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Covid-19 guidance

Covid-19 guidance

Advice and guidance on the Covid-19 Pandemic. This includes the latest information on the University's position, whether the University is open, whether anyone on campus has Coronavirus, the symptoms of the virus and more.

Last updated Tuesday 15th September, 4:30pm

Protecting and supporting the health and wellbeing of our University community is our top priority. The University is taking all precautionary measures in line with the science-led guidance, and instruction, from the UK Government and Public Health England (PHE). In addition, the University is adhering to travel guidance from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

The University will continue to keep our students up to date with our decisions through email and through updates on this page so please bookmark it and refer back here in the first instance if you have questions or concerns.

Current University Position

We have been working hard to ensure the campus is COVID-19 Secure in line with government guidelines. To protect the University community, we’ll be re-opening the campus slowly, and in stages, to ensure that we mitigate the risk to everyone.

From Monday 7th September 2020 we will be re-opening the campus building on Mondays to Thursdays to allow you access to the student services, library and study spaces, through a booking system. This is to ensure that we can control the social distancing requirements and also so we can trace who has been on campus if required by Public Health England.

Please note: We strongly encourage you to wear a face covering when you're moving around communal areas. Face masks will be available from Reception and the Gateway. If you are exempt from wearing a mask, you can get a badge to indicate so from Reception and the Gateway as well.

All University of Sunderland libraries, Wellbeing, Gateway, Careers facilities will remain available to you remotely and are contactable through Compass.

To be COVID-19 Secure, we have made some temporary changes to the building, the services we offer and the way that you can access those services.

There are a number of precautionary measures in place and the University does expect its whole community to be aware of and follow all Government advice and guidance.

If you need help or advice, contact the University at: 

Useful links

 

From Monday 7th September, the University of Sunderland in London building will be open to students on Mondays to Thursdays. You will only be able to access the campus building if you have already booked an appointment.

All University of Sunderland libraries, Wellbeing, Gateway, Careers facilities will remain available to you remotely and are contactable through Compass.



Appointments can be booked on a first-come, first-served basis through Compass. Due to the measures put in place, appointments will be limited for each bookable area depending on the requirement of the service. You can find more information about booking an appointment in the Compass FAQs here. We are looking to increase availability as soon as we can.

Due to social distancing, we will have very limited space for waiting, so please try to time your arrival for just before your appointment, and please do not bring your children or other people with you to your appointment, unless you require assistance with accessibility.



 

We have temporarily relocated the Gateway to the Ground floor and this will be open to students between the hours of 10:00-12:00 and 13:00-16:00. Appointments will be offered in 10-minute slots and must be booked in advance via Compass.

 

The Gateway will be available to provide a service as close to the one-stop service that was provided pre-lockdown. As always, if they are unable to answer your question they will endeavour to resolve your query at a later date. The Gateway will also have protective screening and so staff will not be able to touch your phones, laptops, tablets, other devices or personal belongings in order to minimise the spread of the virus.

Please note that the Gateway will also continue to provide a full service, Monday to Friday, via telephone and Compass in addition to these sessions.

 

The Student Engagement team will be available by appointment between the hours of 10:00 – 12:00 & 13:00 – 16:00 from Mondays to Thursday. Appointments can be booked via Compass.

They will be available to discuss any issues you may have with regards to; attendance or online engagement, assignments and submissions, financial issues, leave of absence or other non-wellbeing issues that are affecting your studies or have concerns over.

 

Yes. Our Health and Wellbeing Team will be located on the first floor and are very pleased to welcome you back to campus!

The Health and Wellbeing team offers a support service for students with disabilities (physical health, long-term health condition, mental health and mobility) and students who have specific learning differences, such as dyslexia or dyspraxia. They will also provide information, advice and guidance to students with their wellbeing needs. The team can offer socially distant 1:1 face to face appointments or alternatively meetings over the phone or email. They work with several organisations across London where you can be referred if you need further holistic support.

