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University of Bath

Student FAQs on 2021 national lockdown

Find answers to frequently asked questions about the 2021 national lockdown.

2021 National Lockdown

The UK Government has issued high level rules and restrictions for the national lockdown, which came into force on 4 January and this is now law. We have published information about how we will be operating during this period.

The overall Government guidance states that, unless you are studying a specified course, students "should remain where they are wherever possible, and start their term online, as facilitated by their university until at least Mid-February”. The rules state that, during term time, you should not move back and forth between your home here in Bath and other locations, for example if you have a home elsewhere with family members. You can read the full Government rules here.

We have now received additional Government guidance for universities and students, outlining further details about what we can and cannot do.

The Q&A below outlines our current understanding of the implications of lockdown in an accessible way.

As much as we look forward to welcoming you back to Bath when the rules allow, we must underline that the exemptions are not reasons to return if you would simply prefer to be in Bath currently, and we must follow these laws to help tackle the spread of the virus.

Reason to return: mental health/medical

Can I come back to University for medical or mental health reasons?

Yes, the advice we have received is that you can return to Bath if you require additional support, including for mental health and wellbeing issues.

Of course, if you have an urgent concern about your mental health and need to return, you should do so as soon as you are able and you should also contact our Wellbeing team for support straight away.

If you decide to return to Bath, you should:

  • Follow the Government’s safer travel guidance, and, where available, you should access local community testing programmes to get a lateral flow device (LFD) test before you travel to university.
  • Book your Covid tests on campus before accessing University facilities (e.g. the Library) and you should limit contact with others until you receive a negative test result. If you choose not to get a test, you should self-isolate for 10 days, unless you have had a positive PCR test result in the previous 90 days. You can read our FAQs on testing on our webpages.
  • If you are in University-managed accommodation, please book a slot to return so we can support you effectively.

Reason to return: study and accommodation

Can I come back to University as I don’t have suitable accommodation or study space elsewhere?

Yes, you can still return to Bath if you are in exceptional circumstances, for example, you are without access to appropriate study spaces, accommodation or facilities elsewhere.

If you decide to return to Bath, you should:

  • Follow the Government’s safer travel guidance, and, where available, you should access local community testing programmes to get a lateral flow device (LFD) test before you travel to university.
  • Book your Covid tests on campus before accessing University facilities (e.g. the Library) and you should limit contact with others until you receive a negative test result. If you choose not to get a test, you should self-isolate for 10 days, unless you have had a positive PCR test result in the previous 90 days. You can read our FAQs on testing on our webpages.
  • If you are in University-managed accommodation, please book a slot to return so we can support you effectively.

Reason to return: existing travel plans

I have already booked a flight to Bath and cannot change it. Can I still return?

If you cannot change your travel plans without undue cost, you are able to return to Bath.

If you decide to return to Bath, you should:

  • Follow the Government’s safer travel guidance, and, where available, you should access local community testing programmes to get a lateral flow device (LFD) test before you travel to university.
  • Book your Covid tests on campus before accessing University facilities (e.g. the Library) and you should limit contact with others until you receive a negative test result. If you choose not to get a test, you should self-isolate for 10 days, unless you have had a positive PCR test result in the previous 90 days. You can read our FAQs on testing on our webpages.
  • If you are in University-managed accommodation, please book a slot to return so we can support you effectively.

If you have travelled overseas for the winter break, you will need to:

  • Check any additional entry requirements and restrictions that have been introduced due to Covid-19 before travelling to the UK.
  • Check to see whether the country you have visited is on the UK’s travel corridor (exemption) list. If you are travelling from a country that is not on this list, you will need to self-isolate in your usual accommodation in Bath for ten days from when you were last in a location not on the Travel Corridor list. You can e-mail quarantine@bath.ac.uk to book ten days of University accommodation if you are unable to self-isolate anywhere else.
  • From 18 January 2021, all international arrivals to England, including UK nationals, are required to present a negative COVID-19 test taken up to 72 hours prior to departure. All passengers arriving from countries not on the government’s travel corridor list will still be required to self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of test result.
  • From 15 December 2020, the UK Government is allowing the option to take an accredited coronavirus (Covid-19) test from a private testing provider after five days of self-isolation, with a negative result releasing students from the need to isolate from day six. More information on the Test to Release scheme is available. You can opt-in to this scheme by completing a Passenger Locator Form on arrival in the UK. If you wish to take up this option please contact quarantine@bath.ac.uk and they will advise you on how a suitable test may be organised.

