Page updated: 14 April 2021

Student FAQs

This page includes frequently asked questions about the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. There are sections on:


Changes to lockdown rules - Monday 12 April

On Monday 12 April, England’s lockdown rules eased further as part of the Government’s spring roadmap. On campus this means the Hive library has fully opened again. It also means you can take part in organised actvities and more catering options are now available - with a new market stall serving hot food from 11am until 2pm on the Quad outside the SU building. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the restrictions.

Everyone should continue to follow the guidelines designed to protect your own safety and wellbeing, and that of others around you. This includes following the government guidelines with regards to social distancing and the use of face coverings.

On Tuesday 13 April the Government announced that all university students who have not yet returned to in-person teaching will be able to do so from 17 May, at the earliest. 

Our campuses are open

The Government has advised that students, such as those with inadequate study space and/or those struggling with mental health and wellbeing issues, can return to their term time address even if their teaching is still online.

You can access on-campus study spaces, catering facilities and the Hive library. You can also join in with organised sport and entertainment activities.


Latest announcements

Message from the Vice Chancellor and President of the Students' Union - 14 April 2021

Dear student,

We are writing to you about the Government’s decision to not allow any more in person teaching to take place at Universities until at least May 17.

You can read a letter from the Universities Minister explaining her decision.

This has the force of law and so the University has no alternative but to comply.

As you may know, we campaigned together for the Government to take a different decision and for all Universities to be allowed to re-open much more fully from this Monday (April 12) in the same way as libraries, non-essential shops and hairdressers for example.

We are writing to you now to draw your attention to a crucial section in the Minister’s letter of guidance:

“Our advice remains that some students, such as those with inadequate study space and/or mental health and wellbeing issues, may need to return to their term time address despite their teaching still being online. In addition, we have asked providers to consider appropriate provision to support access to university facilities for all students for the purposes of online learning, to safeguard your wellbeing and to prevent isolation and mental ill health. In line with wider coronavirus restrictions, this may include supporting access to organised sport and entertainment.”

With this in mind we want to assure you that there is now an attractive large open marquee with seating just outside the Student’s Union for outdoor dining and ‘Rule of 6’ sociability as well as extended study space.

There is a programme for organised sports and entertainment and the Hive library re-opened fully on Monday.

You are strongly encouraged to use all the study and other facilities at the University as fully as you feel necessary and appropriate.

You will of course also still be able to access online academic support as well as our mental health and well-being support services.

The Students’ Union and the University are here for you.

We are delighted to report that the last student case of Covid 19 reported at Worcester was over a fortnight ago and there has not been a staff case for over two months.

Thank-you so much for all your dedication and commitment.

We hope that you will keep well in every way and to have the opportunity to see you soon.

 

Professor David Green CBE
Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive
University of Worcester

and

Meg Price (she/her)
President
Worcester Students’ Union

Acting Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor (Students) email to students - 7 April 2021

Dear student,

I hope you had an enjoyable Easter weekend. Last week I shared with you that we have been working on a programme of organised sports and social activities and I am delighted to share with you that you can now sign-up to take part in organised activities ranging from football to frisbee.

As many of you will be working on assessments, I know you will be pleased to learn that the Hive library will fully open its doors again on 12 April. Additional learning spaces are now available in the Conference Centre. The Peirson study and guidance centre remains open as it has done throughout the lockdown.

Spring brings fresh hope for us all and with restrictions easing further on 12 April 2021 we will once again be able to visit our favourite shops and enjoy outdoor dining.

The campus has a good number of covered outdoor tables and seating areas. I am pleased to share with you that Elgar Café will remain open for takeaway food and from Monday we will be offering an additional hot food service from our outdoor market stall on the St Johns Campus.

We are currently working on expanding our ‘click and collect’ food service on campus and providing an ‘at table service’ for ordering food and drink.

Teaching arrangements remain the same and we are awaiting further Government guidance on when we can welcome all students back to in-person teaching on campus.

The latest lockdown has been particularly long and challenging in so many ways. If you do not have access to specialist facilities or resources to complete your assessments, or if your health and wellbeing would be improved by returning to campus, you can speak to us about returning. Please contact your course leader if this applies to you. You should always ensure that you complete a lateral flow test before returning to campus.

If you choose not to return to your University managed accommodation you are able to apply for a full, 100% rental charge credit.

Following the Government roadmap, I have highlighted what has changed and what remains the same, focussing particularly on what you can start to do from 12 April 2021.

What’s different?

  • Libraries (including the Hive) and community centres will reopen fully.
  • Gyms will reopen but you should exercise alone or with your household group.

What’s the same?

  • You can meet outdoors in a group of 6 (from any number of households), or in a group of any size from 2 households. You should not meet people from outside of your household indoors. The Government fine of £800 for anyone attending a house party (including parties in halls of residence) remains in place.
  • You can take part in formally organised outdoor sports with any number of people.
  • You should continue to take a lateral flow test before you return to campus for the first time (ideally at a local community testing centre, before you travel), and then twice a week thereafter.  You can find out more and book a test on our website. We anticipate that it is likely that we will also be able supply tests for use at home.
  • Please continue to social distance and wear a face covering when indoors on campus, if you are able.  This is really important as Covid-19 is spread largely through airborne transmission.
  • If you have symptoms of Covid-19 you should not come on to campus and you should self-isolate, take a test as soon as possible and inform us of your absence on your SOLE page.
  • All of the safety measures, such as enhanced cleaning and extensive hand sanitisation stations, will remain in place.
  • If you are travelling to campus you should continue to follow the safer travel guidance and wherever possible you should avoid car sharing. You should continue to avoid unnecessary domestic travel. International holidays are not permitted.

As a Worcester Student, you have agreed to abide by the terms of the Student Charter, which reminds us of our commitments to each other as a University community.

