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Information on coronavirus


 

Advice for students and staff at both our Egham and London campuses who may have concerns about the outbreak of coronavirus

Please refer to this page for accurate and updated advice about the coronavirus and the College’s response. We will update this page regularly with more information as it becomes available.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) is a new strain of coronavirus. We understand that coronavirus (Covid-19) may be creating concern and that you may have questions, many of which we do not yet have answers to. The College is in regular contact with Public Health England (PHE) and it is our policy to follow their advice, together with guidance from the NHS and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). We are also supporting any students and staff who are abroad in affected areas. 

The UK government has now formally confirmed that it is moving into the ‘delay’ stage of its coronavirus (Covid-19) plan. A pandemic is unprecedented in our lifetimes and now, more than ever, we need to work together to protect the health and wellbeing of our whole community.

We have been preparing for this ‘delay’ phase and our plans have included the delivery of lectures and other teaching and learning support online as far as possible and we are working on how we can make sure that students are not academically disadvantaged as a result of the current situation. 

We will update this page as soon as we have more information, but please note that the situation is changing rapidly. If you have any concerns about your health you should contact the free NHS 111 telephone helpline (or find specific advice on the  NHS website if you are unable to get through). Please also check  see the PHE website for the latest official advice.

Please read our frequently asked questions about coronavirus below

Message from the Principal, Professor Paul Layzell, 24 March 2020

Latest coronavirus updates

Update as of 8 April - coronavirus newsletter sent to students and staff

You can read the latest coronavirus newsletter here.

Update as of 8 April - postgraduate taught assessment plans for 2020

Postgraduate taught assessment plans for 2020: Response and mitigation for coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic

In last week’s message, we explained that we will be replacing face-to-face, invigilated examinations with alternative assessments as the best way to support you so that you can graduate this year, or if you are a part-time student progress to your final year. In some cases this will mean adjusting our normal progression requirements, so please check with your school for this.
 
The approach to assessment that we are explaining to you today acknowledges the disruption that has occurred and provides a practical solution that will allow you to move forward. Our goal is that despite the events of this year, you will be able to complete your degree and graduate.
 
There will be three types of alternative assessments: written pieces for text-based subjects, problem-solving exercises for numerical subjects and quizzes. You will not be asked to attempt any alternative assessment in a format you have not encountered on the course already. To help you there will be opportunities to practice matters such as uploading the assessment next term. Alternative assessments will usually be completed within a 23 hour timeframe, apart from some numerical tasks which will have alternative guidelines. We have done this so that people can complete the tasks no matter what time zone they are in and if they have access to slower broadband, etc.
 
Our PGT programme portfolio is very broad and assessment deadlines are very varied. Each school will provide details of the submission dates of current assessments so please consult those pages. Final dissertation/project deadlines are not being changed from those already announced to you because we are aware that many of you need your qualifications to take up employment or further study and we do not want to jeopardise that. However, some of you will need to reshape your proposed projects and we advise that you discuss this with your supervisor as soon as possible so that they can support you through this.

Information on assessments for schools

The links to your school pages for assessment details can be found here.

No detriment stance - Safety Net and Best Credits policy

Our commitment to you is that you will not be academically disadvantaged as a direct result of the pandemic. We will do this in two ways; a ‘Safety Net’ (sometimes called a 'no detriment' policy) and a Best Credits policy.

Both the Safety Net and Best Credits policy seek to ensure that, as far as possible, we minimise the impact on you of the disruption you have experienced. The Safety Net means that where possible we will use your academic performance to date to create a baseline for your degree calculation. It guarantees that your final degree classification will not drop below that baseline. As with our undergraduate students we will be basing the safety net on cases where you have completed at least a third of your current modules (60 credits). This will include any work submitted before Monday 2 March. For part-time students who are in their first year, the Safety Net policy will mean that you will not receive an overall average for Year 1 that is lower than your Year 2 marks, for second year students your first year work and other previous work will count as your Safety Net against this year’s marks.

Where you have missing component marks for modules that you cannot finish, due to their teaching method, then we will scale the components that you have scores for in order to reach your module score. Where entire modules, such as field work, have not been able to be completed then we will discount that module from your overall average.

The Best Credits policy means that we will calculate a mark that will be based on the best results you have received from at least 150 credits out of the 180 credits that you are taking. This means that you will be able to discount modules up to a credit value of 30; our programmes have different credit weightings so for some students this will mean discounting a module worth 20 credits, and for others a module worth 30 credits. You will not be able to split module scores to make up exactly 30 credits. The Best Credits policy means that your lowest marks will not be used to calculate your final year mark. However, we will still expect you to pass each module (pass mark 50%) and units that are mandatory for the programme or for professional body accreditation you will not be able to make available for discount.

To determine your degree result, we will compare your Safety Net mark (if applicable) with the figure we calculate under the Best Credits policy. If your classification outcome calculated under the Best Credits policy is higher than your Safety Net baseline, then you will be awarded the higher classification. If your classification outcome calculated under the Best Credits policy  is lower than your Safety Net baseline, you will be awarded the classification based on that baseline i.e. your degree classification can only go up from the Safety Net baseline, not down.

If you do not pass the alternative assessment held in May/June then you will be given an uncapped attempt at a resit to compensate for the change of assessment format. For those students sitting assessments with a capped restriction that would be maintained in the event of any further resit.

Examinations and assessments 2020 information hub

The changes to examined assessments on your course, further information including additional support will be hosted on the Examinations and Assessments 2020 information hub.
 
The hub will continue to be updated to include helpful information about how to understand your assessment and how to undertake assessment online.

Arrangements for students with exam access arrangements

Some students registered with the Disability & Dyslexia Service (D&DS) will have been eligible for exam access arrangements for assessments conducted under ‘normal’ exam conditions. 
The window of time to submit online assessments has been constructed to allow sufficient time for all students to complete their assessments. It includes any additional time previously awarded as a reasonable adjustment for D&DS students. 
 
