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  • Tier 4 Students Returning Home

    Completed

    Update 2 April: UCL have created a specific ‘immigration advice and COVID-19’ webpage which is being regularly reviewed and updated as information comes in.

    In this update UCL received the welcome news that sponsors will not be required to withdraw sponsorship of a Tier 4 student should they be absent due to COVID-19 for more than 60 days.  This includes where they are absent due to illness, their need to isolate or inability to travel due to travel restrictions.


    Tier 4 students are permitted to return home to study via distance learning should they wish to do under a new Tier 4 concession.  We ask that students notify us of their intention to travel home and complete the ‘Coronavirus Return Home’ notification form in the "Visas and Immigration" section of askUCL so that we are able to support them.

    It wasn’t clear at first how international students on a Tier 4 visa would be able to return home for more than 60 days and then be able to return. UCL confirmed that should you wish to return home, you must inform UCL of your intention to leave the UK by completing the Coronavirus Return Home notification for in the ‘Visas and Immigration’ category of askUCL.

    The UKVI website says sponsors do not need to report student absences related to coronavirus which they have authorised.  UCL has sought additional reassurances from UKVI for those who choose to self-isolate or return home and they have confirmed that UCL will not be required to take immediate action against visas. However, UKVI have not provided any guarantee that UCL will not be required to withdraw your visa in the future. If UCL are required to do this, they will contact you as soon as possible.

  • Accommodation Costs

    Completed

    Update 2 April: Some other private providers have taken the same decision not to charge students who vacate their accommodation before Term 3. Please see the updates listed below:

    University of London Halls of Residence / UNITE / Liberty Living / iQ / Scape


    Update 31 March: We have been working with UCL to agree that students who have chosen to remain in shared-facility halls are safely relocated to halls with en-suite facilities, enabling them to self-isolate. This move improves the safety of students, resident advisors, and cleaning staff.

    Update 27 March: Students in UNITE managed halls of residence will not be charged for term three if they choose to leave their contracts early.

    Update 20 March: UCL have taken the decision not to charge accommodation fees for students who will not be living in UCL halls in Term 3. This applies to those residents who have already checked out from 13 March or are planning on checking out by 25 April. Read more.


    Originally, UCL’s position was that it will not give refunds to students who want to leave their UCL Accommodation contract early and to return home. We absolutely disagreed with this approach and wrote to the Provost to ask for this decision to be reversed. We’re in constant communication with UCL Accommodation and will continue to work on this matter.

     

  • Incoming first years / master's students

    New

    We're working to understand the potential impact COVID-19 will have on new students. Update to follow.

  • Exams and assessments

    Working on it

    Update 8 April:  Your Sabbatical Officers, Ashley and Jim, have been pushing for UCL to amend their current academic regulations and have secured substantial changes that safeguard you are not disadvantaged in these challenging times. Working in partnership with us, UCL are ensuring as many students as possible progress to the next stage of their studies, or graduate at the end of this academic year. The "no detriment" policy, attempts to ensure that academic outcomes aren't negatively impacted by the alternative assessments taking place this summer, recognising students’ academic performance so far (where applicable), and incorporating substantive safety-net rules to mitigate the impact the current situation could potentially have. You can read all about it here

    Update 2 April: Ashley, Education Officer, and Jim, Postgraduate Students’ Officer, are both part of the Remote Teaching and Exam Delivery Groups. In these groups they have been working on influencing communications and FAQs sent to students regarding exams and alternate assessments, they're working on an update on the academic misconduct guidance, they've worked with UCL on a relaxation on the extenuating circumstances requirements, and they're working on ensuring the continuance of (some alternative to) Late Summer Assessments despite the expanded assessment period (so students still have the chance to retake these assessments if they so desire).

    We’re working to the general principle that exams will not be used as an assessment unless absolutely necessary for academic standards or other pedagogic reasons, with the aim that most assessments would move to a coursework based assessment.

    A message was sent to all first-year Undergraduates on Friday 20 March confirming that "all first-year undergraduate assessments have been cancelled. Instead, every first-year undergraduate student will be required to undertake a 1st-year capstone assessment - a single short piece of work to reflect on their learning across their programme this year."

  • Students in financial difficulty due to loss of earnings

    Working on it

    Update 26 March: UCL has now set up a new fund designed to provide Emergency Assistance Grants for financial difficulties arising from Coronavirus issues. Awards will not normally exceed £500 and will be allocated on a case-by-case basis.

