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Covid-19 Support


Whilst life at Surrey is disrupted, the Students' Union is still here to support you and represent your academic interests. On this page, we've included some of the key information from the University, and you can find the most up-to-date info at https://www.surrey.ac.uk/coronavirus.

Essential information for all students

The current guidance is to remain at home if you have either of the two symptoms associated with Coronavirus. You can read more about those here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ 

You can find information on emergency regulations, including the safety net and trailing credits at https://exams.surrey.ac.uk/safety-net-and-emergency-regulations

The University has also put together some advice to support you in studying online, which is available here: https://study.surrey.ac.uk/studying-online

If you are anticipating that the current situation with the Coronavirus will have an impact on your studies, it is really important that you let your personal tutor and Academic Hive know, and let them know what this affect is.


How to contact us

If you need to get in touch with the Union, please email ussu.information@surrey.ac.uk or, for advice, ussu.advice@surrey.ac.uk.

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Information & FAQs


Assessments, the Safety Net, and Trailing Credits

For the most up to date information from the University, please visit https://my.surrey.ac.uk/news/changes-online-assessments-and-our-new-emergency-regulations. For advice and guidance please email ussu.advice@surrey.ac.uk 

We have collaborated with the University to work on changes to your studies for the rest of the academic year to best support you. Working with the University, they have announced changes to: 

  • compensation requirements 

  • introduced the "Safety Net" Policy

  • trailing credits

Any students who require Extenuating Circumstances applications can also now do so ahead of a deadline or exam, or up to 5 days afterwards, without requiring evidence. Applications made after 5 days following an event or deadline, will require evidence. 


Frequently asked Questions

How do I use the safety net? 

If the safety net applies to you, it will automatically be added.

Are exchange students eligible for the safety net? 

Only those students who were not on exchange during semester 1 or those in their first year of a part-time course, are eligible for the safety net.

Does the safety net affect Extenuating Circumstances (ECs)? 

No; you can still apply for ECs and this will not affect your eligibility for the safety net.

Will the safety net show up on my transcript? 

If the safety net has been applied, a short note will be added to your transcript, along with details of how employers can contact the University with any questions. The safety net will not be shown on transcripts if it has not been applied. 

Will the safety net be shown on my degree certificate? 

No.

Can I opt out? 

If you wish to opt out of the safety net, please contact your Academic Hive.

What does 'trailing credits' mean?

Normally, every module (other than some dissertations or projects) is worth 15 University credits. To complete a year, you must pass all your modules. But, due to COVID-19, students are being allowed to retake up to 15 credits alongside your next year of study. This is called ‘trailing credits.’ 

What should I do if I am concerned about my alternative asessments? 

If you have concerns about your alternative assessment arrangements, you should contact your module leader to outline your concerns to them or, for shared concerns, you should ask your Course Rep to liaise with the module leader. If you are disatisfied with the outcome, you can email ussu.advice@surrey.ac.uk to discuss your options. 

If you have specific concerns regarding technical issues, disability and neurodiversity arrangements, or other similar concerns:  we suggest that in these cases you contact your personal tutor as soon as possible. 


Are You Self-Isolating?

The University now has a new way of reporting self-isolation –  complete the form

International/EU Students

If you are an international student and want to suspend your studies to next year (eg. temporarily withdraw) please email internationalsupport@surrey.ac.uk. If you have travelled home and are continuing your studies overseas, please let your faculty Hive know.

If you are a Tier 4 student and have not withdrawn, then you must engage in Surrey Learn for online learning/teaching and you must engage with assessments or provide valid ECs in order to be visa complaint. If you are concerned then you should email internationalsupport@surrey.ac.uk

If you are an EU student who is taking temporary withdrawal, please note that there could be government restrictions in returning to the UK to study in 2021. The visa regulations for the UK are likely to change on January 1st 2021 and therefore you may have to apply for a visa in order to return. We are waiting for advice and confirmation from the Home office on likely outcomes. If you have any concerns, please email us.


FHMS Students on placement

At the moment, FHMS senior staff are working with relevant registering bodies to obtain guidance about what students should do if they cannot attend practice due to self-isolation or health concerns.

School of Health Sciences:

  • All updates from your Faculty will be communicated to you via email, so please do keep an eye out for up-to-date guidance.

  • If you are self-isolating, or part of a vulnerable, at-risk group, you should apply for Extenuating Circumstances and report your absence from placement to your Faculty and your placement contacts.

  • If you have any questions about your placement, you should contact clinical_placements@surrey.ac.uk

  • If you have any concerns about your clinical safety, you should contact your Head of School, Melaine Coward, at m.coward@surrey.ac.uk


Wellbeing Support

We know that this is a very anxious time for some students and we want to make sure that support is available. We are working on gaining more clarity from the University regarding Centre for Wellbeing (CWB) appointments and if these will be available via Skype to students who access the service but are unable to attend in person. At the moment, appointments will be going ahead as normal.  

Alternative support can be accessed here if you are off-campus. 

You can also email the Union at ussu.advice@surrey.ac.uk, however please be aware that this mailbox is only monitored during office hours. 

If you are in crisis now and need immediate support, please call the emergency services.


Accommodation

For up to date information from the University, please refer to the Accommodation section of their student FAQs at https://www.surrey.ac.uk/coronavirus/students

University Accommodation

The University is continuing to house some students on campus, as well as arranging for the safe storage of belongings for those who have left University accommodation. As part of its support for the NHS, some rooms on campus are being offered to essential healthcare staff, and so the University has partnered with a professional storage company to clear belongings. 

Renting from Private Landlords

The following advice has been provided by University Surrey Lettings (USL)

'As a tenant you have certain rights but this relies on the type of contract you have & there are many different ones. The most common is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (AST). Under the terms of an AST, you have certain rights as a tenant & you are protected under The Landlord & Tenant Act 1985. 

What does this mean for you?

  • You will remain liable for your full rental amount until the expiry of your contract

  • You will remain liable for the rent of your housemates if you are joint & severally liable

  • Failure to pay your rent in full can lead to a County Court Judgement being brought against you

  • You do not have the right to terminate your contract or refuse to pay

  • Your landlord cannot evict you during the next three months

  • If your landlord has a Buy-to-Let mortgage or mortgage consent, they can apply for a three month mortgage holiday. This means you work out a repayment plan if you need to supplement your maintenance loan to cover rent

  • Your landlord must get a court order to evict you which takes 6-12 months in usual circumstances

  • Landlord/agents are only doing emergency maintenance/repairs as well as checks required by law

  • Whilst the property is unoccupied, you will remain responsible for it. Notify your landlord/agent to ensure they can let their insurance provider know

  • If your landlord is unreasonably withholding your request for setting up a payment plan or attempt to evict you, speak to USL immediately

What should you do?

  • Let your landlord/agent know if you are self-isolating so they do not send workmen to the house

  • Inform your landlord/agent if you think you won't be able to pay your rent or it will be late, also make your housemates aware

  • Agree a repayment plan with your landlord & get it in writing

  • If you withdraw from university & are still in contract, you will be liable to pay council tax

  • Consider turning your heating & water off if the property is completely empty to help with the cost of bills

  • If paying bills are a problem, speak to the provider to see if they can delay your payment for a few months

  • Should apply for help with supplies/medication if you qualify under the extremely vulnerable group https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable

Registering as an Extremely Vulnerable Person

If you have a medical condition that makes you extremely vulnerable to coronavirus you can register for additional support, such as help getting deliveries of essential supplies like food. Please visit https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable.


Frequently asked Questions

Am I still eligible for accommodation next year?

The allocation policy for accommodation remains mostly unchanged for next academic year, with the exception of greater flexibility for students who are unable to take a PTY. To check your eligibility, please email accommodation@surrey.ac.uk

How do I collect my belongings?

If your belongings are currently in a University room, you can arrange to collect them by picking a slot using the links below:

  • Stag Hill Campus - https://kxregistration.kineticsoftware.com/StagHillCampus 

  • Manor Park Campus - https://kxregistration.kineticsoftware.com/ManorParkCampus

  • Hazel Farm - https://kxregistration.kineticsoftware.com/HazelFarmCampus


Due to Government guidelines, rules and restrictions are in place whilst you collect your belongings - these can be found in the University's accommodation FAQs at https://www.surrey.ac.uk/coronavirus/students.

If you have any addition queries about collecting your belongings, you can contact the accommodation team at accommodation@surrey.ac.uk. If necessary, you can also pay for your belongings to be shipped to you if you are unable to come to Guildford.

I won't be able to clear my room

If you're not able to collect your belongings, the University have partnered with a storage company to ensure that they are stored safely. Please email the Accommodation team as soon as possible to discuss collection at accommodation@surrey.ac.uk

Placements

For the most up to date information from the University, please visit https://careers.surrey.ac.uk/covid-19-and-your-career-support


Frequently asked Questions

If I am unable to do a PTY next year, can I take it after my final year?

The University is currently exploring alternative arrangements for students who are unable to undertake a planned PTY. Further details will be made available by the University when possible.

What if my placement is cancelled at short notice?

If your placement is cancelled at short notice, you should message the careers team as soon as possible, who can support you in alternative arrangements, finding another suitable placement or entering final year. 