We will only be able to enjoy the freedoms that each easing of the restrictions brings if we continue to act in the highly responsibly way that we have done throughout the pandemic and which has been so very successful with very many fewer cases at our University than at others all around the country.

Thanks to your collective efforts we have remained a coronavirus cold spot and an educational hot spot.

We have lots of lateral flow test appointments available and you should continue to take a lateral flow test twice a week. We are hoping to be able to distribute home testing kits as well from the test centre at the Riverside building.

As soon as we hear from the government on in-person teaching I will write to you again.

You can also find updates on the latest guidance and answers to your frequently asked questions on our Covid-19 pages.

All best wishes,

Tim

Dr Tim Jones
Acting Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor (Students)
Head of School, School of Psychology

Acting Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor (Students) email to students - 1 April 2021

Dear student

I am writing to wish you a restful Easter holiday and to thank you for continuing to act so responsibly during the past few weeks. Together, we have ensured that the University has remained a coronavirus cold spot and an educational hot spot – thank you so very much.

I would also like to thank the significant number of 3rd year health students who volunteered to join the NHS early to help with the considerable staff shortages during peak hospitalisations caused by the ‘second wave’ of the virus. Your compassionate and public-spirited actions exemplify those of all students at the University.

As many of you will be working on assignments over Easter, we will provide additional learning spaces in the Conference Centre from Tuesday 6 April. The Peirson study and guidance centre will remain open as it has done throughout the lockdown.

As part of the Government roadmap, England’s lockdown restrictions were eased slightly on 29 March 2021, and as outlined in my last email, I wanted to highlight what has changed and what remains the same, focussing particularly on what you can start to do.

What’s different?

  • You can meet outdoors in a group of 6 (from any number of households), or in a group of any size from 2 households. You should not meet people from outside of your household indoors. The Government fine of £800 for anyone attending a house party (including parties in halls of residence) remains in place.
  • You can take part in formally organised outdoor sports with any number of people (outdoor sports venues and facilities are now able to reopen).
  • Childcare and formally organised parent and child groups can take place outdoors for up to 15 attendees. Children under 5 will not be counted.

What’s the same?

  • Teaching arrangements remain the same and we are awaiting further Government guidance on when we can welcome all students back to campus.
  • You should continue to take a lateral flow test before you return to campus for the first time (ideally at a local community testing centre, before you travel), and then twice a week thereafter.  You can find out more and book a test on our website.
  • Please continue to social distance and wear a face covering when indoors on campus, if you are able.  This is really important as Covid-19 is spread through airborne transmission.
  • If you have symptoms of Covid-19 you should not come on to campus and you should self-isolate, take a test as soon as possible and inform us of your absence on your SOLE page.
  • All of the safety measures, such as enhanced cleaning and extensive hand sanitisation stations, will remain in place.
  • If you are travelling to campus you should continue to follow the safer travel guidance and wherever possible you should avoid car sharing.

As a Worcester Student, you have agreed to abide by the terms of the Student Charter, which reminds us of our commitments to each other as a University community.

Following the success of the events programme from the Students’ Union and the University, we’ll be in touch again next week to let you know more about our programme of organised outdoor sports and social activities for the coming weeks.

Continuing to act in the highly responsible way we have all done throughout the pandemic will help to ensure that we can enjoy further easing of restrictions. I will write to you again after 12 April 2021, or before if the situation changes, to outline what has changed and what remains the same.

You can also find updates on the latest guidance and answers to your frequently asked questions on our Covid-19 pages.

Wishing you and your loved ones a safe and enjoyable Easter. 

Best wishes

Dr Tim Jones
Acting Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor (Students)
Head of School, School of Psychology

Acting Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor (Students) email to students - 5 March 2021

Dear student,

As we return to teaching following Progress Week, I am delighted to report that the University continues to be a coronavirus cold spot and an educational hotspot thanks to your hard work, responsible actions and good judgement.

While teaching online will continue wherever it is reasonably possible over the coming weeks, some classes which specifically require the use of specialist facilities and which can only take place in person will resume from 8 March. You will have recently received an email from your Head of School, which outlines the arrangements for your course.

Current Covid-19 Guidelines

I am writing to you now, especially if you are one of those students who will be participating in some teaching sessions on campus, as I thought it would be helpful to outline the latest guidelines and to highlight how the arrangements have changed since December. 

What’s different?

  • You should take a lateral flow test before you return to campus for the first time. Ideally, this should be at a local community testing centre, before you travel, and then twice a week thereafter. These tests are specially designed for people with no symptoms of Covid-19 and the results are available very rapidly. You can find out more and book a test on our website.
  • All of the national lockdown rules will apply on campus, including tight restrictions on social gatherings. You can only meet with one other person from outside of your household for outdoor exercise or recreation and you should not mix indoors except with your household ‘bubble’. The Government has introduced a new £800 fine for anyone attending a house party. This includes halls of residence and private houses.

What’s the same?

  • If you are currently away from the campus, but wish to return because of vulnerability in any way, whether arising from hardship, difficult personal circumstances or because studying is problematic due to your current practical situation, you always are welcome to return, regardless of the course that you are studying. The Peirson Study and Guidance Centre and the Hive Library will be open to all students who need them. Student support services, including hardship and mental health services, are available to all students.
  • Please continue to social distance and wear a face covering when indoors on campus, if you are able.  This is really important as Covid-19 is spread through airborne transmission.
  • If you have symptoms of Covid-19 you should not come in to study but remain in your current accommodation and self-isolate, take a PCR test as soon as possible and inform us of your absence on your SOLE page.
  • If you test positive then please let us know through your SOLE page. The University will continue to provide support as required for students who need to self-isolate.
  • All of the safety measures, such as enhanced cleaning and extensive hand sanitisation stations, will remain in place.
  • If you are travelling to campus you should continue to follow the safer travel guidance and wherever possible you should avoid car sharing.

