​Students' Union Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advice Page

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We are doing our best to update this page as we receive information from the University.

University Guidance: https://www.surrey.ac.uk/coronavirus 

Union guidance on regulations and support (including ECs, Safety Net policy and Compensation): https://www.ussu.co.uk/wellbeing/academicappeal/coronavirus

NHS Guidance: 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/ 


The NHS says that you should stay at home if you have either:

  • a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back

  • a new, continuous cough – this means you've started coughing repeatedly

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. At this exceptional time, the University will agree to requests to leave early for Easter. You should, however, keep up with studies as best as you can via the online learning materials available on SurreyLearn. Please note that if you are a Tier4 visa student, then you must engage online to be visa compliant.


Here is the latest from the University about Assessments. This went out in an all student email from the University on Friday 27th March:

  1. All students, of any level, will have online assessments for the rest of the academic year 2019/20 including a Late Summer Resit Period when assessments will be administered online and not in person. 
  2. We are looking at the option of reducing the number of assessments you'll complete. 
  3. Our expectation is that for most students, module leaders will produce one alternative online assessment per module for the rest of the academic year 2019/20, such as online MCQ, written coursework etc. 
  4. The exact details of what your alternative assessment is will be communicated to you in week 8 (week commencing 27 April 2020) by your module leaders. 
  5. For those students who have assessments due after the spring vacation but not in the exam period, you will be contacted by your module leader before 9 April if there is a change to this. 
  6. Where possible, those due to take resits and deferred assessments for semester 1 and 2 will be conducted through one assessment per module online.  
  7. We will compensate up* to 15 credits at Level 3 and up to 30 credits at Levels 4-7, allowing some marginal fails to stand for the purposes of progression or the final degree award. Note that this will be different for core/compulsory modules or because of accreditation requirements. 
  8. We will allow Level 3, 4 and 5 students to trail* (or carry) up to 15 failed credits over to the next academic year to enable progression and alleviate pressure on students in challenging times. Trailed credits would be reassessed in the following academic year to give students the opportunity to demonstrate their learning for the module and be awarded credit. Up to 60 credits may be trailed in exceptional circumstances, and only in programmes leading to professional registration where the opportunity to complete practice assessments are not possible. 
  9. All alternative online assessments that are open book examination, including timed multiple-choice questionnaires, will be offered over a minimum of 24-hour window considering students’ geographic location and relevant time differences. 
  10. Final alternative online assessment will be scheduled in week 13-15 (1-21 June), 
  11. If you have any extenuating circumstances because of the Coronavirus, please apply using the online form on Surrey Self Service. These will be processed and approved, without the need for evidence. 
For more guidance on compensation requirements, the safety net policy, Extenuating cirucmstances or trailing credits: https://www.ussu.co.uk/wellbeing/academicappeal/coronavirus or email ussu.advice@surrey.ac.uk 

This guidance is relevant for the rest of the academic year. *for a reference to terms used, please refer to the University Academic Regulations 2019/20.

Semester two assessments

Following the announcement from the University last week, all semester two exams will now be offered as online assessments and alternative assessments only. For more information please visit the Universities guidance pages: https://www.surrey.ac.uk/coronavirus 

For students who wanted to do exams, we hope to provide guidance in the next couple of days regarding this. We hope that the University will offer students the opportunity to retake exams in the late Summer, for those who were hoping to take exams. Please be aware that this may impact graduation and there is not grantee that the Coronavirus outbreak will have subsided by this time. 

For advice and guidance regarding ECs for semester two, see below information - for more guidance on ECs and temporary withdrawals please email ussu.advice@surrey.ac.uk or visit: https://www.ussu.co.uk/wellbeing/academicappeal/coronavirus


Students who are self-isolating:

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


International/EU Students:

If you are an international student and wish to return home and want to suspend your studies to next year (eg. temporarily withdraw) please email internationalsupport@surrey.ac.uk. If you are an international student who wishes to return home to complete assessments and learning online, please let your faculty Hive know. The University will work with you on a case-by-case basis. 

If you are a Tier4 student who has 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 likley outcomes. Please email us if you have concerns.


If this changes, the University will update their guidance on My Surrey. You can visit this website to read the University's general advice on the Coronavirus: https://www.surrey.ac.uk/coronavirus 

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


Practical courses: Labs, GSA etc:

We also know that there is a lot of anxiety around students who have practical courses. We are waiting for an official response from the University but after asking about the impact of this, it is likely that students will be offered alternative assessmetns in place of their practical compulsory exams - compulsory labs and performances will be given alternative assessments. 

Final year students:

Currently, our understanding is that those of you who EC any assessments the week starting 16th or 23rd March, then it is likely that you will be able to still graduate on time. Our understanding is that you will be given an alternative assessment later in semester two, which means that you will be able to graduate. 

