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Coronavirus Update - 28 May 2020, 10:07

Joint message from UWS and UWS Students’ Union

Dear student,

I would like to state my deep gratitude for the exceptional work our students, and our colleagues, have done to continue to engage in learning and assessments during a period of time when huge uncertainty existed for everyone. I am particularly proud of the way UWS has maintained standards whilst also ensuring no students were left without options for how best to complete their academic session in 2019/20.

Across UWS, colleagues have been working extremely hard over recent months to consider how the University can most successfully begin academic session 2020/21, making sure we offer a high-quality learning experience for our students while continuing to adhere to UK and Scottish government guidelines associated with the current pandemic.

While recognising this is a fast-moving and fluid situation, we are now planning for term to start on 28 September 2020, with teaching commencing in the week beginning 5 October. Full details of draft term dates – including for PGDE which may have different requirements, depending on Scottish Government advice – would be shared online in due course. The slightly later start date to the academic year would give new and returning students, and UWS colleagues, more time to effectively prepare for the start of term.

Planning is underway to ensure UWS provides a welcoming and safe learning and working environment for all students and colleagues and discussions have commenced with programme teams on the implications of the challenges we collectively face. Putting a detailed approach in place is complex and a small selection of the type of interventions already being planned includes: 

  • Timetable adjustments and scheduling to ensure limited numbers of students on campus at any one time
  • Introducing processes to limit the number of colleagues on campus at any one time
  • Adjustments to learning spaces to ensure that social distancing guidance can be followed
  • Adjusting working areas to limit the concentration of colleagues in certain workspaces

Further detailed information will be issued to students and applicants over the coming days. The University and the Students’ Union are working in partnership to understand the issues that may be foremost in your mind as you start to plan for return to University next academic year and the Students’ Union, through the National Union of Students, has arranged for UWS students to provide feedback through a survey being conducted by Alterline. UWS Students’ Union will send details of this survey to you and we jointly encourage students to share thoughts and feedback via that survey: please look out for details on the Students’ Union social media channels.

I would like to emphasise and reassure that, whether our subjects are delivered fully online or as a combination with face-to-face activities, our students will continue to receive the highest quality teaching and education from UWS.

In the meantime, we appreciate and are grateful for your patience as we continue to work with our community to identify the best ways to support our students and colleagues.

 

Kind regards,

Professor Craig Mahoney

Principal & Vice-Chancellor

Jointly issued by UWS and UWS Students’ Union

Coronavirus Update - 18 May 2020, 13:43

The University is continuing to monitor the nationally evolving coronavirus situation and is committed to providing our students and staff with relevant and timely updates. We hope they are helpful and reassuring during these unprecedented circumstances.

Mental Health Awareness Week

This Mental Health Awareness Week (18 – 24 May), we want to remind students of a range of resources available at UWS to help support mental health and wellbeing and highlight some of the activities you can get involved in.

UWS is committed to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of our students, and we have been inspired by the University community’s response to coronavirus; particularly the acts of care and kindness we have seen to help lift spirits and support each other.

That is why it is so fitting that this year’s theme for Mental Health Awareness Week is kindness. Kindness strengthens relationships, develops community and deepens solidarity and it is an essential component of good mental health.

An important part of kindness is knowing that we also must be kind to ourselves. This week on social media, we are asking our community to share their acts of kindness to themselves or others using the hashtag #UWSTogether.

Also on social media throughout the week, you will see lots of advice, tips and activities you can get involved in from the Students’ Association and Student Support, including a new wellbeing TikTok challenge.

Nationally, to mark Mental Health Awareness Week, the BBC is curating a range of programming across TV, radio and digital that will transmit throughout the month of May and further information is available online; meanwhile, Heads Together and Radio Centre have also been sharing their #MentalHealthMinute series.

We want to remind students that there is an abundance of support still available at UWS, even though we are not all on campus together just now. Take a look at ourdedicated wellbeing page for students, which shares a selection of helpful tips.

Back on the theme of showing kindness to yourself and others, the careers team continue to share a range of opportunities for students to get involved in volunteering and developing your employability, which can be accessed through the careers portal.

Exercise and mindfulness also have proven benefits for mental and physical wellbeing. This week, why not try one of Team UWS’s daily workouts on social media? Or book a space at one our online mindfulness sessions for students, which take place every Wednesday between 3pm and 4pm? Students can register for these sessions by contacting The Hub.

We’re also encouraging students to check out SilverCloud – an online programme which can help you learn practical strategies for dealing with stress, anxiety and depression. It’s free and confidential, and you can work at your own pace.

Our Student Support teams are still here for you whenever you need them. This includes online and phone appointments, which can be made with the Counselling, Disability, International Advice, Academic Skills, Careers and Funding and Advice teams, by emailing hub@uws.ac.uk or calling 0141 848 3800.

We’d like to thank students for their continued cooperation, hard-work and dedication during what are unprecedented circumstances, and, as ever, encourage you to check our coronavirus information hub on the University’s website, which includes regularly updated frequently asked questions for students, as well as links to official, national sources of information. Please regularly check Moodle for latest course-specific teaching and learning updates.

If you require any support, please email hub@uws.ac.uk.

We hope this information is helpful and we will continue to keep you informed about the latest developments.

Coronavirus Update - 15 May 2020, 13:04

The University is continuing to monitor the nationally evolving coronavirus situation and is committed to providing our students and staff with relevant and timely updates. We hope they are helpful and reassuring during these unprecedented circumstances.