Working together to remain a coronavirus cold spot

It is more important than ever that we all continue to follow the guidance and do everything we can to minimise the transmission of the virus.  We are very conscious of the need to promote safe sociability and the Students’ Union will be working even harder to provide more opportunities to meet in socially distanced ways, including online and outdoors.

In addition to the Government Guidance, you may also wish to re-read the Worcester Student Charter, which reminds us of our commitments and responsibilities to each other as a University community.

The future roadmap

As circumstances change, please keep in touch. You can always find updates on the latest guidance and answers to your frequently asked questions on our Covid-19 pages.

In the coming weeks there will be further online student meetings to give you the opportunity to ask your questions about what the latest guidance means for you.

I look forward to seeing you soon, either online or in person.

Very best wishes,

Dr Tim Jones
Acting Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor (Students)
Head of School, School of Psychology


Lockdown FAQs

Can I return to campus? (NEW 14 April)

The University of Worcester campuses are now open.

The Government has advised that students, such as those with inadequate study space and/or those struggling with mental health and wellbeing issues, can return to their term time address even if their teaching is still online.

You can access on-campus study spaces, catering facilities and the Hive library. You can also join in with organised sport and entertainment activities.

Which courses are currently continuing with in-person teaching? (UPDATED 14 April)

At the beginning of the spring term, Government guidance for universities prioritised a return to face-to-face teaching where necessary for future critical key workers. They then advised that in-person teaching could resume for students who are studying practical or practice-based (including creative arts) subjects and require specialist equipment and facilities.

On Tuesday 13 April the Government announced that all university students who have not yet returned to campus and in-person teaching will be able to do so from 17 May, at the earliest, alongside Step 3 of the Government’s roadmap.

Students who are receiving some of their teaching in-person on campus will have received an email from their Head of School advising them which sessions they should attend in-person.

The University campus and the majority of buildings remain open to support students who are studying in-person and students who cannot effectively study from home. The Covid-secure measures in place, which are fully in line with the government guidance, continue to provide a positive, secure learning environment for students and staff.

Do I need to wear a face covering if I’m on campus?

Unless you are exempt, you should wear a face covering whenever you are indoors on campus, including in classrooms.

Please remember to clean your hands before and after touching your face covering – including to put it on or remove it.

Face coverings should be safely stored in individual, sealable plastic bags between use

If a face covering becomes damp, it should not be worn and should be replaced carefully. Please consider bringing a spare face covering to wear if your first face covering becomes damp during the day.

Face visors or shields should not be worn as an alternative to face coverings. They may protect against droplet spread in specific circumstances but are unlikely to be effective in reducing aerosol transmission when used without an additional face covering. They should only be used in additional to a face covering, after carrying out a risk assessment for the specific situation and should always be cleaned appropriately. 

Who can I contact for support?

As always, your first point of contact for support should be the Firstpoint team.

This handy web page draws together a whole range of resources that are available to you: https://www2.worc.ac.uk/student-services/wellbeing-support-during-lockdown.html 

The health and wellbeing of our students and staff is our top priority. We recognise that many students may face additional mental health challenges over the coming period.

If you are struggling with your mental health at this time, you can access support through specialist support services: https://www2.worc.ac.uk/counselling/ . To arrange an initial STAR (Support, Triage, Advise, Referral) appointment with a member of the Counselling and Mental Health Team contact firstpoint.  We also offer TALKWORC, a 24 hour text line - text TALKWORC to 85258 for confidential help and support in a crisis

You can also access support via the NHS and online resources from Public Health England, along with support from mental health charity Mind. The Student Space platform bridges gaps in support for students arising from this unprecedented situation and is designed to work alongside these existing services. Further sources of information and support are Every Mind Matters for adults, and Young Minds for young people.

I am experiencing financial difficulties. Where can I find support? 

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, the University of Worcester has two non-repayable grants available for you to apply for, depending on your circumstances.  These include a specific fund to help with the costs of IT when you are studying off-campus.  Please see www.worc.ac.uk/moneyadvice for more information.

My course is one of those with face-to-face teaching. Should I take a Covid-19 test?

All students who are studying on campus (and not showing Covid-19 symptoms) should book a lateral flow test before returning to campus for the first time, and then two tests a week thereafter. These will help you know if you have the virus, even if you do not have symptoms. 

You are encouraged to use local community testing centres, particularly before you return to campus for the first time. We have partnered with Public Health Worcester to also offer a ‘rapid testing’ facility on campus, which is located in the Riverside Building at the Severn Campus. Visit our Testing pages to find out more and book your tests.

If you are showing any symptoms you should self-isolate and take a PCR test as soon as possible.

I am returning to my student house in Worcester, but there is already someone self-isolating in the property. What should I do?

You should avoid returning to your student house if a housemate is already self-isolating in the property due to a positive Covid-19 test. If you do wish to return before your housemate completes their 10 day self-isolation, you will be required to self-isolate for 10 days from when you come into contact with them. If you are a student on a course that requires placements, you should contact your Personal Academic Tutor or placement for guidance. 

How do I access IT support for online learning?

You may wish to refer to this helpful IT guide, which reminds you of the available online learning tools.

Is there any financial support available if I need to buy additional IT equipment for online learning?

The University’s Access to Learning Fund has continued to support eligible students in need of extra financial support throughout the pandemic, including those needing help with the cost of IT equipment for remote working.

Now, to make it even easier for you to apply for this support, extra funds have been made available. Under this new initiative within the Access to Learning Fund, applications for help with these IT costs will be fast-tracked and take the form of credit to your Reach account. Please see https://www2.worc.ac.uk/moneyadvice/815.htm for details and the shortened application form for the Access to Learning Fund Technology Awards. A flyer of additional information is also available.

I am a research student, how does the current lockdown impact on me?

We expect most research students will continue their research from home. You will continue to have remote access to library and other resources and details of how you access these resources remotely are set out here:  https://www2.worc.ac.uk/it/documents/studying-at-home.pdf. You should also check Library Service FAQs for more information on this: https://libraryfaqs.worc.ac.uk/faq/240825.

