Supporting students during Covid-19.

We know that having a child or relative at university can be a cause of worry and anxiety in a normal year. We also recognise this is heightened in the current climate, when universities and Covid-19 are being talked about regularly in the news.

We know it is likely that members of our community will test positive over coming weeks and months due to the nature of Covid-19 despite the measures we have in place, which we continue to review regularly.

At the University of Greenwich, the health, safety and wellbeing of all our students is our top priority. We're working closely with our local council partners and following all the advice from the Government and Public Health England to make sure that we deal with cases appropriately and support our students if and when they need it.

Testing

The health and safety of our students and staff remains our priority. Covid testing facilities for students and staff are available on all our campuses through our work with our local councils and our own test sites. Students can book a test at any of the council test sites, not just the test sites on campus.

Campus sites are at:

  • Queen Anne court (QA 063), Greenwich campus, 8am-4pm Monday to Friday. Walk-ins available, or via a booking system.
  • Wren Building, Avery Hill campus, 8am-4pm Monday to Friday. Walk-ins available or via a booking system.
  • Deep End, Medway campus, 2pm-6pm Monday-Friday, please use our booking system.

See full details.

We require students who are attending campus for essential reasons (e.g. face-to-face teaching or to use libraries) to get a rapid Covid test twice weekly, with around three days between tests. Students living in our halls of residence are also asked to get tested twice weekly.

Anyone arriving in the UK from overseas should complete any self-isolation required by government guidance in their accommodation before traveling to campus. We ask those who are self-isolating for quarantine reasons to keep us informed.

Reporting systems

  • When a student or staff member tells us that they have symptoms or a positive test result, this is reported through our internal safety systems.
  • We then work with the individual to understand who they may have been in contact with and whether they have been attending classes or visited campus.
  • Our reporting system holds live data so that we can follow up on cases very quickly.

Self-Isolating

  • We assess each case individually.
  • Depending on the situation, we may require groups of students to self-isolate as a precautionary measure (e.g. because they are flatmates or classmates of an affected student).
  • In all cases, we will follow government guidance on self-isolation.
  • We won't automatically ask all students to self-isolate. If, after we have reviewed the situation, we do not feel that other students have been put at risk, then we will advise these students to continue with their studies as normal.

Communicating with students

We are committed to taking care of all of our students and especially those who live in university accommodation. All these students have been sent this video message from Prof Jane Harrington, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Greenwich which confirms our commitment to keeping them safe and how we can all work together to prevent coronavirus outbreaks.

  • We are communicating with affected students to their university email and ask all students to check their emails regularly.
  • Our Accommodation Team is also in regular (socially distanced) contact with students living in our accommodation.

Extra support while self-isolating

Any students testing positive, or self-isolating pending a test will be supported by the University and Students' Union. We have planned for, and will provide, additional support for any students who are living in our accommodation who have been asked to self-isolate.

Students who have been asked to self-isolate will:

  • be offered advice and support about ordering food online, including a service just for students provided by the Students' Union Shop at our Avery Hill campus, and we will make sure that any food delivery orders are delivered right to their front door.
  • be contacted by a Resident Assistant every day to check that they are ok and have everything they need.
  • be supported to make sure that they can continue to access teaching and learning activities online and continue their studies.
  • be given a discount on accommodation fees for the period of time when they are self-isolating.
  • continue to have access to the Togetherall online support service. This offers 24/7 online mental health support.
  • Continue to access to the university's Student and Academic Services (link)

We are also looking at other ways we can support students, for example providing a wellbeing package with books and other entertainment.

Additional information

  • Covid-vulnerability questionnaire: all students have been asked to complete this questionnaire so that those with increased vulnerabilities can be identified and supported, and those deemed high risk continue to work remotely.
  • We continue to work closely with Greenwich Students' Union and Greenwich and Kent Students' Unions to provide regular, clear communications to our students, and we have developed a Covid-Safe Charter, which sets out clearly what our expectations are for the behaviour of our students and our staff, and that adherence to the Government rules, such as the 'Rule of 6', is a requirement.
  • Any behaviour that puts our wider community at risk will not be tolerated. We have finalised a new Behaviour Procedure which makes clear to students and staff that sanctions, including exclusion, will be used for those who deliberately or repeatedly breach our Charter, or Government guidance.

We are pleased to host a temporary remote testing site on our Greenwich Campus plus testing centres at our Medway and Avery Hill Campuses. These are managed by the Department for Health and Social Care and are precautionary measures to ensure our students can get tested and supported quickly.