Updated: 2 December 2020

Our focus remains on making sure we provide a safe and welcoming environment, and continue to support you on your academic journey with us.

Please continue to check your university email for updates from us.

Of course, protecting the health and wellbeing of our students and staff remains the top priority for both Solent University and QA Higher Education, and we will continue to be guided by Government and sector advice in all our planning.

 

Centres

Yes.

We have made study spaces and computer desks available for students at:

  • The Student Hub – 7-15 Rosebery Avenue for London Centre students
  • Birmingham Centre

We’re looking forward to welcoming you in to our centres, and it’s important that we maintain a safe and welcoming environment for everyone to enjoy. Therefore, we ask that you use our online booking system to book these.

Choose whether you need a computer desk or a study desk, select the date and time and follow the on-screen steps. You will receive a confirmation email once you have successfully booked.

We recommend you read through the QA Return to Campus Guide before booking, for information about what to expect on your arrival.

Our Manchester Centre is available for scheduled teaching sessions. To book your place, keep an eye on your emails for the next available workshop dates or contact Student Services.

We will have face coverings available from our reception if you do not have one. We request that they are worn in corridors when moving around campus as well as in the libraries and study spaces. Please be aware that we may request that you also wear these when in classrooms where appropriate to meet social distancing requirements.

In line with the Government guidance – from 5th November – face coverings are required to be worn in all parts of the campus. This will be the case until at least 2nd December 2020.

We recognise that for some people, face coverings may present difficulties and may be exempt. Please be mindful that people may therefore choose to not wear a face covering for a good reason and be kind to one another.

Remember that wearing a face covering is not a replacement for other ways of managing your safety – so please continue to wash your hands regularly and maintain social distancing.

Yes! When you arrive, there are banners with QR codes for you to scan with your smartphone.

If you have any problems with the QR code, there are also website addresses on the banners that you can use as an alternative to scanning the QR code.

It is important that you check-in when you arrive (and out when you leave) to help us with any contact tracing requests from NHS Test and Trace and to manage the capacity within the centres.

You will also find NHS Test and Trace QR codes in the centre for those who have the NHS COVID-19 App.

You can find our more about the steps we are taking to help ensure your safety and wellbeing when you come in to your centre here.

Your studies

Yes.

One of our priorities is to ensure that we are minimising any disruption to learning for our students. This includes students who are due to resume their studies.

Our team have been working hard to make sure we have all of the systems in place to support you on your return. This includes making sure you have access to all our support teams as you normally would.

Our focus is to provide a safe and welcoming environment for students studying with us. We will continue to keep you informed of our plans and what they mean for your studies.

As enrolment draws closer, you will receive enrolment instructions from us via email – please continue to check your emails. Once you have re-enrolled, in line with social distancing requirements, your core teaching will be delivered online and we plan to offer some opportunities to engage in some supplementary small group face-to-face teaching, continuing to follow social distancing measures as required. We plan to transition your teaching back to campus-based teaching as restrictions are eased and as soon as safe and practical for us to do so.

Alongside all online learning platforms and resources, you will also continue to have access to all of our support teams, including the ACE Team, Careers and Welfare, either online or on-campus, as you progress through your studies with us.

Please continue to check your university email for updates from us regarding re-enrolment and arrangements for teaching.

Whilst social distancing rules remain in place, we’re ensuring you can still access as much support as possible, online, and on-campus.

Our plans include:

  • Some on-campus teaching opportunities where possible and it is safe and practical, taking in to consideration any social distancing rules
  • Delivering courses using live online classes, with the opportunity to supplement these with face-to-face teaching where possible
  • Opportunities for students to interact with teachers and fellow students, either online or face-to-face where possible
  • Our academics will use a range of virtual teaching tools to deliver engaging and challenging online learning and teaching
  • Access to a mix of online learning resources and your Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) 24/7, via your mobile, laptop or computer
  • Access to all of our support services, either online or on campus, allowing you to access library materials and resources, study advice from our ACE Team, careers support, and pastoral support from our Welfare Team

We plan to transition your teaching back to campus-based teaching as restrictions are eased and as soon as safe and practical for us to do so.

Please continue to check your emails as we will continue to send you information regarding your teaching via email.

The QA Online Learning and Support Handbook has all the information on how to contact all of your support services throughout your studies, whether remotely, by phone or on-campus.

Download a copy here

Recognising that some or all of your study will be online you will need to access the University’s resources via internet.

