We’re responding to the coronavirus outbreak by taking steps to reduce the risk of infection to you and your family. We understand that this is a really concerning time for everyone in our student community and we’re here to provide as much support and advice as we can.
Our most important consideration is your health, wellbeing and safety as well as our staff and people related to the University. Remember that you – as part of #TeamMDX – can help us by staying up-to-date with this guidance.
Everyone must now stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus. You can only leave your home:
We’re making some important changes to keep you safe. We’ll keep this information updated regularly in response to what’s happening at the University and around the world.
Here is the latest information from Public Health England and the NHS about Coronavirus.
The main symptoms of COVID-19 are a new continuous cough, a high temperature and, in severe cases, shortness of breath. If you have symptoms of coronavirus infection, however mild, do not leave your home for 14 days from when your symptoms started.
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact NHS 111 to tell them you're staying at home.
Only use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:
The majority of people with COVID-19 have recovered without the need for any specific treatment, as is the case for the common cold or seasonal flu. Government advice is that the vast majority of cases will best be managed at home, as with seasonal colds and flu.
The NHS website has full information about coronavirus, including answers to common questions.
You can also read Public Health England's advice about staying at home.
The NHS has issued the following advice on the best way to slow the spread of almost any germs, including coronavirus.
touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Some people have other conditions which make them more at risk. We know that the elderly, people with underlying chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and high blood pressure (hypertension) are at a higher risk. People who smoke also have a possible higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19-infection.
If you have a pre-existing health condition or are immuno-supressed and are concerned, call your GP for expert advice.
In addition, Public Health England has published and continues to update a list of those in ‘extremely vulnerable’ categories here. The NHS in England is directly contacting people with these conditions to provide further advice. However, if you think you fall into one of the categories of extremely vulnerable people listed by Public Health England and you have not received a letter by Sunday 29 March 2020 or been contacted by your GP, you should discuss your concerns with your GP or hospital clinician.
If you are a Pre-Registration Nursing Student
If you are a final year Nursing or Midwifery student, you may feel anxious about beginning clinical practice over the coming months. This is understandable and university services are available to support you by phone or online. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to arrange a time to speak with a member of the team. As a University community, we would like to thank you for your dedication and commitment to the wellbeing of others – we are proud of the service you are providing.
The advice we have is that there is little evidence to indicate that wearing a face mask provides any additional effective protection. However, it is a personal choice and we would encourage all members of our community to be supportive of the choices people make in this regard
For the past four weeks, we have been carrying out additional rounds of cleaning operations including sanitising door handles and other touchable surfaces using approved anti-bacterial and anti-virus products. Additional cleaning and sanitising of toilet areas have also been implemented along with making sure soap is readily available in all locations where dispensers are present and consumables restocked.
With the announcement of face-to-face teaching being suspended, cleaning resources will be refocused on enhancing cleaning and sanitising of staff, library and communal areas.
The University's cleaning provider also is prepared with products and resources should deeper cleans of suspected infected areas be required in the future.
It’s completely expected and normal to experience fear and perhaps enhanced anxiety, depression or other mental health issues during situations like these.
It’s also important to manage these feelings with perspective as the situation unfolds, as well as making the most of the resources you have available as an MDX student. You can also contact email@example.com for non-urgent general health and wellbeing advice or if you have any particular worries.
Here are some additional resources and tips that you may find helpful:
We recognise that many members of our community have family, friends and loved ones in impacted areas and our priority is to support you during this time.
MDX Counselling and Mental Health support:
External mental health and crisis support:
Text Shout to 85258 (free) from anywhere in the UK for support. Available 24/7.
Call The Samaritans on 116 123 (free) for support. Available 24/7.
If you do not feel that you can keep yourself safe, speak with your GP, go to A&E or call 999 if you are self-isolating.
