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Coronavirus

Guidance for students

What will happen in September?

Our primary concern is the wellbeing and safety of our students and staff. We are currently planning to welcome you to our campuses in person in September: if you are able to travel to join us on campus, please plan to do so. If you can’t travel, we will make sure you can fully access your education from wherever you are and will look forward to welcoming you in person as soon as your local restrictions are lifted.

To enable this, from September 2020 to January 2021, we will be offering an inclusive blended learning approach, which has been co-created with our current students.

Blended learning is a mix of campus-based study and distance (online) learning. We will offer world-class online provision, supplemented by face-to-face campus-based educational activities for those who are able to travel to our campuses.

For those students able to join us on campus in September, we will ensure that our premises and activities follow government guidance and that we are Covid-19 secure. With this in mind, we are re-configuring our campuses – including our lecture theatres and other learning spaces, our libraries, and our study and social spaces – to ensure that we can all maintain social distancing and the hygiene standards necessary to mitigate the risk of coronavirus.

Wherever you are when you start your course in September, you will be part of a vibrant community with access to a wide range of social activities and our excellent alumni network, e-mentoring and careers services.

If you begin your academic year remotely, our IT systems are equipped with the latest protection to safeguard you and your work. 

We will be in touch on an ongoing basis over the next months to update you of our plans, share resources and answer your questions. 

What will the degree state if the programme features blended learning for three months? Will my eventual qualification be affected?

The qualification you will receive at the end of your studies will be the same, whether you study face-to-face or by partial blended learning. 

My home country’s government won’t recognise a degree which has been part-studied online. Where does that leave me?

Many countries are making concessions around partial online delivery of teaching in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Please visit the Global Engagement Office channel to speak with one of our Regional Managers about the situation in your country. 

Will EU students be charged international fees if they defer to 2021?

The UK Government have now confirmed that EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for home fee status, undergraduate, postgraduate and advanced learner financial support from Student Finance England for courses starting in academic year 2021/22. For more information visit our EU/EEA Fees & Funding page.

Will there be an accommodation discount if I begin learning online or with blended learning?

If you are concerned that you may not be able to travel to join us at the beginning of term, please contact residential services.

My country is currently under lockdown, what happens if the lockdown isn’t lifted in time and I can’t travel to London as planned?

If you can’t travel, we will make sure you can fully access your education from wherever you are and will look forward to welcoming you in person as soon as your local restrictions are lifted.

To enable this, from September 2020 to January 2021, we will be offering an inclusive blended learning approach, which has been co-created with our current students.

Blended learning is a mix of campus-based study and distance (online) learning. We will offer world-class online provision, supplemented by face-to-face campus-based educational activities for those who are able to travel to our campuses.

For more details, please see our 2020 student experience page.

Do you expect the pandemic to result in changes to immigration policy with regard to the Post-Study Work Visa scheme (PSW)?

No, there is no suggestion that the pandemic will have any impact on the proposed introduction of the Graduate Immigration Route in the summer of 2021. 

Where can I find guidance on assessment changes due to coronavirus?

For the academic year 2020/21, we will be reverting to standard assessment regulations as they were in place before the Covid-19 outbreak.

However, schools have been reconsidering their module assessments in the light of transition to blended learning. You will be informed about assessment arrangements by the module organisers at the start of each module, as was also usual practice before the Covid-19 outbreak.

I’m a researcher or research student, where can I get further information on continuing research activities?

Guidance and information on the implications of coronavirus for researchers at Barts Health and Queen Mary can be found on the Joint Research Management Office pages.

I am a Doctoral student, where can I get further advice and guidance on my studies?

You can find more information and guidance on the Doctoral College website.

I am a Queen Mary student on an Exchange programme overseas. What should I do?

You should continue to follow the guidance from your host institution. If you have any questions please contact goabroad@qmul.ac.uk.

I have an field trip coming up, what should I do?

The ban on international field trips, introduced by Queen Mary at the start of the pandemic, has now been lifted and students are permitted to travel to countries which have been updated by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) and classified as ‘exempted’.

For full details, please visit our coronavirus travel page.

I have concerns about the effect of the coronavirus outbreak on my visa or my immigration status in the UK

For advice on the impact of Covid-19 on travel and immigration, our guidance page is regularly updated.

If you have concerns about your own immigration status in the UK, or that of a family member, please contact the Advice and Counselling Service for confidential advice.

If you are a member of staff affected by the outbreak and you have concerns about your immigration status, please contact Human Resources.

I’m a medical student studying in Malta, what do I need to know?

MBBS Malta applicants and offer holders can find further information here.

Current MBBS Malta students are encouraged to contact the Student Office should they have any questions.

Is the Students’ Union open and where can I find out more?

The Students’ Union is working to reopen the facilities that it runs – latest updates can be found on the QMSU website.

The Qmotion sports facilities are now open, and have been reconfigured for social distancing.

The Mile End campus village shop reopened on 3 August, and further campus cafés reopened later in August.

The Curve (restaurant and coffee shop) has remained open throughout the pandemic.

The Nucleus Café at Whitechapel is now also open.

Where can I find further guidance and support on wellbeing, and will this still be available in September?

You can find information and resources on Covid-19 and your wellbeing on the Student Health website pages here.

