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Your Covid-19 FAQs

Covid-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Understandably UoC students have asked the university questions about the impact of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) on them, their teaching and their awards. We took your questions to the university and have set out the answers below. Also be sure to check out the University Covid-19 Guidance and FAQ's here.

More questions will be posted as we get answers from the University so please check back regularly.

If you have a question you aren't sure has been asked please get in touch at studentvoice@cumbria.ac.uk

 

Question: Following the governments' announcements of Monday 22nd February what is going to change for my course?

Answer: The University sent a student global on Thursday 25th detailing changes to learning and teaching. Please click here to read the global email.

Information added 26/02/2021

Question: How will /students get QTS status where any placements have been disrupted?

Answer: The Departme/nt for Education has amended the criteria for QTS to recognise the curtailment of placements due to the COVID pandemic. Trainee teachers are classed as key workers and are thus permitted to complete placements in Semester 2. 

Where applicable, students within the Institute of Education have been encouraged to access online materials made available by the University to allow you to demonstrate many of the skills measured and practised through placement. 

Information reviewed 26/02/2021

 

Question: What leniency is there with extensions given more students are under pressure with Covid?  

Answer: The University has permitted programme teams to offer longer extensions on a case-by-case basis to individual students. If you require an extension to allow you to complete a piece of assessed work, you should speak to the Module Leader or your Personal Tutor. The University has also removed the requirement for evidence, students can self-certify when requesting an extension.

Information reviewed 26/02/2021

 

Question: Will there be leniency with marking assignments? - specifically, as students have limited access to resources (only online resources, primary ed resources, editing software, specialist equipment)

Answer: Where applicable, assessments have been changed or amended to ensure students’ assessed work is not affected by the limited access to facilities, equipment, or research opportunities impacted by COVID-19. If at any point you find that you cannot complete your assessment due to lack of resources you should speak to your Module Leader or Personal Tutor.

Information reviewed 26/02/2021   

 

Question: Why are we paying for rent in privately owned halls when we can’t legally access them? 

Answer: Unless the Government choose to announce an intervention in the student accommodation market, any discounts or rent waivers are at the discretion of your landlord.  

A fee waiver was initially applied to University-owned Accommodation for the period 4 January to 12 February for those students who had been unable to return to their university-owned or managed accommodation due to the current national restrictions.  This fee waiver will now be extended to 8 March 2021. The fee waiver will continue from 8 March to 12 April for those students who have not returned to halls and are on “Remaining 100% online” programmes after 8 March. 

The University have the following email addresses for those in UoC accommodation, please do contact your local Accommodation Team before you return to a University Halls of Residence just to let them know - amblesideaccom@cumbria.ac.uk; carlisleaccom@cumbria.ac.uk and lancasteraccom@cumbria.ac.uk

Information reviewed 26/02/2021   

 

Question: Will the grading of assessments reflect the difficulty of studying online as opposed to face to face (tech issues, lack of contribution in group work, concentration/motivation) 

Answer: All effected assessed work should have been changed to reflect the circumstances of the pandemic. That being said, students are still expected to submit work at the same overall standard as previous years as laid out in the rubric in your assessment brief.  

If you believe your personal circumstances may affect your ability to complete an assessment, you should submit Extenuating Circumstances or apply for an extension. If you are unhappy with your grade, you may appeal your result (as long as you have grounds to do so) through the University’s Appeals process. 

Information reviewed 26/02/2021   

 

Question: What support is in place for those who are studying from home with children (home-schooling)?

Answer: If you have concerns about your ability to complete work or engage in your learning, you should speak to your Personal Tutor in the first instance.  

Depending on your programme, they will try to create an individual learning plan which may include asynchronous teaching and some extensions to assessed work. Please be aware on some professionally regulated courses there will be limits as to the amount of flexibility that can be offered.

Information reviewed 26/02/2021   

 

Question: Will the Learning Gateway (and other study spaces) be open for those to use who wish to use them (and not just on the days you have lectures once a week)?

Answer: Click and sit for study spaces at Fusehill, Ambleside and Lancaster in 3-hour slots (please refer to current UoC requirements regarding testing and mask-wearing on campus) and click and collect for books at Fusehill, Lancaster, Ambleside and Brampton. See more information here.

Information reviewed 26/02/2021   

 

Question: What is happening with exams – reflecting the fact GCSE and A-level exams have been cancelled?

Answer: In-person examinations should not be taking place unless strictly necessary due to professional standards or expectations beyond the University’s control. Otherwise, you should be offered an alternative arrangement for the assessment. 

Information reviewed 26/02/2021   

 

Question: Will final year STEM students be allowed to access labs needed for the completion of their degree?  

Answer: Access to campus prior to 25th January was limited to only very specific groups of students as identified by the Government. Further limited access will be available from March 8th, please see the Student Global email dated 25th February to see how your course may be affected. At this point, it is important that any student who has concerns about their dissertation get in touch with their dissertation supervisor to discuss where they are up to. We will then be in a position to work with them to determine appropriate next steps as soon as we have the additional guidance. 

Information reviewed 26/02/2021   

 

Question: What emergency regulations are still in place? 

Answer: The current University’s Academic Regulations can be found here. In recognition of the disruption to students learning and asssessment additional regulations will be implemented in March.

Information reviewed 26/02/2021   

 

Question: Have any amendments been made to the grade boundaries to reflect the current situation?

Answer: No. The rubric (or similar) in your assessment brief should outline the level of work expected. Examiners may take into account the context in which the assessment was completed, but this should have been factored into the re-design of the assessment following the announcement of lockdown. 