More crisis and emergency support including CALM (a helpline for men or those who identify as male), and Switchboard (an LGBT+ helpline) available on UniHub
For general enquiries UniHelp can be contacted via Chat or raising an online query on the UniHelp Home page
All face-to-face support for students has now ceased. Visit http://unihub.mdx.ac.uk/unihelp for full details.
All library books on loan have been extended until 5 May 2020 so you do not need to return them to the library and no fines will be charged.
On campus prayer room facilities are now closed. A number of other community spaces that may be accessible to you have been compiled on UniHub. Due to the fast changing nature of the coronavirus outbreak, we recommend that you contact any of these venues before travelling to them. More information is also available on the Barnet Multi Faith Forum website.
The Student Fees and Finance team no longer offers a face-to-face service. Electronic queries regarding your finances including sponsorships, tuition fee loans, refunds, instalment plans and payment of prior year debt, can be submitted via UniHelp. You can also call or submit UniHelp tickets for other staff in the financial office who can support you with financial queries.
All payment deadlines remain unchanged and you can find more details of these on UniHub. We have a variety of payment methods, which do not require you to be on campus in person. The University will not be accepting payment by Bankers drafts or cheques during this period.
Furthermore, we offer a wide variety of additional Financial support options to help you fund (or part-fund your studies. If you are an EU/UK Undergraduate student who has not yet applied for Student Finance England funding for this academic year, but wishes to do so, we recommend that you progress your application as soon as possible.
The Department for Education has set-up a coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline offering guidance for anyone with education related questions – from early years up to universities, plus parents. Department for Education (DfE) coronavirus helpline: 0800 046 8687: firstname.lastname@example.org The phone line is open from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.
If you are feeling unsafe with the prospect of being isolated in the house with your perpetrator, there are a number of organisations that can support you including:
National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline: Freephone 0808 2000 247
Men's Advice Line offers a confidential helpline for heterosexual, bi-, or gay men experiencing domestic violence from a partner, ex-partner, or from other family member. Freephone: 0808 801 0327
Karma Nirvana: Support for women at risk or experiencing honour based violence and/or forced marriage
Whilst we know that most of you have access to a device and WiFi, we have put in place procedures to ensure that all students can take part in online learning. If you are unable to secure an adequate internet connection, please make contact with email@example.com.
Many Middlesex systems and resources are available off campus:
You can contact your tutors via email or via your department office.
Our Student Learning Assistants have also produced some 'How to' video guides on accessing various digital learning platforms like MDXapp and My Learning.
You can find out more about how to self-isolate on the NHS website.
We have developed some specific guidelines for our PG research students here.
Due to the wide reaching impact of Covid-19, the University has made the decisions to offer an automatic deferral to any student who is unable to undertake an assessment at the first opportunity.
Where the University has offered an alternative to your planned assessment this information will be communicated via My Learning. Deadlines for submission will be available on myLearning. Where appropriate your Programme team have already allowed for those students who may need a short extension of up to 14 days. It is not possible in this period to make individual requests for short extensions. If you cannot meet the deadline set, a deferral will be applied to the next assessment period.
It is strongly recommended, if you are able to, that you do complete and submit the assessments your tutors have set during the April/May assessment period in order that you can progress to the next stage of your programme or graduate in the summer.
For assessments due since March 2nd 2020, students wanting a deferral to the next assessment period (including alternative assessment if this an option to you) will have this automatically granted and there is no need to complete an Extenuating Circumstances Form. Your submission at the next assessment period will not be capped.
There will be no routine access to any of our specialist facilities after Friday 20 March. You can find more information about accessing resources from home on UniHub. Please contact your Personal Tutor if you have any questions about your own individual circumstances.
We advise you stop this. Your Programme teams have been working to develop alternative assessment methods and these will be communicated to you by email or posted on My Learning. Please continue to check your emails regularly.
For specific programmes that utilise specialist software (including Adobe, Avid and Autodesk), we are working to provide offsite access where possible. More details about this, where relevant, will be sent by your Programme Leaders. You can find more information about accessing resources from home on UniHub.