Appointments with the Health and Wellbeing team must be booked in advance via Compass or alternatively, they can still connect with you via telephone or email.

Yes. The Careers and Employability Service will support you with a range of careers related issues, including:

  • Careers guidance – exploring career paths, identifying skills, strength etc.
  • CV, cover letter and application form writing support
  • Searching Graduate job, internship and voluntary work opportunities
  • Help with preparing for interviews and mock interview sessions
  • Information on further professional qualifications and training. 

You can book your appointment via compass. If you have additional documents you wish to share such as a CV or covering letter, please email them to alice.mcdougall@sunderland.ac.uk.

Online appointments will also be available throughout the week, please email for an appointment, providing a brief outline of you what you wish to discuss and attaching your CV if relevant.

Yes. The Library will be open on Mondays to Thursdays to enable you to borrow from the print book collection and will be accessible via booked appointments only. Due to the social distancing requirements, you will not be able to browse for books, so please search our Library Catalogue prior to your appointment to look for the books you need. Once you identify the book, please write the London shelfmark down, so, when you arrive, the staff members can collect the books for you. Of course, our staff will also be happy to assist and advise you on appropriate material during the appointment.

If you are returning books, you do not need to book an appointment – just return the books in the drop-box placed in our Reception.

The study spaces in the Library will not be available at the current time, however, we have opened alternative quiet study provisions on the first floor that can be booked.

Yes. We will be opening the IT suite on the 1st Floor to enable you to visit the campus to use University IT equipment. These will be bookable in 2-hour slots from 10:00 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 16:00. The PCs will be cleaned in the break between sessions, but we will also have a cleaning station in the IT suite for your use too. Due to social distancing requirements, this space cannot be booked for group work, this should continue via online provision.

The TechGuru team will still be available for support through a combination of virtual and physical presence. Space in the IT suite can be booked through Compass.

Yes. We will be opening a quiet study space to enable you to visit the University for quiet study. Spaces in the room will be bookable in 2-hour slots from 10:00 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 16:00. The stations will be cleaned in the break between sessions, but we will also have a cleaning station in the quiet study room for your use too. Due to social distancing requirements, this space cannot be booked for group work, this should continue via online provision and this room will not have IT facilities available.

Space in the quiet study room can be booked through Compass.

The Faith Room is on the third floor. Students using these facilities will need to ensure social distancing is observed and masks, available from Reception and the Gateway, are worn at all times unless you are exempt. 

Exemption badges are also available frm Reception and the Gateway.

We are employing a one-way system throughout the building, with designated up and downstairs, and all of this will be clearly marked. The lifts will only be able to take one person at a time under current social distancing rules, so please use the stairs if you can.

Student services have been temporarily relocated to the ground and first floors to help us to maintain social distancing requirements. We are not able to offer catering facilities, or access to the 2nd, 3rd or 4th floors at the current time, however, we will be offering the full range of services for students in the relocated areas.

We have hand sanitizer and cleaning stations available for your use and have increased our cleaning regime throughout all floors. Most of the student areas have protective screens and if not, your appointment will be appropriately socially distanced.

We ask you to enter the building by the Marsh Wall entrance. This entrance is contact-free and assists with the building’s one-way system. The Marsh Wall entrance is on the other side of the building to the usual entry point. If you have accessibility requirements, you will still be able to enter the building via the usual ramped entrance.

Reception staff are on hand at the Marsh Wall entrance to welcome you back! You will need to let the Reception staff know which Services for Students team you will be visiting and the time of your appointment. There are protective screens at the reception and hand sanitizer available for you when you enter the building.

We strongly recommend you wear face coverings when in and moving around communal areas. Face masks are available from reception and the Gateway, where you can also receive an exemption badge if you're unable to wear a mask. 

As part of our commitment to making our campus safe to our staff and students, we will provide you with two reusable face masks.

You will be able to collect them on the campus from Reception or Gateway.  

