also aware of areas of innovative practice in online teaching and I would encourage you to share this across teams and with those who are less confident. My message is keep it simple: you do not need to experiment with innovative practice that makes you anxious. Everybody will understand. We are working towards having a central place where tips, ideas and support can be shared.

I am asking everyone to be pragmatic with both supporting individual circumstances and also in adapting our working protocols to suit our operations in real time. It is so important that we act in everyone's best interests at this time. Please follow the detailed advice coming out from leaders and managers across all of our campuses.

A fuller update has been sent to staff by email.

16 March

FAQs on Accommodation added

We have added responses to your questions about arrangements for accommodation in university halls to our FAQs.

 

A message to students from Prof Jane Harrington, Vice-Chancellor:

We have received many emails and comments of support from you about the decision to move to online teaching, as well as questions about the arrangements we are putting in place.  We are working through your questions and comments and will reply to each one. 

Many of you have been asking about arrangements for accommodation in university halls, and we have added responses to our FAQs

I wanted to reiterate that our priority remains the wellbeing of our students and staff.  It is really important that as a community we are kind, respectful and continue to support each other.   

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

We will continue to provide updates on this page, FAQs and by email as appropriate, so please keep checking these regularly. 

This update has also been sent to students by email.

 

A message to staff from Prof Jane Harrington, Vice-Chancellor:

This weekend many of you worked at extremely short notice to help put in place the actions and communications that we needed to take to notify everyone that we are moving from face-to-face to online delivery as of today for teaching.  Thank you everyone.

You can access all of the information relating to our Business Continuity Planning pages on the portal. Information from the well attended sessions run by ILS will also be added shortly.

Currently, in line with government, PHE and NHS advice we remain open. We are implementing more flexible working practices. Today we started this with online teaching. During this week we will be looking at establishing flexible arrangements for staff, which will include more home working in line with the latest Government advice. More details of this will be provided locally. 

Academic staff will be able to put their materials online both in the workplace and at home. I do not underestimate that this is a lot to ask of everyone but I am also absolutely sure that you will all work with us on this, during what is an unprecedented and difficult period.

I realise that some of you may feel vulnerable, and some of you will have relatives and close family members that are vulnerable. Please do discuss any concerns you have with your line manager – we will of course work with you on this, as our key priority is your health and safety.

I have no doubt that we will all work together on this and ensure we manage the situation in the best possible way that we can, given the difficult circumstances. Do take care of each other, as a community it is so important that we look out for each other and recognise that this will be difficult at times for many of us. 

 A fuller update has been sent to staff by email.
14 March

Moving to Online Teaching from 16 March

A message to students and staff from Prof Jane Harrington, Vice-Chancellor:

In light of the uncertainty and disruption caused by the spread of COVID-19  we have taken the decision to stop face to face classes on all of our campuses from Monday 16 March 2020 until further notice. Instead these activities will be provided online so please continue to use Moodle as normal.

This is not a decision that has been taken lightly, but in the current exceptional circumstances, I believe it is in the best interests of our whole university community.

For more information please see the Vice-Chancellor's message to students, and her message to staff which was also sent by email.

13 March

A message to staff from Peter Taylor, Chief Operating Officer:

New Government advice was announced yesterday.  If you have either a high temperature or a new continuous cough you should stay at home for 7 days.   You should advise the university of your absence in the normal way you report sickness and indicate at that point that it relates to these symptoms. Full details of the latest government advice can be found here .

The university has now taken the decision to stop all international travel until further notice.   If you have a booked trip coming up in the next few weeks please discuss its cancellation with your line manager. In addition, only essential domestic travel should take place  and all plans should be discussed with your line manager in advance to agree if travel is necessary (travel to work or between the university's campuses is excluded from this).

 

A summary of today's updates for staff:

12 March

A summary of today's updates for staff:

  • Guidance on academic continuity.  This guidance is part of the planning work taking place to enable the university to continue to operate if there are site closures or groups of staff are asked to work at home due to Coronavirus.
11 March

As the position relating to Coronavirus is changing rapidly, we have provided updates to students and staff  on some key points. We recognise this is a challenging time for many people and the university will continue to support students and staff.

 

A message to students from Chris Shelley, Director of Student and Academic Services:

Returning from travel: Travel advice is being regularly updated by the government. In particular the advice for travellers returning from anywhere in Italy was updated on 9 March to indicate that individuals should stay indoors and avoiding contact with other people.

Notifying the university if you are advised to self-isolate: You should follow the advice published on the gov.uk website on if/when to self-isolate, which is updated daily. 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.  You will need to complete an complete an authorised absence form and submit this to your faculty Retention and Success Officer.

Our university is open: All of our buildings are open as usual and you should still attend teaching sessions. Our student services teams are also available as normal. This includes our Student Centres, Library and Academic Services and Wellbeing services.

