Information for Residential Students

Given the national lockdown in place, we have put steps in place including a revision to term dates and a reduction in hall fees, to protect our student’s safety, student experience and achievement.  Following on from the email communications of 13th January, we wanted to help answer concerns that have been raised in relation to halls fees and course start dates. Although we understand these concerns you will appreciate we are making decisions at this point based on current government positioning.

Why are we not able to come back on to campus at this time?

 

The Government has instructed a national lockdown in across all parts of England. Published details from the government are detailed here. In this guidance it states that students should remain where they are and start their term online, facilitated by their university until at least Mid-February. There are some exceptions here, but for the majority of WUC students, this is a legal requirement.

 

WUC has considered this advice and taken the decision at this point to give students a 6 week rent reduction during this period of current ‘Stay at home’ guidance.  In the interests of student and staff safety and the current Covid-19 level across the Essex area, the campus remains closed, and open only for essential care of our animal populations, residential students unable to leave and staff involved in campus maintenance and security.

When are we allowed to return back to our accommodation?

 

At this time, the Government has advised that the lockdown is likely to remain in place until Mid-February. As soon as restrictions are lifted, as a result of a reduction in the transmission rate (R number),  we will be in a position to welcome residents back to campus. As you would expect, testing will be required for all students moving back on to campus. This will  be communicated via email along with a link to book your date/time of return. We do hope this will be in February, depending on government updates.

Why are we still paying any boarding fees this term, with a deduction?

Hall fees are still due as we anticipate you being allowed back to campus from Mid-February, aligned to current government guidance. If the current national lockdown is extended and you are unable to move back to campus then the April invoice charge will be reduced by the weeks you are unable to be resident.  

When does teaching commence?

HE teaching commences online only from 1st February. We are planning to deliver in-person teaching from 12th April. Course tutors will discuss this with each student group. If you have any queries relating to your course, please use the forum on Teams.

Am I still paying for catering allowance when I am not on campus?

Please be assured that you have not been charged for the catering allowance whilst not being able to return to campus. This will be reflected in your instalment payment.

I have financial concerns and need some support?

We know that some students may be finding it difficult to continue their studies due to financial hardship.  We are here to help you through these challenging times. Please contact the Student Finance office for assistance student.finance@writtle.ac.uk for information on the WUC Hardship Fund.

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Please see other specific measures in place to ensure student safety: 

Across campus we have put in place a number of measures to keep everyone as safe as possible whilst living on campus:

  • Lower occupancy rates in our accommodation with shared facilities

  • Hand sanitizing stations at every entrance point

  • Continued daily cleaning of communal areas (Monday – Friday) and enhanced cleaning in frequent use areas, touchpoints and bathrooms

  • Limited number in common rooms to ensure you have adequate space to prepare snacks/ beverages

  • 'No guest policy' on campus to ensure households are kept together and occupancy numbers are not breached

  • Face masks must be worn in corridors or at all times if you are visiting another “household”

  • Visit bit.ly/BookWUC  to book your evening and weekend meals as well as your bar slots.

Your household's safety

A WUC household refers to students living on the same floor that share the same communal space (ie common room/kitchenette).

  • Should anyone in your household show symptoms of coronavirus they must apply for a test immediately and inform the residential support team and accommodation.

  • They will then need to self-isolate until they have the result. The rest of the household will also need to self-isolate until such time as a negative test result or the 14 days have passed.

  • Students living in halls of residence must self-isolate in their current accommodation. Should this happen the Residential support team and accommodation will arrange your meals and care.

  • If you live on campus you are permitted to visit friends in other accommodation blocks on campus, but you will be required to wear a face mask in communal areas at all times to protect the household.

  • When gathering in outside spaces you will need to be in groups of 6 or less. 

  • If Writtle staff or contractors are working in the area, please be mindful of social distancing and keep the area clear until they are finished.

Guests

At the current time, we are operating a 'No Guest Policy', and you should not have any visitors to your halls accommodation who do not currently live on campus.  This is to ensure that numbers in halls are kept to a manageable level and reduce the chances of cross contamination.  We appreciate your co-operation on this, and we will obviously keep this under review. 

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