We have taken the decision to stop accepting loan requests at the Kithub, within the Grove building. Any students who currently have equipment on loan are being contacted separately with details of when and how to return it.
We have decided to cancel all events as part of the Middlesex University Degree Show Festival.
We know that some of you were due to be assessed on performances and presentations of final project work at the Festival. We’re finalising alternative ways to assess your work so that we can still award degrees these will be communicated to you by email or posted on My Learning. Please continue to check your emails regularly.
If you'll struggle to pay rent during the coronavirus outbreak you should speak to your landlord as soon as possible to let them know your situation and work out a repayment plan.
It's also worth checking whether you're receiving all the financial help with housing you're entitled to, which could come from benefits such as universal credit.
The Government has also now announced that landlords won't be able to start eviction proceedings for at least the next three months, protecting private and social tenants (and private landlords can be given a three-month payment holiday on their buy-to-let mortgages if their tenants are experiencing financial difficulties due to coronavirus). It's introducing emergency legislation for this, though it's not yet clear when this will come into force. (It's worth noting though that this change won't affect eviction proceedings already underway.)
Beyond this three-month point, you'll be expected to work with your landlord to establish an affordable repayment plan which takes your circumstances into account.
Please note that the advice and support the government are providing is changing as the C-19 challenge progresses. So please check the websites below for up to date information.
We can support the needs of some students who live in the local area and are unable to access food due to a) self-isolation or b) genuine financial difficulty. This support comes in the form of food parcel deliveries and food vouchers.
You will be eligible for a food parcel delivery, for up to seven days in the first instance, only if you are:
- experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and so are required to quarantine/self-isolate for 7-14 days OR
- living with others who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and so are required to quarantine/self-isolate for 7-14 days AND so
- Are unable to get out of your house to reach the shops OR
- Have no one else, either in your house or nearby who can reach the shops for you OR
- Can reach the shops independently but can evidence that you have no available funds to purchase food
You will be eligible for a food voucher, for up to seven days in the first instance, if you:
- can provide sufficient evidence that you have no financial means of funding your own food, and
- can reach the Costcutter shop in the Burroughs with the voucher provided.
To make a request for parcel or delivery, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that we can only make deliveries to addresses within 5 miles of Middlesex University (The Burroughs).
If your employer keeps paying you, they can claim up to 80% of your wages back from the government, with a maximum of £2,500 each month. This is called the 'Coronavirus Job Retention scheme'.
Your employer can choose whether to pay you the other 20% of your wages.
While you’re not working you’re called a ‘furloughed worker’.
If you were laid off before the go the government introduced the Coronavirus Retention scheme your ex-employer can still take you back and make an application to the scheme.
More info can be found here:
If you're paid through a payroll, the PAYE scheme, you could be eligible for help as a furloughed employee (if so, your salary may, we think, be based on your Feb income - though that's to be confirmed - and there may be wriggle room if that was a particularly bad month). Otherwise, you may be due self-employment help.
If your employer has laid you off because there was no work they can add you back to the payroll and then claim under the Job Retention Scheme. If you are in this position talk to your employer and see if they will help you under the Job Retention Scheme, you may be able to receive 80% of your wages if they do.
More detailed advice is available from the websites below:
Self-employed workers will be able to apply for taxable grants to combat loss of income due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The grants will be worth up to 80% of your profits, capped at £2,500 a month. This will be calculated based on your tax returns for 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 if you were self-employed over that period.
This Self-Employment Income Support Scheme's expected to launch in June, with payments likely backdated to cover March, April and May. The scheme will operate across the UK and is set to last for at least three months, though this could be extended.
For more detailed advice please see the links below.
Gov.uk: Claim a grant through the coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme
Money Saving expert: Sick pay, mortgages, rental help, train refunds, energy top-ups & more
You should also look to see if you are entitled to welfare benefits, such as Universal Credit.