Disability specific guidance for the new assessment methods is being prepared by D&DS and will be distributed to registered students when individual timetables are published. 
D&DS registered students who have questions about their ability to work to the new assessment formats or about arrangements other than extra time should contact disability-dyslexia@royalholloway.ac.uk

Extenuating circumstances

We have outlined the measures we are taking to mitigate against the effects of coronavirus (Covid-19) on examinations and general disruption. If you are particularly affected due to illness or support for those who are vulnerable, you can still submit extenuating circumstances.

Interruption/deferrals

If you would prefer not to be assessed through an alternative form to face-to-face exams you can defer this assessment to next year. You would still be liable for full fees this year but would not be charged for next year. For further details contact your School Director of PGT Education.

Exit award

If you no longer feel that you want to study for your dissertation or project and wish to be awarded a qualification for your taught components of the course you are able to take a postgraduate diploma for completing all coursework (120 credits). Your classification will be calculated using the Safety Net and Best Credit policies outlined above. With regard to Best Credit you will be able to discount up to 30 credits. You are able to return to study to complete a Masters degree at a point within three years, please contact your School Director of PGT Education to discuss the feasibility of this.

Where to ask for more help

If you have a question about an individual module, please contact your module tutor or lead. If you have a broader question, please check the link to our school pages or the information hub. If you have general questions on a topic that’s not answered on the hub, please email studentservices@royalholloway.ac.uk and we will provide additional information via the hub if required. Please note that the College is closed from Thursday 9 April until Wednesday 15 April and we wish you a restful Easter break - and please do stick to the rules for social distancing over the holiday period.

We are committed to supporting you through this difficult time; we hope you are safe and well and we look forward to working with you virtually to complete your studies.

Professor James Knowles, Senior Vice-Principal (Education)
Professor David Gilbert, Vice-Principal (Quality and Standards)

Update as of 8 April - coronavirus: update on exams and assessments

Please note; the below communication does not apply to undergraduate first year and foundation year students. First year and foundation year students will be sent communications next week, as per last week's email.

On Friday we sent you a message on the form of this year’s assessments and the details of the systems we have put in place to ensure that you are not academically disadvantaged as a result of the current unprecedented circumstances. Today we are pleased to be able to share with you further details and your alternative assessment timetable.

Timetable

For all assessments between Monday 4 May and Friday 12 June

Click here to discover:

  • Your timetable
  • Assessment timings
  • Word lengths and other details

Alternative assessments

Click here to discover your school’s advice and support for you; including how to prepare for and access alternative assessments and the support available for students who are DDS registered or who are without IT equipment or internet access. More details of revision sessions and technical practice will be added after Easter. 

Submission details and policies

Find out more about submitting your assessments, what to do if there’s a problem and our policies on extensions and late submissions here.

No detriment stance

In last week’s messages we gave details of the approaches we will take to ensure that no student is academically disadvantaged as a result of the pandemic. You can find out more about what that means for you here

 

More information will be posted on the Assessments and results hub and we would encourage you to read the information carefully. Please note that the College is closed from Thursday 9 April until Wednesday 15 April and we wish you a restful Easter break - and please do stick to the rules for social distancing over the holiday period. When we are back, we will be here to support you in taking your alternative assessments and completing this academic year successfully.

Professor James Knowles, Senior Vice-Principal (Education)
Professor David Gilbert, Vice-Principal (Quality and Standards)

All of our previous coronavirus updates can be found on this page.

About the virus

What is it?

Coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world.

Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in older people and vulnerable people. Information on who meets there criteria can be found here.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a fever (hot to the touch on your chest or back)

If you develop either of these symptoms you must stay at home. Information on how to do this can be found here.

Where can I find out more?

Further information from the UK Government can be found here.

For students:

If you are worried about coronavirus, please email our Wellbeing team at  supportingyou@royalholloway.ac.uk

For staff:

If you are worried about coronavirus and it's having an impact on your wellbeing, please let your line manager know and or you can contact our Employee Wellbeing Programme provider,  Confidencial Care (CiC)

If you are a colleague with additional questions that haven't been answered, please email  intranet@royalholloway.ac.uk.

How coronavirus might affect you

How can I protect myself ?

The government has introduced strict measures to stop the spread of coronavirus.

  • Stay at home
  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
  • Stay two metres (6ft) away from other people
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

The correct way to wash your hands thoroughly can be seen in this video.

Should I wear a facemask?

Face masks play a very important role in places like hospitals, but there is very little evidence of widespread benefit for members of the public.

The UK government is considering this guidance so please follow any published advice.

What if I see someone wearing a face mask?

The wearing of face masks is a common practice in some cultures and is becoming increasingly common in the UK.

Masks are worn for a variety reasons and should not be taken to be an indicator that the wearer is unwell. In some cases people wear them to protect themselves from illness and in others to ensure they do not spread the common cold. Masks may even be worn indoors.

What should I do if I feel unwell and think I have coronavirus?

The government has introduced strict measures to stop the spread of coronavirus.

  • Stay at home
  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
  • Stay two metres (6ft) away from other people
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

Whether or not you think you have coronavirus you should remain in your home and follow the advice here.

The correct way to wash your hands thoroughly can be seen in this video.

I have a health condition that might make me more vulnerable to coronavirus?

Coronavirus (Covid-19) is a variation of the influenza (flu) virus and some colleagues will be at higher risk from the virus due to their medical history or personal circumstances.

Guidance in relation to coronavirus can be found on the government website.

There is also now guidance on shielding and protecting people who are extremely vulnerable. This applies to the categories below. If you meet any of these please look at the additional guidance here.

  1. Solid organ transplant recipients
  2. People with specific cancers:
  • people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radical radiotherapy for lung cancer
  • people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
  • people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
  • people having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
  • people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
  1. People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD.
  2. People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell).
  3. People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection.
  4. Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired.