If you are exempt from wearing face coverings you will be able to collect an exemption badge from there as well.

We also strongly advise all staff and students to wear face masks or coverings while in all communal areas.

All teaching is currently online. From October we will be using a hybrid teaching and learning approach, so there will be a mix of materials online, including some lectures and directed exercises, computer simulations, LinkedIn learning with a series of weekly tasks to complete. This will be supported by on-campus workshops, where you will have the opportunity to apply your newly acquired knowledge to real-life situations and contemporary case studies.  

The University has developed a set of Emergency Academic Regulations in response to the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic, and the impact of the pandemic on teaching, academic student support and assessment. These Regulations are intended to enable the University to keep upholding academic standards and quality while trying to lessen the impact of the disruption on you and to support you in progressing and achieving your awards.

Take a look at the regulations here, along with the FAQs here.

If you are engaged in online sessions, there's nothing you are required to do. Although you will not see your swipe, your attendance % will not be affected.

If you are absent from online teaching, please log your absence as usual through the TDS Student Portal.

International Student FAQs

The University has notified you that all teaching and assessments will be moved online from 23 March. Therefore if you have returned overseas and plan to continue to study online there will be no impact on your Tier 4 visa. The University will continue to sponsor you. This means that you will be able to return to the UK on your current visa once face to face classroom teaching starts again.

If you are a student with a current Tier 4 Visa, and you have returned to your home country you should also inform us via our Overseas Returner form.

All students holding a tier 4 or other appropriate study visa be contacted in due course you to discuss your plans and whether you want to continue studying using the online provision or if you would prefer to take a longer break from your programme. We will then explain the impact this will have on your Tier 4 sponsorship and whether you need a new visa in order to come back to the UK to pick up your studies at a later date. International Student Support will guide and support you through a new CAS process if you do require a new visa.  This process will be conducted via a Compass enquiry. 

If you have a specific concern in regards to your Tier 4 Visa, please Submit an Enquiry on Compass on Compass to our International Student Support Team.

If you are on a Start-up Visa and have returned to your home country please contact the Enterprise Team at enterprise@sunderland.ac.uk so that we can support you through the next few months.

The Home Office has extended their support for those who have not been able to return home due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Visa nationals currently residing in the UK will be able to extend their leave until 31st July 2020 if their previous leave expired after 24th January 2020 and leaving the UK was not possible due to self-isolation or travel restrictions.

Students should email CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk and provide;

  • Full name (include any middle names)
  • Date of birth (dd/mm/yyyy)
  • Nationality
  • Previous visa reference number
  • The reason you are unable to return to your home country

Please note if you previously had your visa extended to 31st May 2020, your visa will automatically be extended to 31st July 2020.

The Home Office will respond as soon as possible to confirm the request has been approved and your visa has been extended.

You will be expected to leave the UK and return to your home country as soon as it is safe and possible to do so.

If you have any additional questions on this process, the Home Office has created a helpline to support those who may require an extension; 0800 678 1767.

We would also recommend that you take a look at the UKVI Factsheet - Temp Resident & Visa Holders

You can also Submit an Enquiry 

to our International Student Support team for additional support and guidance. This includes if you have an upcoming visa expiry beyond 31st July 2020, and therefore don’t qualify for the above allowance, but still have questions regarding your immigration status.

If you are an NHS or frontline health worker during the Covid-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for a visa extension of up to one year for free. If you are eligible, your family members could also get an extension of up to one year.

For more information please visit the Government’s Covid-19 Support Webpages and carefully read the guidance provided.

You can also email the UKVI’s NHS team by contacting UKVINHSTeam@homeoffice.gov.uk

The Government’s advice is that students remaining at University in England should now stay where they are and not attempt to travel.

You should also check the UKVI Factsheet UKVI Factsheet - Travel

If you are living in student halls, or private rented accommodation, they should remain there and stay indoors while current restrictions are in force. As the Prime Minister said, staying put and remaining indoors are now crucial to slow the rate of transmission of COVID-19, to protect the NHS from being overwhelmed, and save lives.

