Covid-19 (Coronavirus) update Friday 3 April, 15:00
Following the Prime Minister’s advice to stay-at-home and work remotely, NUA buildings have been closed to staff and students to further reduce the risk of the spread of Covid-19 (Coronavirus).
Looking ahead to next term, we continue to closely follow Government advice and expect online teaching to resume on April 20.
Updates on the latest arrangements and guidance will be sent by email and the NUA intranet — and our Student Support team and International Office are available to answer your questions.
Thank you for your patience and goodwill at the end of last term as we rapidly moved teaching and assessment online and closed campus buildings.
We are continuing to work through the Easter break to resolve any issues with online/remote working — thank you for your suggestions and please do raise any concerns as soon as possible.
As promised, assessment will take full account of the extraordinary circumstances we are facing.
All of our decisions to-date have been with the health and well-being of students and staff as a priority and to reduce the risk of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) spreading further.
Our support services and resources remain open over the holidays — with the exception of the national bank holiday over the Easter weekend and the additional university closure days on 14/15 April when services will be limited.
Or email email@example.com to contact a member of the team.
Universities are in discussion with the Government and await official guidance about accommodation in the likelihood that teaching continues online but campuses remain closed after the Easter break.
At present, halls provided by NUA or in partnership with us remain open and are available for students to live in.
We will update you as soon as we can.
Travelling at Easter
The Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan, has asked universities to remind students not to travel if it can be avoided.
The Government’s advice is that students remaining at university should now stay where they are and not attempt to travel.
If you are living in student halls, or private rented accommodation, you should remain there and stay indoors while current restrictions are in force.
As the Prime Minister has said, staying put is a crucial step now to slow the rate of transmission of COVID-19, to protect the NHS from being overwhelmed, and save the lives of fellow citizens.
Please take care and continue to observe the guidelines on staying safe.
If you experience symptoms or are self-isolating, please notify Course Admin or if you have other concerns email Student Support.
Thank you for supporting your community.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are there any cases of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) at NUA?
There are no confirmed cases at NUA so far.
What is NUA’s response to Covid-19?
The health and wellbeing of students and staff is the university’s priority. The university acted swiftly to reduce the need for people to gather in groups on campus in line with Government advice about social distancing.
NUA moved to online teaching on Monday March 23 and scheduled events and exhibitions in the near future have been postponed or cancelled.
The aim of the changes to teaching and learning is to help all students complete the academic year — and for all final year students to finish their course and graduate — while following official advice to reduce the risk of infection on campus.
Is NUA closed?
Teaching is expected to continue online after the Easter break. Campus buildings are now closed with the exception of Francis House, which remains open for a small number of key staff and core university business.
Will I be able to finish my work if I can’t access studios, workshops, or the library?
We acted swiftly to reduce the risk of the spread of Covid-19 in the community. The decision to move to online teaching was intended to ensure that all students will be able to complete the year – and final year students complete their courses and graduate.
Assessment will be based on work in development rather than finished pieces.
We will ensure that no students are disadvantaged by the alternate working practices and closure of buildings that are part of NUA’s response to the public health emergency.
What happens if I have no access to a computer or the software I need at home?
We have been working to ensure that no-one will be disadvantaged at assessment time because they have been unable to access software or online teaching.
These are exceptional times and we would ask that you bear with us while we implement new arrangements. Your health, and the health of the staff, students and wider community is my main priority and we need to ensure that we can work in ways that protect everybody as far as we can.
What are the plans for next term?
As efforts to control the spread of the virus develop day-to-day and advice from the Government changes, it is too early to be certain what the arrangements will be for next term.
But it seems likely that teaching will resume online. We will keep in contact with you and update the information on the intranet.
Please make sure that your contact details are up to date and look out for regular email updates from your course.
Our Student Support team is also continuing to operate to provide support to all students.
What happens to my work in progress?
If you have not been able to collect your things or your work is too large to move, don’t worry. The campus buildings are locked and we will keep everything safe.
Is the undergraduate degree show being cancelled?
No. We are actively looking at options to create an online show in the light of Government advice to reduce social contact.
Is the graduation ceremony being cancelled?
We have decided to postpone this year’s graduation ceremony to later in 2020 in the light of Government advice and to reduce the risk to graduates, their families, and friends.
Will my end of year assessment be affected?
We are planning for all contingencies and will make every effort to ensure that finalists will be able to complete their degrees, and that continuing students will be able to complete their end of year assessments.
We will keep you informed of any changes to assessment deadlines or requirements as soon as possible.
What is the Government’s advice on staying home?