For students:

If you consider yourself to be high risk or you are a primary carer for someone who is high risk, or if you have a close relative in palliative care, please contact supportingyou@royalholloway.ac.uk, as soon as possible. You don’t need to provide any specific details within the email, we just need to know if you are within this category.

For staff:

If you consider yourself to be high risk or you are a primary carer for someone who is high risk, or if you have a close relative in palliative care, please contact douglas.searle@royalholloway.ac.uk, as soon as possible. You must not provide any specific details within the email, we just need to know if you are within this category.

As of 17 March we have asked those who are at higher risk to work from home where possible. You will also need to discuss working arrangements with your line manager as soon as possible.

I look after someone with a health condition that might make then more vulnerable to coronavirus?

The same would apply for both students and staff who have a condition or conditions that make them more vulnerable to coronavirus. See previous answer.  

What should I do if I am feeling harassed?

If students or colleagues are victim of, or witness to, racial harassment, abuse or violence we encourage you to contact your line manager, Security or Surrey Police. More information about hate crime and how the Police and Crown Prosecution Service will act on such behaviour is available  here.

If any of our students are victim of or witness to racial harassment, abuse or violence we encourage them to contact our Student Advisory and Wellbeing team, Security, Students’ Union Advice Centre or Surrey Police. 

Contact with others

What is the government’s advice on staying at home and away from others?

On Monday 23 March, the government issued three new measures to reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, to reduce the spread of the infection.

These measures are:

  1. Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes
  2. Closing non-essential shops and community spaces
  3. Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public

Further information and guidance can be found on the government website.

On Thursday 26 March, The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations 2020, came into effect - the new law that governs social distancing and allows the Police to issue fines for those not abiding by the regulations.

What does social distancing mean?

During these uncertain times we must all play our part in following government advice to practice social distancing. Social distancing means trying to avoid contact with other people and spending less time in public places, where a lot of people are around. This includes avoiding large gatherings with friends and instead keeping in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media.

When am I allowed to leave the house?

he Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations 2020, is the new law that governs social distancing during this outbreak.

The Regulations provide that you are not allowed to leave the place where you are living “without reasonable excuse”. It should be noted that if you leave your house without a reasonable excuse it is the individual who could be fined or prosecuted, not the College. It is therefore your personal responsibility.

Reasonable excuses include the need to:

  • To travel for the purposes of work or to provide voluntary or charitable services, where it is not reasonably possible for that person to work, or to provide those services, from the place where they are living
  • To obtain basic necessities, including food and medical supplies for those in the same household (including any pets or animals in the household) or for vulnerable persons and supplies for the essential upkeep, maintenance and functioning of the household, or the household of a vulnerable person, or to obtain money
  • To take exercise either alone or with other members of their household
  • To seek medical assistance
  • To provide care or assistance, including relevant personal care, to a vulnerable person, or to provide emergency assistance
  • To donate blood
  • To attend a funeral of: a member of the person’s household,  a close family member, or if no-one else is attending, a friend
  • To fulfil a legal obligation, including attending court or satisfying bail conditions, or to participate in legal proceedings
  • To access critical public services, including: childcare or educational facilities, social services, services provided by the Department of Work and Pensions
  • In relation to children who do not live in the same household as their parents, or one of their parents, to continue existing arrangements for access to, and contact between, parents and children. A parent can includes a person who is not a parent of the child, but who has parental responsibility for, or cares for, the child
  • In the case of a minister of religion or worship leader, to go to their place of worship
  • To avoid injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm

I am a member of staff, can I travel to campus?

The following part of the Regulations might apply in this case:

  • To travel for the purposes of work or to provide voluntary or charitable services, where it is not reasonably possible for that person to work, or to provide those services, from the place where they are living

The exact definition of what is reasonably possible is not defined, but an example being used by one Police Service with reference to universities is:

  • The requirement to support our students in halls
  • To meet a statutory requirement
  • To ensure current critical research being carried out including tending to plants, animals etc.
  • To undertake essential maintenance

What if I need to collect something from work?

It should be noted that if you leave your house without a reasonable excuse it is the individual who could be fined or prosecuted, not the College. It is therefore your personal responsibility.

Permission to travel to campus to collect something will only be granted where it is absolutely essential to retrieve that item.  

You can request permission using this form. All requests will be reviewed by senior executive colleagues, to ensure that the College is not encouraging unnecessary travel/is seen to be ensuring compliance with the legislation.

Will the College provide me a letter to demonstrate that I am required to travel to the College for work?

If you are required to regularly travel into work and do not have a letter please email HROperations@royalholloway.ac.auk with details of your circumstances.

If appropriate they will provide you will a letter.

If you need a one off access letter to retrieve essential items please email HROperations@royalholloway.ac.auk

What if I’m in contact with someone who is suspected of having coronavirus?

On Monday 23 March, the government issued three new measures to reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, to reduce the spread of the infection.

These measures are:

  1. Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes
  2. Closing non-essential shops and community spaces
  3. Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public

Further information and guidance can be found on the government website.

On Thursday 26 March, The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations 2020, came into effect - the new law that governs social distancing and allows the Police to issue fines for those not abiding by the regulations.

What if I’m in contact with someone who is confirmed as having coronavirus?

On Monday 23 March, the government issued three new measures to reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, to reduce the spread of the infection.

These measures are:

  1. Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes
  2. Closing non-essential shops and community spaces
  3. Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public

Further information and guidance can be found on the government website.

On Thursday 26 March, The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations 2020, came into effect - the new law that governs social distancing and allows the Police to issue fines for those not abiding by the regulations.

What if I’m in contact with someone who has been told to self-isolate?

On Monday 23 March, the government issued three new measures to reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, to reduce the spread of the infection.

These measures are:

  1. Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes
  2. Closing non-essential shops and community spaces
  3. Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public

Further information and guidance can be found on the government website.

