Updated: 07 January 2022

Please note teaching will remain live online until 23 January 2022.

Our priority is to help protect the health and safety of our students, staff, and communities. We’re continuing to follow guidance from the Government and implementing a phased return to campus for our students and staff to minimise the risk of transmission of Covid-19 and ensure everyone feels safe and welcome on-campus.

Please continue to check your university emails as we will be updating you on any changes to your course delivery and timetable.

We all need to work together to stop the spread of Covid-19, so please continue to follow the rules set out by the Government .

Government guidance

The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson announced on 27 November 2021 the temporary introduction of new measures as a result of the Omicron variant. These measures are precautionary, while the variant is tracked and assessed. The Government asks everybody to act carefully and remain cautious.

We’re continuing to follow guidance from the Government and our priority remains the continuity of your learning. Please continue to check your email. Thank you for your ongoing understanding and support.

If you are finding this period of time challenging, please do speak with our Welfare Team, who are always on hand to support you with any queries or personal matters that you may come across during your studies. Our friendly team are here to help and can also share a variety of resources with you that you may find useful.

New measures following the UK Government announcement

In line with Government guidance, we are:

  • Continuing our enhanced cleaning regime
  • Encouraging all students and staff to continue to wash your hands
  • Requesting all students and staff wear a face covering when entering and moving around on-campus, in breakout spaces and in one-to-one appointments where a 2-metre social distance cannot be maintained
  • Asking all to maintain a 2-metre social distance, where possible
  • Operating a check-in process when you arrive on-campus through QR codes on our branded banners. NHS Test and Trace QR codes will also be available to scan
  • Encouraging all students and staff to regularly test – even if you do not have coronavirus symptoms – using the Covid-19 rapid lateral flow test (LFT)
  • Asking you to stay home and self-isolate if you have Covid-19 symptoms. You will need to arrange a PCR test
  • Asking you to book a place on campus including appointments with our support services
  • Encouraging all one-to-one appointments to be conducted online where practical and possible

Please note: This information is accurate at the time of sharing. We continue to monitor and follow government guidance in relation to Covid-19 and are prepared to adapt accordingly to changes in guidance to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff. All courses commencing from August 2021 may be offered as a mix of face-to-face and online learning activities. Where necessary as a result of changes to restrictions, face-to-face contact time may be increased or decreased. Should restrictions increase in the future, this may require a return to full online offer. Online may include, but is not limited to, activities delivered through your VLE and additional learning platforms to enable collaboration, connection and engagement with learning materials, resources and people, including our student support services. Any alternative teaching, assessment and support arrangements which may be implemented are designed to enable you to achieve the same learning outcomes you would normally, ensuring the value and quality of your award remain unchanged.

No liability, howsoever arising, is or will be accepted by QAHE Limited or any member of its respective groups or their directors, officers, employees, affiliates, agents or advisers for the fairness, accuracy or completeness of the information contained herein or in any other information supplied or made available, in writing or orally, in connection with the Courses, or for the consequences of any reliance upon or other use of any such information.

No representation or warranty, express or implied, is or will be made with respect to the fairness, accuracy or completeness of any of the information contained herein or any other such information.

In furnishing each recipient with these materials, no obligation is undertaken to provide any further information, to update the information in this document or any other information, or to correct any information contained in this document or any omission from it. The information in this document is subject to change, completion or amendment without notice.

Centres

We continue to be guided by Government and sector advice in all our planning and are undertaking risk assessments of each of our teaching locations.

Our priorities remain to ensure the health, wellbeing and safety of our students, staff and communities, and to ensure access to learning so you are able to continue your journey to graduation and your future career goals.

If we identify an increased risk to our community or have to make a change to the way we operate, we will let you know.

We have set up a number of task groups to help develop and manage our response to Covid-19. These groups are meeting on a frequent basis to discuss developments, monitor our response and implement further precautionary and preventative measures as necessary.

Our focus is on making sure we can provide a safe and welcoming environment in our teaching centres. As such, we are implementing a number of measures.