Support available: The university is here to support our students and staff.  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.

Inappropriate behaviour: The university will not tolerate bullying or harassment. Inappropriate behaviour will be treated seriously, in line with the Student Disciplinary Procedure. If you experience or witness any inappropriate behaviour, please inform your faculty Director of Student Experience.

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.

 

A message to staff from Peter Taylor, Chief Operating Officer:

Returning from travel: Travel advice is being regularly updated by the government. In particular the advice for travellers returning from anywhere in Italy was updated on 9 March to indicate that individuals should stay indoors and avoiding contact with other people.

Work-related overseas travel:  As previously advised no new travel bookings should be made at this time.  If you are scheduled to travel for work, then you must discuss this with your line manager before deciding to travel and jointly review the risk assessment completed for the trip.

Notifying the university if you are advised to self-isolate: You should also inform the university so we can help support you. You should advise the university in the same way that you would normally report absence through sickness, indicating that you are self-isolating.

OfS Reporting: We are required to report numbers of staff and student Coronavirus cases to the OfS within one day of becoming aware of them.  FOOs and Directors are providing this information to the University Secretary, so please ensure if you are affected you notify the university promptly. If you are informed about students who are affected, please notify your FOO/Director promptly.  No personal details will be reported to the OfS, only the number of cases.

Business continuity planning:  There is a significant amount of planning work taking place to ensure that the university is able to continue to operate. If you have a university-provided mobile device (laptop, tablet etc.) please ensure you take this home each day (along with its charger). 

Please check you are set up to use university IT services from home. In cases where staff don't have a university-provided mobile device, university systems can be accessed from personal devices (PCs, laptops, tablets, phones, etc.)  If there are any activities in your daily routine that will be problematic to do if you work from home, then please highlight these to your manager.

9 March

A message to students from Chris Shelley, Director of Student and Academic Services:

As the situation with Coronavirus continues to develop in the UK and around the world, we recognise this is a challenging time for many people. I'm writing to reassure you that the university is doing everything we can to monitor and respond to the information from the government.

Our university is open: All of our buildings are open as usual and you should still attend teaching sessions. Our student services teams are also available as normal. This includes our Student Centres, Library and Academic Services and Wellbeing services. 

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. Inappropriate behaviour will be treated seriously, in line with the Student Disciplinary Procedure. If you experience or witness any inappropriate behaviour, then please inform your faculty Director of Student Experience.

University plans:  We have been planning for how to respond to the Coronavirus since January. A working group chaired by the Chief Operating Officer is meeting regularly to plan and prepare for a range of potential scenarios to ensure that we are best able to support our students and staff, and what steps we need to take should the outbreak get worse.

We have published some FAQs which we will review and update as new information is available. Please check these, and the portal, regularly for updated information.

Government and NHS advice:  You can find the most recent government and NHS advice on their websites. We will continue to update this page, so please continue to check it regularly.

Support available to you:  The university is here to support our students and staff, we have included details of the support services available to you at the bottom of this email.

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.

8 March The FCO now advises against all but essential travel to a number of areas in northern Italy, due to an ongoing outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19) and various control and isolation measures imposed by the Italian authorities on 8 March. 
For more information see the FCO's foreign travel advice page for Italy.
5 March We have published some FAQs, which we will review and update regularly - these are also linked at the top of this page.  We will flag updates to the FAQs on this main Coronavirus information page. 
3 March

The advice remains unchanged:

28 February

The university is continuing to review the evolving information published by the Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England, and update this page.

It is important that the whole of our university community follows this advice to reduce the risk of contracting the virus and passing it on. 

Reducing the risk: There are general principles anyone can follow to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, which are outlined on the NHS website.

Travel advice:  People who have returned from specified countries and areas are at greater risk of coronavirus.  The government have categorised these areas as category 1 or category 2.

If you have recently returned from these countries or areas and the government advice is that you should self-isolate, you should follow that advice.

This advice includes:

  • If you have returned from a Category 1 specified country/area in the last 14 days, you should self-isolate. This includes avoiding attending an education setting or workplace.
  • If you have returned from Category 2 specified country/area in the last 14 days, you are advised to stay at home if you develop symptoms.
  • All other students and staff should continue to attend university.

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

Students: you will need to complete an authorised absence form.

Authorised absence and Extenuating Circumstances: If you will miss classes because of self-isolation, you need to complete an authorised absence form and submit this to your faculty Retention and Success Officer. If you have any medical evidence (or evidence of travel to one of the affected regions), please include this with the form.

If you don't submit an authorised absence form, your absence will be treated as unauthorised which could put you at risk of being withdrawn from the university. This is particularly important for international students who hold a Tier 4 visa, as the conditions of your visa require you to attend all of your classes.