If you are a student with a current Tier 4 Visa, and you have returned to your home country you should also inform us via our Overseas Returner form.

All the University expects is that our student community, including international students, log into Canvas and access the online learning teaching and assessments that are available for each particular programme.

If you continue your studies online, even though face to face teaching is not available, then you will be fully compliant with your Tier 4 visa requirements.

Applicant FAQs

For those that have an application pending with us, due to start in October or have interviews coming up, we've put together a range of FAQs below.

If you have any questions not answered below, get in touch with our Recruitment Team

Yes, applications are still being processed by our Student Admissions team. If you'd like to apply, please visit the University of Sunderland website.

If you require a DBS check for your programme of studies, our Student Admissions team will be in contact to arrange a Skype interview whereby we will ask to see your documentation adhering to guidelines from Devon County Council, our DBS provider.

 

Our October intake has a final registration date of the 16th October, we therefore advise you arrive on the 5th, 6th and 7th October to ensure you are in the UK on time and have completed your quarantine period if required and are ready to start classes. You can arrive earlier, as per the conditions of your visa providing the place you are quarantining is able to accept you. Please check with them on this.

We strongly advise you to check the UK Government guidance on quarantining which can be found here as this explains what is and isn’t acceptable.

Part-time jobs will still be available but please be aware that the UK has been significantly impacted economically by COVID. Therefore many people have lost jobs recently. This means that part-time job market is extremely competitive so whilst, jobs are available you may find it difficult to secure something immediately. We strongly advise you to have sufficient funds with you for the duration of your stay in the UK and not be reliant on a part-time job in case you are not able to secure work.

Health & Wellbeing FAQs

For those that have an application pending with us, due to start in October or have interviews coming up, we've put together a range of FAQs below.

Symptoms to look out for are high temperature (fever), a new continuous cough and difficulty breathing.

The NHS advises the following:

If you have either a high temperature or a new, continuous cough and live alone then stay at home for a full 7 days.

If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in your house became ill.

Report your absence to the University by:

Logging your absence through the TDS Student Portal as you usually would.

Guidance and links on access the portal through mobile apps.

Email us at wellbeing@sunderland.ac.uk and tell us you are staying at home.

Please do not come into University or go to your GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

If your symptoms do not get better after 7 days or your condition gets worse or you feel that you cannot cope with your symptoms at home then:

Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus servicePlease only telephone 111 if you cannot get NHS help online.

For comprehensive information on what to do, see the government's guidance

There is a lot of information around about Coronavirus – and it seems to be popping up everywhere.  We understand that this outbreak of Coronavirus can be a cause of concern and anxiety.  We are actively following Government advice and guidance and your safety is our top priority.

Please make sure that you are following official Government advice and guidance including latest Government information for the public and keep referring back to this FAQ page where the University will publish its latest updates.

Try to keep yourself up-to-date with trusted news sources such as the BBC rather than relying on social media.

There are some useful websites which can help you understand and deal with feelings of anxiety about this outbreak:

Here are some tips about coping with feeling anxious about the outbreak and some more.

You can also access the University’s Silvercloud Health service. We recommend you sign up at Silver Cloud and access “Space from Anxiety”.

If you have concerns about the impact of Coronavirus on your assessments or other aspects of your learning then please contact your Programme Leader.

The University will not tolerate abuse or harassment and we take all such allegations seriously. If you feel you have been a victim or have seen a student victimised then please report it immediately using the Report It, Get Supported online service.

The Government has issued this advice about staying at home and has useful information about living in shared spaces and with children and older, vulnerable or pregnant people. It also has useful tips about planning ahead.

Here is some advice about looking after your wellbeing in self-isolation and some further information is here.

And here are some tips about coping with feeling anxious about the outbreak.

 

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