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 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. 



University Accommodation

This email update came from the University on 31st March - 

Accommodation update during coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak

Please note: this advice supersedes the email sent to you on Wednesday 25 March. If you have emailed the Accommodation Team since this email we will be in touch as soon as possible, but please also refer to the guidance below which has been issued in response to the changing advice given by the Government on Thursday 26 March.

Under the latest Government restrictions, travelling to Guildford or the University to collect your belongings deemed as not essential travel, therefore is restricted and would be in breach of national social distancing rules and could put yourself and others at risk. The University recognises the challenge that the current Government lockdown poses to Students currently living on and off-campus student accommodation.

We are committed to supporting you regardless of your living situation, and we are increasing the support available to those who are living in University accommodation and are self-isolating.

  • Students who have left won't be required to pay new instalments due from April this includes Undergraduate and Postgraduate Students.
  • Students unable to leave because of the Government movement restrictions but who choose to leave once the restrictions are lifted will be able to claim a pro-rata refund.
  • Students who are not able to return to clear their belongings will still be able to claim a refund and arrange to collect their belongings once the restrictions have been lifted. We are working with Kelly's storage and Urban Spaceman who will be able to pack it for you, they will then store and could also arrange shipping, They are not be able to pack up your kitchen items as it would be difficult for them to know what is yours. For you to use their service you will need to contact them directly.

The University is also committed to supporting the NHS, and we are looking at how we can provide beds for use by the NHS, as they are in need of accommodation for key staff. If your room is required then you will be contacted directly by the University. You will either be given help to relocate to another flat, or we will inform you that we need to move your belongings to safe storage. To help us with this important cause, if you haven't already done so please complete this form to let us know where you are currently and to help us understand if your room could be made available.

Keep us informed about your self-isolation: If you are a student self-isolating in campus accommodation, please remember to complete our self-isolation form. It

will enable us to support you and ensure you have everything you need during this challenging time. Please do update this if your status changes.

If you have any questions about arrangements for vacating your accommodation, please contact accommodation@surrey.ac.uk. You must let the Accommodation team know if you want to be released from your contract for University accommodation.

If you have already emailed us then please bear with us whilst we respond, as you can appreciate we have had a vast amount of enquiries but are working our way through them and will respond as soon as possible.

Kind regards,

Accommodation Services

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 that mean with the current situation?

  • 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

To consider

  • 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

Get coronavirus support as an extremely vulnerable person

Register if you have a medical condition that makes you extremely vulnerable to coronavirus. For example, you'll be able to ask for help getting deliveries of essential supplies like food.


Student Activities:

Updated 24/03/20


For those of you who have AGMs before Easter this is what we advise / are planning to do:

AGMS week commencing 23rd March

  • AGMs will go ahead ONLINE. We will have an online voting platform (likely to be Microsoft Forms) and it will be administered through Microsoft Teams.
  • All society members (who are registered on the Union website) will be sent a Teams link for their relevant AGM so they can log in and there will be a Union officer in charge on the channel.
  • The voting form will be pre-loaded with options for the three signatories and labelled Candidate A, B, C etc. We think it will be too much to get a list of who is running from you all (plus some students run last minute) hence labelling a ‘A, B, C’.
  • The officer in charge will make it clear on the chat which student is Candidate A, B, C etc.
  • For non-signatory roles there will be an open text box, again the officer will make it clear who is running for each role and students will be asked to vote by writing the position followed by the name of person they are voting for e.g. Social Secretary – Jane Doe
  • The 10 student quota still applies



We will review based on the situation we find ourselves in and let you all know in advance.


For now, please can you ensure all your members have Teams. They can download to a PC or Mac here and get the mobile app through Play Store or Apple Store by typing ‘Microsoft Teams’. Login is with your student account (not your club or society email!).


We will send out full instructions on the online process so it’s clear what to do and the officers will have training so they can answer any queries.


Union & Colours Ball 

The Union and Colours Balls due to take place on 8th and 9th May have been cancelled but we would still like to continue with the nomination process and award winners. How we do this is currently TBC but please do still nominate your club, society and invidividuals ahead of the Monday 30th March (8am) deadline.

Colours Nominations are here.

Union Ball Nominations are here.

If you believe your Half or Full Colours nomination will be affected by fixture and competition cancellations please contact Kara - k.nutley@surrey.ac.uk

Club and Society trips, balls and other organised events

If you have booked a trip, ball/dinner or other event that involves money for your club or society, please don't cancel with the organisation/airline/hotel etc. you have booked with as this may mean you won't get your deposit back. If you're unsure about what to do, please contact Kara - k.nutley@surrey.ac.uk. 

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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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