Wellbeing support for our students

As you’ve adjusted to studying remotely, we’ve been regularly sharing information with you on the wide range of University advice, resources and support available to you, whenever you need it. This has included our student wellbeing advice page, which contains a useful selection of tips on looking after your physical and mental wellbeing, including staying connected, and ways to get the most out of studying remotely. Across our social media channels, we’ve also been sharing exercise inspiration and reminders of the many sources of learning resources and support and advice that continues to be available to all of our students. In addition, students in our residences have been receiving regular newsletters to help them stay connected too. We hope this further roundup of some of the support you can access is helpful.

Student services

The full range of support continues to be available: this includes tailored and individual support from the Counselling, Disability, International Advice, Academic Skills, Careers and Funding and Advice teams. You can arrange to speak to an advisor by emailing hub@uws.ac.uk or calling The Hub (0141 848 3800). You can also learn more about student services support by checking out the Student Support MyDay page.

Support with your finances

We understand the current situation may affect individuals in a variety of ways. The Funding Team have developed helpful FAQs and guidance on their dedicated My Day page.

The Nursing/Midwifery Discretionary Fund is still available to eligible UK students experiencing financial hardship as a result of covid-19. If you are eligible, you may apply if you have not done so already this academic year. You can also re-apply, even if you have already applied this year, if your circumstances have now changed. Eligibility information and details on how to apply can be found through The Funding Team My Day page, in the section titled Financial Support from UWS.

Supporting your wellbeing

The University Counselling Team continue to provide one-to-one support for students. You can arrange a telephone or video call appointment by emailinghub@uws.ac.uk. There is no waiting list for this service. The University has also gifted access to SilverCloud to all students. The web-based resource has excellent sleep, stress and resilience courses, as well as specific content to help you navigate Covid-19. You can sign up to SilverCloud here.

NES (NHS Education for Scotland) have also developed a package of mental health and wellbeing support targeted specifically at helping healthcare workers look after themselves during this time, and can be accessed here.

Multifaith team

For some, keeping up their faith, or religious practice, will be more important now than ever before. Other people may benefit from re-connecting with a religious community. The University Chaplain continues to provide support and guidance to students at this time. If you would like to set up a telephone or video chat, please email hub@uws.ac.uk and you can access information about online prayers, meditations and services on the Chaplaincy MyDay page.

Careers support

The UWS Careers team are here to help you navigate the changing employment landscape. You can access online resources (including help with CVs, job hunting and further study) via the Careers & Skills Centre, there are also specific key resources to assist you at this time. The weekly Careers newsletter and Twitter account also provide access to up-to-date information, including graduate recruitment, remote learning opportunities and part-time work.

Advice on income

Universal Credits can provide a much needed source of income if you are on a low income, or out of work. While students are not normally eligible to apply, final-year students who have completed their studies will no longer be considered a student, so may wish to access this benefit. You can find out more online at www.gov.uk/universal-credit and can obtain further advice from agencies such as Citizens Advice. You may need evidence from the University that your course has ended and can contact hub@uws.ac.uk for this.

Support for international students

As with all Student Service teams, the International Student Support team continue to provide one-to-one support via telephone/video call and we would like to highlight other support available to students.

Since 20 April, Virtual Quick Questions (VQQ) via Zoom have been running twice a week to all enrolled non-EU and EU students, whether they are in the UK or overseas. This is also useful for any new students starting new programmes at UWS remotely: please email internationaladvise@uws.ac.uk for details.

Regular e-news updates with wellbeing information and relevant updates on travel, immigration etc. are being sent to international students via email. Coronavirus information pertaining to international students is collated in the MyDay portal: select Student Support and then choose international students. The team has an active Twitter account @UWS_IntSupport, which we encourage international students and staff to follow to receive up-to-date information and relevant links to international student support.

Gender-Based Violence (GBV) support for all students

At UWS, we are committed to equality and diversity in all we do. Working in partnership with the Equality Safe in Higher Education Project, we have made a commitment to support students, and staff, who may be experiencing GBV. This commitment remains of paramount importance. If you, or a loved one, is experiencing GBV, you will find up-to-date support information on our webpagesabout the wide range of specialist support services that remain available to you. We appreciate that this may be a very challenging time for you, and want you to know that we are here to help.

The team has an active Twitter account @UWS_IntSupport, which we encourage international students and staff to follow to receive up-to-date information and relevant links to international student support.

We’d like to thank students for their continued cooperation, hard-work and dedication during what are unprecedented circumstances, and, as ever, encourage you to check our coronavirus information hub on the University’s website, which includes regularly updated frequently asked questions for students, as well as links to official, national sources of information. Please regularly check Moodle for latest course-specific teaching and learning updates.

If you require any support, please email hub@uws.ac.uk.

We hope this information is helpful and we will continue to keep you informed about the latest developments.

Coronavirus Update - 23 APRIL 2020, 16:48

The University is continuing to monitor the nationally evolving coronavirus situation and is committed to providing our students and colleagues with relevant and timely updates. We hope they are helpful and reassuring during these unprecedented circumstances.

Graduations

Due to the ongoing impact and associated restrictions of coronavirus, our summer 2020 graduation ceremonies will regretfully not be taking place this year.

