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Ever since the coronavirus crisis started, we have worked closely with UCL in determining its policies and ensuring that students are centered in every decision that is being made. This has remained our focus over the past 10 months. A large part of our work with UCL is interpreting and responding to the ever-changing government guidance, with the most recent being the Department of Education’s guidance around the return of students to campus after the Winter Break.

Since this Government announcement was made, we’ve worked with UCL in determining what this means for your individual courses, and this should now have been communicated with you all individually. Our implementation of the guidance sets-out how we phase back into face-to-face sessions and the availability of asymptomatic testing for the student body - and now everyone should now know exactly what to expect for their return to UCL.

Encouraging a phased return has consequences, and we’ve worked with UCL to try and overcome these, agreeing the following: 

  • We have confirmed that UCL students in UCL-managed or UCL-contracted Halls of Residence will not be charged rent for the period that their room is uninhabited. You will need to notify UCL Accommodation of your departure and return date through the online portal. To qualify for the reimbursement of rent, you should have departed your hall between 3-27 December 2020, with a return date of between 28 December 2020- 7 February 2021. Remember, if you choose to end your contract in UCL halls, you will be able to claim back rent paid for the time you’ll no longer be there. Just follow the Notice to Quit Procedure as stated in the UCL Accommodation General Regulations, our Advice Service can help you if you get stuck.

  • We have also confirmed that the UCL Estate will remain open and all students who come in earlier, whether in private accommodation or Halls of Residences, will have access to all the learning and study resources available at UCL.

  • Finally, we have confirmed that face-to-face Students’ Union club and society activity can continue from the beginning of the return to UCL. This means all our provisions, clubs, and societies will be available to support all our students at all times wherever they may be.

Further to this;

  • You will continue to have the option of studying wherever you are based, either remotely or on campus for term two.

  • If you’ve already made plans to return (i.e you’ve booked travel, accommodation etc.) you do not need to change your plans, even if face-to-face teaching on your course is restarting later on in term two.

  • If you’re unable to study remotely where you’re staying during winter break, you can return to your term-time accommodation

This is just another peculiarity in what has already been a very peculiar academic year, but together we will, and always will be the place where more happens.

See you in January!

Warmest wishes,

Jim Onyemenam

Postgraduate Students’ Officer