We know a small number of students will need access to specialist facilities or equipment on campus, such as labs. You will continue to have access to these facilities subject to an appropriate risk assessment based on your activity but also on your health – we need to take account of any health conditions you may have in the risk assessment. You should liaise with your Director of Studies in the first instance if you need access to specialist facilities or equipment. We will always ensure that your working environment is Covid-secure.

Where you are unable to work from home due to issues with your IT at home or any other factors (such as your mental health), you will still be able to access workspace (and associated IT) on campus (including the Hive) in a Covid-secure way. You can find details of how to book a PC here: Book a PC - Information & Communication Technology - University of Worcester. Currently, the Research Student Space in Jenny Lind, which you do not need to book, remains open but unsupervised; we will communicate if this changes.

We expect all supervision to be “virtual” and not face-to-face. You can find guidance on virtual supervision in the Covid-19 tab of our Research Degree Programmes Blackboard pages.

All taught elements of research degree programmes and all researcher development workshops will continue to be offered online.

Lockdown Adjustments and Assessments

How will the move to online learning affect my assessments?

Over the past year, we have adapted the curriculum to ensure that we give you the best possible learning experience. This means that we have designed our teaching and assessments to recognise that you are working remotely, or might not have access to normal facilities, or won’t be able to sit in physical examination halls.

When designing our teaching, learning and assessment for Academic Year 2020-21, we anticipated that there might be national ‘lockdown’ and this has meant students and staff are well prepared for the current situation. Every subject area and every course have been reviewed. Staff have re-reviewed their course assessment strategy and worked extremely hard to ensure that, where necessary, alternative adapted assessments are in place to test the learning outcomes, reflecting any changes to teaching and learning and/or the need for assessments to be conducted online.  This has meant, for example, some unseen examinations have been changed to open book examinations, or group presentations have been changed to individual presentations. We will do the same for Semester 2 assessments.   

How will I submit my assessments in the May Assessment Week? Will my exams be online in May?

As a response to the exceptional circumstances, we have agreed that all examinations which would usually take place in an invigilated examination room will again be held online in May. Students who are unable to access appropriate facilities at home may arrange to take their examination online on campus. 

In the interests of fairness, all July examinations will also take place online and again, students who are unable to access appropriate facilities at home may arrange to take their examination online on campus.

The Students' Union supports this decision.

For all other assessments, course teams will ensure that students are given instructions for submission in the usual way. If you have any queries, you should contact your Course Leader or Personal Academic Tutor.

What happens if I fail my dissertation or project module? 

If you submit your dissertation/project on time (29th April 2021) or have been granted an extension of up to one month after this date, and achieve a E (marginal  fail) grade at the June examination board, you will be offered the opportunity to resubmit for an uncapped grade by the reassessment deadline of 8th July 2021.  If the failure is more significant than a marginal fail your re-submission date will be set for January 2022 as is normal practice.

If you have been exceptionally granted a longer extension, and you achieve an E (marginal fail) grade at the July examination board, you will be offered the opportunity to resubmit for an uncapped grade with a deadline of 30th August 2021.

This arrangement only relates to dissertation and project modules at Level 6 (and Level 7 of Integrated Masters) and is only available to students who have been granted an extension through the normal processes, or a deferred submission  date agreed with your supervisor and recorded on the student record system.  The arrangement does not apply to other forms of assessment.

I am worried about resources and data collection for my final year/postgraduate dissertation or project. What should I do?

Most dissertations or research projects will be unaffected by the move to online teaching. However, if you have any concerns about access to facilities or data collection, please contact your supervisor and Course Leader straightaway, so that they can discuss options with you. You may, for example, be able to revise your topic to a more desk-based study, or ask for an extension to the submission date.

The Hive and Peirson Building have remained open for students who do not have access to study space and the University has a very extensive online resource of journals and e-books, which are available remotely. The Library staff will be happy to help you with accessing these resources, if you need help: https://library.worc.ac.uk/

Can I request an extension for my dissertation?

You may request a short extension for the submission of your dissertation/project, using the new online process through SOLE.  This is available for any student who has experienced unforeseen significant difficulties, including for matters related to Covid-19.

If you are unable to access facilities or collect data for your final year dissertation or project, you must contact your supervisor as quickly as possible. Your supervisor will be able to discuss possible options with you, which may include a later submission date, in exceptional circumstances.  

What happens if I am ill with Covid-19 and have to submit an assessment?

Covid-19 might affect your studies in a number of different ways – you might be ill yourself, you might need to self-isolate, you might find that your mental health is being affected by lockdown restrictions, or you might have significant caring responsibilities.

If this is having a significant impact on your ability to study or complete assessments, you can apply for Mitigating Circumstances, in the usual way. Our Mitigating Circumstances processes are designed to support you through events that are sudden, highly disruptive and beyond your control.  

Are there particular arrangements in place to support parents and guardians?

If you are a parent or guardian, you may have been particularly impacted by additional caring/home-schooling responsibilities during the latest national lockdown. If this has caused significant difficulties with your assessments since 4 January, you can submit a claim for mitigating circumstances. You’ll need to support your claim with evidence such as an email from your child’s school notifying you of a closure.

Do I need to provide a GP’s note for mitigating circumstances?

As always, students are expected to provide evidence.

If you have had to self-isolate, you will simply need to present a Covid-19 test result or a notification to self-isolate and will not need to request additional certification from a GP. If you have had mental health issues, which have significantly impacted your assessments, you can provide evidence from the University’s Counselling Service, or your own counsellor or GP.

You will still need to request a note for illnesses that are not related to Covid-19.

If you have paid employment or volunteer in roles supporting critical work related to the pandemic, and this has directly impacted on one or more assessments, you can submit a mitigating circumstances claim with evidence of your employment/volunteering work.  