Reason to return: picking up possessions

Can I return to collect my belongings or to pick up work and study aids?

Government guidance is that students should avoid returning to university to collect any of their belongings which they may have left at their university accommodation over the winter break. However, students can travel back to collect any medical equipment or items required for online learning if it essential.

If you live in University managed accommodation and you have something in your room you urgently require for assessments, we may be able to help you, with your permission. Please contact livingsupport@bath.ac.uk.

Reason to return: Postgraduate Research Student

I am a Postgraduate Research Student (PGR), can I return to Bath and use facilities on campus?

If you are a PGR student who needs to access University facilities to do your work, you can return to Bath.

The law states that you can only leave home for work purposes “where it is unreasonable for you to do your job from home”. If you can work from home you should do so wherever possible.

However, research activities that cannot reasonably be undertaken at home can take place on campus. We will be doing our utmost to ensure our PGR students have access to the laboratories and specialist equipment they need.

If you decide to return to Bath, you should:

  • Follow the Government’s safer travel guidance, and, where available, you should access local community testing programmes to get a lateral flow device (LFD) test before you travel to university.
  • Book your Covid tests on campus before accessing University facilities (e.g. the Library) and you should limit contact with others until you receive a negative test result. If you choose not to get a test, you should self-isolate for 10 days, unless you have had a positive PCR test result in the previous 90 days. You can read our FAQs on testing on our webpages.
  • If you are in University-managed accommodation, please book a slot to return so we can support you effectively.

Covid symptoms/self-isolating

What do I do if I have Covid-19 symptoms or need to self-isolate?

Please follow our ‘Isolate. Test. Tell’ process.

Full information on Covid-19 for our students can be found on our dedicated webpages.

No detriment

What is the University’s position on ‘no detriment’ during Semester 1 assessment?

You can find an update about our ‘no detriment measures’ online.

Support for all students

We appreciate that the current circumstances are really difficult for us all and our Student Services teams are here to support you.

Wherever you are in the world, you can access our wellbeing support whenever you need it. Whatever is on your mind, we’d encourage you to make use of this support and reach out early if you want to talk anything through. We are here to help. We would also like to remind you that you can access our free, confidential service for advice and support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year:

You can also find further information and sources of support on our webpages, including for Student Money Advice, the Disability Service and Counselling and Mental Health.

The Students’ Union Advice and Support Centre offer independent and professional help on academic, housing and personal matters. They’ll support you to understand your options and work with you throughout next steps. Nightline listening and support team are also running their instant messenger and email service.

UPDATED: University accommodation rebate/refund

Can I get a rebate/refund for my University accommodation if I’m not using it in January or early February?

As we set out in this Q&A last week, we have been considering the issue of a rent rebate for those of you who are not able to use your University-managed accommodation during the period of national lockdown. We fully appreciate the frustration many of you may be feeling at being unable to return to Bath as early as you were hoping and the impact upon you. We have been liaising closely with The SU and have taken careful note of the strength of feeling on this matter. Given the unprecedented financial pressures placed on the University during this global pandemic, it has been incumbent upon us to very carefully consider the details of this decision.

In recognition of the exceptional circumstances faced at the start of 2021, and with the overall approval of our governing body, the Council, the University will be offering a full rent rebate covering the period of 4 January 2021 until 14 February 2021 to those students in University-managed and Nomination Accommodation who have not been able to use it because of Government restrictions during this period of national lockdown. Therefore, if you are not studying on a programme that currently allows you to return for in-person teaching and you are not using your room, you will not have to pay for your University accommodation for this period.

