Latest updates on COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
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    myUniHub MDXSU

    Update on coronavirus (COVID-19) and teaching and leaning plans for Autumn

    22/06/2020
    We’re putting everything in place so you can safely and successfully re-start your course this autumn

    We’re responding to the coronavirus outbreak by taking steps to reduce the risk of infection to you and your family. Our most important consideration will always be 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.

    What will teaching and learning be like in the Autumn?

    We're doing everything we can to make sure that you continue to get a great learning experience with us. With lots of support to do your best when you're learning virtually and face to face.

    • We’re planning to start teaching you through a mix of online virtual and face to face teaching that we call blended learning
    • This means your big group lectures might be online while some smaller classes or practical activities could happen on campus
    • You could also move between blended learning and fully online virtual learning during the term
    • If you can’t make it to campus for whatever reason, we’ll work to make sure you can start your course fully online. If you’re a nursing or teacher training student, then you will have to be on campus for a number of days at the start of your course
    • We’ll send you more information on what this means for your course in June and July
    • We’ll continue to review our plans during the autumn term as we get more information from the government and keep you updated on plans for your second term.
    • Details about coronavirus

      • Get latest key advice

        Check the Public Health England website and NHS website for the latest information and advice about coronavirus and its symptoms. The NHS, Public Health England and Government websites are trusted sources and will provide up-to-date and correct information and advice for you and your family.

        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.

        For our international students, you can find the latest NHS guidance translated into 48 languages.

      • What if I'm at higher risk?

        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.

        The NHS 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.

    • Support and wellbeing

      • Experiencing fear/anxiety and other mental health issues

        It’s completely expected and normal to experience fear and perhaps enhanced anxiety, depression or other mental health issues during unsettling situations like this.

        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. We want you to remember that you are not alone and encourage you to make the most of resources that are available.

        Visit our TeamMDX resources page where we and other students have shared information and support services.

      • What support is available if I am feeling anxious about family or friends who may be affected by the virus?

        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.

        For students who remain in the UK, our Counselling and Mental Health support can be accessed by contacting the team. Please download and complete our Call Back Request Form and send it to our counselling team. Make sure to include your contact number in the email.

        Our student support page has a wealth of information for UK and international students.

        External mental health and crisis support

        Like us, a number of support services are available including:

        • Shout
          • Text Shout to 85258 (free) from anywhere in the UK for support. Available 24/7
        • The Samaritans
          • Call 116 123 (free) for support. Available 24/7.

        NHS trusts are changing the way they deliver some of their services to protect patients and staff. To help prevent the spread of infection, visitors are not currently allowed – apart from very specific situations, such as end-of-life care. They've also introduced a new helpline for people experiencing a mental health crisis 0300 0200 500. You can call this number to get support or advice 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.

        For further information and resources, please visit our student support pages.

      • Bereavement support

        We have put together this UniHub bereavement support page if you are grieving the loss of a loved one as a result of coronavirus. Grief at any time is difficult, but if you are bereaved as a result of Coronavirus you may have a potentially different experience.

        We want you to remember that you are not alone, and though you may be more physically isolated during this time, we at #TeamMDX are here for you if you ever would like to reach out.

      • Support for those at risk of domestic abuse

        We recognise that domestic abuse is a widespread problem that can affect victims both physically and mentally. Domestic abuse is more than physical violence. It can also include, but is not limited to:

        • coercive control and ‘gaslighting’
        • economic abuse
        • online abuse
        • verbal abuse
        • emotional abuse
        • sexual abuse

        Domestic violence also includes 'honour' based violence and/or forced marriage. If you are being pressured to get married against your will or your family are saying you are bringing shame on the family by not agreeing to their demands, you may be at risk of 'honour' based violence and/or forced marriage.

        For anyone who feels they are at risk of abuse, it is important to remember that the University and a number of organisations are committed to helping and supporting you. Guidance is also available to help perpetrators change their behaviour.

      • Pre-registration nursing students

        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 email our counselling team 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.

    • Finance, fees and support from MDXWorks

    • Financial support

      • What support is available from MDX for financial hardship?

        If you are in need of financial support during this difficult time, then please contact the Student Welfare Advice Team (SWAT) who can assess cases on an individual basis. The University, our alumni community and corporate partners have worked together to provide additional donations to our student hardship fund, so that we can better respond to the individual needs of our students.

        Contacting SWAT

      • Financial support for you and your family

        If you are in need of financial support during this difficult time, then please contact the Student Welfare Advice Team who can assess cases on an individual basis. The University, our alumni community and corporate partners have worked together to provide additional donations to our Student Hardship Fund. So we can better respond to the individual needs of our students. For those of you that are not in receipt of government funding, such as from the student loan company, we will offer flexibility on current tuition fee deadlines.

        We are aware that you may be concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on your family’s or partner’s employment and subsequent income situation. We are continuing to work extremely hard to ensure our students are supported with their research and assessment, and financial and emotional wellbeing during this unprecedented and extremely difficult situation.

        Postgraduate Research support

        Please continue to check back on the PGR information pages for the latest from the University.