These include:

  • Encouraging all students and staff to regularly test before coming in to campus using the NHS free lateral flow test (LFT) – even if you do not have Covid-19 symptoms
  • Checking in on arrival to ensure we can manage our buildings capacity
  • All students and staff will be required to wear a face covering, unless exempt, when moving around the building including in classrooms and breakout spaces where 2-metre social distancing is not possible
  • Ensuring enhanced cleaning regimes are followed with key areas deep-cleaned at the end of each day
  • Displaying Covid-19 safety and awareness signage through our buildings
  • Sanitiser stations in receptions, breakout spaces and classrooms
  • Offering appointments with each of our support services, both online and via telephone, so you can still access all of our support teams

We also continue to work closely with our partner universities on any actions or responses required for our students and staff based on main campuses, as well as planning teaching delivery.

You can read our Coming in to Campus Guide here with important information on checking in and out of our buildings, cleaning regimes and testing. If you are studying an undergraduate or postgraduate degree with us in London or Birmingham, you can book a place on campus or an appointment with our support teams here

Please note, learners who are studying degree apprenticeships with us will be communicated directly regarding any details or updates to your teaching.

Yes! When you arrive, there are banners with QA Higher Education dedicated QR codes for you to scan with your smartphone. More information on this process can be found in the Coming in  to Campus guide.

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 campuses.

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

If you’re exempt from wearing a face covering for any reason, please email our Welfare Team on qahe.welfare@qa.com so we can make sure we provide any appropriate support.

Your studies

In the event the Government changes its guidance, we will inform you of our changes via email. Please continue to monitor your university emails.

Your scheduled lessons will continue to be delivered as outlined on your timetable, unless otherwise communicated to you.

If you are planning to be on-campus outside of your timetabled classes, please book a place, or book a meeting, you will need to book a place in advance, to help us manage our building capacity.

We continue to monitor and follow government guidance in relation to Covid-19 and are prepared to adapt accordingly to changes in guidance to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

All students will have the opportunity to access campus facilities for learning activities and support services but will be required to book a place. Please note one-to-one appointments are encouraged to be scheduled online where practical and possible– these must be booked online.

This includes:

  • ACE Team 1-2-1 appointments
  • Student Welfare Team 1-2-1 appointments
  • Student Finance Team 1-2-1 appointments
  • Library resources in Rosebery Avenue and Birmingham
  • Private bookable study space

If you would like to come into campus – including on your non-timetabled days – you must book ahead and check in on arrival to help us continue to manage capacity in our buildings.

If you are planning on coming into campus, please continue to follow our requirements as well as the Government’s and any local travel requirements.

Please continue to check your university emails.

Yes, you will be able to borrow textbooks. Please note you will need to book a visit. You can find more information on the library portal here.

Recognising that some of your study will be online, you will need:

  • Access to a computer (desktop/laptop) that is less than 5 years old
  • Speakers/headphones/earbuds for listening to audio or video presentations
  • A webcam – lots of laptops will have these inbuilt
  • A stable internet connection

Our online sessions can be accessed via smartphone, but it is recommended that you have access to a laptop or a PC for ease of use, joining class discussions and completing assessments. If you have any queries or concerns around the equipment you plan to use, please do not hesitate to contact our very helpful ACE Team for advice via email at: ACELDN@qa.com.

You will be given access to Microsoft Office 365 once you are registered on your programme, free of charge.

We understand that this can be a challenging time for everyone and some of you may need some extra support during your studies. We’re here to reassure you that wherever you are learning from, our teams are on hand to make sure you have access to all the support available to help you progress through your studies with us.

For full information please refer to the Coming in to Campus Handbook we have created for you with advice and guidance on accessing and interacting with all your support services while learning remotely.

Support with your studies: The Academic Community of Excellence (ACE) team support you with your academic development and provide guidance on subjects such as how to write in an academic style, how to read smarter rather than longer, how to reference accurately as well as computing and mathematics. You can make a one-to-one tutorial, attend our online workshops as well as read our resources and watch our videos on your virtual learning environment (VLE). You can find more details about the support available here.

