Placement and study exchange students

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I have secured a 2020/21 work placement; will it go ahead?

You will need to check this with the host organisation. However, please bear in mind they may not know yet and may need to contact you at a later date. You may be asked to work remotely for some or all of the placement. If you have secured a placement with an organisation outside of the UK, the University may be able to approve the activity dependent on the specific circumstances including whether remote working is feasible, Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice, satisfactory completion of a risk assessment and your individual circumstances (e.g. your country of residence). No overseas travel should be undertaken without the approval of your School Placement Team.

Your School Placement Team will support you to consider alternative options or with any concerns you have about the impact on your placement year.

I am considering undertaking a work placement in 2020/21 – what should I do?

We encourage students to continue searching for appropriate opportunities, acknowledging this may be challenging given the developing situation.  Non-Tier 4 visa students (Tier 4 students please see FAQ below) still have until 30 November 2020 to find a placement and many organisations are still recruiting. Likewise, you still have time to secure study abroad activity.  Please note that should you wish to return to your studies at Loughborough University for 2020/21 rather than undertake a placement or study abroad, then you will need inform your School by 30 September 2020 at the latest in order that you can undertake your insurance module choices.

It is, however, important to note that, depending on how the current situation with Covid-19 develops, some placements or study abroad activity may not be able to commence, or the start date may be delayed. Your School Placement Team or Study Exchange Co-ordinator will be able to support you with this, and Loughborough University will work to ensure that as far as possible no student is disadvantaged in relation to their Diploma award due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

I am concerned that I will not be able to complete 45 weeks of work placement activity in 2020/21 – what should I do?

You are strongly encouraged to undertake 45 weeks of placement activity where possible.  However, in these exceptional circumstances, completion of a minimum 25 weeks of activity alongside additional academic or other work based activity will be sufficient. Further information will be provided about these arrangements as soon as possible. The University will work to ensure that as far as possible no student is disadvantaged in relation to their placement diploma due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Will I still be entitled to a placement or study exchange diploma (DPS/DIS/DIntS) if I have completed less than 45 weeks?

If your placement or study exchange has been cut short (either through your own decision or your host organisation’s) due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the University will support you with completing your placement or study exchange year successfully. In these exceptional circumstances, completion of 25 weeks of activity alongside the standard assessments will be sufficient. For students unable to meet these requirements, we will provide an additional piece of coursework or similar assessment to complete. We will be in touch with affected students as soon as we can about the modified arrangements which will apply to your situation and will ensure no student is disadvantaged in relation to their diploma due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

I’m on placement, but I wish to leave early because of COVID-19 concerns – what should I do?

If you have any concerns, and particularly if you are in an at-risk category as defined by the NHS (or if a family member or part of your local support network is), you should look to discuss leaving your placement with your host organisation. Please contact your School Placement Team who will be able to support you with the decision and the practicalities of this.

I’m on placement and have been instructed to homework – what should I do?

If you have been instructed to work away from your usual placement location by your placement host, please ensure that you update your placement record on Co-Tutor with the word ‘HOMEWORKING’ and update your student contact address where you will be based if it is different to that indicated on the system. If you have any difficulties with this, please contact your School Placement Team.

Can I still travel overseas as part of my placement role eg business trip?

An appropriate risk assessment must be undertaken prior to the travel being undertaken by your School Placement Team in order to approve the travel.

I’m overseas - what should I do?

If you are currently overseas, the University is asking you to review your situation urgently and make arrangements to return to your home country as soon as possible. You should note that the travel situation is changing very rapidly, and your ability to leave the country, in which you are currently located, and travel to your home country may become more limited as the situation progresses.

I’m based overseas and I need to return to my home country - what should I do?

  1. Arrange transport as soon as possible to leave the country where you are currently based and return to the UK or your home country by either booking or changing existing flight details.
  2. If you require support with booking transport please contact your School Placement Team or School/Departmental Exchange Co-ordinator who may be able to assist you directly with travel arrangements or direct you to our insurers for further support.
  3. We understand that some students will be reluctant to leave and the University will respect your decision to stay in the country, in which you are currently located, should you choose to do so. If you do decide not to return to your home country, the University will continue to support you as best it can. However, given the rapidly changing circumstances our ability to do so may be hindered considerably over the coming days/weeks.

What if I’m already located in my home country?

If you are a national of the country, or have a home address in the country where your placement is taking place, you are not required to leave but you should contact your School Placement Team or School/Departmental Exchange Co-ordinator.

What should I do if I need to self-isolate or test positive for Coronavirus?

Please contact your School Placement Team or School/Departmental Exchange Co-ordinator and Student Services indicating,

  • why you are self-isolating and/or whether you have tested positive for the virus
  • when you started self-isolating or tested positive
  • where you are located

I’m based overseas and I have a medical emergency – what should I do?

In the event of an emergency whilst travelling, contact Global Response (University Insurers) for advice and assistance on Tel: +44 (0) 2920 662425 or via E-mail: UMAL@global-response.co.uk using Reference: UMAL/T092

Contact Global Response before incurring any substantial medical expenses or being admitted as an inpatient at any hospital, clinic or nursing home. Do not arrange repatriation without the prior approval of Global Response.

I have a question that isn’t answered here - who should I contact?

Please contact your School Placement Team or School/Departmental Exchange Co-ordinator as appropriate.

What is the position on travel insurance for LU-approved placement/study exchanges?

Further information is available: Student Placements and the COVID-19 Pandemic

What are the flexible arrangements for Part I activity in 2020/21 and what is substantive and supplementary activity?

Loughborough University has introduced additional flexibility for Part I activity this year due to the challenges we know you may be facing. However, you are strongly encouraged to undertake 45 weeks of placement activity where possible. The principles outlined below apply for 2020/21 activity:

Part I activity for 2020/21 will be considered either substantive or supplementary in nature.  'Substantive activity' is of a quality and level which would traditionally be approved as a placement or study abroad activity. 'Supplementary activity' is relevant and useful activity either identified by the student or by the University as part of this framework to ‘top-up’ the substantive element but which may not normally be acceptable.

Core principles

  • Allow maximum flexibility for students to engage with Part I activity whilst meeting statutory requirements.
  • Apply the principles of Loughborough University Regulation XI where 45 weeks of total substantive or combined activity (or the DIntS equivalent) is still the initial aim. 
  • In order to achieve the Part I award (DIS, DPS or DIntS), students need to complete at least 35 weeks of total activity, which must include a minimum of 25 weeks of substantive placement activity, or at least one semester of study abroad.  The remaining weeks must be completed by undertaking supplementary activities, or further substantive activity.
  • The expectation is that there will be some activity undertaken in both Semester 1 and Semester 2.