Citizens Advice: Check if you can get Universal Credit
Unison: Coronavirus: your rights at work
Your rights as an employee – sick pay, childcare, redundancy rights and more
With many likely to have to take time off work due to sickness, self-isolation or caring for loved ones, it's vital to understand your rights as an employee.
You're entitled to statutory sick pay from day one.
If you need to take time off work due to becoming unwell from coronavirus, you'll be entitled to your usual sick leave and sick pay.
If you're self-isolating on Government advice, and would usually qualify for it, you should be entitled to statutory sick pay – though employment body the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) says it's "good practice" for your employer to pay your usual sick pay as outlined in your contract.
Statutory sick pay currently stands at £94.25 a week – you must be employed and earn an average of at least £118 a week to be entitled to it.
The Government confirmed on Wednesday 4 March that statutory sick pay would soon be payable from day one, not day four. Here's what we know so far about the rule change:
Employers should also be flexible about requiring evidence for sick leave from employees, for example if you're unable to provide a doctor's note you are now able to provide an isolation note.
No plans have been announced for general council tax reductions or payment holidays to general households affected by coronavirus.
But the Government told us that the £500m Hardship Fund announced in the last week’s Budget will be used alongside existing council tax support schemes to offer help to ‘economically vulnerable people and households’ – which could translate into a deduction to council tax for some.
Disconnections are suspended for custs of all providers - most are pushing back bill dates (and British Gas has confirmed it's removing late payment charges) for those struggling financially. We await to hear others' plans.
Energy firms are putting in place new measures to help prepayment customers unable to top up during the pandemic, including posting cards loaded with emergency credit to those who are self-isolating.
Regulator Ofgem has written to all suppliers, saying it expects them to "take proactive measures to support prepayment meter customers, including customers in vulnerable circumstances".
If you can't leave home to top up at your usual shop, Ofgem suggests you arrange for a trusted person to take your card and do it for you ((it may need disinfecting first), and leave your meter box unlocked if it's outside your home.
And if you can afford it, and you're not self-isolating already, energy firms are encouraging people to try and top up a little more than usual each time to try and build up some credit.
Ultimately, suppliers will deal with issues on a case-by-case basis, so the best thing you can do if you have to self-isolate or are struggling to pay your bill due to coronavirus is to contact your provider as soon as you can.
Credit card rates are mostly unaffected by the UK rate change, as they're so much higher than the base rate anyway. There is some forbearance here too – most banks and card firms told us they will allow emergency credit limit increases (but be careful), while some will offer repayment holidays and a few will waive fees for missed payments.
If your debts aren't on credit cards it's still worth speaking to all lenders and asking what help they can give you – far better that than to miss payments without permission.
If you have been offered work and can’t carry out the work as it cannot be done from home, you will be paid as if you had worked.
Three-month mortgage payment holidays are available for those who are struggling
If keeping up with your bills and food on the table may be a challenge, speak to your bank. On Tuesday 17 March, banks agreed with the Chancellor that they will offer 'forbearance' (tolerance and help) on mortgages.
This means they all should offer those struggling a three-month 'holiday', allowing customers a temporary break from having to make mortgage payments during this time. (Though it's worth noting this is a voluntary agreement with banks – it isn't compulsory for them to offer mortgage holidays.)
How would this work in practice? Again we await final confirmation, but here’s how it typically works. Let's imagine you have 19 years and three months left on your mortgage. For the next three months you wouldn't pay anything. Then when your mortgage repayments resume, the total you owe would be spread over the following 19 years – so you would see a very small uplift in future payments.
More info can be found here:
The Student Loans Company (SLC) has confirmed that students will receive the scheduled or next instalment of their maintenance loan at the planned start of summer term, regardless of whether their university or provider has made alternative arrangements for teaching and regardless of whether campuses are closed. More information can be found here.