If you consider that your assessments have been directly adversely impacted by the pandemic in ways not outlined here, you should seek advice from your Personal Academic Tutor, from Firstpoint or from the Students' Union on making a claim of mitigating circumstances.

Will my grade be capped if I fail an assignment and have to re-submit?

Exceptionally, this academic year, if you submit an assessment by the due date and achieve a fail grade at your first attempt, you will automatically be granted a reassessment opportunity and the grade will not be capped in the normal way.  You must make a  genuine attempt in the initial  assessment (see 7.6 in the Taught Courses Regulatory Framework for a definition); non-submissions and token submissions will not qualify for an uncapped reassessment opportunity.

This will apply to all submissions made in this academic year.

Is there a no detriment policy at Worcester?

In addition to the exceptional measures put in place this academic year, our approach to degree classification already builds in a safety net, which helps protect you from underperforming in any one year. 

We do not include your first-year module marks in your final degree classification. In addition, for the majority of students, we use two different methods to work out overall marks, and calculate which of these two methods would give the best possible degree classification. You can find out more about degree classifications in this helpful guide produced by the Students’ Union.

Our ongoing, fair and genuinely inclusive means of calculating a degree classification means that, even before this crisis, we have sought to ensure that students do not suffer from unexpectedly underperforming at either level 5 or level 6. Many other universities do not routinely adopt this approach, or are using this approach as the basis of their ‘no-detriment’ policy.

I have further questions. Who should I ask?

If your questions are related to your studies, you should speak to your course leader, dissertation supervisor or personal academic tutor.

If you need help accessing well-being support, or are concerned about financial problems, please get in touch with firstpoint@worc.ac.uk  

Accommodation FAQs

Can I continue to live in halls of residence?

Yes.

We would like to reassure you that our accommodation will remain open throughout the lockdown. If you are already on campus and are living in University-managed accommodation, you can continue to do so.

Takeaway food is available from the canteen on the St John’s campus and the Campus Shop is open. You can access study facilities in the Peirson Building and in the Hive Library, which is open specifically for students.

Our team, including Accommodation Services, Student Services and Security are all here on campus to support you. If you have an urgent matter, please get in touch with our Security Team 24/7 on 01905 855000 or email security@worc.ac.uk.

If you are in any immediate financial difficulties please get in touch with us at firstpoint@worc.ac.uk, as we may be able to support you through the University’s Covid-19 Emergency fund.

If you haven’t already done so, please email us at accommodation@worc.ac.uk to let us know you are on campus.

I am currently at home. Can I move back to my University accommodation? 

The Government's national lockdown restrictions mean that you should only return to your term-time accommodation if:

  • Your course is resuming some in-person teaching.

And/or

  • Your mental health or safety is being negatively affected by your current residence and you believe that it would help your situation to move back to your accommodation in Worcester.

You can make one journey to return to the University if your course is resuming in-person teaching or you are on a placement, but you should not travel back and forth between two households during the lockdown.

If you have not been informed that your course is resuming in-person teaching then you should do your best to remain wherever you are at the moment and continue your studies online.

If you are currently away from the campus, but wish to return because of vulnerability in any way, whether arising from hardship, difficult personal circumstances or because studying is problematic due to your current practical situation, you are always welcome to return, regardless of the course that you are studying.  If this applies to you, please get in touch with us at accommodation@worc.ac.uk to let us know that you are planning to return. 

I am at home at the moment. Can I return to collect some things from my University accommodation?

Under the latest Government restrictions, travelling to Worcester or the University to collect your belongings is not advisable. This could put yourself and others at risk. Please contact the Accommodation team if there is an essential reason you need to travel to collect your belongings (to retrieve medical equipment, for example).

You can leave your belongings in your accommodation and collect them once the current restrictions have been lifted and you will not be charged to do this. Any perishable food items (i.e. things likely to spoil, decay or become unsafe to consume before the lockdown review date in mid-February) will either be donated to a local food bank or disposed of in the appropriate way. If, in the unlikely situation that your room is urgently needed for another purpose, we will discuss this with you in advance and arrange for your belongings to be safely stored elsewhere.

I live in University owned or University-managed accommodation, but cannot live there at the moment due to the national lockdown. Can I have a refund?

If you live in Halls on campus or in University-managed accommodation off campus and are not able to live in your university-managed/owned accommodation due to the latest national lockdown, you will be able to apply for a full, 100% rental charge reduction for your residential accommodation fee during this ‘lockdown’ period. The reduction will cover the period from when it began on 5 January, until the lockdown ends assuming that you have not been in residence for any part of the period. It will be credited to you by the University at the time when your next rental payment would normally be due by adjusting your Direct Debit, recurring card payment or other payment method.

All students living in University-managed accommodation have been emailed with details of how to apply for the reduction.

In the meantime, it is important that you do not cancel your payment plan or direct debit – any future instalments will be adjusted accordingly.

I didn’t know that there would be a reduction, so I cancelled my Direct Debit / recurring card payment or my contract. Can I change my mind?

Yes.

If you have already cancelled your contract or Direct Debit / recurring card payment, but now wish to apply for the rent reduction instead so that you have the option returning to your accommodation if lockdown eases, please get in touch with the accommodation team as soon as possible at so that we make all the necessary arrangements with you. 

I continue to live in University accommodation but can’t afford my rent. What should I do?

If you are struggling financially please contact firstpoint@worc.ac.uk straight away as we may be able to help you through the University’s Covid-19 Temporary Relief Fund. Do not cancel your direct debit / recurring card payment. 

I normally live in private rented accommodation but am not living there at present due to Covid-19. Do I have to pay the rent?

Contact your landlord as soon as possible. The published government advice states that as part of the national effort to respond to the Covid-19 outbreak, it is important that landlords offer support and understanding to tenants whose circumstances may have changed.