    Costs that the fund may be able to help with include:

    • Travel back to your permanent home
    • Purchase of a laptop in order to access remote teaching and learning, or to continue with research remotely
    • Unforeseen accommodation costs where you have had to move to different housing

    If the financial support you are looking for relates to needs you have in Term 3, you should consider applying to the Financial Assistance Fund for a full means-tested assessment. This fund is there to assist students with unexpected living costs, but all students experiencing financial difficulty are encouraged to apply.


    16 March: Many of our students rely on income from employment to sustain themselves. We’re investigating how students can access financial support and hardship funds.

    Current information about UCL's financial support can be found here.

  • Mental Health support for medics asked to volunteer

    Completed

    Update 31 March: The RUMS Medical Students Association have developed an online support hub with links to relevant support for medical students. Access the page here.


    Medics have been asked to volunteer in NHS roles to support the national effort to beat the virus. We anticipate that our medics may need additional and specific mental health support during and after their time in the NHS. We are discussing how best to provide this support.

  • Anxiety about the national and personal situation

    Working on it

    We are developing ways to provide advice and support remotely and provide clear information and advice to students throughout communication channels.

  • Loneliness, isolations and wellbeing

    Working on it

    Update 23 March: We've launched a Facebook community page that will act a place for students to share tip, advice, find study partners, and for societies and clubs to promote their digital activities. 


    We’re beginning to develop resources to support students who are suffering the effects of prolonged isolation and loneliness, utilising our societies and clubs.

  • Emergency accommodation

    Working on it

    Update 20 March: UCL have confirmed that they are “committed to providing safe housing for those who are unable to leave London or who have no alternative accommodation.”

    We’ll follow this up and find out how this will work. We’ve been in discussion with UCL Accommodation about how to provide emergency accommodation for students not able to travel home and facing eviction.

    UCL have said they "will do everything it can to support its students returning early from study abroad and seeking UCL accommodation. If you have any concerns about your living arrangements, please contact the Accommodation Office"

  • Extenuating circumstances

    Completed

    Update 20 MarchUCL has agreed that students can self-certify if they have Extenuating Circumstances for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year. Read more here.


    On 16 March we requested updated guidance from UCL on students applying for Extenuating Circumstances due to Coronavirus.

  • Disabled students’ support

    Working on it

    Update 27 March: Coursework extensions for those with a SORA is currently one week and the current plan is that any alternative assessments used in place of an exam would also include a one-week extension for students with a SORA.


    We’re urgently finding out how UCL is planning to support disabled students, comply with Statement of Reasonable Adjustments (SoRA), enable support workers, and generally support disabled students health.

  • Guidelines for online learning

    Working on it

    We're seeking clarification on how students are being supported to move their learning online, both our Education Officer and Postgraduate Students' Officer are part of the Remote Teaching Delivery Group and will provide updates on this area.

    Current advice from UCL can be found here.

  • Students returning from interruption

    Completed

    Update 27 March: UCL are developing an FAQ for students returning from interruption, with a priority being students returning in the third term. UCL are currently assessing how many students are likely to be impacted. UCL will send targeted communication to students affected. 


    We are seeking clarification on how students returning from an interruption of studies are being kept informed and supported in the current situation.

  • Student parents and carers

    Working on it

    Student parents and carers are being asked to study from home, however, this is increasingly challenging as they may have to care for persons who are high risk and with schools and childcare facilities now closed this adds to the challenge. We’re are gathering information through our Student Parents and Carers network to understand the impact of this and will seek further support and guidance from UCL.

  • Lack of technology or internet restrictions

    Completed

    Update 27 March: Students can apply to access the Emergency Assistance Fund to cover the costs of purchasing wi-fi dongles to support their online learning in Term Three. If you need access to a laptop to undertake online learning or assessment, you can also apply to the Emergency Assistance Fund to cover the cost of purchase.

    If you are having technical issues, including VPN issues, please contact ISD on itservices@ucl.ac.uk  / +442076795000 / ISD Website


    Teaching and assessment is moving online where possible, however, many students don’t have access to the appropriate technology (laptop, decent internet connection) or have returned to a country where some learning resources are not accessible or are blocked. We are seeking urgent clarification on how UCL will support students in this situation.