As such you should have:

  • Access to a computer (desktop/laptop) that is less than 5 years old
  • Speakers/headphones/earbuds for listening to audio or videos presented
  • A webcam

Our online sessions can be accessed via smartphone, but it is recommended that you have access to a tablet/laptop or a PC for ease of use and completing assessments.

You will also need access to a stable internet connection. You will be given access to Microsoft Office 365 once you are registered on your programme, free of charge.

If you have any queries or concerns around the equipment you plan to use, don’t hesitate to contact our very helpful ACE Team for advice at ACELDN@qa.com.

As a result of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic it has been necessary for us to make a number of changes to the way courses operate. This includes moving to a model where some teaching is delivered on campus and some is delivered online, and changes to other aspects of the student experience such as the social spaces that will be open. We are aiming to offer a learning experience that is equivalent to the experience we offered before the pandemic.

When you come to re-enrol for the 2020/21 academic year, we will ask you to confirm that you understand the changes that we have communicated to you. We will also ask you to accept the changes as changes to your contract with us. If you are not happy to accept the changes in this way and would like to discuss available options in more detail, please contact your programme leader.

We are continuing to monitor the situation. Those arriving in the UK from overseas may be required to self-isolate for 14 days. We recommend that you continue to monitor the UK Government website before travelling as the list of countries that are exempt from this self-isolation period is subject to change.

Should you need to self-isolate on arrival in the UK, you will not be able to attend any campus-based teaching or appointments so you should take this in to account when planning your journey to the UK.

If you are worried about arriving late due to travel restrictions, please let us know as soon as possible and one of our team will contact you directly.

Students will have the option to re-enrol and commence studies online.

To contact us to discuss your specific situation, please call +44 (0)20 3925 6393.

If you are travelling to the UK to join us, please complete this online form with your travel information. This will allow the team at QA Higher Education to know when you are arriving and gives us the opportunity to provide any additional advice, guidance and support before and upon your arrival to the UK. This is particularly important should you be arriving from a country where you may need to self-isolate on arrival in the UK.

Student Finance England Funded Students

We have been informed by Student Finance England that applications for students progressing from one academic year to the next are still being assessed. Please submit your application online as soon as possible as during this period Student Finance England will experience delays assessing applications.

If you are having difficulty in contacting Student Finance England and you have questions regarding your application, please contact the University Finance Team on 0207 656 8450 or email us on QAHEfinancesupport@qa.com.

Generally yes. The Student Loan Company are continuing to pay maintenance and tuition fee loans in the amounts students expected, based on their previous assessment. Student Finance England however reserve the right to request further evidence to support claims for funding at any time.

Tuition fee payments will not alter as a result of changes in delivery, as the course is deemed to be completed based on the original course intention.

December and the student travel window

The Department for Education has now published guidance on student travel and plans for the end of term. This is to ensure that those of you in the UK are able to travel safely for the festive period after the end of the national restrictions were in place until 2nd December 2020, minimising the risk of transmitting coronavirus.

We ask that you continue to follow Government guidance.

The government’s intention is that those of you in the UK planning on travelling home, or to visit family are then able to do so during a ‘student travel window’ between 3rd – 9th December 2020.

Following the end of the national restrictions on 2nd December, you should continue to follow all national and local public health guidance. You can find out more about the coronavirus restrictions in your local area within England by entering your postcode on the Government’s website here. If you have the NHS COVID-19 app on your smartphone, you will also be able to check your local area’s tier and guidance.

You should have received an email from us to your university email address asking you to complete a short survey regarding your travel plans over the break. Please complete this so we can make sure we are able to provide you with any required support.

We will return to online only teaching from the 3rd December 2020. This means that those of you planning to stay with family or friends over the festive period in the UK, will not be required to come in to our centres for the remainder of 2020. You will still be expected to join your scheduled live online teaching sessions. Therefore, if you do intend to travel to another location during the student travel window, please ensure that you will still be able to access your learning. If you have any questions, or are unsure, please contact Student Services.

We intend to re-introduce face-to-face workshop opportunities for your course when we return in January 2021.

We will continue to make sure you have all the support available to you.

Our centres will remain open until 9th December and you will continue to be able to book face-to-face appointments with our support teams until this point. They will continue to be available for virtual and phone appointments during this time too.

You can continue to book appointments through the online booking portal here.

If you are planning to travel, please continue to follow the Coronavirus safer travel guidance for passengers.