You will see this refund as a credit in your University account, so you will have a reduced amount to pay for your final period of accommodation over the Spring and Summer. We will do this automatically so you do not need to take further action. However, if you need a refund direct to the payment method used, you need to e-mail accommodation-finance@bath.ac.uk and let us know by 5pm on Tuesday 19 January 2021.

For those of you here in Bath, we also want to make sure you continue to be well looked after by our dedicated teams. Our Covid-secure study spaces on campus and in town are open and bookable, in line with prevailing Government rules, and both in-person and virtual appointments with Student Services are available. In addition, we will be offering delicious and very low cost food from our take away outlets, including a £1 lunch offer from 4 West and the Lime Tree and £2 dinner offers at the Lime Tree in our January sale.

The University is not able directly to affect the rent in the private sector, but we will be liaising with The SU to see what support it can lend to its work raising this issue with landlords in Bath and the local area. For students suffering financially as a result of the pandemic, a special fund has been set up by the University of Bath, and this has already been generously supported – this is the?Hardship Fund. The?Student Money Advice?team are able to provide financial support and advice. If you are facing financial hardship, we would urge you to contact our Student Money Advice Service on?studentmoneyadvice@bath.ac.uk?or 01225 383838.

Current Government guidance indicates that the majority of students may be allowed to return to their universities from mid-February. Acknowledging that this is a fast-moving situation, we will, of course be carefully monitoring any developments and will advise you if anything changes.

We continue to do our utmost to put your experience with us, including learning and teaching and extra-curricular activities, at the forefront of our priorities. We have been proud of the way our community has supported one another over this difficult period and hope this latest decision will enable you to stay safe where you are over the next few weeks. We look forward to welcoming back those of you who are elsewhere to our beautiful campus and city just as soon as the rules and circumstances allow.

Tuition fees rebate

Can I get a rebate of my tuition fees?

The University fully appreciates that the Covid-19 pandemic has seriously affected people across the world. It has also affected the way in which we study and work here in the UK. We recognise that this includes direct impact on students, and those close to them.

The education of our students remains our greatest priority. Both in planning for and throughout the course of the 2020/21 Academic Year to date, our aim has been to deliver the same excellent quality of teaching and learning that we would seek to provide in a normal year. We have been working very hard throughout to ensure that the impacts of Covid-19 do not prevent students from attaining the standards needed to be awarded degrees of high standing.

The delivery of your programme has been designed to be flexible in the face of possible changes in law or official government guidance, including measures on social distancing and other restrictions which may occur through the course of the academic year and other changes to the operating environment for Universities which may be caused by the pandemic.

The tuition fee you will pay for your course is determined by your fee status not your mode of study. During any period, including in Semester 2, in which Government regulations stipulate that educational delivery is to be online only, we are committed to delivering an equivalent education for you through remote learning as part of the Bath Blend. All learning outcomes will be able to be met regardless of study mode.

Our approach has been and will continue to be informed by the guidance issued and legislation enacted by Government which may of course continue to evolve.

Our approach is also in line with the previous Government guidance which stated that students ordinarily should not expect any fee refund if they are receiving adequate online learning and support.

For students suffering financially as a result of the pandemic, a special fund has been set up by the University of Bath, and this has already been generously supported – this is the Hardship Fund. The Student Money Advice team are able to provide financial support and advice. If you are facing financial hardship, we would urge you to contact our Student Money Advice Service on studentmoneyadvice@bath.ac.uk or 01225 383838.

If you feel that there remain outstanding issues which have not been addressed, you have the opportunity, of course, to use the Student Complaints Procedure.

We will continue to ensure students are made aware of the implications of any further changes in government guidance and any constraints this might place on how teaching and assessment is delivered or on students’ ability to access University facilities, on the University’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) pages. We are committed to ensuring that all our facilities, including the Library and self-study spaces, student services including wellbeing support, research and extra-curricular activities and essential services like catering, remain open wherever Covid-rules and legislation allows.

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