On Thursday 26 March, The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations 2020, came into effect - the new law that governs social distancing and allows the Police to issue fines for those not abiding by the regulations.

Your studies

I am a first year student, what are the plans for my first year assessments?

All first students were sent an update about their first year assessments on Friday 3 April. Read the email here.

I am a second year student, what are the plans for my second year assessments?

All second students were sent an email about their second year assessments on Friday 3 April and a further email on Wednesday 8 April.

I am a final year student, what are the plans for my final year assessments?

All final year students were sent an update about their final year assessments on Friday 3 April and a further email on Wednesday 8 April

I am a postgraduate taught student, what are the plans for my postgraduate taught assessments?

All postgraduate taught students were sent an update about their postgraduate taught assessments on Friday 3 April and a further email on Wednesday 8 April.

Can I get an extension for my assessments?

Undergraduate and postgraduate deadlines for your school can be found on this webpage

Easter vacation - Saturday 28 March to Friday 24 April

Undergraduate deadlines after Saturday 28 March and up to the beginning of term three can be found for each school on  this webpage

Where a new deadline is set you do not need to apply for an extension if you are able to submit your work within this time. If you have already submitted a request for an extension for this work this will be superseded by this change of deadline.

If for any reason you are not able to meet the new deadline, you should apply for a five or ten day extension in the normal way. Please note you will not be able to apply for an additional extension until two weeks before the new deadline.

Postgraduate deadlines term two and Easter vacation

Postgraduate deadlines after Saturday 28 March and up to the beginning of term three can be found for each school on  this webpage

Where a new deadline is set you do not need to apply for an extension if you are able to submit your work within this time. If you have already submitted a request for an extension for this work this will be superseded by this change of deadline.

If for any reason you are not able to meet the new deadline, you should apply for a five or ten day extension in the normal way. Please note you will not be able to apply for an additional extension until two weeks before the new deadline.

Undergraduate and postgraduate term three deadlines

On Friday 3 April, students were sent an email providing information on online end of year assessments. Find out more. At this point please do not apply for extensions for any term three deadlines as this may be superseded by the arrangements that we are putting into place.

I am working on an assessment, should I still submit it?

Undergraduate and postgraduate deadlines for your school can be found on this webpage

Easter vacation - Saturday 28 March to Friday 24 April

Undergraduate deadlines after Saturday 28 March and up to the beginning of term three can be found for each school on  this webpage

Where a new deadline is set you do not need to apply for an extension if you are able to submit your work within this time. If you have already submitted a request for an extension for this work this will be superseded by this change of deadline.

If for any reason you are not able to meet the new deadline, you should apply for a five or ten day extension in the normal way. Please note you will not be able to apply for an additional extension until two weeks before the new deadline.

Postgraduate deadlines term two and Easter vacation

Postgraduate deadlines after Saturday 28 March and up to the beginning of term three can be found for each school on  this webpage

Where a new deadline is set you do not need to apply for an extension if you are able to submit your work within this time. If you have already submitted a request for an extension for this work this will be superseded by this change of deadline.

If for any reason you are not able to meet the new deadline, you should apply for a five or ten day extension in the normal way. Please note you will not be able to apply for an additional extension until two weeks before the new deadline.

Undergraduate and postgraduate term three deadlines

On Friday 3 April, students were sent an email providing information on online end of year assessments. Find out more. At this point please do not apply for extensions for any term three deadlines as this may be superseded by the arrangements that we are putting into place.

I have been instructed to self-isolate. What do I do about assessments?

Undergraduate and postgraduate deadlines for your school can be found on this webpage

Easter vacation - Saturday 28 March to Friday 24 April

Undergraduate deadlines after Saturday 28 March and up to the beginning of term three can be found for each school on  this webpage

Where a new deadline is set you do not need to apply for an extension if you are able to submit your work within this time. If you have already submitted a request for an extension for this work this will be superseded by this change of deadline.

If for any reason you are not able to meet the new deadline, you should apply for a five or ten day extension in the normal way. Please note you will not be able to apply for an additional extension until two weeks before the new deadline.

Postgraduate deadlines term two and Easter vacation

Postgraduate deadlines after Saturday 28 March and up to the beginning of term three can be found for each school on  this webpage

Where a new deadline is set you do not need to apply for an extension if you are able to submit your work within this time. If you have already submitted a request for an extension for this work this will be superseded by this change of deadline.

If for any reason you are not able to meet the new deadline, you should apply for a five or ten day extension in the normal way. Please note you will not be able to apply for an additional extension until two weeks before the new deadline.

Undergraduate and postgraduate term three deadlines

On Friday 3 April, students were sent an email providing information on online end of year assessments. Find out more. At this point please do not apply for extensions for any term three deadlines as this may be superseded by the arrangements that we are putting into place.

Will my classes be cancelled?

In light of the government’s announcement on 16 March, the College has taken the decision to suspend face-to-face teaching with immediate effect, meaning that all classes and lectures will be conducted online. 

Teaching will be scheduled according to the timetable. From Tuesday 17 March, you should not attend your class in the lecture theatre or room as usual. Instead you should go to Moodle where you will find out how to access your class online. While lectures will be available via Moodle, smaller group teaching and even individual appointments will use MS Teams.

Using MS Teams
We wanted to take this opportunity to clarify how to join classes online, using Microsoft Teams.

  • Your lecturer will share a link to the MS Teams live video conference session. The link will be shared through Moodle. Some lecturers may also use calendar invites for ad-hoc MS Teams sessions.
  • You should click on the link that says ‘Join Microsoft teams meeting’ which will open in a web browser. You should join the meeting as a guest when you are presented with the options.
  • You may be placed in a ‘lobby’ until the lecturer starts the session. Please activate your camera and mute your microphone.
  • You do not need to download the MS Teams app to attend online classes. Note: you will not be able to log in to MS Teams with your College username and password and you should join all sessions as a guest.

