Advice for Higher Education students

We are currently in the process of developing plans to ensure the effective and safe delivery of our course programmes from September.  

Our intention is to commence our Semester A as planned with Induction Week starting on Monday 14th September and with teaching commencing Monday 21st September. 

How will teaching be delivered for the next academic year?

 

For all students, we decided to suspend face to face teaching from 20th March 2020.  This process has gone very well and we have had some positive feedback from our students about the delivery of our courses at a very challenging time. This will help us shape our plans for the new academic year, starting on the 14th September.

 

We are now working on the detailed plans for delivery of our courses in September and looking at how we can safely bring our students back on to campus.  Our intention is to offer a blended delivery with some online theory as well as practical/studio sessions on campus. We are a small and specialist institution with a large open campus and already teach many of our courses in small groups. Clearly, in this 'new world' we will need to complete detailed planning and   thorough risk assessments to ensure the safety of our students and staff onsite.  We will look to update students and applicants on our plans by course area by the end of July. 

Will students have to make up missed lectures if they are ill?

 

Please do not be worried about being absent from your studies for a short period of self-isolation. We expect you to take reasonable steps to make up any teaching you have missed up but encourage you to seek support from your tutor(s) as needed. For any queries , please speak with your course tutor.

What will happen with assignment hand-ins and exams?

 

For the academic year 2019/2020, and as communicated by email to all HE students, we have agreed the following: 

  • That we will extend all Undergraduate and Postgraduate assessment deadlines by one week. This includes all assessments due from 8th April onwards and all examinations.  Your course representatives fed back to us that an extension was necessary to mitigate the upheaval many of you have faced over recent weeks. Whilst some students were in favour of a longer extension of 2-3 weeks, and some postgraduates felt they did not need an extension, we have had to balance these views with the need to hold all examination boards in time to process results and any resits for the next academic year.   Our priority is to ensure that you can all progress to your next year of study, or to graduate with your award.

  • We have agreed that all examinations, apart from multiple choice only papers, will have a 24-hour window for completion. We have taken this decision to support students who may be facing distractions at home or may be facing some difficulties with internet access. Please note that examinations are being adjusted to enable them to be undertaken remotely.   Students with multiple choice papers will be provided with an additional 30 minutes compared to the usual time allowed.

We will send on more information about these, and other decisions over the coming week. 

What about my dissertation trials / data collection?

 

Many master students will be in the process of collecting data for their dissertations. It may no longer be possible to assess the campus to complete your research. Your tutor will contact you directly to agree alternative arrangements. Our priority is to support you to complete your course and graduate on time.

Will I still be able to graduate?

 

Our priority is to ensure that our final-year undergraduate students and our Masters students are able to complete their courses on time and be awarded their degrees. At the moment, we are confident that we can deliver the remaining teaching and assessment in enough time to run our examination board as normal in the summer.

Though we plan to confer awards as normal, we sadly are unable to host our usual Graduation Ceremony in September. Instead of cancelling this wonderful opportunity to celebrate your success, we are looking to postpone this event to an alternative date early in 2021.  

Will my attendance record be affected?

 

The move to online delivery will not affect your absence record. However, if you are unwell and/or if you are self-isolating due to the Coronavirus, please continue to report this using the guidance published last week: call 01245 424200 or email absence@writtle.ac.uk

Can I still come to campus?

 

In line with Government advice at part of the nationwide lock down we are advising against non-essential travel.  The campus remains open to ensure the health and well-being of our animal population, for estate security and to support the residential students unable to leave.  You should not come onto campus for any other reason at this time. 

 

If you have to come onto campus for 'essential reasons' eg to work or care for our animal population, you must adhere to social distancing guidance of 2 metres and ensure that you follow guidelines in relation to frequent hand washing and avoid touching the face. 

 

We have a limited amount of students coming onto campus to complete necessary practicals during June and July. All visits must be pre-authorised and will be advised by your course tutor. 

In all cases, you must not come to campus if you feel unwell, or if anyone you live with shows symptoms of the virus. In these situations, you should self-isolate at home for 14 days. The symptoms of COVID-19 include cough, fever, shortness of breath, or flu-like symptoms. If you are worried about your symptoms, please self isolate and follow the guidance online from NHS 111 immediately. Do not go directly to your GP or other healthcare provider.

Can I still use the library?

 

The library is now closed for in-person access. The team will still answer any queries you may have at the following email address thelibrary@writtle.ac.uk. Online access to library resources remains the same via Moodle. We encourage you to make the most of our online resources by keeping informed about how to access material remotely, and using our quick guides and videos to help you. 

All books have been automatically renewed until 24th April. We will update you with further changes when available.

I don’t have a laptop/adequate internet at home - what should I do?

 

If you do not have access to a laptop, PC or other suitable device to support your studies remotely, please advise your tutor / course leader so that we can look to find a suitable solution for you. As necessary, they will refer your request to the IT Support department. We have some very limited equipment that we may be able to loan to you.

Will my study trip be going ahead?

 

No. Following Government advice, we have suspended all study trips, both in the UK and abroad. We appreciate that this is disappointing, but we will ensure that this doesn’t disadvantage you when it comes to your assessments.

What do I need to do if I am planning a personal trip abroad?

 

Advice for those intending to travel abroad and for those returning to the UK from specific countries is changing rapidly.

Before travelling, or making plans to travel, you must check the latest advice from the Government’s Foreign Travel Advice website. This has links to detailed advice for every country/territory, and you should make sure to check the ‘Summary’ and ‘Health’ sections for the country/territory you are travelling to. There is also a facility to sign up for email alerts for the country/territory you are visiting.

I’m a Tier 4 student and I’m worried about my visa. What should I do?

 

UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) have released guidance on the immigration implications caused by the Coronavirus outbreak. For more details see Home Office guidance

No individual who is in the UK legally, but whose visa is due to expire, or has already expired, and who cannot leave because of travel restrictions related to COVID-19, will be regarded as an overstayer, or suffer any detriment in the future.  
Anyone whose leave expired after the 24 January and who cannot leave the country because of travel restrictions or self-isolation will have their visas extended to 31 May 2020. Individuals must contact the Coronavirus Immigration Team email to advise of their situation. Please follow advice on Home Office guidance

Home Office’s Coronavirus Immigration Helpline remains open: 0800 678 1767 (open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm – calls are free of charge if made from within the UK).  

Please contact admissions@writtle.ac.uk for further advice and support.

Will I still be able to access support services such as DSA, Wellbeing, Student Success etc?

 

Yes. These services remain available for you to use and you can contact staff via email or phone.

We realise that this is a concerning time for everyone and you may experience anxiety or feelings of isolation. We encourage you to speak to someone by contacting the Well-being Team by emailing wellbeing@writtle.ac.uk to arrange an appointment.

Face-to-face sessions with the Student Success team will no longer be going ahead, but we will replace these with online support sessions, enhanced online materials and other resources as needed.

 

What should I do if I experience harassment, bullying or racism?

 

Sadly, we know that there have been incidents of xenophobic and racist behaviour and abuse in the UK. No one should have to suffer this and we have a zero-tolerance approach to any such behaviour at WUC.

If you experience, or are witness to, any behaviour of this type, please report it to the police immediately. You can also report it to the University College via our Wellbeing Team: wellbeing@writtle.ac.uk.

We emphasise the need to show care, respect and kindness to each other during this uncertain time.

Dealing with the Covid-19 Pandemic 

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