As a University community, we understand that this will be disappointing for our students and staff. Your safety, however, and that of your friends, families and the wider University community is our first priority; therefore, it has been agreed that all students eligible to receive their award in the summer will be invited to register to graduate in absentia (not in person) in July 2020. Award parchments will be posted to graduates as soon as possible thereafter. 

We are pleased to confirm that, once restrictions on large gatherings have been lifted by the UK Government, all summer 2020 graduates will have the opportunity to attend a unique celebration event to mark their success, together with their fellow graduates, friends and family.

Our Registry Team will be in touch by email over the coming weeks to send you further information advising you of how to register to graduate in absentia and how to note your interest in attending a future celebration event in due course.

As ever, we encourage students to continue to check our coronavirus information hub on the University’s website. This includes regularly updated frequently asked questions for students, as well as links to official, national sources of information. Please regularly check Moodle for latest course-specific teaching and learning updates.

If you require any support, please email hub@uws.ac.uk.

We hope this information is helpful and we will continue to keep you informed about the latest developments.

Coronavirus Update - 17 APRIL 2020, 15:36

The University is continuing to monitor the nationally evolving coronavirus situation and is committed to providing our students and staff with relevant and timely updates. We hope they are helpful and reassuring during these unprecedented circumstances.

Adapted approach to assessment, progression and degree classification 

As we mentioned in our communication on Tuesday 14 April 2020, the University has been working extremely hard over recent weeks to consider how we will support students in all years through what is a difficult and unsettling time for all of us.

We are absolutely committed to ensuring a fair and reasonable approach to assessment, progression and degree classification for all students, and take a compassionate approach to the current circumstances. Our priority remains to support students and seek to ensure no detriment, whilst maintaining the integrity of the higher education journey.

It is with this in mind that we have been working to produce a detailed approach to assessment, progression and degree classification, which takes into consideration the wide range of assessment methodologies and requirements to maintain quality and standards, across all stages and subject areas at UWS, in addition to alignment with QAA guidance.

Producing UWS’s comprehensive approach has been a highly complex task: however, we are now in a position to share our approach here, which we hope will provide students with comfort, clarity and reassurance at this challenging time.

We’d like to thank students for their continued cooperation, hard-work and dedication during what are unprecedented circumstances, and, as ever, encourage you to check our coronavirus information hub on the University’s website, which includes regularly updated frequently asked questions for students, as well as links to official, national sources of information. Please regularly check Moodle for latest course-specific teaching and learning updates.

If you require any support, please email hub@uws.ac.uk.

We hope this information is helpful and we will continue to keep you informed about the latest developments.

Coronavirus Update - 14 APRIL 2020, 10:04

The University is continuing to monitor the nationally evolving coronavirus situation and is committed to providing our students and staff with relevant and timely updates. We hope they are helpful and reassuring during these unprecedented circumstances.

Our approach to fair and reasonable treatment of students - which some term “no detriment”

We are grateful for our students’ continued understanding and support as the University – like all higher education institutions – works through a range of processes which are, by necessity, being modified in light of the coronavirus situation.

Putting a detailed approach in place – one which takes into consideration the wide range of assessment methodologies and requirements to maintain quality and standards, across all stages and subject areas – is a highly complex task.  At UWS, we have been working extremely hard over recent weeks to consider how the university will support students in all years and including: 

  • honours classification;

  • progression from level 7 and 8;

  • progression at level 9,

  • completion at level 10 or 11;

  • assessment and examinations;

  • professional and statutory body requirements;

  • alignment with QAA guidance, some of which was just recently published;

  • extensions;

  • extenuating circumstances;

  • deferred assessments;

  • teaching and learning;

  • postgraduate research support. 

All of these important issues combine to inform the UWS approach that will enable UWS to provide the best options for giving fair and reasonable treatment to all students and take a compassionate approach to the circumstances you now find yourselves in.

Our priority remains to support our students, whilst maintaining the integrity of their higher education journey. Please be assured we will be back in touch this week, to provide you with further details in relation to UWS’s comprehensive approach.

We encourage students to continue to check our coronavirus information hub on the University’s website. This includes regularly updated frequently asked questions for students, as well as links to official, national sources of information. Please regularly check Moodle for latest course-specific teaching and learning updates.

If you require any support, please email hub@uws.ac.uk.

We hope this information is helpful and we will continue to keep you informed about the latest developments.

Coronavirus Update - 3 APRIL 2020, 16:40

The University is continuing to monitor the nationally evolving coronavirus situation and is committed to providing our students and staff with relevant and timely updates. We hope they are helpful and reassuring during these unprecedented circumstances.

Additional wellbeing information

As our students adjust to studying from home, we wanted to share a selection of tips and advice to help you look after your physical and mental wellbeing. With this in mind, colleagues have pulled together an online roundup covering a range of areas, including:

  • Finding a routine
  • Accessing academic support
  • Planning ahead
  • Staying connected
  • Looking after yourself
  • Seeking support
  • Doing your best
  • Tapping into useful resources for guidance and support

We encourage you to review this page and please don’t forget – as we’ve emphasised in all of our previous communications to our students – the University is committed to providing you with support, however and whenever you need it.

We encourage students to continue to check our coronavirus information hub on the University’s website. This includes regularly updated frequently asked questions for students, as well as links to official, national sources of information. Please regularly check Moodle for latest course-specific teaching and learning updates.

If you require any support, please email hub@uws.ac.uk.

We hope this information is helpful and we will continue to keep you informed about the latest developments.