While we can provide teaching and learning support online, running practical work, such as labs and performance related activity is more of a challenge. Therefore, at this time, it is necessary to suspend these activities. We are looking at how we can support the learning outcomes of this work, and ask you to please be patient while we work through the options. We will provide more information when it is available.

Will I be penalised if I fail to attend classes?

In light of the government’s announcement on 16 March, the College has taken the decision to suspend face-to-face teaching with immediate effect, meaning that all classes and lectures will be conducted online. 
 
Teaching will be scheduled according to the timetable. From Tuesday 17 March, you should not attend your class in the lecture theatre or room as usual. Instead you should go to Moodle where you will find out how to access your class online. While lectures will be available via Moodle, smaller group teaching and even individual appointments will use MS Teams.

If you are an overseas student and you decide to go home you must inform student-administration@royalholloway.ac.uk so that we are aware you have left the country which will help to reduce any possible visa issues on your return to the UK.
 
If you are UK student and you wish to go home before the end of term (27 March) you must inform student-administration@royalholloway.ac.uk.
 
If you are a student living in Halls, as well as checking out at your Hall Reception, please also email student-administration@royalholloway.ac.uk to let them know that you have left your room.
 

Will my exams or assessments be cancelled?

On Friday 3 April, students were sent an email providing information on online end of year assessments. Find out more.

Will graduation go ahead this summer?

If you are a final year undergraduate or postgraduate student and you successfully complete your final year assessments to the required standard you will be awarded your degree in July, as would normally be the case.

We have taken the difficult decision to postpone the formal Graduation Ceremonies that would normally be held on campus in July.  Our goal is instead to offer an alternative graduation ceremony, on campus, later in the next academic year for students who will complete their studies in July.  We will keep you informed of our plans as and when the situation in relation to the pandemic becomes more stable.

We are currently planning for the Winter Graduation Ceremonies, which would normally be held in December and which is primarily for postgraduate and postgraduate research students, to go ahead as planned, but we will keep this under review.

In order for us to contact you, and send your results documentation, please make sure you update your personal email and forwarding (home) addresses on Campus Connect.

What support is available to me?

For students:

If you are worried about coronavirus and it's having an impact on your wellbeing, please get in touch with our Wellbeing team at  supportingyou@royalholloway.ac.uk

It is important to keep in touch, especially if you are not on campus. Please keep checking your College emails for updates. If you need information or want to contact a specific team, you may find the contact details in  this document useful. 

For staff:

As a colleague, if you are worried about coronavirus and it's having an impact on your wellbeing, you can contact our Employee Wellbeing Programme provider, Confidential Care (CiC).  Find out more.  

Can I watch my lectures or attend seminars on line?

In light of the government’s announcement on 16 March, the College has taken the decision to suspend face-to-face teaching with immediate effect, meaning that all classes and lectures will be conducted online. 

Teaching will be scheduled according to the timetable. From Tuesday 17 March, you should not attend your class in the lecture theatre or room as usual. Instead you should go to Moodle where you will find out how to access your class online. While lectures will be available via Moodle, smaller group teaching and even individual appointments will use MS Teams.

Using MS Teams
We wanted to take this opportunity to clarify how to join classes online, using Microsoft Teams.

  • Your lecturer will share a link to the MS Teams live video conference session. The link will be shared through Moodle. Some lecturers may also use calendar invites for ad-hoc MS Teams sessions.
  • You should click on the link that says ‘Join Microsoft teams meeting’ which will open in a web browser. You should join the meeting as a guest when you are presented with the options.
  • You may be placed in a ‘lobby’ until the lecturer starts the session. Please activate your camera and mute your microphone.
  • You do not need to download the MS Teams app to attend online classes. Note: you will not be able to log in to MS Teams with your College username and password and you should join all sessions as a guest.

While we can provide teaching and learning support online, running practical work, such as labs and performance related activity is more of a challenge. Therefore, at this time, it is necessary to suspend these activities. We are looking at how we can support the learning outcomes of this work, and ask you to please be patient while we work through the options. We will provide more information when it is available.

Should I go to the Library?

Following government advice, the Library and the Davison building are now closed. The Union Shop will remain open, but tighter social distancing rules will be in place.

Information on library services for students is available on the student intranet. 

Will the College close and what will that mean for me?

In light of the government’s announcement on 16 March, the College has taken the decision to suspend face-to-face teaching with immediate effect, meaning that all classes and lectures will be conducted online. 

Following government advice on 23 March, the Library and the Davison building are now closed. The Union Shop will remain open, but tighter social distancing rules will be in place.

Information on campus facilities, including catering outlets, our Careers Service and Sports Centre, can be found on this webpage. We will continue to keep this page updated.  

Students living on campus will be able to continue living in their room and, if they live in catered Halls, their meals will continue to be provided for them, although the location of the catering may change. 

I'm a postgraduate research student, how will it affect my studies?

You can find out more specific information for postgraduate research students on the Doctoral School intranet pages

Accommodation and catering on campus

I live on campus and have been told to self-isolate. What should I do?

If you are living on campus and have been told to stay at home please do so, following the advice here.

If you require support, please contact our Wellbeing team at  supportingyou@royalholloway.ac.uk

Information has been emailed to those living in Halls by the College. Please continue to check your College email address for further updates.

I live on campus, if the College closes, what will happen to me?

Students living on campus will be able to continue living in their room and, if they live in catered Halls, their meals will continue to be provided for them, although the location of the catering may change. 

What catering facilities are still available on campus? 

With the exception of The Hub and Kingswood, all catering outlets on campus are now closed until further notice. The Hub remains open from 12-7pm for a call of order service. The Hub is now cashless – you can pay for goods with your College card or credit card, but cash is not accepted. 

The Union Shop remains open, although it's important that if you use the shop, in accordance with the government’s guidance, you minimise the number of trips that you make in a day.  We are committed to continuing this service, but we are making a number of changes to how the shop operates which we need your help with. Find out more.