There are some countries and areas where there's a higher chance of coming into contact with someone with coronavirus. If you're planning to travel abroad and are concerned about coronavirus, check the country by country travel advice.
Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel advice is constantly under review, so that it reflects the latest assessment of risks to the UK.
In response to coronavirus measures, it is advising against all but essential travel to some countries, cities and regions. You must check the travel advice to the country you are travelling to. Sign up for email alerts for your destination.”
If when you return you have symptoms of coronavirus infection (COVID-19), however mild, do not leave your home for 7 days from when your symptoms started.
The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:new continuous cough and/or high temperature. For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild infection.
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact NHS 111 to tell them you're staying at home.
The government have issued guidance on immigration provisions made by the Home Office for individuals in the UK who are unable to return to China.
The guidance says: "Due to travel restrictions because of coronavirus some individuals may be facing uncertainty in relation to the expiry date of their current visa or leave to remain in the United Kingdom. The Home Office understands that in many cases this is because of circumstances outside of your control.
"Most people in the UK whose immigration status is affected by the coronavirus outbreak will get an automatic extension of their visa until 31 March 2020."
They have said sponsors do not need to report student or employee absences related to coronavirus which they have authorised.
If you live in shared accommodation (for example, university halls of residence):
Please be assured that support will be provided by the hall teams should you experience symptoms and need to self-isolate. If you do experience symptoms;
Please have a look at this link from the NHS.
We understand that some students have already left halls in order to return to family homes. For students who have already done this, and have both removed all of your belongings and returned your keys to your halls office, we will not charge you for your final rent payment from Tuesday 21 April.
For students who have left halls, but have left belongings in your room, we are now asking for your permission for the University to remove your belongings for you, so that they can be put into storage. Doing so will allow the University to utilise spare rooms to support other students and in need members of the community.
The Government’s advice is that students should now stay where they are and not attempt to travel. Therefore you should not return to halls to collect your own belongings.
If you are willing to give the University permission to safely store your belongings, then we will also not charge you for the final rent payment from Tuesday 21 April. Please let the accommodation team know if you are willing to do this by emailing email@example.com by Friday 10 April.
If you are still in halls then the Government’s advice is that you should remain in your halls of residence and stay there while current restrictions are in force. Based on this, Middlesex University strongly recommends that you do not leave halls. Current restrictions mean that you could be fined up to £60 by the police for unnecessary travel. If you are allowed to make arrangements to leave please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If you remove all your belongings and return your keys you will be released from your final rent payment from Tuesday 21 April. If you are able to leave midway through the term we will agree a pro-rate rental payment with you.
If you remain in halls you will be charged rent for the final term. We know that this is a challenging time financially for many of our students. If you are in financial difficulty and would like support, such as provision of food, please get in touch with the University’s Student Welfare Advice Team by emailing email@example.com.
Please also know that we will not ask any students to leave accommodation during the emergency for reasons of non-payment of fees. Furthermore, should the emergency extend beyond the end of the summer term you will be allowed to stay in your room until the emergency is over without any further rent being due.
The Accommodation team will continue to do everything it can to keep you and the staff that work there safe. This may, for example, include moving you to another part of the hall or to another hall entirely. Please be reassured that we will continue to support you through these difficult and unsettling times.
If there is any additional support or concerns that you have about your accommodation during this time, then we encourage you to reach out to the accommodation team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ve postponed the ceremonies because of the latest government advice about the coronavirus and, in particular, the advice to avoid large gatherings. We believe that this is the right choice for you and for your families and guests, and we don’t want our students or guests incurring graduation costs at this time of uncertainty.
Yes. We will produce and despatch certificates to eligible graduands. The postponement of graduation will not cause delays to the issuing of certificates (subject to normal services being available).
We aim to offer all graduands the opportunity to attend a ceremony in the future, when the position is clearer and it is safe to do so.
We will contact you directly via your personal email address, so please make sure that we have your correct contact details.