UPDATE 25 February 2021: This page is under review. In the meantime, please remain safe, stay home and follow the rules at gov.uk/coronavirus.

Updated: 20 February 2021 18:48

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.

In line with the Government’s ‘Stay Home’ message, our campus buildings are currently closed and we will be delivering all teaching online until further notice.

National lockdown rules

On 4th January 2021, the Prime Minister announced new national lockdown rules in England. The message about staying home to help stop the spread of Covid-19 was clear with limited exceptions for leaving our homes.

In line with the Government’s ‘Stay Home’ message, our campus buildings are currently closed and we will be delivering all teaching online until further notice.

Whilst our buildings are closed, we are committed to ensuring that you are still able to continue your learning. This means:

  • We’re delivering live online classes where you’ll be able to interact with your teachers and fellow students
  • We’re using a range of virtual teaching tools to continue to deliver engaging and challenging online learning and teaching
  • You’ll continue to be able to access a mix of online learning resources and your Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), via your mobile, laptop or computer
  • Our support services are all still available for you to remotely access – including library resources, study advice from our ACE Team, Careers support, and pastoral support from our Welfare Team
  • If you need technical support, you can also speak to our dedicated online learning support team too – they are available by emailing QAHEOnlineLearning@qa.com or calling 0345 074 7958

We will continue to review these measures and plan to re-introduce some opportunities for you to engage in some small group face-to-face learning activities on-campus as soon as it is safe for us to do so, continuing to follow Government guidance and social distancing measures as required.

Please continue to check your university emails.

If you are finding this lockdown period 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.

If you are not already at your term time address, we are advising you not to travel between your permanent home and term time address at this time in line with Government guidance. You should not travel unless for any of the limited reasons detailed on the Government website here.

If you are currently overseas, please continue to monitor the Government’s travel advice here too. This details any self-isolation or requirements for arrival in the UK that you may be subject to, as well as the latest list of approved travel corridors.

If you must 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

You can check the latest Government advice and response to coronavirus on the Government’s website.

If you are currently overseas, please continue to monitor the Government’s travel advice here too. This details any self-isolation or requirements for arrival in the UK that you may be subject to, as well as the latest list of approved travel corridors.

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.

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.

Following your re-enrollment, core delivery of your programme will continue online. As part of our response to Covid-19, in addition to live online learning activities, we plan to offer some opportunities to engage in some supplementary small group face-to-face teaching as soon as it is safe for us to do so, continuing to follow Government advice and social distancing measures as required. We will continue to review these measures with a view 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 (when possible), 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.

We have been working on plans to ensure you can still access as much support as possible, following social distancing rules and Government guidance.

Our plans include:

  • Core delivery of your course will use live online classes, with the opportunity to supplement these with face-to-face teaching where possible
  • Some on-campus teaching opportunities where possible and it is safe and practical, taking in to consideration any social distancing rules
  • 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 (when possible), allowing you to access library materials and resources, study advice from our ACE Team, careers support, and pastoral support from our Welfare Team

We continue to review these measures and 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.

As you are aware, the University has put in place alternative teaching, assessment and academic support for you as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic – to protect both our students and staff, while still enabling you to gain the award you came to Solent to achieve.

The new teaching, assessment and support arrangements have been designed to provide you with the opportunity to achieve the same learning outcomes you would normally, and to ensure the value and quality of your award remain unchanged.

We are implementing a no detriment approach to assessment, so your academic results will not be disadvantaged as a result of the current situation.

In the meantime, you are strongly advised to focus on your assessments (both coursework and exams), to meet the learning outcomes for your course.

Examples of some of the adjustments we have made during this period as a result of Coronavirus (please note that specific assessment adjustments will depend on your course):

  • Exams will be online
  • Group presentations and individual presentation submission requirements adjusted to recognise the online learning environment
  • Teaching sessions to introduce any additional software being used (e.g. Panopto for recording individual presentations)
  • Additional guidance and support is available through SOL (your VLE) and through your Module Leader and the QA Higher Education Learning and Teaching Team

Where there are professional body requirements that affect the assessment methods, these are also taken in to consideration.

Please continue to check your university email and attend your teaching sessions. Your Module Leaders will keep you informed should there be any adjustments to assessment methods.

If you have any concerns or require any additional support, please do contact your Module Leader who will be able to provide guidance and recommend any available resources for you to make use of.

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 Student 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.

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 when our buildings are open.

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.

Once our centres reopen, you will be able to borrow textbooks. You can find more information on the library portal here.

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. You can check the latest Government advice and response to coronavirus on the Government’s website.

Those arriving in the UK from overseas may be required to self-isolate on arrival. We recommend that you continue to monitor the UK Government website before travelling as this details any self-isolation periods, requirements for arrival in the UK and approved travel corridors. Please continue to check this regularly as the information may be 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.

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

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.

Centres

Following the announcement of new national lockdown rules in England, and in line with the Government’s ‘Stay Home’ message, our Centres buildings will remain closed and we will be delivering all teaching online until further notice.

When we are able to reopen our buildings, you will need to book before coming in to the Centres.

There will be 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 when it is safe for us to do so, 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.

We plan for our Manchester Centre to be available for scheduled teaching sessions. 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 – face coverings are required to be worn in all parts of the campus.

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.

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

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.