On 4 January, the Prime Minister announced new national restrictions for England effective immediately – you can find details of what you can and cannot do on the Government’s website.
Please read below for more information on how the new restrictions affect UEA and higher education provision.
What is happening with teaching at UEA in light of the new national restrictions?
As part of the new national restrictions announced on Monday 4 January 2021, the Government has advised that all higher education provision should move online. The University has decided that all teaching and in-person supervision, with some specific exemptions, will be online until at least Monday 1 March 2021.
What are the exemptions to this?
There are specific courses and circumstances where students can be on campus. These are:
- Students who are on professionally regulated courses in MED, HSC, PGCEs in EDU, Social Work or Pharmacy but only where in-person activity is required for the regulatory aspects of the course to be maintained. Schools will clarify this to individual cohorts shortly.
- Students who are without access to appropriate study spaces or facilities in their vacation accommodation
- Students who require additional support at UEA, including for mental health issues
- Students who stayed at UEA over the winter break, including international students
- Students who are required to undertake on-site learning or exams/assessments in order to qualify with professional accreditation
- Researchers and research students who require access to specialist facilities that are only available on campus
- International students who have already made travel plans that cannot be delayed
Will students need to be tested for COVID-19?
The Government is advising that if students are eligible for returning to campus, they should get tested for COVID-19 upon arrival. Students can book their rapid COVID tests on My UEA – it is recommended that you book two COVID tests, three days apart.
If you have already booked a rapid COVID test but now need to cancel or change, you can do so by using the manage booking/change appointment link in your confirmation email or via your Outlook calendar appointment.
Will UEA be offering rent rebates to students who now can’t return to UEA residences?
For all students who have a UEA Accommodation license but are now not able to occupy their room, UEA will be providing an eight-week rent rebate. Students will have received an email from Accommodation detailing how to claim their rebate.
Will the January assessment period be going ahead as planned?
Yes – the upcoming online assessments already planned for January will continue as scheduled. If you wish to request an extension to your submission deadline or a delayed examination attempt, this should be done by submitting a request in the usual manner and there will be no requirement to provide evidence of this.
WILL THE UNIVERSITY HAVE A NO-DETRIMENT POLICY FOR ALL TAUGHT STUDENTS THIS YEAR?
The University recognises the significant impact the ongoing circumstances may have on taught students, and there is a No Detriment Approach and Safety Net for academic year 2020-21 - students can read the policy in full on My UEA, as well as some No Detriment/Safety Net FAQs.
If I need to take any reassessments this year, will I have to pay a fee?
Every year, following decisions by their exam board, some students take reassessment such as an exam or coursework. There is normally a fee associated with this, but we can confirm that students on taught programmes will not be charged reassessment fees in the current academic year (2020/21).
What facilities/services will remain open for those on campus?
Critical campus services, including the Library (unless otherwise instructed by government), will remain open.
Do I need to get approval from the University in order to return to campus?
The Government has advised that wherever possible, all students should remain in their vacation accommodation and study remotely from there, except in the list of exemptions detailed on their website. The list of exemptions can also be found in an FAQ above.
If your course is not listed but you believe that you fall into one of the other exemptions – for example, if you don’t have access to appropriate facilities or study space in your vacation accommodation – you don’t need to get in touch with the University to get approval to return to campus, or provide evidence/demonstrate that you meet the criteria. The guidance provided by both the Government and the University is there to help students make an informed decision about whether returning to campus is the best decision for them in the current circumstances.
What mental health and wellbeing support is available for students at this time?
There are also many sources of external support which can be found on our COVID-19 Wellbeing Resources page.
What financial support is available for students?
Students whose financial circumstances have changed may be eligible for financial support through Student Finance England – you can apply for help within an academic year up to nine months after it starts.
Students worried about their finances can also access support via Student Services.
The next bursary payment for students who are eligible is due on 19 February – these payments range from £400-1250. If students have any questions on bursaries, please contact the UEA Bursaries team on firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'm a student who is a parent/has caring responsibilities - what support is available for me?
We know that students who are parents and those with caring responsibilities may be facing additional pressures at this time. We encourage all students in this situation to contact their academic advisers if they think they may miss deadlines or cannot engage in teaching.
Please also see the University’s No Detriment Approach and Safety Net use for this academic year, which details the steps we have taken to ensure students are not disadvantaged and the measures in place to support academic progression.
General COVID-19 FAQs
Students should watch our Safety First video to understand the measures we’ve put in place this year and to know what we all need to do to keep each other safe:
Students also need to:
- Use our Covid Checklist if you get symptoms of coronavirus to understand what to do next
- Let us know if you have symptoms, have tested positive or are self-isolating through our Covid-19 and Self-Isolation Notification form, so that we can put support in place for you
- Read our Staying Safe at UEA student protocol which details how we all need to behave in an appropriate way and follow Covid measures to keep us all safe
- Understand your responsibilities as detailed in the Student Safety Pledge
We also strongly encourage students to download and use the NHS Test and Trace app.
If you have questions that aren’t covered below, you can use our Covid-19 Live Chat service, email email@example.com or call 0300 303 4516 (monitored Monday-Friday 09.00-17.00, Saturday-Sunday 10.00-16.00)
What safety measures have the university put in place?
