Update for Postgraduate taught students (October starters) - 11 May 2021
Dear Postgraduate Taught Students,
The Government has announced changes to Covid restrictions from 17 May 2021, that will allow the resumption of further activity at the University. Details of the Government’s plans for this stage are available on its website.
Please read this information carefully.
Learning and teaching
Arrangements for the Remainder of Semester 2
We will offer some in-person teaching on almost all of our programmes from 17th May. Your timetable will show you the colour-coded in-person sessions, and any live online MS Teams sessions and on-demand content available to you. The room details for the in-person classes will be added as soon as possible later this week, so please check your timetable for these updates. For any student unable to return to campus, opportunities will still be available to access online sessions and/or in-person sessions online via Microsoft Teams.
The number of in-person sessions available will reflect the stage of teaching delivery for each module at this time of the academic year, but we hope that you will welcome the opportunity to return to the classroom and ask questions in person to your teaching staff where possible before the end of the academic year.
Your School will already have been in touch with you if your programme includes practical elements which are essential for you to attend.
For those students expecting to sit exams from 1st June, you should have received an email on 28th April about your examination timetable. Further information about the Semester 2 exams and assessments is available online.
Returning to campus
If you are currently in the UK but away from Loughborough
You can now make arrangements to return to Loughborough for Monday 17th May if you have not already done so. If you choose not to return, you may continue to access any course content online but should also note the rebate information in the Hall Accommodation paragraph below if this applies to you. Please also note the information further down this email about Semester 3.
If you are not in the UK
We are advising students not in the UK to carefully consider their options. If you are based in a country that is on the Government’s ‘red list’ we advise that you should not travel to the UK. If you are not in the UK but in a country other than a ‘red list’ one, you should make your own decision on whether to travel, noting the information further down in this section about travel and Semester 3.
Arrangement for Semester 3
We have also been giving careful consideration to arrangements for Semester 3 (28 June to 1 October). The majority of students will be working on projects and dissertations during this time and staff will be providing supervision. Your School and supervisor will advise on the arrangements appropriate to the work you are undertaking. We wanted you to be aware that we cannot guarantee that project/dissertation supervision will be available in person as this will depend on the circumstances of individual members of staff.
If you are not already based in Loughborough, you are very welcome to come to the UK and access campus facilities during Semester 3 if this is possible for you. Important further details of what to expect and what you need to do before travelling to the UK can be found on our website.
We recognise that some students taking programmes without essential in-person elements have not yet been able to travel to the UK and that pandemic travel restrictions will make it very difficult for them to join us in person in the next few months.
If you are studying a programme that does not have practical activities or teaching in specialist facilities, you can request to complete your programme online in Semester 3. If you are considering this option please bear in mind the following:
- If you complete your programme entirely online, you should check that your degree will be recognised in your home country and/or by any professional bodies which are relevant to your future career aspirations.
- In your home country, there may be tax implications of studying a programme 100% online. You should check with the local tax authorities or your tax adviser (if you have one) whether you are required to pay tax on your tuition fee. We regret that University staff are not able to provide tax advice.
- If the University is sponsoring your Student Visa (formerly Tier 4) and you intend to complete your programme entirely online, this sponsorship will cease and you will not be eligible to work in the UK following completion of your studies without a new visa. You will not be eligible to apply for the Graduate Route visa.
Please see the full details of the arrangements for opting out of in-person study and ensure you fully understand the implications. If you wish to take this option please do so as soon as possible using the online system and if you have any queries please contact your School administration team in the first instance.
To assist with your travel planning, we have put together an overview on our website of the Covid tests you will need to take before you travel to the UK and once you are here. The site also provides information about quarantine when you arrive in the UK. Once your quarantine period is complete, you will be required to take a free Covid test at least once a week. You should book this using the Connect and Protect form.
If you live in hall accommodation, we will charge hall fees from 17th May. Following a request from LSU, we are planning to extend hall accommodation contracts at no additional charge to students (excluding food), to enable students who wish to remain in Loughborough for additional time at the end of term. We will write with more detail shortly.
If you are currently based outside the UK and are unable to return to the campus for 17th May, you can apply for a rebate on your hall fees. Further information on this will be made available by the Student Accommodation team.
Social Distancing Arrangements
The government has confirmed a further easing of social distancing restrictions from 17th May. You can find the full details here but in summary:
- Up to 30 people can now meet outside
- Indoors, the rule of 6 or two households applies
Please remember that rules and restrictions about social distancing and wearing face coverings when required will remain in place and you must adhere to them.
We continue to ask students to help us keep the community safe by sticking to the social distancing rules in place and the testing regime detailed below.
Covid testing for students based in the UK
If you are already back at the University
You should continue taking a free Covid test at least once a week. Please book your tests using the Connect and Protect form.
If you are planning to return in readiness for 17th May
Before you travel: You should take a test if community testing facilities are available near your home. You can also order a home test kit through your local pharmacy. If you are travelling from an area that is currently undergoing surge testing you must have a test before you travel. If the test is positive, you must not travel until your period of self-isolation is complete. We shall make sure that you can catch up on any missed work.
On your arrival in Loughborough: You must book a lateral flow Covid test before you access any part of the campus including Halls of Residence. The only exception is those that have had a positive Covid test within the last 90 days. You should do this using the Connect and Protect form.
Once on campus, you will be required to take a free Covid test at least once a week.
If you are currently based outside the UK, please follow the separate instructions regarding testing when travelling to the UK from overseas, as outlined on our website.
Sport and other campus activities
In line with the Government plans, indoor group sports and exercise classes will be able to resume from 17th May. Full details are available on the Loughborough Sport website.
LSU’s Socially Distanced Social Club is already open and can be accessed by students. The Students' Union building will re-open on 17th May for social, student-group and study spaces. Capacity and table limits will be in place. Please refer to the LSU website and their social media channels for more updates.
For those students in halls, the University is working with Hall Committees and LSU to run hall balls on-site at the end of term.
Supporting your wellbeing
If you are feeling anxious or worried at all about how the current situation is affecting you, please remember that there is help available.
Student Services (E: firstname.lastname@example.org, T: 01509 222765) offers a range of support, mental health and wellbeing and financial advice. You can also access online support 24/7 through the Togetherall platform. The Centre for Faith and Spirituality (E: email@example.com, T: 01509 223741) offers a space for reflection and has chaplains of various faiths.
Loughborough Students’ Union’s Welfare and Diversity team can also offer guidance and support.
To support students in challenging financial circumstances, the University has hardship funds available – more information is available here.
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Teaching)