Can I terminate my Hall accommodation contract if I have gone home and do not plan to return to campus?

If you do not plan to come back to campus either to study or to use your room as a quiet place where you can complete your end of year assessments online, you have the option of an early termination of your accommodation contracts for term three. If you have paid for your accommodation in advance for the full year, we will reimburse you for term three and, for postgraduate students, term four also. If you pay for your accommodation per term, you will not be charged for your term three rent if you terminate your contract.

If you would like to take this option please email customerservices@royalholloway.ac.uk

If you have belongings left in your room, please see FAQ below. 

I have moved out of my room in Halls and gone back home, but I still have items left in my room. Am I able to collect these at a later date?

Please see information above about the option to terminate your contract if you do not plan to return to campus. If you have already left your accommodation and there are still possessions left in your room, you need to let us know by emailing customerservices@royalholloway.ac.uk

Travelling back to campus to collect belongings is not permitted under the current government restrictions. Please see our update from Friday 27 March.  

If you have terminated your accommodation contract with us, the contract for your room will end on 27 April. We recognise that with the current government restrictions in place, you are not able to collect your belongings at this time, and may not be able to before the 27 April, depending on if the government measures are extended. Please be assured that this does not affect you being able to terminate your contract for term three.

We will email and update all students who have terminated their contract and informed us they have left items in their rooms once we have more information on whether the government measures will be lifted before 27 April. In this update we will provide more information about options for storage of items on campus. At this time, we have set a final collection deadline of 1 June for you to arrange collection of your belongings on campus. We will of course continue to monitor the situation and alter this deadline if needed, depending on how the situation develops.

It is possible that the university may be required to pack up your belongings, for example if our accommodation is used to house NHS staff or key workers. To help us prepare for this possibility and make this process as quick and efficient as possible, please fill out this consent form, which will enable us pack and store your non-perishable belongings. If you do not consent to us packing your belongings we may not be able to terminate your contract.

If I terminate my contract, can I come back to my room later in the term?

If you have already left your accommodation and there are still possessions left in your room, you need to let us know by emailing customerservices@royalholloway.ac.uk. Please also see FAQ above. 

You will not be able to access your room once you have terminated your contract, but if you contact customerservices@royalholloway.ac.uk they may be able to organise alternative accommodation for the nights required.

What if I’m on a 30 week contract?

If you have left your accommodation, you should have informed customer services that you have left, if you haven’t done this already you should email customerservices@royalholloway.ac.uk

Please add the following information to the email title; Checking out followed by your hall and room number.

If you were in a position where you had to leave possessions behind in your room, please let Residential Customer Services know by emailing customerservices@royalholloway.ac.uk . This will confirm your departure but also inform us if you have left belongings in the room. You will be contacted by customer services to complete a form and confirm your details.

If you have any questions or issues regarding leaving your accommodation or extending your stay over Easter, please email customerservices@royalholloway.ac.uk.

Can I return home to my permanent address?

Update 26 March - please note this advice has now changed - the advice from the government is that students remaining at university in England should now stay where they are and not attempt to travel. Find out more

How will I receive my refund for Halls and how long will it take?

If you terminate your accommodation contract for term three you will only receive a refund if you paid for accommodation in full at the start of the year. If you pay for your accommodation per term, you will not be charged for your term three rent if you terminate your contract.

If you paid for your accommodation in full and are due a refund, we will begin processing this after 27 April. You will be refunded to your original payment method. It would usually take two weeks to process the refund however due to the current situation regarding coronavirus, this process may take longer so please allow up to four weeks, following the deadline of 27 April, for the refund to be processed. The process may also take longer if the original payment method was an international bank transfer. 

I am living in private accommodation. Can I terminate my contract with the landlord?

This will depend on the terms of your contract with your landlord. The Students' Union Advice Centre will able to advise - https://www.su.rhul.ac.uk/advice/.

I want to remain in Halls after 27 April, but not for the full period of my contract. What can I do?

You can terminate your contract as above for any date after 27 April by contacting customerservices@royalholloway.ac.uk but you must give 28 days’ notice prior to your planned departure date.

If I have misplaced my college card, what should I do?

 If you lose your card you must contact Security who will arrange for a replacement accommodation access card to be produced and delivered to the Security Control Centre on Founder's East for your collection. This card will enable you to access your flat and room and will be programmed to allow continuous access for the duration of your remaining contract period. Access to the main entrance of your block will revert to pin code, this will be printed on the envelope when you receive your replacement room card.  

Why have I received a statement which includes term three accommodation fees when I have asked to terminate my accommodation contract for term three?

You will have recently received a statement (week commencing 30 March) from student fees which shows your current account status, including outstanding debt for tuition fees and accommodation fees.

This is a statement of your account not an invoice.

If you have emailed Customer Services to request the termination of your accommodation contract from term three, your account will be updated in due course. If you have any further questions regarding your current account statement e.g. relating to tuition fees, you can email Student-Fees@royalholloway.ac.uk

Advice for international students

Is there specific advice for international students?

Most of the information in this FAQ is relevant to all our students. Here is also a useful link to additional information from UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs). If your questions are not answered here, please contact internationaladvice@royalholloway.ac.uk

My visa is due to expire, what can I do?

The Home Office has published advice for people with visas which expire between 24 January 2020 and 31 May 2020 and stresses that no visa holder will be penalised for circumstances outside of their control. Visas will be extended until 31 May 2020 for those who cannot leave the country due to the coronavirus. There are also new measures in place to allow people to apply for long-term visas from the UK until 31 May 2020.

 

Advice for students who want to go home

I live in the UK and would like to go home

If you wish to go home before the end of term (27 March), you should consider the impact this may have on your studies. If you decide to go home, you must inform  student-administration@royalholloway.ac.uk. We understand that the decision to move to online exams and assessment means that some students may not want to return to campus for the summer term. For students living on campus, you will be able to continue living in your room and if you are a student living in catered Halls you will still have your meals provided for you. 