The health and wellbeing of all our students and staff is of the highest priority. We’ve carried out enhanced cleaning and have detailed safety arrangements for teaching, learning and the campus environment. We’ve created new learning spaces and adapted teaching rooms and communal areas to make social distancing possible in lessons and when students are walking around.
We’ve changed our timetable and introduced one-way systems and marked areas to help maintain social distancing. There are increased hygiene facilities and hand sanitising stations have been installed at key locations. We are encouraging regular handwashing as this is the most effective way to combat the virus. Perspex screens have been installed at reception areas and lifts have been made single occupancy to support social distancing.
Face coverings are required to be worn when moving around in all University buildings, in all teaching spaces and in any crowded external areas. We’ve provided all students and staff with two washable, reusable face coverings and a DoorMate, which was designed by UEA students, technicians and researchers, and enables people to open doors and use keypads without having to touch surfaces. Sanitising wipes are being provided for people to wipe down work equipment and study spaces.
We also have a ‘Safety First’ campaign across campus and online, including a Covid Checklist (UEA login needed) with clear steps on what to do if staff or students have symptoms. All students are required to watch our Safety First video to understand how to keep themselves and others safe.
Do students have to wear face coverings?
As with the rest of the UK, face coverings must be worn where they are required by law. This means when in shops on campus and other buildings such as the Sainsbury Centre. As part of our work to make campus as safe as possible, face coverings are required to be worn by all students, staff and visitors while moving around in University buildings, in all teaching spaces and in any crowded external areas.
You will also be required to wear a face covering in the Library - please see their FAQs for more information.
We have provided all students and staff with two washable, reusable face coverings.
Students who cannot wear face coverings for medical reasons do not need to provide evidence of exemption. Coverings can also be removed for eating and drinking, and once at your work stations, study space or other non-teaching areas that are arranged to provide 2m social distancing.
Please check the Government advice to stay up to date.
What support is available to me if I need to self-isolate?
We understand that students may be worried about potentially having to self-isolate, and the University is ready to help at this difficult time. We can assist with food deliveries, cleaning materials and wellbeing support.
We can provide support with:
Food/Shopping – There are a number of options available. Campus Kitchen are offering a meal delivery service for students living on campus – which includes breakfast, lunch and dinner – and the supermarket on campus are offering same-day deliveries through their Snappy Shopper service. Students can also find a list of supermarkets in Norwich offering grocery delivery services through our Self-Isolation Guide (UEA login required). If students are having difficulty getting delivery slots or ordering food whilst in self-isolation, we will be able to provide support – and if students can’t get food for their first night in isolation, we will be able to provide them with a meal free of charge if they’re living on campus. Students may also be eligible for support under the Norfolk Assistance Scheme.
Cleaning – We’ll provide a range of cleaning materials to those isolating on campus so students can keep their flats as clean as possible.
Wellbeing – We have a wide range of wellbeing and mental health support available for students, including Student Services, the Residential Life Team, and 24/7 professional health and wellbeing advice from Health Assured. Student Services will contact students at the beginning of their self-isolation period to check in and make sure they have all the information they need, and can also set up a Microsoft Teams chat for households isolating on campus so that they can stay in touch.
The Student Services Covid Support Team will contact you by Microsoft Teams or telephone at the beginning of your self-isolation period to check in and make sure you have all the information you need. You will have the opportunity to discuss any specific circumstances or support that you may require during self-isolation with a Covid Support Team member and they will arrange follow-up phone calls both during, and after your self-isolation period. The Team are available between 9 am and 9 pm on weekdays and 9 am to 6 pm on weekends.
If you would like to arrange for a member of the Student Services Covid Support Team to contact you at a time of your convenience, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I need to self-isolate because of travel - what do i need to do?
Please follow the government guidance on self-isolation because of travel for details on what you need to do.
You can also find more information on what you need to do and support available in our Self-Isolation Guide on My UEA.
Do I need to download the NHS Test and Trace app?
The University is fully supporting the new NHS Covid-19 Test and Trace app – due to launch on Thursday 24 September – and urges all staff and students to download and use it.
The app will alert you if you have been near those who have tested positive, inform you of the level of risk in your postcode, check if you have the symptoms of coronavirus, help you book a test and get the result, and give advice on self-isolation and a countdown timer.
There is also a ‘check-in’ feature, which means you will be alerted if you have recently visited a venue where you may have come into contact with the virus. You will see QR codes at campus locations such as cafes, restaurants and the Sainsbury Centre – by scanning the QR code on entry, you will build up a digital diary on your phone of the venues you have visited. This can support discussions with contact tracers if you become ill with coronavirus, and means important public health messages can be sent to relevant app users’ phones if needed.
It’s important to note that all information collected by the new app is stored anonymously on your phone – not centrally. This makes it very secure and means your personal information and privacy are well protected.
To download the NHS COVID-19 App, search for “NHSCOVID-19” in the App Store / Google Play Store on your phone.
If you have any concerns about the NHS app, please contact email@example.com.
I have questions about my timetable/modules - what should I do?
If you have any questions about your timetable or modules, please contact your Learning and Teaching Hub – you can find their contact details on My UEA.
We’ve also collated some answers to some of the most common student academic queries which you can read here.