If you have any assessment which will be affected by your self-isolation, you should also complete an Extenuating Circumstances claim online so that your faculty can consider any negative impact that this may have on your grades.

Support available to you: 

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.

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

25 February

The government have updated their advice for travellers returning from specified areas:

  • Anyone who has travelled to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days and is experiencing cough or fever or shortness of breath, to stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if symptoms are mild. 
  • If you have returned from these specific areas since 19 February, you should call NHS111 and stay indoors and avoid contact with other people even if you do not have symptoms:
    • Iran
    • Specific lockdown areas in Northern Italy as designated by the Government of Italy
    • Special care zones in South Korea as designated by the Government of the Republic of South Korea
    • Hubei province (returned in the past 14 days)
  • If you have returned from these areas since 19 February and develop symptoms, however mild, you should stay indoors at home and avoid contact with other people immediately and call NHS111. You do not need to follow this advice if you have no symptoms.
    • Northern Italy (defined by a line above, and not including, Pisa, Florence and Rimini),
    • Vietnam
    • Cambodia
    • Laos
    • Myanmar

Additional information sources:

21 February

The advice remains unchanged:

17 February The advice from the government remains unchanged.
14 February

The government continues to provide new advice on Coronavirus: latest information and advice.

13 February  The most up to date information on the government website Coronavirus: latest information and advice

This page will now also include daily updates from the Department of Health and Social Care.
11 February

You can find the most up to date information on the government website: Coronavirus: latest information and advice and the latest travel advice on the FCO China travel page.  

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) have also published a page Coronavirus - information for international students, which they are keeping updated.

7 February

You can find the most up to date information on the government website: Coronavirus: latest information and advice and the latest travel advice on the FCO China travel page.  

This update includes the following new advice:

Travellers from other parts of China and other specified areas

This advice applies to travellers who have returned to the UK from the following areas:

  • China
  • Thailand
  • Japan
  • Republic of Korea
  • Hong Kong
  • Taiwan
  • Singapore
  • Malaysia
  • Macau

If you have returned to the UK from any of these areas in the last 14 days and develop symptoms of cough or fever or shortness of breath, you should immediately:

  • stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu
  • call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the country

Please follow this advice even if your symptoms are minor.

5 February

You can find the most up to date information on the government website: Coronavirus: latest information and advice.

You can find the latest travel advice on the FCO China travel page.

3 February

The latest advice and information from the government can be seen here.

The advice to people who have travelled from Wuhan and Hubei in the last 14 days remains the same. Recent travellers from elsewhere in China (except Macao and Hong Kong) who feel unwell are advised to stay indoors and dial 111 (or go to 111 online) to reach National Health Service's advice and support line, which is supported by medically trained members of staff.

31 January You can find the most up to date information on the government website: Coronavirus: latest information and advice.
29 January

There are currently no confirmed cases in the UK or of UK citizens abroad, and the risk to the public is low. The government is monitoring the situation closely and will continue to work with the World Health Organization (WHO) and international community.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office continue to advise against all travel to Hubei Province, and now advise against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China (not including Hong Kong and Macao)

Public Health England have also provided advice for travellers returning from Wuhan to take simple, common-sense steps to avoid contact with people as much as possible, like you would with other viruses.  This includes remaining at home for 14 days after arriving from Wuhan and not going to work, school or public areas.

If you have returned from Wuhan you should follow this advice, please note students should use the authorised absence process to cover this period.

24 January

The most recent advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all but essential travel to Wuhan city, Hubei Province due to the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak. 

Public Health England has offered this advice to travellers. For more information and advice, visit the TravelHealthPro website.

The university's support services are available for you to use if you have any concerns in the coming days and weeks,  the details of the Student Wellbeing Service and Students' Union Advice Service can be found on our website.  Staff should speak to their senior manager or our HR team.

22 January

Public Health England have published the following update and have introduced enhanced monitoring from all direct flights from Wuhan Province to the UK from 22 January 2020.  They have also advised against all but essential travel to Wuhan Province.  The Foreign and Commonwealth travel advice will be updated today.

The advice only extends at present to Wuhan Province, and travel advice for the rest of China (inc. Hong Kong) remains unchanged, but advises that travellers should "maintain good hand, respiratory and personal hygiene and should avoid visiting animal and bird markets or people who are ill with respiratory symptoms."

The risk to the UK population has been assessed as low.  This has been raised from very low due to current evidence on the likelihood of cases being imported into this country. There are currently no confirmed cases of this new infection in the UK.

21 January

Chinese New Year is fast approaching - for those of you who are planning to travel to China for the celebrations, please can we ask you to pay close attention to advice being given on a new virus which can cause respiratory illness.

Although the risk to UK travellers is low, we advise that before travelling you check the following websites for updates, including how to take simple precautions: