April 2020

STATEMENT: Important information and advice on coronavirus outbreak

Read time: approx 43 mins

Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs for applicants, students, staff and parents

This page is being regularly updated to reflect the latest advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), World Health Organisation (WHO) and Public Health England (PHE). We are closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and its impact to reassure our students and staff and help everyone stay as informed and as safe as possible.

LAST UPDATED: Monday 17th August

We will be re-opening parts of the UCB campus from the 15th June, for some FE students. This is in response to a change in government guidelines, which has asked that Further Education Colleges start to offer some on-campus teaching. We will need to limit numbers on campus to make sure everyone is safe, so please only come in if you have booked a space.

We plan to re-open for Higher Education from September 21st 2020 for enrolment and welcome week.  

Please ensure you continue to utilise all online resources available. Staff can be contacted via email and we will continue to communicate with students. 

Take care and continue to follow the guidelines from the Government and Public Health England – stay alert and stay safe.

Frequently Asked Questions

The FAQs below provide general information on travel, self-isolation, health and hygiene, as well as the latest updates about University College Birmingham.

If you are looking for more detailed information about coronavirus (COVID-19), visit the NHS online guide.

General FAQs for students, staff and parents

What is coronavirus (COVID-19)?

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus and was first identified in the city of Wuhan, China.

What is the current risk to the UK from the coronavirus (COVID-19)?

University College Birmingham is following government advice concerning the risk of the coronavirus. The risk level in the UK is currently rated as high. This allows the government to plan for all eventualities.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)?

The symptoms of coronavirus include:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste

For more information about symptoms, please visit the NHS website.

How is coronavirus (COVID-19) spread?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new illness, so we do not yet know exactly how it spreads from person to person. However, similar viruses are spread through cough droplets.

We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:

  • stay at home as much as possible
  • work from home if you can
  • limit contact with other people
  • keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • wash your hands regularly

Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

What should I do if I develop symptoms of coronavirus?

If you have symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature or a new, continuous cough), you must stay at home and follow the advice on self-isolation provided by the NHS 111 online COVID-19 advice service.

What should I do if someone I live with develops symptoms of coronavirus?

If someone you live with develops symptoms of coronavirus, everyone in your household must stay at home and follow the advice on self-isolation provided by the NHS 111 online COVID-19 advice service.

What is the University doing about coronavirus (COVID-19)?

We know this has been an anxious time for many students and we are very grateful to all for bearing with us as we have worked through the options and waited for guidance from regulators and the Government.

Since Friday 20 March, face-to-face teaching at University College Birmingham has been temporarily suspended, and our campus buildings are currently closed. We have and will continue to teach remaining programmes online for the rest of the 2019/20 academic year and have been making alternative arrangements concerning assessments and examinations. Further information and updates are being provided to students via email and on this page.

When will the campus buildings reopen?

Once it is safe to do so, we will reopen the campus to staff and students. As you know, our university teaching will remain online for this academic year. However, the campus will be starting to open in a limited way from 15th June, to allow some of our further education students to return for specific practical teaching, in line with government guidance on re-opening schools and colleges. At the moment we are not able to open to Higher Education students, but we hope to have some facilities available from July if government guidance allows. This is likely to be access to some IT and library resources, and some optional catch up practical teaching, particularly for students who are due to finish their course this summer. We will be in touch about this as soon as there is more government guidance on likely reopening.

How do I keep updated about the latest information from the University on coronavirus (COVID-19)?

These FAQs are being regularly updated to reflect the latest advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), World Health Organisation (WHO) and Public Health England (PHE). We advise that you check this page regularly in order to stay informed of the latest advice.

Please also continue to regularly check your student email for communications from the University over the coming weeks. If you are not already doing so, you can also follow the latest updates on our social media accounts:

Facebook: ucbofficial

Twitter: @ucbofficial

Instagram: ucbofficial

For the latest health advice, please refer to the NHS 111 online COVID-19 advice service.

For the latest travel advice, please refer to the guidance issued on the GOV.UK website.

I am concerned about a family member/friend/flatmate/colleague who is currently in the UK and may have coronavirus – what should I do?

If they are displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), they need to avoid contact with others and use the NHS 111 online COVID-19 advice service for guidance on what to do next.

Where can I get the latest travel advice concerning coronavirus (COVID-19)?

As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is currently advising British nationals against all but essential international travel.

For the latest travel advice, please refer to the guidance issued on the GOV.UK website.

Questions for higher education students

The guidance in this section applies to most foundation degrees, BA/BSc degrees and postgraduate programmes. Apprenticeships, the International Foundation Diploma and PGCE have different arrangements which will be communicated directly with students.

Will I be able to come back to campus this academic year?

Our university teaching will remain online for this academic year. However, the campus will be starting to open in a limited way from 15th June, to allow some of our further education students to return for specific practical teaching, in line with government guidance on re-opening schools and colleges. At the moment we are not able to open to Higher Education students, but we hope to have some facilities available from July if government guidance allows. This is likely to be access to some IT and library resources, and some optional catch up practical teaching, particularly for students who are due to finish their course this summer. We will be in touch about this as soon as there is more government guidance on likely reopening.

I am a final year student – will I still be able to graduate?

We will do everything we can to ensure all students are able to progress as normal. Please be assured that we will be supporting students who are in their final year so that they receive their award in a timely fashion.

If you have any questions about the specifics of delivery for your course, you should contact your year manager or module leader.

Will I be able to come back for teaching as usual this September 2020?