Online learning support: If you’re experiencing technical issues accessing your online studies, we have a dedicated online learning support team available to help you. You can contact them using the below details:

Access to learning resources: Our Library Team have you covered if you need help accessing premium learning and research resources for your course and assignments. The Team are also available to provide any support, advice on guidance on how to best use the resources and study skills.

Go to the library portal

Your wellbeing and mental health: Your wellbeing is very important to us, and our Student Welfare Team are always on hand to support you with any queries or personal matters that you may come across during your studies. Our friendly team are here to help, so do not be afraid to ask for their support and advice, no matter how big or small you think your issue is. The Team can also recommend any additional resources that are available to you.

You can also find links to additional guides and resources from our Student Welfare Team here.

Access to hardship funding: If you are in need of financial support, please contact our Student Welfare Team to apply for access to hardship funding.

As we respond to the changing Government guidance at this time, please note that all one-to-one appointments with our support services are encouraged to be conducted online where practical and possible.

It’s important that we maintain a safe and welcoming environment for everyone to enjoy.

To help us manage our building capacity, you will need to book a place ahead of coming into campus. This includes if you are planning to use any study spaces, library facilities or meet with one of our support teams on the days where you have timetabled on-campus classes. You do not need to book if you are only coming into campus for your timetabled teaching.

You can find all booking links here

Once you are booked, you will receive a confirmation email.

Please make sure you read through our Coming in to Campus Guidebefore booking, for information about what to expect on your arrival.

You can also check our online Learning and Support Handbook for all the information on how to contact our support services throughout your studies.

Download a copy here. 

Travelling

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

Remember:

  • You must wear a face covering, unless you are exempt, please be aware face coverings are mandatory on public transport networks
  • 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 and / 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

There are currently rules in place for those arriving in England, for both residents and visitors, which includes self-isolation on arrival for those travelling from overseas. Further details regarding self-isolation rules, requirements for arrival in the UK, information on vaccines recognised by the UK, and guidance on how to travel safely from the airport, are available on the Government webpage, travelling to England from another country.

We recommend that you check this regularly as the guidance is subject to change.

If you are travelling to the UK to join us, please complete our online form with details of your travel plans as this will allow us the opportunity to provide any additional advice, guidance and support before and upon your arrival to the UK.

If you are travelling from the EU, please also make sure that you have consulted the relevant guidance regarding the UK and EU transition. You can check our FAQs regarding Brexit here.

It is important that you follow the Government’s guidance when travelling into the UK, especially if you are travelling from or through a country that is on the red list. The UK has red listed countries that pose a high risk to spreading the Covid-19 virus and its new variants. Please check the Government guidance here for the full list of ‘red list’ countries with detailed information on the requirements you need to meet on arrival in the UK.

If you have travelled through or been in any of the countries on the red list in the last 10 days, you will not be permitted to enter the UK – unless you are:

  • A British national
  • An Irish national
  • Have residence rights in the UK – This includes those who hold a full Student visa – Tier 4 or Student Route – or are an EU national with settled or pre-settled status in the UK.
    • If you have resident rights, you will be permitted to enter the UK the same as a British or Irish national, and
    • You must quarantine for 10 days in a UK Government approved hotel facility at the cost of £2,285

Please note: you cannot use the Test to Release scheme if you have been in or through a red list country.

It is critical that you follow the Government’s guidance on travelling to England from another country, please check what Covid-19 tests you need, quarantine rules and whether your vaccination is recognised.

Please continue to check the guidance as it is subject to change.

We understand travelling can be stressful at the best of times and we want to ensure you are supported during this challenging time. Please complete the QA Higher Education travel notification form and let us know your circumstances. We will support you as you follow any necessary procedures to enter the UK.

Please do speak with our Welfare Team who are always on hand to support you with any queries or personal matters you may come across. Our friendly team are here to help and can also share a variety of resources with you that you may find useful.

Before travelling into the UK, please ensure you’re checking the latest information and advice about entering the UK here and be sure to monitor the guidance on travelling to England from a foreign country during coronavirus.

It is vital that students arriving in the UK have followed the correct arrival procedure to avoid additional costs and any delays. This includes ensuring you have the correct travel documents to present, testing requirements before travel, self-isolating on arrival and further testing during self-isolation.