- You should only leave the house for one of four reasons.
- Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
- One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household.
- Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
- Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.
These four reasons are exceptions – even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.
Should I travel home to my non-term time address for Easter?
The latest Government advice is that households should not invite other family members or friends to join them but to keep in contact by phone or social media.
What happens if I have symptoms?
Always follow the latest advice from Public Health England, the Department of Health, and NHS.
For most people, Covid-19 (coronavirus) will be a mild infection.
Stay at home if you have either:
- A high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
- A new, continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.
Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home, according to the Government’s latest advice.
Mental health charity, Mind is offering guidance on feeling anxious about the Coronavirus.
How do I let the university know I need to self-isolate?
Please notify Course Admin by calling 01603 886393
or email Student Support (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any concerns about symptoms and self-isolation.
What if I’m in halls of residence?
The Government’s advice to students who have symptoms living in halls is to self-isolate as far as possible for 7 day.
Please notify Course Admin by calling 01603 886393.
Or email Student Support (email@example.com) with any concerns about symptoms and self-isolation.
What if I’m not feeling better after seven days of self-isolation?
Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:
- you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
- your condition gets worse
- your symptoms do not get better after 7 days
What should I do if someone I’m living with is self-isolating or has symptoms?
The Government has issued advice for households with a possible Covid-19 (Coronavirus) infection.
Can I travel during the Easter vacation?
If you are travelling to a country outside of the United Kingdom, you should check the latest Foreign Office travel advice before you travel.
If you travel abroad and are unable to return to the UK, you should contact the university to discuss your circumstances as soon as you can. You should email your Course Administrator to let us know that you are unable to return (see https://my.nua.ac.uk/Interact/Pages/Content/Document.aspx?id=2080 for contact details).
Thank you for supporting your community.
Additional Guidance for Tier 4 Students
The following advice should be read in addition to our general advice for all students on the NUA intranet.
I am a student sponsored by the University on a Tier 4 Student visa. What will happen to my attendance during the suspension of face-to-face teaching?
The University will continue your Tier 4 sponsorship during the suspension of face-to-face teaching.
Tier 4 Students should continue to engage with their course by attending any learning sessions that are delivered online.
I want to travel home because I am worried about coronavirus, can I?
If you wish to return to your home country, you may do so. It is important to check the entry requirements for citizens of your country before you travel.
Your home country’s embassy can advise if there are restrictions for returning nationals.
The UK government is advising international students who wish to return home, to avoid using public transport.
You and your household should self-isolate for 14 days on your return home.
What will happen to my Tier 4 Student visa if I need to return home?
If you decide to return to your home country, we will continue your Tier 4 sponsorship during your period of absence.
Once you have made the decision to return home, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
- Date of departure
- Travel details (e.g. airport, airline and flight number). Where possible please provide either a photo of your tickets, or forward your confirmation email.
- Reason you are leaving the UK.
- Planned return date to the UK. If this is unknown at this stage please let us know.
Our Visa Compliance Team will collate this information and maintain a record for the Home Office.
It is very important that you provide the Visa Compliance Team with this information so that we can continue your Tier 4 sponsorship while you are outside the UK.
What happens if I go home but I can’t return after Easter due to travel restrictions?
Travel restrictions are being enforced differently by different countries due to the coronavirus outbreak.
If you travel home and are unable to return to the UK, you should contact the University to discuss your circumstances as soon as you can.
I am unable to travel home due to travel restrictions in my home country. What should I do?
Your home country’s embassy will have details of any travel restrictions for nationals returning from the UK.
If your home country introduces travel restrictions that prevent you from travelling home or you cannot get a flight home, you should follow the latest advice from the University for all students regarding precautions for COVID-19.
The UK government has released guidance for international students about remaining in student accommodation.
I am feeling very anxious being away from my family. What should I do?
If I have been diagnosed or suspect that I have the coronavirus, what should I do?
If you have symptoms of coronavirus infection (COVID-19), however mild, please stay at home and do not leave your house for 7 days from when your symptoms started.
This action will help protect others in your community whilst you are infectious.
Please follow the advice for all students who may have the coronavirus. The UK government has advice about self-isolation in student accommodation.
The Home Office has confirmed that any students who cannot attend their course due to the coronavirus will have their absences classed as authorised.
This means your Tier 4 sponsorship will not be negatively affected.
I am a US citizen who receives Federal Aid Loans, what will happen to my loan payments during the suspension of face-to-face teaching?
The International Office is contacting recipients of loans with the latest advice and guidance. If you have a specific question, please email email@example.com.