      • Food parcels/voucher support

        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 email our Welfare team. Please note that we can only make deliveries to addresses within five miles of Middlesex University (The Burroughs).

      • Student maintenance loans and loan repayments

        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.

        Find more information on the GOV.UK website.

    • Fees

      • What is the University doing about tuition fees?

        The decision was made to move all teaching to online-only delivery from Monday 23 March and to develop similar alternative arrangements for assessments. While this way of learning and assessment may feel very different, we have worked hard to maintain our commitment to continue quality teaching supervision and assessment to support our students' progression and completion of their programmes.

        Equity and inclusion are at the heart of our plans for moving to fully-online learning, teaching and assessment and these principles of fairness are at the forefront of our decision-making process. We have worked hard to put in place mitigations, checks and balances to ensure our students are not disadvantaged in any way.

        Our position in relation to payment of tuition fees is clear and where we have been able to deliver alternative online teaching, supervision and assessments to our academic standards we will not be issuing tuition fee refunds. This is in line with regulatory policy wherein students will continue to receive scheduled payments of loans for the remainder of the current, 2019/20, academic year.

      • Does the loss of face-to-face teaching entitle me to a refund?

        The decision was made to move all teaching and supervision to online-only delivery from Monday 23 March and to develop similar alternative arrangements for assessments.

        We know that many of our students are anxious about the forthcoming assessment period. To recognise these issues we have designed alternative assessments to allow students to demonstrate their learning in place of campus-based exams, and are allowing all students to have a 14 day extension to their coursework deadline, and the option to auto-defer to the next assessment point without penalty for coursework and alternative assessments.

        If you have any questions about the assessment methods for your modules, please keep talking to your Programme Team. They or your Personal Tutor can give you all the advice you need on revision or other academic support.

      • What are other universities doing in this area?

        Most universities are following the government guidance and not issuing refunds. The most recent government statement on this matter says that, “students ordinarily should not expect any fee refund if they are receiving adequate online learning and support.” You can read the full government statement on the Department for Education website.

      • EU/UK Undergraduate students

        Where you are eligible for funding from Student Finance England and have not yet applied, please try to make your application as soon as possible to ensure your tuition fees are cleared by payment deadlines.

        For those of you that are not in receipt of government funding, such as from the Student Loan Company, we will offer flexibility on current tuition fee deadlines. The University will be issuing more detailed guidance on this next week.

        If your financial circumstances change and you are unable to meet your payment deadline, please contact the Welfare team by booking an appointment or through the UniHelp team requesting assistance from Welfare.

      • EU/UK Postgraduate and Doctoral students

        If you are a UK/EU Postgraduate student, you can apply to Student Finance England for a loan of up to £10,906 for a Master's course. This will be paid directly to you. This is not means tested and will be paid to you in three instalments. Please see the Government website for more details.

        If you are a UK/EU student starting a Doctoral degree after August 1 2019 you can apply to Student Finance England for a loan of up to £25,700 for your whole course, to help with course fees and living costs.

        For further information on how to make your tuition fee payment, please refer to UniHub.

    Support from MDXWorks

    We understand that a number of our students count on their Student Ambassador or SLA pay to cover part of their costs. We want to reassure you that you will be paid as if you were able to work.

    We recognise that these are uncertain times and the job market is still evolving from recent events which affect us all. Many roles have been placed on hold or unfortunately no longer required. However, there are still companies that are recruiting. Our MDXWorks page lists as many relevant job opportunities as we can to help you bridge that gap.

    Assessment and learning >

    Continuing your studies during this time can be difficult and confusing but we're still here to support you and ensure you graduate with all the skills an experience you need. Find out more about how the teaching, learning and assessment methods will happen as well as our no detriment policy.

    • Returning to campus

    There is no currently no access to campus facilities.

    We will continue to be guided by Government guidelines and advice, we will always prioritise the health, safety and wellbeing of our students and staff and support a gradual, cautious and considered approach, when the time is right, to returning to campus.

    A new group is being convened, with Students' Union representation, to co-ordinate all aspects of any return, and work through the implications for students and applicants. For now, as things stand, we remain in lockdown and access to campus has not changed.

    We will continue to update you on this.

    • Accommodation and campus services

      • Living in halls

        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:

        • monitor your symptoms closely
        • contact the relevant hall team for the hall that you are living in
          • Usher Hall – 0208 036 2871
          • Platt Hall/Writtle House – 0208 036 2631
          • Ivy Hall – 0208 036 0066
          • Unite, Olympic Way: Reception – 0117 302 7453 / Emergency Call Centre – 0300 303 1611
        • follow the self-isolation advice

        If you need support

        If you need some psychological support, please download and complete our Call Back Request form available here and send it to our counselling team. Make sure to include your contact number in the email.

        We also encourage you to join the accommodation Facebook group to connect with others living in halls. You can also contact your Resident Assistant via the Facebook group.