Remember:

  • You must wear a face covering, unless you are exempt
  • Keep your distance from people from other households when travelling, where possible – this includes avoiding car sharing with other households (or outside your support bubble) if possible
  • Regularly wash your hands, or use hand sanitiser
  • Try to avoid busier routes or times, if you can
  • Book any transport in advance wherever possible
  • If possible, download the NHS COVID-19 app on to your smartphone, and check in using the NHS QR codes at venues or locations you visit

If you are planning to travel outside the UK, it’s important that you check any restrictions there may be on entry to the country you are travelling to – there may be a requirement for you to self-isolate on arrival there.

Please also continue to monitor the UK travel advice regarding your return to the UK, paying close attention to whether there will be a requirement for you to self-isolate on your arrival back in the UK.

If you are travelling to the EU, please also make sure that you have consulted the relevant guidance regarding the UK and EU transition.

Your teaching will remain online until the end of term. We also want to make sure that we continue to support any of our students who are not planning on travelling over the festive period. If you are worried or think you might need someone to talk to, please contact our Welfare Team and we will make sure you have all the right support in place.

If you develop any symptoms, at any point, of coronavirus (a high temperature, a new consistent cough, a change to/loss of your sense of taste/smell), you must self-isolate immediately and arrange for coronavirus test. You can find out more information further down this page, including the links for booking a test.

Please notify us if you develop symptoms, test positive for coronavirus, or are instructed to self-isolate and we will make sure you have all the right support.

When you return to your studies in January, core teaching for your course will continue to be delivered online. We intend for this to continue to be alongside supplementary optional face-to-face workshops that you will be able to book online. The details for these workshops will be emailed to you so please continue to check your emails, we don’t want you to miss out!

Coronavirus and self-isolation

The main symptoms of Coronavirus (Covid-19) are:

  • A high temperature
  • A new, continuous cough
  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

You can find out more about the symptoms on the NHS website  here.

If you have one of these symptoms, you should get a NHS Covid-19 test and stay at home until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a Covid-19 test.

Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble must stay home too, until you receive your result. Once you receive your result, you will be given further guidance including on any further self-isolation requirements.

If you develop symptoms when you are in one of our centres, please go to the designated isolation room and notify our staff lead who will help you.

If you develop symptoms when you are away from our centres, please notify us using the QA Higher Education online form so we can ensure that you receive all the right support.

Self-isolation is when you do not leave your home because you have, or might have, Covid-19.

This helps stop the spread of the virus to other people.

This means:

  • Do not go to work, university, or public places
  • Do not go on public transport or use taxis
  • Do not go out to get food or medicine – order it online, or by phone, or ask someone to bring it to your home
  • Do not have visitors to your home, including friends and family – except for people providing essential care
  • Do not go out to exercise – exercise at home or in your garden if you have one

You can find more guidance on self-isolation on the NHS website here.

Remember, if you have been instructed to self-isolate by the NHS, and you fail to do so, you can be fined.

If you have to self-isolate, it’s important to know that you are not alone and we are here to support you.

If you share a home with others (or have a support bubble), it’s important that you protect each other as much as possible.

This means limiting contact as much as possible if you show symptoms of Covid-19, test positive for Covid-19 or have been instructed to self-isolate.

If you are showing symptoms of Covid-19 or have tested positive, those that you live with will also need to stay home, and self-isolate.

You can find full guidance for your household/support bubble on the Gov.uk website here.

A support bubble is when a household with only one adult in the home (known as a single-adult household) and one other household of any size form a support network.

Once you are in a support bubble you can think of yourself as being one single household.

Once formed, you should not change who is in your bubble.

There is more detailed guidance on the Gov.uk website here.

You can book a NHS Covid-19 test online – you can do this here.

The NHS Covid-19 tests are free if you are showing symptoms of Covid-19. You can book your test on the Gov.uk website here.

The NHS Test and Trace service has been launched to ensure that Covid-19 tests are available for those who need, and to trace close recent contacts of anyone who tests positive who may be at risk of having Covid-19 and therefore may need to self-isolate.

You can find out more about the service here.

If you test positive for Covid-19, you will be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace Service and will be asked to share details of those people you have had close contact with.

You may be alerted by NHS Test and Trace if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19. This will usually be by text, email or phone call. They will give you guidance and instructions on what you need to do.

If you are a student, or a member of staff and you are asked to self-isolate – please notify us.

There is also a NHS COVID-19 app available for Apple and Android smartphones. This is free in England and Wales and includes a symptom checker, contact tracing, local area alerts and venue check-ins.

You can learn more about the app in this video here.

NHS Test and Trace will never:

  • Ask you to call a premium number
  • Ask you to make a payment of any kind or ask for bank details
  • Ask for your social media profiles
  • Ask for any passwords or PINs
  • Share any of your details with anyone identified as a contact
  • Ask you to download any software