If your placement is cancelled or you are unable to find a placement before the next academic year and you wish to return to final year, you should also let your placement team and personal tutor know as soon as possible. If you require accommodation in Guildford as a result of the change, then please contact accomodation@surrey.ac.uk  

How will poster presentations take place?

This year, alternative arrangements will be put in place to ensure that PTY poster presentations can take place online for those students who need to.


PGR Students

For the most up to date information from the University, please visit https://www.surrey.ac.uk/coronavirus/students/postgraduate-research-students


Frequently asked Questions

What is the Disruption Fund?

The Disruption Fund is a University fund to provide financial support specifically for final-year PGRs whose research is delayed or disrupted by the pandemic. The Disruption Fund is offered alongside the opportunity to apply for extensions to your period of registration, as well as the central Hardship Fund which supports all students facing immediate financial hardship. 

How do I access the Disruption Fund?

In order to apply for the Disruption Fund, you must complete the application form at https://www.surrey.ac.uk/coronavirus/students/postgraduate-research-students and send it to your supervisor for comment before they seek University approval. 

Am I eligible for an extension due to disruption to my research?

The Doctoral College is allowing any PGRs disrupted by the pandemic to apply to waive fees associated with continuing status (i.e. beyond three years full-time, or 6 years part-time), and has set up a disruption fund to support those who need to extend funding. For full details, please visit https://www.surrey.ac.uk/coronavirus/students/postgraduate-research-students

More information is available from the Doctoral College at doctoralcollege@surrey.ac.uk.

Can I access the Hardship Fund?

Yes, PGRs are eligible to apply to the hardship fund, but success will depend on your circumstances as with all students.

Is the Hardship Fund a loan?

No, the Hardship Fund provides grants to students who are in financial difficulties due to uncontrollable and/or unexpected circumstances. It does not need to be repaid.

A loan facility is also available for students who are experiencing a temporary gap in income.

How do I temporarily withdraw?

If you would like to pause your studies during the current disruption, you should first speak with your supervisor to ensure that they are aware of the situation and to discuss any alternatives if you are unsure.

If you would like to withdraw, you should email the Research Degrees Office on researchdegrees@surrey.ac.uk.


Online Teaching and Assessment

For up to date information from the University, please visit https://my.surrey.ac.uk – you can also find more about the University's plans for teaching from September at https://my.surrey.ac.uk/news/learning-september-2020 


Frequently asked Questions

Will Panopto be compulsory next year?

All teaching for the 2020-21 year must be available online for students who need it, in addition to any physical teaching that may be able to take place. Beyond that, the use of Panopto will continue to be governed by the University's Captured Content Policy, which requires a Departmental approach that is agreed with students. 

Will I have access to labs?

It's not yet known what access will be available to research or computer labs. The University is currently investigating this as part of its preparations for next semester, but this may be affected by future Government guidance.

The University is also reviewing timetabling to increase the proportion of lab time happening later in the 2020-21 academic year. 

What do I do if I spot an error in an assessment?

If you believe there's an error in an assessment question, you should first check the SurreyLearn module and post a question on the relevant forum for the module (if available). If a forum has not been set up for your module, you should email the module convenor and continue your work to the best of your ability. The University has asked all module convenors to be responsive to student concerns during feasible hours of an assessment, but you should continue to answer the question as it is written in case they do not have time to respond. 

What do I do if my device crashes during an assessment?

If your device crashes during a timed assessment, you can submit extenuating circumstances but you should not submit until after the assessment, as you may not have been impacted too much. Although you do not need evidence for ECs, you should try and get a screenshot or photo of the error to submit with your EC application, through Surrey Self Serve. 

You should submit your ECs as soon as the event has finished and as soon as you are confident that you have been impacted. Once an EC has been accepted, it cannot be taken away and it will move your assessment to August. 

Will the marking be easier in Semester 2?

All academics have been asked to maintain Surrey's normal standards of marking to ensure that the value of your degree is not affected.

Is the library currently open?

No, the Library is currently closed, but an expanded range of resources are available online at https://www.surrey.ac.uk/library. If you are concerned about returning books or wish to contact the library, please email library-enquiries@surrey.ac.uk.

Graduation

For the most up to date information from the University, please visit https://www.surrey.ac.uk/coronavirus/graduating-students


Frequently asked Questions

When will my graduation take place?

For current final years, graduations will take place at the normal point in the year in 2021 (i.e. April for postgraduate and July for undergraduate ceremonies). Those completing their degrees next year will also graduate in these weeks. Details of ceremonies will be communicated as soon as possible.

Will I graduate with my own class?

Yes, the University will organise the graduations to ensure that you can graduate with your own class next year as you would normally. 