An early conversation can help both you and your landlord to agree a plan. This can include reaching a temporary agreement to accept a lower level of rent, or agree a plan to pay off arrears at a later date. If a plan is agreed, then it is important that both you and the landlord stick to this plan.

If you are in immediate financial difficulties please get in touch with us at  firstpoint@worc.ac.uk, as we may be able to support you through the University’s Covid-19 Emergency fund.

What to do if you think you have Covid-19 FAQs

What are the symptoms of Covid-19?

The latest advice from the Government includes the following symptoms for Covid-19:

  • a high temperature
  • a new cough where you keep on coughing. This means coughing a lot for more than an hour or three or more episodes of coughing in a day
  • Losing or there being a change to your sense of smell or taste

I don’t have a thermometer. How do I know if I have a temperature?

The most common symptoms associated with a fever are feeling hot or flushed, chills, body aches, sweating, dehydration, and weakness. If you're experiencing one or more of these symptoms, and you feel warm to the touch, it's likely that you have a fever.

If you are a resident in University accommodation, Security will be able to provide you with a thermometer, please email Security@worc.ac.uk or call on 01905 855000.

What should I do if I have symptoms, or someone in my household has symptoms?

If you have any coronavirus symptoms, even if you feel well, you must return to your current place of residence and stay there for 10 days or until you have received a negative test result. You should report your absence as soon as possible via your SOLE page.

You should not attempt to return to your family home unless that is where you are currently residing.  If you are residing in student accommodation that is where you must remain for your isolation period.

You should also not:

  • Go to lectures
  • Visit friends or family
  • Go to work
  • Mix with others in any social setting or at home
  • Go shopping

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital unless it is an emergency. 

In an emergency dial 999

Book a test as soon as possible. To do this visit the NHS website or call 119.

Students living in the same flat or house as you will also need to self-isolate, just as any household would, until you have the results of your test. If you test positive you will all need to continue to isolate in line with the guidance you receive from Public Health or from the University.

If you test negative, and you feel well, you can return to your studies and student life.

Find out more about when to self-isolate and what to do on the NHS website.

Please don’t be tempted to carry on as normal if you have a symptom or have been told to isolate.

How does testing work? 

If you have any of the symptoms describted above you should immediately self isolate and book a test through the NHS: https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test

Who do I need to tell if I have symptoms, if I test positive for Covid-19, or if I am told to self isolate by NHS Test and Trace?

It’s really important that you let us know at the University if you think you may have Covid-19 or have tested positive for Covid-19, so that we can support you and help you manage your studies.

It’s equally important that you let us know if you have been told to self-isolate because you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, even if you don’t have any symptoms.

Get in touch with us as soon as possible by logging on to your SOLE page. You’ll find a link at the left of the screen, called 'Report Absence'. This link will take you through to a simple form, which will collect some important information. If your situation changes you will need to return to this link and ensure that it is updated.

If you live in on-campus Halls or University managed accommodation your details will be sent to the Accommodation and Security teams. These teams will check in to see whether you need help getting supplies or other practical support and advice. Students living with you in the same flat or house will also need to self-isolate, just as any household would, and should also report this on their SOLE page.

If you test positive for Covid-19, the NHS Test and Trace service will contact you. This service helps trace close recent contacts of anyone who tests positive for coronavirus and, if necessary, notifies them that they must self-isolate at home to help stop the spread of the virus. They will work with you, and with Student Services, to help identify any contacts who need to be notified.

What happens when I report an absence that is Covid-19 related?

By reporting a Covid-19 related absence through your SOLE page your Personal Academic Tutor and Course Leader will be informed that you will be unable to attend face to face teaching or placements while you are self-isolation, and they will record this as an authorised absence.  If you feel well, you should continue to attend online lectures and seminars, and complete any assignments that are due.

If you are informing us of a positive test for Covid-19 we are required to share that information with Public Health. You will then be contacted by Public Health and Student Services who are working together to ensure you and any close contacts are given the correct advice to isolate promptly, to keep you, them and our community safe.

If you are living in University Managed Accommodation the Accommodation and Security teams will be informed that you are self-isolating. They will be able to assist if you need help with the practicalities of self-isolation like receiving deliveries.

Specific information for international students FAQs

In addition to the FAQs below, Universities UK has published extensive guidance and FAQs for current and future international students on its website.

I have seen that the UK government is starting to lift restrictions. When can I come/return to the University? 

For most students, the University will continue to offer online learning and teaching until after the Easter vacation. However, practical classes which require the use of specialist facilities and which can only reasonably take place in person will resume from 8 March.  The University will write to students to make clear which courses will resume blended learning  and when you are expected to be back on campus.

 

I am currently planning to travel to the UK to start my studies in the UK. What do I need to do?

If you need to travel to the UK because the University has informed you that the course you are studying is moving to a blended  version then you need to ensure that you follow the Government advice.

Currently if you are travelling from or through a country that is not on the red list then you will need to take a Covid test 72 hours before travel and you will need to book two further tests that you will need to take once you have arrived in the UK.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-testing-for-people-travelling-to-england

Once you book the Covid-19 tests kit you will receive the following 2 documents from the kit provider

1) A confirmation –to let you know that your booking is processed (which will be emailed to you from North.hotels@travelctm.com)

2) An Invoice – to let you know your booking has been accepted. You will receive your invoice 24 hours before departure into the UK. The number on the invoice is the number you must use when completing your passenger locator form. If you do not have this invoice you will NOT be able to complete the PLF, hence you will not be allowed to travel.

If you are coming from or transiting through a country on the Red List, then as well as the test 72 hours before arrival, you will also need to book a place to stay at a hotel for 10 days. The cost of this is £1750.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/booking-and-staying-in-a-quarantine-hotel-when-you-arrive-in-england#travelling-from-a-country-that-is-not-on-the-red-list

If you need any support you will need to get in contact directly with this service provider at this number +44 1274 726424

I am an international MBA student. I have not received my CAS yet to apply for a visa. When will I receive my CAS and when can I travel to the UK? 