If you believe your personal circumstances may affect your ability to complete an assessment, you should submit Extenuating Circumstances or apply for an extension. If you are unhappy with your grade, you may appeal your result (as long as you have grounds to do so) through the University’s Appeals process. 

Information reviewed 26/02/2021   

 

Question: Health care students who wish to continue placement and have children are being told that students are not considered key workers and can not get a key worker spot for their child at school meaning they can not do the placement. Those that do get places can only do school hours as no breakfast/after school clubs – what is being done in particular for parents who can’t do placements?

Answer: Yes, you are a key worker. You should have received formal confirmation of this which you can use should it be disputed. If you are having any difficulty around your placement please speak to your Placement Tutor or Placement Team for further support.

Information reviewed 26/02/2021   

 

Question: Why have UoC continued placements when other universities have cancelled them for this year? 

Answer: The professional standards for programmes are the same across all institutions. Whilst on placement, though still bound by the University’s Regulations and Code of Conduct, you are effectively a member of the staff team within your placement location. As a result, your ability to complete placements is primarily the decision of the placement provider – the school, NHS Trust, or other location you were due to practice within.

If you are having any difficulty around your placement please speak to your Placement Tutor or Placement Team for further support.

Information reviewed 26/02/2021   

 

Question: Are there plans for students who HAVE to move back to university accommodation for placements?

Answer: As key workers, students completing health or education placements are permitted to travel or move between accommodation as necessary to complete their placement.

Information reviewed 26/02/2021   

 

Question: The Government have recommended that placement students are tested for covid before they begin – is this happening?

Answer:

All staff and students who need to be on campus for the majority or all of the week, are required to get tested twice a week, every week – be that every Monday and Thursday, or every Tuesday and Friday, or an equivalent pattern that fits with the days that they are on campus. This also includes any staff or students who take part in any university activity off-campus e.g. a field trip or outdoor activity.

 

 

Where attendance on campus is less frequent, weekly testing may be sufficient. For example, if you are only on campus one or two consecutive days a week then a test at the start of the first day on campus each week would be appropriate.

 

You can book your tests via our website. If you are in London, you are asked to use the community testing sites - please see the website for more information. Please note that we are releasing testing slots a couple of weeks in advance to enable us to meet expected demand, so if there are no slots available for the day you are looking to book, and it is a couple of weeks in the future please check back closer to the time.  A test centre will open at the Brampton Road campus on 8 March; please note that the testing slots for this new site will not be opened up for bookings until next week.

 

To speed up your testing experience, we would also encourage you to register for an NHS test and trace account. You will be given the option to do this when you register for your test on campus.  

 

Information reviewed 26/02/2021   

 

Question: Are health students going to be learning their usual content on placement or will they be allocated/deployed to covid wards/management?

Answer: If your placement is due to change, you should be consulted beforehand by your placement provider and/or the University. As far as we are aware, there is no planned re-deployment of students beyond the offer of paid placements to some final year health students. 

Information reviewed 26/02/2021   

 

Question: Are there any forms of financial support available for those suffering harship as a result of the pandemic?

Answer: Yes, the University operates a Student Support Fund which can make grants based on means tested applications. The government has granted additional funds to the University for this purpose. We understand that some students may find discussing money concerns difficult but a friendly team of Money Advisors are available to support you if you have any questions or if you would like any further advice or guidance and can be contacted via moneyadvice@cumbria.ac.uk.

You can access further information, about our Student Support Fund either by contacting the Money Advice Team or follow this link for further information and the application form.

Information reviewed 26/02/2021   

Question: I'm struggling with IT at home, is there any support available?

Answer: Online and Blended Learning, and the need to have everyone study off campus as much as possible, increases the need for every student to have access to computing and the internet at home. 

The university has laptops and internet dongles available for loan to students who do not have adequate equipment or access for online study at home. These loans are made on a focused set of criteria to ensure that help is given where it is most needed for financial reasons. The University can also help you to get access to high-quality equipment at a discount. If you are struggling with online study due to IT issues, please contact the IT Helpdesk via email itservicedesk@cumbria.ac.uk, phone 01228 888 888 or web and ask to be considered for support under the Digital Connectivity Fund. You will also need to ask your Personal Tutor to contact the Helpdesk to indicate their support for your request.

 

UCSU Support and Advice

The University of Cumbria Students' Union can offer additional support, advice and representation and we are here to assist in any way we can. Currently the best way to get in touch is to email us on the email shown below and our full contacts can be found here

UCSU 

Email: student.union@cumbria.ac.uk 

Social media:

Facebook: facebook.com/CumbriaStudentsUnion 

Twitter: @CumbriaSU 

We can signpost you to relevant services relating to any difficulties that you might be facing. 

 

Money Advice 

Webpage: https://my.cumbria.ac.uk/Student-Life/Money--Finance/Money-Doctors/Contact-the-Money-Advice-Service/ 

Email: moneyadvice@cumbria.ac.uk 

University of Cumbria service that can help you access additional funds that may be available to you, budgeting advice and much more. 

 

University wellbeing service 

Webpage: https://my.cumbria.ac.uk/Student-Life/Health-and-Wellbeing/ 

There are lots of resources available to you, and you can self-refer to access the mental health and wellbeing service.  

 

Mind UK 

Website: www.mind.org.uk/ 

National mental health charity that provides help and support to those experiencing any form of mental health issues and can sign post to specific organisations for more specialised help.