I live overseas and want to go home

If you decide to go home you must inform  student-administration@royalholloway.ac.uk so that we are aware you have left the country which will help to reduce any possible visa issues on your return to the UK. We understand that the decision to move to online exams and assessment means that some students may not want to return to campus for the summer term. For students living on campus, you will be able to continue living in your room and if you are a student living in catered Halls you will still have your meals provided for you. 

Advice for students who want to come back to the UK

I am on a Study Abroad / Erasmus programme, what should I do?

Please contact supportingyou@royalholloway.ac.uk

The decision as to whether you stay or return has to be yours based on what you are most comfortable. Unless we receive UK government advice that you should return.

You will need to consider and take into account what is happening at your host university and in the country in which you are studying.

We are actively supporting some of our students to return due to a set of specific circumstances.

If I go overseas at Easter will I be allowed back into the UK?

We encourage all students to re-consider any travel plans and restrict all unnecessary international travel. The situation is changing rapidly and it is possible that you may find yourself subject to restrictions either in the country you travel to, or on your return to the UK.

Advice on travel

I have booked to travel on College business, should I go?

The College has decided that, with immediate effect, staff and students should not travel internationally on College related business. This travel restriction will be in place until the start of the summer term (27 April).

Only essential travel within the UK on College related business will be permitted. 

I have booked a holiday overseas, should I go?

The FCO is advising against all non-essential travel worldwide for an indefinite period.

Will my insurance cover me if I choose to cancel my holiday?

If your destination appears on the FCO list of countries where travel restrictions apply, you will be able to claim a refund from your travel provider.

Conferences and events

Will College events go ahead?

With immediate effect the College is postponing all public facing events held on campus and at Bedford Square until further notice. This includes, but is not limited to, concerts, inaugural lectures and non-academic performances. Exhibitions and the Picture Gallery will also be closed to the public. The Chapel will continue to be open for services but concerts held there will be postponed until further notice.

Will conferences organised on campus go ahead

The Conferencing and Catering team are in discussion with individual organisations which have booked College facilities for their conference or event. If you have booked an event through the Conferencing and Catering team please contact them to discuss your booking.

Should I travel to a conference as a delegate or a speaker?

The College has decided that, with immediate effect, staff and students should not travel internationally on College related business. This travel restriction will be in place until the start of the summer term (27 April).

We would also recommend that non-essential College related travel in the UK is also cancelled. If you believe that your planned UK travel is essential, please discuss this with your manager.

If you are attending or speaking at a conference, you may wish to contact the event organiser to establish if you can participate remotely. 

College plans

Does the College plan to close?

In light of the government’s announcement, the College has taken the decision to suspend face-to-face teaching with immediate effect, meaning that all classes and lectures will be conducted online. 

Information on campus facilities, including catering outlets, our Careers Service and Sports Centre, can be found on this  webpage. We will continue to keep this page updated.  

We understand that the decision to move to online exams and assessment means that some students may not want to return to campus for the summer term. For students living on campus, you will be able to continue living in your room and if you are a student living in catered Halls you will still have your meals provided for you. 

Which categories of staff can work from home and will the College provide me with the means to work from home?

All but Key Workers will work from home full time until we are given further guidance by the government.

Many IT services are available from personal devices over the internet and we would recommend that you spend some time getting used to these systems from home. We have provided some advice on remote working, with links to all the support documentation here. Further information can be found on the intranet . 

Will science laboratories stay open? If so, will science technicians be required to come to campus?

Research facilities are now closed and the only staff who can attend campus are those who need to maintain a facility during this period of closure. These staff have been agreed with Technical Operations Managers and Heads of Departments. 

What accommodation will be available for students who can’t go home?

We understand that the decision to move to online exams and assessment means that some students may not want to return to campus for the summer term. For students living on campus, you will be able to continue living in your room and if you are a student living in catered Halls you will still have your meals provided for you.   

What support will be available for students who stay on campus?

The campus will not be fully closing and students who remain on campus will be fully supported. 

How will we keep in touch with students who go home?

If you decide to go home, you must inform  student-administration@royalholloway.ac.uk.

It is important to keep in touch, especially if you are not on campus. Please keep checking your College emails for updates. If you need information or want to contact a specific team, you may find the contact details in  this document useful. 

What security will be provided on campus during closure?

The campus will not be fully closing and security will remain in place. 

Your employment

I had planned to go away on holiday but this has now been cancelled. Can I cancel my annual leave?

You should still take your annual leave as planned, unless your line manager asks you to cancel your leave in order for the College to respond to the impact of coronavirus (Covid-19). While government restrictions may mean that you have to stay at home during your time off, it is important that you take leave to rest and recuperate.

Can I carry forward annual leave from this academic year to the next?

The annual leave policy allows outstanding leave to be carried over from one holiday year to the next in exceptional circumstances and with the permission of the Head of Department / line manager. Ordinarily leave of up to five days (pro-rata) may be carried over to the next year.

To recognise the impact Covid-19 has had on annual leave plans this will be extended to eight days for this leave year however, wherever possible you should try to take your annual leave entitlement for 2019/20 before the end of July 2020.

The government announced that four weeks of leave could be carried over and used over the next two leave years. Will this apply at the College?

This announcement is about protecting workers who cannot take annual leave because they are critical to managing the response to Covid-19. It applies to employees who have not taken all of their statutory annual leave entitlement due to Covid-19, statutory leave being 20 days and eight days bank holiday.

In most cases it is expected that the majority of colleagues will be able to take their annual leave before the end of July and therefore this new ruling is unlikely to apply to anyone working for the College.

What if I have been asked by the College to cancel my annual leave or asked not to book annual leave due to circumstances related to Covid-19?

We will be encouraging people to take annual leave where possible and will only as a last resort ask people to cancel or not take their annual leave. In the exceptional cases that you have been asked to cancel leave, and so have been unable to take it before the end of July, managers will have discretion to allow up to 15 days of leave in total to be carried over and taken over a two year period.

Can I be paid for annual leave that I do not take this year?

There will be no provision to “buy back” annual leave that is not taken for the current academic year.

Do I need to take leave to look after children while the schools are closed?

If you have children at home or have other caring responsibilities and are working from home, you may struggle to work your normal hours, or commit to a full day of work. In these circumstances it is understood that flexibility is required and that, rather than take annual leave, you should work on the basis of your best effort in difficult circumstances, this might include, for example, agreeing together with more information on.

I have a health condition that might make me more vulnerable to coronavirus?

Coronavirus (Covid-19) is a variation of the influenza (flu) virus and some colleagues will be at higher risk from the virus due to their medical history or personal circumstances.

Guidance in relation to coronavirus can be found on the government website.

There is also now guidance on shielding and protecting people who are extremely vulnerable. This applies to the categories below. If you meet any of these please look at the additional guidance here.

  1. Solid organ transplant recipients
  2. People with specific cancers:
  • people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radical radiotherapy for lung cancer
  • people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
  • people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
  • people having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
  • people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
  1. People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD.
  2. People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell).
  3. People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection.
  4. Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired.

For students:

If you consider yourself to be high risk or you are a primary carer for someone who is high risk, or if you have a close relative in palliative care, please contact supportingyou@royalholloway.ac.uk, as soon as possible. You don’t need to provide any specific details within the email, we just need to know if you are within this category.

For staff:

If you consider yourself to be high risk or you are a primary carer for someone who is high risk, or if you have a close relative in palliative care, please contact douglas.searle@royalholloway.ac.uk, as soon as possible. You must not provide any specific details within the email, we just need to know if you are within this category.

As of 17 March we have asked those who are at higher risk to work from home where possible. You will also need to discuss working arrangements with your line manager as soon as possible.

I look after someone with a health condition that might make then more vulnerable to coronavirus

The same would apply for both students and staff who have a condition or conditions that make them more vulnerable to coronavirus. See previous answer 

Can I work from home?

All but Key Workers will work from home full time until we are given further guidance by the government.

Many IT services are available from personal devices over the internet and we would recommend that you spend some time getting used to these systems from home. We have provided some advice on remote working, with links to all the support documentation here. Further information can be found on the intranet . 

I have a research grant and I need to travel abroad, what should I do?

The College has decided that, with immediate effect, staff and students should not travel internationally on College related business. This travel restriction will be in place until the start of the summer term (27 April).

What happens if I am off sick or need to self-isolate and I am not eligible for occupational sick pay?

Occupational sick pay is normally paid to members of staff in accordance with their contracts.

If you are a member of staff or a worker who is paid through timesheets and who has a sustained and regular pattern of work, for example you are a visiting lecturer, barista or server in one of our outlets or are a Student Ambassador, but you are off sick with coronavirus, or are unable to work as the need for the work no longer exists due to coronavirus you will be paid for the hours you would normally have worked. You should inform your line manager where you are sick in accordance with normal procedure.

The hours that you would normally have worked will be defined by your line manager or normal timesheet authoriser based on the hours already allocated or, where this had not yet occurred, your average weekly hours over the previous two months.  The hours will be input by your manager.  

How will I know if I qualify as someone with a sustained and regular pattern of work?

You should discuss this with your line manager as they will know your working pattern and can review the previous period.

What happens if the College has to temporarily reduce or change the way services are delivered?

If you are a member of staff or worker who is paid through timesheets and you have a sustained and regular pattern of work, for example, you are a visiting lecturer, barista or server in one of our outlets or are a Student Ambassador, and the work you do isn’t required as a direct result of coronavirus, you will continue to be paid for the hours you would normally have worked.  We will review this position at the end of April.

The hours that you would normally have worked will be defined by your line manager or normal timesheet authoriser based on the hours already allocated or, where this had not yet occurred, your average weekly hours over the previous two months.

You should discuss the work you would normally have done with your line manager to identify if there is another way to complete the work, for example if you are a visiting lecturer and the lecture can be delivered online, or if there is alternative work you can undertake instead, for example if you regularly work on one outlet you may be asked to work in another outlet.

If it is not possible for you to work even although you are available to work, your manager/the normal authoriser of your timesheet should submit a timesheet for the hours you would have worked and this will be paid in the normal manner. Your manager must ensure they complete a revised timesheet which have been put in place for this period and which reflects hours that would have been worked rather than hours that have actually been worked 

I don’t work regular hours at the College. Will I be paid if I have to self-isolate, am off sick or the College changes the way services are delivered?

At this time you will not be paid for the hours you would have worked as you do not have a pattern of regular hours. 

Who can I talk to if I am worried?

If you are worried about coronavirus and it's having an impact on your wellbeing, you can contact our Employee Wellbeing Programme provider, Confidential Care (CiC).  Find out more.   

Support available to you

For students

If you are worried about coronavirus and it's having an impact on your wellbeing, you can contact our Wellbeing team at  supportingyou@royalholloway.ac.uk

It is important to keep in touch, especially if you are not on campus. Please keep checking your College emails for updates. If you need information or want to contact a specific team, you may find the contact details in this document useful. 

For staff

If you are worried about coronavirus and it's having an impact on your wellbeing, please speak to your line manager or contact our Employee Wellbeing Programme provider, Confidential Care (CiC).  Find out more.   

If you have a question that is not answered here, please email  intranet@royalholloway.ac.uk 

 

Latest updates

Discover our latest coronavrius updates.

More information

Updates on campus facilities

Information on campus facilities, including caterin outlets, our Careers Service and Sports Centre, can be found on this webpage. We will continue to keep this page updated.