As you are studying for an MBA, your course will remain online at present.  Once the government has given guidance on when non-practical classes can resume blended learning, we will write to you with further information. 

I am a new international MBA student. I intend to come to the UK at the start of March. Will the University offer me an airport pick up? 

No. As you are an MBA student, your course is not considered ‘practical or practice based’ so you should not be travelling to the UK at this time. If you do decide to travel against UK government advice, we shall not offer you an airport pick up and we do not expect you to come to the University campus until invited to do so. Your course will continue online and we advise you to attend all your online classes.

I cannot find any part time work and am struggling to pay my bills and buy food. 

If you are a student from the EU, you are entitled to apply for the Access to Learning Fund.  The application form can be found here: https://www2.worc.ac.uk/moneyadvice/documents/ALF_Application_Form_202021_online_UPDATED_NOV_2020.pdf

Students paying international fees are not usually eligible for University hardship funds, but if you need any help or advice with your finances please contact firstpoint (firstpoint@worc.ac.uk ) and ask them to make an appointment for you to see one of the Money Advice team.

If you are struggling to pay fees, it is important that you make an appointment to speak with a Money Adviser immediately.

I am an international student currently at the University of Worcester. As the Easter break is coming up and I have been notified by my School we won’t have any face-to-face lectures for the rest of the semester, can I go back to my home country and study online until the end of the academic year?

The UK government advice is against all unnecessary travel and some travel bans are currently in place to and from the United Kingdom.   Even once the stay at home requirement ends on 29 March 2021, it will remain unlawful to leave the UK unless you have a reasonable excuse, permitted by law.  

If your School informed you that your course will not resume face-to-face teaching you can travel  back home. However, we urge you to  consider a number of factors including:

  • The risk of taking the virus home with you
  • The possibility of being stranded in your home country if restrictions change and prevent your journey back to UW
  • You may need to be tested on departure and arrival at your own expense
  • You will still have to pay accommodation fees if your contract ends in May or June

Please read carefully the government guidelines on international travel in this link:

National lockdown: Stay at Home - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

If you travel before the 29th of March you will need to fill out a declaration form as explained here: Coronavirus (COVID-19): declaration form for international travel - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

I’ve been told that I need to self-isolate. Do I need to inform the University?

It’s important that you let us know if you have been told to self-isolate because you have recently arrived in the UK, or for any other reason.

Get in touch with us as soon as possible by logging on to your SOLE page. You’ll find a link at the left of the screen, called 'Report Absence'. This link will take you through to a simple form, which will collect some important information. If your situation changes you will need to return to this link and ensure that it is updated.

If you live in on-campus Halls or University managed accommodation your details will be sent to the Accommodation and Security teams. These teams will check in to see whether you need help getting supplies or other practical support and advice. Students living with you in the same flat or house will also need to self-isolate, just as any household would, and should also report this on their SOLE page.

If you test positive for Covid-19, the NHS Test and Trace service will contact you. This service helps trace close recent contacts of anyone who tests positive for coronavirus and, if necessary, notifies them that they must self-isolate at home to help stop the spread of the virus. They will work with you, and with Student Services, to help identify any contacts who need to be notified.

My internet connection in my home country is poor. How can I study effectively online from home?

If you are a registered student with the University of Worcester you may be able to go to a co-operating university, library or other hotspot anywhere in the world and access EDUROAM https://www.eduroam.org/

The internet connection and working conditions in my private accommodation are not always adequate for successful study. Can I to travel to the University to use the Hive and other facilities?

The current guidance  for universities from the Government explains that, following the prioritising of face-to-face teaching where necessary for future critical key workers, universities have resumed, from 8 March, further in-person teaching and learning for students who are studying practical or practice-based (including creative arts) subjects and require specialist equipment and facilities.

In the majority of cases, students will continue to have a blended learning experience, with only sessions which cannot be offered online delivered face-to-face.

Students who are receiving some of their teaching in person on campus will have received an email from their Head of School advising them which sessions they should attend in person. 

If you are not on one of those courses, you should study online from home. If this is not possible for a valid reason, you may be allowed to travel in to use University facilities but only when it is absolutely necessary. Travelling should be kept to a minimum.

The Peirson Study and Guidance Centre and the Hive Library will be open to all students who need them.

I am an EU/EEA student and returned home for the Christmas Break. My course will be online, but I haven’t applied for pre-settled status. Will that cause a problem when I return?

The deadline to submit an application for pre-settled status is the 30th June 2021 and you can apply from within the UK or from abroad. You will need to provide at least one document dated within the last 6 months to prove your residence in the UK so providing you have this you will still be able to make an application if you haven’t already done so. You are also allowed to be outside of the UK for up to 6 months within a 12-month rolling period without it affecting your residence so, providing you have not exceeded this amount, you should be okay if you have not been able to return to the UK yet. If anyone does have concerns about their absences, please contact Deb or Danielle at isa@worc.ac.uk

I am a current international student living in private rented accommodation. I have lost my part time job because of lockdown and I will struggle to pay my rent. Is the University able to help me? 

If you are a student from the EU, you are entitled to apply for the Access to Learning Fund.  The application form can be found here: https://www2.worc.ac.uk/moneyadvice/documents/ALF_Application_Form_202021_online_UPDATED_NOV_2020.pdf

Students paying international fees are not usually eligible for University hardship funds, but if you need any help or advice with your finances please contact firstpoint (firstpoint@worc.ac.uk ) and ask them to make an appointment for you to see one of the Money Advice team.

If you are struggling to pay fees, it is important that you make an appointment to speak with a Money Adviser immediately.

For those students who are in University managed accommodation, please refer to the Accommodation FAQs above. 

I am a current international student living alone as my flatmates didn’t come back to the UK after the Christmas break. Am I allowed to form a support bubble if I struggle with loneliness?