Coronavirus Update - 26 March 2020, 15:00

The University is continuing to monitor the nationally evolving coronavirus situation and is committed to providing staff and students with regular updates. We hope they are helpful and reassuring during what is an unsettling time for all of us.

International and EU students living in Scotland

As we updated yesterday, we’re aware that – across the university sector – some international students and EU students may experience financial difficulties due to the impact of coronavirus on the wider economy. In recognition of the fact they’re not eligible for statutory funding, we’re creating a dedicated hardship fund for our international and EU students who are currently living in the UK and have not returned to their home country. Further information is available in our additional Q&As for students, in our online coronavirus information hub.

Please regularly check Moodle for latest course-specific teaching and learning updates. If you require any support, please email hub@uws.ac.uk. We hope this information is helpful and we will continue to keep you informed about the latest developments.

Ongoing updates

We absolutely understand what an unsettling time this is for students and we want you to know that we’re here for you. We have been keen to update you daily over the past few weeks, given the pace of developments as the nation responds to the coronavirus outbreak. We will continue to update you regularly; however, these general briefings are now likely to move away from daily updates towards communications every few days or as new information becomes available. Your School will keep in touch in respect of ongoing teaching and assessment.

Updated coronavirus information and Q&A

As always, we encourage students to continue to check our coronavirus information hub on the University’s website. This includes regularly updated frequently asked questions for students and staff, as well as links to official, national sources of information.

Coronavirus Update - 25 March 2020, 17:15

The University is continuing to monitor the nationally evolving coronavirus situation and is committed to providing staff and students with regular updates. We hope they are helpful and reassuring during what is an unsettling time for all of us.

Nursing and midwifery student update

A joint statement has been issued today (Wednesday 25 March 2020) by the NHS, the Scottish Government and the Nursing and Midwifery Council, amongst other regulatory organisations, on plans to expand the nursing and midwifery workforce amidst the coronavirus outbreak. The University has written this afternoon to nursing and midwifery students to share this guidance and further information.

Online security alert and advice

Unfortunately, in recent days, we have observed that scammers are attempting to take advantage of the current situation by sending phishing emails relating to coronavirus, or which look to come from your IT department requesting you enter password details to facilitate remote working or studying. It is more important than ever that everyone is vigilant to scam emails and files which could be harmful to your PC/Mac/laptop as resolving such issues may require longer than normal for our IT team to resolve.

We can assure you that Information Services will never send an email requesting you change your password. 

Below are some tips for protecting yourself and your account while studying off campus:

  • Ensure your own device has up to date anti-virus software installed, including on smartphones and tablets.
  • Avoid using USB storage devices where possible. Consider using your UWS OneDrive account instead.
  • If you receive an email requesting you enter/change password details, please contact the Helpdesk helpdesk@uws.ac.uk with details which will allow us to block it. You should then delete the email.
  • Be wary of any emails which include attachments and only open if you are certain the source is legitimate and you are expecting an attachment from the sender.
  • In the same way, hyperlinks within emails should not be clicked unless you are confident the sender and purpose are legitimate.
  • Use ‘OneDrive’ to share files, rather than email.

If you have any concerns regarding a suspicious email supposedly from a UWS email account or believe you may have given away your own details, please contact Information Services immediately on 0141 848 3448 or helpdesk@uws.ac.uk.

Library online access arrangements

If you require library support, remember you can access this online via email (library@uws.ac.uk) or via the Self Service Portal (hub.uws.ac.uk). Our staff will be available remotely to assist you. UWS Library has an extensive collection of online resources that support teaching, learning and research. For more information about our online resources, please visit our Finding Books, Articles & More page of the Library website. You can search our library collection 24/7 using One Search. We also offer a number of online guides, videos and FAQs which you can access at #uwslibTalks Padlet.

Academic skills support

Our Academic Skills staff continue to provide support during this current situation. You can access our services online, including study support tools, academic writing materials and essay writing resources by clicking here or via the Student Support tile in MyDay 

We have a wide range of resources which includes interactive presentations, information guides and videos on our YouTube channel. Students can also book appointments with Academic Skills advisers which can be via email or phone (with screen sharing options to allow interactive feedback on written work).

Students can book appointments online and can also contact the Hub for any initial enquiries via hub@uws.ac.uk or by calling 0141 848 3800.

International and EU students living in Scotland

We’re aware that – across the university sector – some international students and EU students may experience financial difficulties due to the impact of coronavirus on the wider economy. In recognition of the fact they’re not eligible for statutory funding, we’re creating a dedicated hardship fund for our international and EU students who are currently living in the UK and have not returned to their home country. Any award will be made at the discretion of the University.

Who can apply?

 Applicants must be international or EU students currently living in the UK and who are not be in receipt of living cost support from the Scottish or UK government.

Applicants must be able to evidence that they are facing immediate financial hardship as a direct result of covid-19.

How to apply

Apply using your Banner email to euandinternationalfund@uws.ac.uk, stating your current address and date of birth.

Your email should include a short paragraph, explaining: 

  • How has covid-19 directly impacted on your financial position?
  • If your income from employment has been affected, please provide details, including:

o   details of your employer, the type of contract you are/were on, the earnings you were used to receiving on a weekly/monthly basis, the new earnings you now expect to receive on a weekly/monthly basis.

  • How many adults and children in your household who are dependent on you?

Evidence may be attached as appropriate.

Welfare

Range of support

Our Student Support teams are here for you whenever you need them. This includes online and phone appointments, which can be made with the Counselling, Disability, International Advice, Academic Skills, Careers and Funding and Advice teams, by emailing hub@uws.ac.uk or calling 0141 848 3800. For Academic Skills and Careers, you can also access resources or book online and phone appointments directly by logging into the system, or through MyDay.

Mental wellbeing

We recognise this is a worrying time for everyone – and, here at UWS, your mental health is incredibly important to us. We’d therefore encourage students to check outSilverCloud – a free, confidential, online programme which can help you learn practical strategies for dealing with stress, anxiety and depression.

We encourage students to continue to check our coronavirus information hub on the University’s website. This includes regularly updated frequently asked questions for students, as well as links to official, national sources of information. Please regularly check Moodle for latest course-specific teaching and learning updates.

If you require any support, please email hub@uws.ac.uk.

We hope this information is helpful and we will continue to keep you informed about the latest developments.

Coronavirus Update - 24 March 2020, 18:00

Last night, new national guidance confirmed that we, as a country, are entering a new phase of precautionary measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus – essentially putting the country into lockdown. We urge you to comply with the Prime Minister’s essential guidance to protect to yourselves and your families, our communities and our NHS.

This is undoubtedly a difficult, and worrying, time for all of us and as a University we will continue to communicate with you regarding the latest in what is a very fast-moving, challenging and unprecedented situation.

Placements

Today, we shared a further update directly with our nursing students, regarding placements, and information will be included in our online FAQs.

It’s important to recognise that nursing education is part of a nationally controlled system, with links across universities, the NHS and Government – and therefore it is difficult for universities, like ours, to act independently. The University has been working to arrive at a nationally-agreed position to ensure clarity and advice for our student nurses, while at the same time, developing a range of important measures to ensure no student is disadvantaged. We will continue to keep our students informed about the latest developments.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council have also produced information and FAQs for students.

Extensions applications process

In yesterday’s email to all students, we included information regarding submitting an Extenuating Circumstances Submission (ECS). Further to this announcement, it has been confirmed that ECS can now be applied when an agreed extension to the submission date is in place (you would previously have had to appeal if an extension was in place). This new process will be implemented immediately. When completing an ECS, you should clearly state the assessment date (if the original assessment date or an agreed extended date). The full ECS procedure is available online.

Welfare

Our Student Support teams are here for you whenever you need them. This includes online and phone appointments, which can be made with the Counselling, Disability, International Advice, Academic Skills, Careers and Funding and Advice teams, by emailing hub@uws.ac.uk or calling 0141 848 3800. For Academic Skills and Careers, you can also access resources or book online and phone appointments directly by logging into the system, or through MyDay.

We recognise this is a worrying time for everyone – and, here at UWS, your mental health is incredibly important to us. We’d therefore encourage students to check out SilverCloud – a free, confidential, online programme which can help you learn practical strategies for dealing with stress, anxiety and depression.

We encourage students to continue to check our coronavirus information hub on the University’s website. This includes regularly updated frequently asked questions for students, as well as links to official, national sources of information. Please regularly check Moodle for latest course-specific teaching and learning updates.

If you require any support, please email hub@uws.ac.uk

We hope this information is helpful and we will continue to keep you informed about the latest developments.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 23 MARCH 2020, 19:42

The University is continuing to monitor the nationally evolving coronavirus situation and is committed to providing students and staff with regular updates. We hope they are helpful and reassuring during what is an unsettling time for all of us. The Prime Minister will address the nation at 8.30pm this evening and we will assess the impact of any more updated advice and instruction before issuing tomorrow’s bulletin.

Essential access

All University campuses will be closed from 5pm today (23 March 2020), with only essential access in Paisley under exceptional circumstances, with the prior agreement of your School and via our security team, with a requirement to observe strict government guidance on social distancing.

Extensions applications process and wider academic support

To account for the campus closures and the exceptional circumstances of coronavirus, students are now able to apply for extensions of up to 10 working days (by emailing their lecturer) or to defer to the next assessment opportunity by submitting an Extenuating Circumstances Submission (ECS). Requests for extensions to assignment deadlines or for other resit opportunities that fall within the normal timeframe of the module (usually one whole trimester) should continue to be submitted directly to the relevant module coordinator or other named person in the School. Please note that no third party evidence is required when submitting an ECS. The full Extenuating Circumstances procedure is available online.

Assessments

By the end of today (Monday 23 March 2020), the majority of students should have been notified via Moodle of alternative assessment arrangements. There are some exceptions where there is a Professional Statutory Regulatory Body Requirement (PSRB) and on site facilities are required. These assessments will be rescheduled and you will be notified of the arrangements for these separately.

If you require further clarification or help and support, please contact the tutor who set the assessment or the module co-ordinator by email.

For students at levels 7 (first year undergraduate) or 8 (second year undergraduate), details include:

  • There will be no term 2 examinations for students at level 7 or 8
  • Students will be assessed on the basis of work already submitted or due to be submitted by end of term 2 (2nd May 2020)
  • Resit opportunities for Term 1 and 2 will be offered at usual timescales.
  • For term 1 resits, alternatives to examination should be developed.
  • Progression and award decisions will be based on existing regulations and credit requirements

For students at levels 9, 10 and 11:

  • There will be no examinations at end of term 2
  • Alternative assessments will be developed: either coursework or open book examination
  • All resit assessments from earlier terms will be coursework-based

Library online access arrangements

If you require library support during the closure period, remember you can access this online via email (library@uws.ac.uk) or via the Self Service Portal (hub.uws.ac.uk). Our staff will be available remotely to assist you. UWS Library has an extensive collection of online resources that support teaching, learning and research. For more information about our online resources, please visit our Finding Books, Articles & More page of the Library website. You can search our library collection 24/7 using One Search. We also offer a number of online guides, videos and FAQs which you can access at #uwslibTalks Padlet.

Remote working IT support

You are invited to regularly check Moodle for latest course-specific teaching and learning updates. As outlined above, the library offers a wide range of online learning and research resources.

For those students with a pressing need for access to a computer – and who have no other way of accessing one – there is an extremely limited number of laptops that may be available upon request, depending on demand: please email the IT helpdesk at helpdesk@uws.ac.uk

Free online support for students’ mental wellbeing

We recognise this is a worrying time for everyone – and, here at UWS, your mental health is incredibly important to us. We’d therefore encourage students to check out SilverCloud – an online programme which can help you learn practical strategies for dealing with stress, anxiety and depression. It’s free and confidential, and you can work at your own pace. It’s easy to use - interactive tools and activities make your experience interesting and motivational. Silvercloud gives you secure, immediate access to interactive and engaging online CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) modules. It offers a supportive framework available to all students, across campuses, enhancing wellbeing and providing support for issues such as depression, anxiety and stress. For information and to sign up, please visit ourSilverCloud webpage.

I have questions about my finances, income and funding – what should I do?

Please visit our dedicated funding and advice page on myDay, which includes a range of information, resources and contacts.

We encourage students to continue to check our coronavirus information hub on the University’s website. This includes regularly updated frequently asked questions for students, as well as links to official, national sources of information. Please regularly check Moodle for latest course-specific teaching and learning updates.

If you require any support, please email hub@uws.ac.uk.

We hope this information is helpful and we will continue to keep you informed about the latest developments.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 22 MARCH 2020, 22:38

The University is continuing to monitor the nationally evolving coronavirus situation and is committed to providing students and staff with regular updates. We hope they are helpful and reassuring during what is an unsettling time for all of us.

UWS campus buildings to close from 5pm on Monday 23 March 2020

Following the latest national advice from both the UK and Scottish Governments, issued today, we have taken the difficult decision to further limit access to our campus buildings – however, this does not affect our residential accommodation, which remains open.

As such, from 5pm tomorrow (Monday 23 March), University buildings – across all five campuses – will close, with essential access permitted for a small number of students and staff. In these cases, adjustments will be made to ensure strict social distancing measures are observed. Tomorrow morning, we will share further detailed guidance for students who may require access. 

Campus access will be available tomorrow for students and staff to gather any equipment or resources they require to enable remote working, if they haven’t already done so. While the campuses will close at 5pm, we ask those attending to spend as little time on campus tomorrow as possible.

We recognise that these changes represent a huge shift to everyday University life. However, they are essential in supporting national efforts to mitigate the impact of coronavirus and are of paramount importance in keeping our University community safe and well.

At all times, our overriding priority is the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff and we will remain agile and responsive to the needs of all as we work together to support our UWS community in what are truly unprecedented circumstances.

It is important to stress that while campus buildings will not be accessible from tomorrow evening, the University itself will not be closed, but rather UWS will be operating remotely. Student services will remain available, with colleagues continuing to deliver high levels of service right across our operations, thanks to the use of a range of innovation digital solutions and creative ways of working.

We encourage students to continue to check our coronavirus information hub on the University’s website. This includes regularly updated frequently asked questions for students, as well as links to official, national sources of information. Please regularly check Moodle for latest course-specific teaching and learning updates.

If you require any support, please email hub@uws.ac.uk.

We hope this information is helpful and we will continue to keep you informed about the latest developments.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 20 MARCH 2020, 13:56

The University is continuing to monitor the nationally evolving coronavirus situation and is committed to providing staff and students with regular updates. We hope they are helpful and reassuring during what is an unsettling time for all of us.

Welfare

Yesterday, we provided our students with further information on the wide range of support available, in relation to learning and teaching, funding and wellbeing – details of which are all on our dedicated coronavirus information hub on the University’s website.

Weekend study zones

As outlined yesterday, we are creating dedicated study zones for students who require access to our facilities at weekends. These facilities will be available between 9am and 5pm at weekends.

Areas that will be designated as dedicated weekend study zones are outlined below:

  • Paisley: The library and Hub area will remain open
  • Lanarkshire: The library and The Street will remain open
  • Ayr: The library and the atrium
  • Dumfries: please see online Q&A for detail
  • London: not open over the weekend

Other campus buildings will not be generally accessible at weekends unless there is a specific requirement.

Placements

A specific communication to nursing and midwifery students currently on placement was issued yesterday and can be found on our online Q&A.

We encourage students to continue to check our coronavirus information hub on the University’s website. This includes regularly updated frequently asked questions for students, as well as links to official, national sources of information. You are invited to regularly check Moodle for latest course-specific teaching and learning updates. If you require any support, please email hub@uws.ac.uk.

We hope this information is helpful and we will continue to keep you informed about the latest developments.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 19 MARCH 2020, 13:18

The University is continuing to monitor the nationally evolving coronavirus situation and is committed to providing staff and students with regular updates. We hope they are helpful and reassuring during what is an unsettling time for all of us.

Welfare

We are aware of the uncertainty that many students are facing as a result of this unprecedented situation.

A range of support continues to be available to students. This includes online and phone appointments, which can be made with the Counselling, Disability, International Advice, Academic Skills, Careers and Funding and Advice teams, by emailing hub@uws.ac.uk. For Academic Skills and Careers, you can also access resources or book online and phone appointments directly by logging into the system, or through MyDay.

While the University has suspended face-to-face teaching, students continue to engage in their studies remotely and will, therefore, receive statutory funding as normal from Student Awards Agency Scotland and Student Loans Company. We will continue to liaise closely with those agencies as they monitor the nationally evolving situation and will update students accordingly.

We understand that many students will also be facing reductions in income as a result of part-time employment being impacted. We are committed to using our resources to best-support students in this situation and will monitor the action of Government to ensure we have a coordinated approach that allows us to do this fairly.

The Funding and Advice Team continue to encourage eligible students to apply to the Discretionary Funds and are able to accept applications via email submission. Students can find out more about these funds on our website.

As this situation constantly evolves, the Funding and Advice Team will provide updates and answers to FAQs via MyDay – click on the Student Support tile, and then the Funding and Advice tile.

If you are an international student on a Tier 4 visa who has travelled home and are unable to return to the UK, please be reassured that you are not in breach of your Tier 4 visa conditions whilst you are continuing to engage academically with your studies in the manner outlined by your School.

International students on a Tier 4 visa who are unable to return home due to current travel restrictions and are worried about breaching their Tier 4 visa conditions (becoming an overstayer) should call the Home Office helpline as exceptional circumstances may be considered.

Weekend study zones

For students who require access to our facilities at weekends, we will be creating dedicated study zones.

Areas that will be designated as dedicated study zones are outlined below:

  • Paisley: The library and Hub area will remain open
  • Lanarkshire: The library and The Street will remain open
  • Ayr: The library and the atrium
  • Dumfries: under review due to shared service arrangements – Dudgeon House and Browne House not open
  • London: is not open over the weekend

Other campus buildings will not be generally accessible at weekends unless there is a specific requirement.

Placements

A specific communication to nursing and midwifery students currently on placement is being issued later today.

Residences

We recognise that our campuses are home to many students and residences continue to remain open. We are aware this is a difficult period for all residents and that some have chosen to depart and we would request that you inform us if you have already returned home or if you intend to leave the residences in the near future. Please contact accommodation@uws.ac.uk regarding your current status, as it’s important for us to know who is in the building for a variety of housekeeping and health and safety reasons.

If you develop symptoms related to coronavirus, we would ask that you contactaccommodation@uws.ac.uk or call 0141 848 3159 and follow the Government advice with regards to self-isolation: health guidance can be found on the NHS Inform website.

We consider a shared flat to be similar to a household environment; therefore; if one of your flatmates develops symptoms related to coronavirus, we would insist that all flatmates isolate as per Government advice. Our team can advise locally of additional measures to support a self-isolation period.

All non-essential maintenance has been suspended until further notice to limit unnecessary face-to-face contact.

To limit the number of people in residences at any one time, in line with public health guidance, we will no longer be permitting any visitors and non-UWS residents into our buildings. All overnight guest requests will no longer be granted. Please be assured, our team is still onsite and available to continue to support you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We’d encourage you to familiarise yourself with Government guidance for households too.

We encourage students to continue to check our coronavirus information hub on the University’s website. This includes regularly updated frequently asked questions for students, as well as links to official, national sources of information. You are invited to regularly check Moodle for latest course-specific teaching and learning updates. If you require any support, please email hub@uws.ac.uk.

We hope this information is helpful and we will continue to keep you informed about the latest developments.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 18 MARCH 2020, 15:43

The University is continuing to monitor the nationally evolving coronavirus situation and is committed to providing staff and students with regular updates. We hope they are helpful and reassuring during what is an unsettling time for all of us.

SAAS payments

SAAS have assured us that students who continue to engage with the remote and alternative teaching and learning provided by their universities, following the postponement of face-to-face teaching, will continue to be funded.

Campus access

The University remains open and all campuses are operational at present; however, we are closely observing both local and national developments and those of our higher education counterparts. The wellbeing of staff and students, as always, remains our first priority.  

Face-to-face teaching has, as announced on Friday 13 March, been suspended for the remaining two weeks of the current term. It is important to stress, however, that all our campuses remain open.Students are therefore still able to attend campus for use of the library, catering facilities and other resources; however, in postponing classes and moving to remote learning, we hope to be able to reduce the number of individuals on campus at any one time. Some student groups continue to attend, for example PhD students, who require access to specialist resources and facilities, such as labs.

Given the lower footfall on our campuses, we will be reducing our library opening hours, which will be closing from 7pm effective from tomorrow (Thursday 19 March). However, other areas of our campus continue to remain open for study.

In line with other gym providers, our fitness facilities remain open at present – but also have enhanced cleaning, reduced capacity and all fitness classes have been cancelled.

Recent Scottish Government update

You may be aware that this afternoon the First Minister announced that primary and secondary schools may close from end of week and that arrangements could differ across various local authorities. The Deputy First Minister is due to update the Scottish Parliament on the detail of this on Thursday (19 March). At that stage, we will be in a better position to understand implications for UWS – in terms of current operations, but also looking forward to the potential impact on SQA examinations and results that would inform entry to University in September. We await further detail and update you in due course.

International students and travel

The ongoing coronavirus disruption is causing the cancellation of international conferences, the closures of partner institutions and placement providers in Erasmus destinations, and increasing difficulties in travelling between countries. 

The University recognises that staff and students currently out on University business may have concerns and now strongly recommends that you make arrangements to return as soon as possible. Country-specific information from the UK Government is available here and sections 2.4 and 2.5 from this UK Government travel guidance for the education sector may be relevant.

If you require support and assistance with making arrangements to return home, please contact your School or Department. Schools will be looking at alternative arrangements to minimise any disadvantage to students academically as a result of this. If you have any other questions regarding international travel, please direct your query to: internationaladvice@uws.ac.uk.

We encourage students and staff to continue to check our coronavirus information hub on the University’s website. This includes regularly updated frequently asked questions for students and staff, as well as links to official, national sources of information.

We hope this information is helpful and we will continue to keep you informed about the latest developments.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 17 MARCH 2020, 15:20

As you will be aware, face-to-face teaching has, as announced on Friday 13 March, been suspended for the remaining two weeks of the current term, with the University moving to remote delivery of learning and teaching during this period.

To ensure you are briefed on the University’s actions in response to the latest national guidance on coronavirus, we have prepared this detailed briefing and we will continue to issue regular updates.

The wellbeing of our students and staff is our first priority and colleagues continue to work tirelessly to mitigate the local impacts of the rapidly evolving international coronavirus situation.

The University remains open and all campuses are operational; however, the University recognises that your health and wellbeing, and that of your family or those you care for, will be a priority.

The Government has advised people to “limit social contact as much as you can” and, as such, the University can advise the following.

Looking after your health

It is essential that we all continue to follow national public health advice, as we all seek to play our part in the national efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus and protect the health of ourselves, our loved ones and our communities.

Simple measures like thorough hand-washing, coughing or sneezing into tissues and disposing of them, and following any individual advice provided by medical professionals, are all key factors that everybody can do to play their part limiting the spread of coronavirus. NHS Inform provides a range of guidance, including on how to avoid catching infections.

Further advice for anyone at an increased risk of severe illness can be found on the Government website.

Teaching and learning

Following the postponement of face-to-face teaching for the remaining two weeks of the current term, module teams or individual module leaders are seeking to provide alternative activity to attendance at lectures, tutorials, seminars laboratories and workshops, and will be in contact with you directly. This activity will cover the final two weeks of term two and be designed to ensure that learning outcomes for your modules are met. This may include:

  1. Lectures delivered in real time online
  2. Recorded lectures, or other suitable resources, which students can access at any time
  3. Directed reading
  4. Online activities

You are invited to regularly check Moodle for latest course-specific teaching and learning updates.

IT support

Students are encouraged to access Moodle.

Students can also visit www.office.com, to download the Microsoft Office suite for free, using their University login details.

For those students who require access Microsoft Creative Cloud or specialist computing software, Schools will be in touch directly to make necessary arrangements where possible.

The IT Helpdesk continues to be available to help students maximise the benefits of the various software and applications available –helpdesk@uws.ac.uk or 0141 848 3999.

The library has lots of support on the UWS website to help you study and access resources.

Placements

The General Teaching Council for Scotland has issued advice to teacher education students – and our School of Education and Social Sciences has cascaded that as appropriate – that all Initial Teacher Education (ITE) placements in schools will end as of Monday 16 March, and for the remainder of this academic session. This includes placements for all undergraduate and postgraduate students in all years of their ITE programmes.

Social Work placements have also been suspended.

NHS and the Council of Deans Health are working with Government and actively considering options for student placements.  UWS will follow that advice once it is developed.

We’re advising other students who are currently on placement to continue unless advised otherwise by their employers or the University.

Assessments

In line with other Scottish universities, arrangements are being made so that level seven (first year undergraduate) and level eight (second year undergraduate) examinations do not need to take place in term two. There will be no requirement to set alternative forms of assessment unless it is set out by the Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs). Arrangements will, however, be made to set dates for term one resit assessments.

Level 9, 10 and 11 examinations will be replaced by alternative forms of assessment. This can include open book examinations or coursework as an alternative. Current Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRB) requirements will still apply. Alternatives should also be set for term one resit examinations. As above, Schools will provide detailed information to students directly on these arrangements at a programme level.

Campus facilities

As noted above, our campuses remain open, including our libraries and catering facilities. We will keep you updated as the situation develops.

International travel

The ongoing coronavirus disruption is causing the cancellation of international conferences, the closures of partner institutions and placement providers in Erasmus destinations, and increasing difficulties in travelling between countries.

The University recognises that students and staff currently out on University business may have concerns and now strongly recommends you make arrangements to return as soon as possible. Country-specific information from the UK Government is available here and sections 2.4 and 2.5 from this UK Government travel guidance for the education sector may be relevant.

If you require support and assistance with making arrangements to return home, please contact your School or Department. Schools will be looking at alternative arrangements to minimise any disadvantage to students academically as a result of this.

Further information and guidance

As always, we encourage students and staff to continue to check our coronavirus information hub on the University’s website. This includes regularly updated frequently asked questions for students and staff, as well as links to official, national sources of information.

We trust this information is helpful and we will continue to keep you informed about latest developments.

Last updated: 28/05/2020