You must take a Covid-19 test before you travel to England if you either:

  • Do not qualify as fully vaccinated for travel to the UK. Please check the Government guidance on qualifying as fully vaccinated here
  • Have been in a country or territory on the red list in the 10 days before you arrive in the UK

For detailed information on the type of test, when and where to take the test, please monitor the Government guidance as this is subject to change.

Documents required on arrival:

  • Complete a passenger locator form detailing where you will quarantine upon arrival
  • Proof of study documents
  • Booked and paid for a Covid-19 PCR test – to be taken after you arrive in England on or before day 2. You cannot use the NHS test for your PCR test, this must be purchased through a private test provider

We recommend that you regularly check the relevant Government guidance pages as advice may change. Please also remember to follow the Government’s safer travel guidelines, and plan ahead to avoid busy times.

Yes. If you would like help finding, booking, and organising accommodation for your studies, the QA Accommodation Service is here to help. Complete your details using an online form here and one of the team will contact you to discuss your options.

If you are planning on travelling outside the UK, the FCO website has advice regarding any necessary precautions you may need to take. You can check the FCO advice regarding coronavirus.

If you are travelling from/to the EU, please also make sure that you have consulted the relevant guidance regarding the UK and EU transition. You can check our FAQs regarding Brexit here.

Student Finance England Funded Students

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.

You will be aware that we may have had to make a number of changes to the way that your course operates as a result of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. This includes moving to a blended model where some teaching is delivered on campus and some is delivered online, providing alternative assessments 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 enrol/re-enrol for your next academic year, we will ask you to confirm that you understand the changes that have been communicated to you by us . We will also ask you to accept the changes as changes to your contract with the University. If you are not happy to accept the changes in this way, you have the option of cancelling or withdrawing from the University, transferring to another institution or deferring your studies to the following academic year. If you would like to discuss any of these options in more detail, please contact your Programme Leader.

Coronavirus and self-isolation

If you have symptoms of Covid-19 however mild, you must follow the Government guidance here, which outlines testing and self-isolation requirements that you must follow. Please notify us as soon as possible, you can find the details of how to do this on our website here.

If you are not experiencing symptoms but have tested positive for Covid-19, you must follow the instructions that are given to you by the NHS and Government as outlined here. Please also notify us following the process on our website to ensure we are able to support you.

The Government website also explains the requirements should one of your household or contacts develop symptoms or be instructed to self-isolate.

For full guidance if you develop Covid-19 symptoms please go to the Government website.

If you are a student studying with us or one of our partners, please notify us following the process outlined on our webpage here.

More information about who needs to self-isolate is available on the NHS website.

We understand that you may be feeling worried, so we want to reassure you that our Student Welfare Team are available to make sure you feel supported and they, like all of our support services, are available via email, phone or for virtual appointments so you can still speak to them while you are self-isolating.

If you’ve been instructed to self-isolate, please notify us here so we can ensure you are supported.

You can find out more about the ways of accessing each of our support teams in the Online Learning and Support Handbook 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.

Please note a childcare bubble is separate from a support bubble. For more information and detailed guidance please visit the Gov.co.uk pages on making a support bubble and or forming a childcare bubble.

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.

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

As the UK rolls out the Covid-19 vaccination programme, it’s important to be aware that fraudsters are using this as an opportunity to scam people.

The NHS is currently working through a priority list to offer vaccinations to those who are most vulnerable to Covid-19. The order in which people will be offered the vaccine is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). Once it’s your turn to have the vaccination, the NHS may contact you by letter, email or text message (SMS). You can check the NHS website here for more information about how they will contact you.

How to spot a fake

If you have received a suspicious email or text inviting you to have a Covid-19 vaccination, here are some things to help you check:

  • The Covid-19 vaccine is free of charge on the NHS
  • The NHS will NEVER ask for:
    • Your bank account or card details
    • Your pin or banking password
    • copies of personal documents to prove your identity such as your passport, driving licence, bills or pay slips

If you think you have been a victim of fraud or identify theft, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

The National Cyber Security Centre and Action Fraud have asked anyone who receives a suspicious email or text to report it.