        Staying safe in shared accommodation

        If you live in shared accommodation:

        • stay in your room with the door closed, only use communal kitchens, bathrooms and living areas when necessary
        • avoid using a shared kitchen while others are using it
        • take your meals back to your room to eat
        • use a dishwasher (if available) to clean and dry your used crockery and cutlery; if this is not possible, wash them by hand using detergent and warm water and dry them thoroughly, using a separate tea towel.
      • What if I have already left halls?

        We understand that some students have already left halls in order to return to family homes. If you 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. Students who leave now would receive a pro-rata refund.

        For students who have left halls, but have left belongings in your room, the current Government advice means that students can now leave to go home and return to collect their belongings.

      • What if I am still in halls?

        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 contact our Student Welfare Advice Team by emailing welfare@mdx.ac.uk. They will do their best to advise.

        We would like to reassure all students who remain in halls that we will not ask you to leave accommodation during the emergency for reasons of non-payment of fees. Furthermore, should the emergency extend beyond the summer term, international students who are still unable to get flights home will be allowed to stay in their rooms.

        We will continue to do everything we can to keep you and our staff 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 please reach out to the Accommodation Team by emailing accomm@mdx.ac.uk.

      • Prayer facilities

        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.

    • Travel and visas

    • Students with Tier 4 Visa

      • I want to go home because of the coronavirus outbreak. What is Middlesex University policy on this?

        We understand that you may be anxious and considering returning home. If you decide to go back, it is important that you notify us both for visa requirements and so we can support you in continuing your studies.

        • In the first instance, you need to email our Visa Compliance team requesting an “authorisation to travel”. Please provide a copy of your flight details in your email
        • Next, you need to inform your Programme Leader about your travel plans.

        Please rest assured, you will not be disadvantaged by your decision to travel. Even if, due to your own government's measures, you are not able to return to the UK. If you are not in the UK, it is important that you engage with Middlesex University. You must follow the online learning we have put in place to assist you and comply with end of year assessments.

        However, if you wish to take a break from your academic studies or thinking of withdrawing from your course, then you will need specific advice. As this may have implications for your immigration status. It is very important that you contact us before taking any decision which will have serious implications on your ability to study in the UK in the future. Our Advice Team is here to support you and can be reached via email.

        Further immigration information for students studying on a Tier 4 visa can be found on the UKVI website and the UKCISA website.

      • My UK visa expires while I am in the UK and I am not able to travel back to my home country due to self-isolation or travel restrictions, what can I do?

        Visas will be extended to 31 July 2020. Although, you will need to contact UKVI as instructed in the website. These exceptional concessions could be extended further. Please check the UKVI website nearer the end date or contact our International Student advice team for further clarification.

        UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) have further guidance.

      • What if I can’t travel home at the end of the summer term?

        The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is providing the latest travel guidance on territories most affected by COVID-19. We advise that you check this information regularly. If you are unsure please email the International Student Advice team.

      • The University is now online study only, so how will this affect my attendance record if I am not in the University?

        You are expected to engage with online study as advised by your Programme Leader and Tutors. It is important that you do not miss online lectures and seminars and keep on track with assignments and submission.

        Arrangements will be made to keep online attendance record but in cases where you are not able to engage due to illness or travel, please email our Visa Compliance team and seek authorised absence permission.

      • Am I allowed to work full-time now that on campus teaching is suspended?

        Your Tier 4 Visa condition remains in place as we still expect all of our students to engage with the online delivery of their course. There are no current changes to the term dates. Therefore, during term-time, Tier 4 students will be restricted to working the number of hours their visa allows.

        If you are unsure, please contact the International Student Advice team

      • I am self-isolating or unwell and not able to join online teaching. Will my attendance be monitored?

        If you are unable to engage with studies because you are unwell, you must email Student Visa Compliance team. The team will update your attendance record to show that your absence is authorised.

        We do not anticipate visa implications for most Tier 4 students with quarantine or travel restrictions, but you will need specific advice if you are absent from study for more than 60 days.

      • I am due to start a work placement this year and experience difficulties with the job search. How will I be affected?

        We will be reviewing the deadlines set for securing the work placement, and we will permit flexibility in line with the UK Visas and Immigration advice. Further details will follow as they are available, so please check back.

      • I am on work placement, how will I be affected?

        We are anticipating that students on 12 month work placements should remain on their placements, unless their employer can no longer support the placement and cannot offer alternative arrangements. If your employer informs you that they have to terminate your contract, please contact the Programme Leader and email Student Visa Compliance team.

    • Graduation

      • Why have the graduation ceremonies been postponed?

        We’ve postponed the ceremonies because of the current 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.

      • Will I still receive my degree certificate?

        Yes. We will still aim to produce and dispatch certificates to eligible graduands following the publication of finalist results and degree classifications in June. You can expect to receive your certificates within two months. There will, however, be a delay in issuing certificates to some students who were awarded their degree in February. We will keep you updated if there is any change to these time-frames, as they are dependent on key staff being able to return to campus.

      • Will the ceremonies be rearranged?

        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.

      • How will I be contacted about rescheduled ceremonies?

        We will contact you directly via your personal email address, so please make sure that we have your correct contact details.

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