If you are affected by any incident of hate, or if you are concerned by difficulties such as relationship or familial abuse at all, especially during this period of social distancing, you can still seek support and contact us at Report + Support

In September, you will still have access to mental health support/counselling. 

The Advice and Counselling Service and the Mental Health Coordinators in the Disability and Dyslexia Service are offering appointments online until in person services reopen. For more information, vwelfare.qmul.ac.uk/ dds.qmul.ac.uk/mentalhealth/.

 

How can I find out more on supporting my local community?

Find details on how you can support the local community on our 'Supporting our communities' page

I am anxious, where can I find further support and guidance?

We have support services available for students and staff who are anxious because of this outbreak: our Advice and Counselling Service for students and our Employee Assistance Programme for staff.

Assessment changes due to coronavirus provides up-to-date and complete guidance on our alternative assessment arrangements for students.

 

What should I do if I’m concerned about a student or member of staff?

You can contact the University through the following email addresses: studenthealth@qmul.ac.uk for students and staffhealth@qmul.ac.uk for staff.

If you have a clear medical concern about yourself or someone else, call NHS 111 or use the NHS 111 online service.

How are you communicating with students and staff?

We realise students and staff are worried and we will be communicating with you frequently. You can also check www.qmul.ac.uk/coronavirus for the latest information and advice.

Will Queen Mary be providing refunds because of coronavirus?

We worked hard to put all our education online within a three week period, so that students could engage with their studies from home. We are listening to students’ feedback on their learning experience, making improvements, and ensuring that all content is covered and suitable alternative learning approaches are offered wherever possible.

In addition, all other student facilities covered by tuition fees, such as library and wellbeing services, are available online. For these reasons, in line with other universities, we do not believe any refund is appropriate.

We appreciate that for many students, engaging with studies from home can be challenging. Queen Mary is there to support you, through your School/Institute and our wellbeing services.

What can I do if I have run out of mobile data?

During the revision and assessment period, students are likely to be using more data than normal (both in terms of QMPlus revision, downloading materials, streaming recorded content and uploading content). Most broadband subscriptions offer uncapped data usage.  Students on broadband packages are advised to check the details of their contract for peace of mind. Details of the provisions around the UK can be found here: https://www.broadband.co.uk/

If students use a mobile phone as the sole way to access the internet, then most contracts are capped on data usage and using extra data can be really expensive:

  • For revision – over a 1 month period students may access previous lecture recordings, YouTube videos etc.  The data consumption could be as high as 50GB and an average student has 2GB per month free, so would need an additional 48GB.  Where students completely run out of data, they could be charged an extra £20 for every additional Gigabyte they consume = £960 (+VAT)
  • For each assessment we estimate the data consumption would be lower at 5G. Hence it could cost roughly £60 (+VAT) per assessment if they’ve run out of data.

However, a neat solution, rather than paying the above is supplementary monthly SIM cards which offer “unlimited data” can be purchased for your phone.  A SIM card can be posted to the user free of charge, they activate it online and pay around £25 for one month of unlimited data – and then use it no further* .

*Details of various PAYG and contractual offerings on different UK mobile networks can be found here: https://www.4g.co.uk/news/unlimited-data/. Be aware that some mobiles are “locked” to a particular network provider depending on the circumstances of the original purchase (e.g. as part of a contract) which would require you to find a PAYG deal on the same mobile network. If not possible, your existing provider can provide you with a Network Unlock Code (some do so for free when asked). Otherwise, these codes can be purchased elsewhere. Further information can be found here: https://www.moneysupermarket.com/mobile-phones/guides/unlock-a-mobile-phone/.

How can I access University applications and software I need for my studies?

IT Services has launched a new appsanywhere service that lets you access Queen Mary applications and specialist software (such as Chem3D, Maple and Solidworks) on your own device and from any location with a secure, reliable network connection.

The appsanywhere service is commonly referred to as VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) access and offers a single, consolidated digital workspace, with access to specialist apps that run securely in the data centre.

Visit the IT Services website for details on how to access appsanywhere and for the full list of available apps. If you can’t find an app that you need, please discuss and raise a request with your course tutor. 

Can I get any help to buy personal computer equipment?

Dell is offering Queen Mary students a discount of up to 20 per cent on their systems for your own personal use. You just need to sign up with your Queen Mary email address via the dedicated portal for a voucher code which you can use on the Dell website.

Laptops purchased through this scheme will belong to you, and will not have Queen Mary software installed on them. You can access and work on Queen Mary applications remotely using the appsanywhere service.

Where can I find out more information about visas, travel and immigration?

If your question is related to the impact of coronavirus on your immigration permission or application, please see our Covid-19 and immigration page, which will be updated as the situation develops.  

If you have a general question about applying for Tier 4, please see our detailed Tier 4 guidance 

If you have further questions after reading through the guidance, you can contact Advice and Counselling directly 

Welfare Advisers in Advice and Counselling are the only members of staff at Queen Mary who are authorised to provide immigration advice to students.

Please see our guidance for EU/EEA nationals which will be updated as required.

For more information about travel to campus in September, please see this page: https://www.qmul.ac.uk/coronavirus/guidance-for-students-and-applicants/the-2020-student-experience/.