Student Activities

Frequently asked Questions

Will Union Ball & Colours Ball still be taking place?

Although we can't hold them in person this year, the Union Ball and Colours Ball will take place on the 18th and 19th June by video on Instagram. Find us @surreyunion.

What will the Union do for Freshers 2020?

We're currently planning our activities for Freshers 2020, including online and in-person activities for everyone at Surrey. If you've got some ideas to share, let us know at ussu.information@surrey.ac.uk.


You Said We Did

As a result of the feedback you've been giving us through student voice channels, direct to your Union President, or through concerns you've raised to our advice team, we've been working hard to represent you and implement changes you need. 

Here's what we've been up to:

Academic Support and Representation

You asked for more protection for your grades and academic studies

  • The Support zone and academic advice team have been working with the University going through the new regulations to ensure they are fair for students throughout the pandemic.
  • We also lobbied for the safety net to be implemented.
  • Additionally, we have consulted on compensation, trailing credits and support for those on suspended years or temporary withdrawals

You asked for Union representation regarding alternative assessments

  • Your Sabbatical Officer team have been attending Faculty Boards of Studies to ensure we are up-to-date with how your learning will be run over the next semester and voice any initial concerns. 
  • In anticipation of the announcement of alternative assessments, your President and the Voice Zone have been working on a process for gathering your feedback. You can get in touch with us by clicking here

You asked for greater flexibility to report extenuating circumstances

  • We have asked for ECs to be considered without evidence for the remainder of the academic year. We also requested that this be available for up to 5 days after your assessment is due.

You asked for a refund or reduction in Tuition fees for this semester

  • We emailed senior management on your behalf with a comprehensive list of why we felt this was a reasonable request and we will publish their response in due course.

Improving Wellbeing Support

You asked for more support for bereavement

  • We have raised these issues with the University who are going to implement more bereavement support in the Centre for Wellbeing and plan on training members of staff in the practical side of bereavement for those students who have caring responsibilities.
  • The Support Zone have also been in contact with Cruise Bereavement Care charity to see what additional support they can provide to students experiencing grief and bereavement.

 You asked for more wellbeing support for mental health

  • We have discussed this with the Student Minds committee and started online Positive Minds courses for students experiencing low mood, depression and difficulty adjusting to life in lock-down.
  • Nightline are also looking into supporting students through emails, given that they are unable to open their phone-lines and IMs.
  • Finally the VP Support has been working on producing wellbeing materials, hints and tips to support students with their wellbeing whilst in isolation.

Practical changes to day to day life

You asked for support if you have been financially impacted

  • We raised this concern with the University and they have successfully increased the funds available in the Hardship fund and are now taking into account the impact of Covid-19 as part of any requests made.

You asked for increased availability of accommodation for nurses

  • We have received feedback from some Health Sciences students facing issues with their accommodation following disruption to their course flows. I will be taking this feedback forward.

You asked for us to look into accommodation for next year

  • The Union has now started discussions at Silver command and other meetings regarding how accommodation will work for students next year, with the possibility of continued social distancing

Work within the Union

You asked for help with Ramadan activities 

  • The Union has supported the Islamic Society who have been working with the chaplaincy to ensure our Muslim community are able to celebrate Ramadan in a safe manner.

You asked about the support to our part-time staff

  • As the Students' Union is closed and we're unable to operate in our normal way, we have had to make the decision to furlough our part time staff team.  This covers a team of circa 100+ who are a vital part of our day to day operations.  We are working hard to support them during this challenging time and look forward to welcoming them back in the future.

You asked for events to keep you occupied (or procrastinate)

  • We are hosting Hari's challenge virtually every Tuesday at 8pm and continuing to find live DJ events that you can stream in your bedrooms or living areas.
  • We are also ensuring the Rubix page is updated with fun activities to remind you of your great times partying in our beloved nightclub. Don't forget to check out our Spotify playlists to keep up the Rubix vibes too!

You asked for refunds for the cancelled events

  • The Union finance team have been working behind the scenes issuing over 2000 refunds! If you haven't yet received a refund please bear with us as we work through the last few.

You asked for us to continue the Union and Colours Awards

  • We have now announced the Union Ball shortlist and colours will be announced in May. We look forward to announcing the winners later in the semester. Congratulations to all those shortlisted, you are all amazing students! 


If you need to get in touch with us, please email ussu.information@surrey.ac.uk



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University of Surrey
Stag Hill, Guildford
GU2 7XH

Contact Us

ussu.information@surrey.ac.uk
01483 689 223


The University of Surrey Students’ Union is a private limited company, registered in England & Wales with registered number 07470232, registered at Union House, Guildford, GU2 7XH. The Union is also a registered charity, registered with charity number 1142479

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