Please contact the Accommodation Office on accommodation@worc.ac.uk or visit the Accommodation Hub on St John’s campus.  You may be able to move to a different flat temporarily so that you have company.  You can also join a support bubble with another household, you can find the guidance here: Making a support bubble with another household - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

If you feel you are struggling with your wellbeing, please get in touch with Firstpoint (firstpoint@worc.ac.uk) and they will be able to direct you to the appropriate service.

I was expecting to start my course / exchange semester in January but I have been strongly advised not to come to the UK until the University returns to blended learning. I had booked university managed accommodation and paid a deposit - can you tell me if I will be charged for rent from the start of the semester?

Please do not worry.  The Accommodation Office is aware that you have been advised not to come.  You have a choice:  you can ask for your deposit to be returned and then re book accommodation once you know your return date OR you can leave your deposit with Accommodation Office and your original booking will be held for you.  Either way, you can be sure that you will have accommodation with us and you will only be charged from the date on which you enter your room.

Please also refer to the Accommodation FAQs above.

I am an international student with a Student Visa to enter the UK. I have been strongly advised not to travel to the UK until blended learning resumes and restrictions are lifted but I am concerned about my BRP (Biometric Residence Permit). Will I lose it if I don’t pick it up from the Collection Point within 10 days as it says in my letter from UKVI?

When you receive your visa, your entry vignette should be valid for 90 days. If your BRP collection point is the University, then we will keep your BRP until it is safe for us to  issue  this. The International Student Advisers have recently been given approval to start issuing BRPs again, so you will receive an appointment by email when it is time for you to come in. Please do not come to the University to collect your BRP unless you have received an appointment as we must ensure you have completed your self-isolation first.

If your BRP collection point is a Post Office, then they will keep your BRP for 90 days. Once you arrive in the UK you will need to complete any mandatory self-isolation before going to collect the BRP from the Post Office. Due to Covid-19, you are not currently required to collect your BRP within 10 working days of arriving in the UK, so you will not be penalised if it takes you longer than expected to collect your BRP. Your visa letter will state how long your visa has been issued for so this will serve as proof of your status until you have your original BRP or a copy of it.

 

I have arrived in the UK and I don’t have my BRP yet, how can I open a bank account, work and rent somewhere to live?

The following information is taken from UKVI guidance and should answer all your queries:

Proving Right to Work, Rent or Status to Other Government Departments:

National Insurance Number

If customers do not have a National Insurance number, they can obtain one by contacting the Department for Work and Pensions.  Further information about how to obtain a National Insurance Number can be found here:  https://www.gov.uk/apply-national-insurance-number.

If customers have been granted leave in any Tier 2 category, or as a refugee, their National Insurance Number will appear in the remarks on the reverse of their BRP, so there is no need them or their employers to make a separate application to the Department for Work and Pensions to obtain one. If customers need to know their National Insurance Number before they have received their BRP, it can be obtained by contacting the Department for Work and Pensions.

Right to work

If a customer needs to prove their right to work, they should ask their employer to use the Employer Checking Service at: https://www.gov.uk/employee-immigration-employment-status. Once the request is received the Home Office will confirm their right to work directly to the employer to allow them to fulfil their statutory duties.

Right to rent

If a customer needs to prove their right to rent, they should ask their landlord to use the Landlord Checking Service at: https://eforms.homeoffice.gov.uk/outreach/lcs-application.ofml. Once the request is received the Home Office will confirm their right to rent directly to the landlord to allow them to fulfil their statutory duties.

Proving status to other Government departments

If the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the NHS, a Local Authority or other government department wishes to confirm a customer’s status, they should contact Status Verification, Enquiries and Checking (SVEC) at the Home Office. They will know how to do this using existing arrangements.

Registering with a GP or accessing NHS services

Anyone can register with a GP surgery. Guidance on registering with a GP is available at: https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/gps/how-to-register-with-a-gp-surgery/

If a customer is accessing the NHS for secondary healthcare, the NHS will be able to confirm their status via established Home Office communication channels. If a customer is asked by the NHS, they can advise them that they are awaiting the delivery of their BRP. If the NHS wishes to confirm their status, they should contact Status Verification, Enquiries and Checking (SVEC) at the Home Office.

Opening a bank account

The decision to open a bank account is a commercial decision for the bank in question. The absence of a BRP should not impact a customer’s ability to open a bank account.  If anyone does experience difficulties opening a High street bank, please try an online only account for the time being. The following link provides information for online only banks where they will give you a UK account but there is no requirement to provide an original BRP How To Open a UK Bank Account (Even Without Proof of Residency) (monito.com)

Education Providers:

Education providers are reassured that they will not face non-compliance action if their students are experiencing delays in obtaining BRPs and are encouraged to allow students to continue their studies whilst they are awaiting receipt of BRPs.

Education providers are permitted to enrol students who they have sponsored, provided they are satisfied those students entered the UK during the period of their student visa. Further details can be found here.

 

What if my 90-day vignette expires before I can travel to the UK?

Replacement vignettes were previously being issued free of charge up until the 31st December 2020. Unfortunately, this service is no longer available and UKVI have indicated that they do not intend to renew it. Anyone who cannot travel before their vignette expires will need to apply for a replacement using the online form and will need to pay a fee of £154. For anyone whose vignette will expire before they can travel, it is strongly advised that you do not apply for a replacement unless you are confident you can travel to the UK. We will continue to check for updates in the meantime and will update this section should any advice change.

University of Worcester students from a variety of courses recently shared their thoughts on the measures in place around campus aimed at keeping everyone as safe as possible. Watch the video to hear from them.


More information about the coronavirus, and our response, can be found on our main coronavirus information page.

Further information

If you are a student and you have a specific question about your course, you should contact your Course Leader or Personal Academic Tutor in the first instance. Questions about the support available to you can be sent to firstpoint@worc.ac.uk 


Watch our video to learn more about coronavirus symptoms from an experienced doctor.