We are planning that practical teaching will take place on campus, with lectures available online. This means that you will be able to go back through lectures to revise, or to remind yourself of things you missed. Seminars will mostly be on campus, but this will vary depending on your course. All students will be offered some on-campus teaching, and exactly what this will look like will be confirmed by your course team over the coming weeks and months. We expect that we will gradually be able to introduce more face to face teaching during the semester, and we will make sure our plans are flexible, to account for changes in guidance. Whatever happens, we are confident that we will be able to give you high-quality teaching.

Will I still be able to access specialist facilities and equipment?

We’re pleased to be able to announce that we are intending to open the campus and give you access to our resources in September, beginning with enrolment and welcome week on 21 September 2020. In particular, you will have access to our fantastic practical facilities, and we are putting in place extensive plans and risk assessments to make sure you can do so safely.

What are UCB doing to make the campus safe?

The campus, and your teaching, will look and feel a bit different. Some of the things we will implement to ensure you get the experience you want, whilst keeping you safe will include:

  • One way systems in buildings to ensure we can maintain social distancing
  • Limits on the number of people who can enter some buildings or rooms.
  • Reduced group sizes so students can stay 2 metres apart in classrooms, which we will review as new evidence becomes available. We will use buddy systems in courses where close contact is required for practical teaching.
  • Booking systems for some resources, such as computers on campus.
  • ‘Block’ teaching, so you have all of your on-campus tuition in one or two days where possible. This will help you plan how and when you study, as well as help you to identify your own personal plans for travelling to campus. This will mean the campus will be open, and teaching timetabled, for longer hours than we did before.
  • Frequent cleaning of classrooms and equipment that conforms to the latest evidence and guidance, including ensuring that all classrooms and equipment are cleaned between groups.
  • A click and collect service for library books, and ‘quarantining’ of books for three days after use.

What if I cannot come to campus for teaching in September?

We have already announced that for students in some years and on some courses (see here) we will be able to support online study in semester 1 if local travel restrictions do not allow travel. We will also do everything we can to support students who are shielding as a result of medical advice relating to their own or household members’ health conditions to continue with their education. If you think it is likely that you will be in this position, please get in touch with us on wellbeing@ucb.ac.uk so we can discuss the options with you.

How do I receive support from the Academic Skills Centre/CASE?

The Academic Skills Centre remains available by phone, email or video call to help you with understanding your assignment and for academic skills advice.

To book an appointment, email us on asc.booking@ucb.ac.uk or use our online booking system. You can then choose how you would like to be contacted and a member of CASE will be in touch at the time you have booked.

The Library has a broad range of digital resources available. You will find these all listed in the Library Portal pages. You can also visit this page to see the quickest way of searching for eBooks in USearch.

If you have any questions, please speak to your subject librarian who will be happy to support you.

How do I receive additional learning/disability support?

We know that students with variable assessment needs (for example, due to disabilities) may need additional support or advice. If you have any additional needs, please contact Chloe Painter on disabilitysupport@ucb.ac.uk to discuss the support available.

How do I get technical support?

For online technical support, please join our online meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone (Monday to Friday, 10am-4pm). Alternatively, you can send an email to itsu@ucb.ac.uk

For support regarding Canvas, please email dice@ucb.ac.uk

What if I don’t have access to IT equipment or the internet?

We understand that some students may not have adequate access to either IT equipment or internet connections that would enable them to engage with their studies remotely. Please ensure that you have communicated this information to your tutors and year managers.

Additionally, if you do not have access to IT equipment, please email your details (including student ID) to student_services@ucb.ac.uk. If you are unable to do this, please let your tutors know and they will communicate this on your behalf.

What if I require other support, such as health or wellbeing?

If you are experiencing other issues (for example with your health and wellbeing), please contact student_services@ucb.ac.uk and we will do our best to help you.

Can I still book my accommodation for September 2020?

Our accommodation at the Maltings and Cambrian will be available as normal, and it is still possible to reserve your place if you are planning to move to Birmingham next year.

What if I cannot move into the accommodation in September?

For all accommodation contracts with a start date in September 2020, we will not require payment of agreed rent if a student cannot safely reach the campus because of travel restrictions relating to Covid-19, or if we are not able to open the campus for teaching because of Covid-19 restrictions. We will expect students to pay for any full or part weeks that they are occupying their accommodation, as per the terms of the contract. If government advice allows a student to move into their accommodation, but they choose not to attend, it will not be possible to cancel the contract. For students whose primary address is in the UK, the usual contract terms will be in force, and normal rent payment will be expected from the earlier of either the first date of room occupancy, or from one week after UK government restrictions allow students to attend. For students whose primary address is outside the UK, the usual contract terms will be in force, and normal rent payment will be expected from the earlier of either the first date of room occupancy, or from one week after both the UK and the relevant overseas government restrictions allow students to travel.

Will there still be societies and sports running in September?

Of course, it’s not just the academic course that’s important, and we also want to reassure students that we will still have a range of extra-curricular activities available. We are working in collaboration with the Guild of Students to identify a range of activities for you to get involved with, both online and face to face.

Questions for further education (college) students

The guidance in this section applies to most further education programmes, with the exception of apprenticeships. Alternative arrangements for apprentices will be communicated directly.

Will I be able to come back to campus this academic year?

We are pleased to be able to let you know that we will be re-opening parts of the UCB campus from the 15th June, for some FE students. This is in response to a change in government guidelines, which has asked that Further Education Colleges start to offer some on-campus teaching. We will need to limit numbers on campus to make sure everyone is safe, so please only come in if you have booked a space.

Some courses will be offering optional enrichment classes to give you a chance to use our excellent facilities, and a few courses will be offering catch up assessments. These are all optional – there is no requirement for you to come in if you don’t want to, and online teaching will be continuing where courses haven’t finished. Your tutors will be in touch about how this will work over the next few days, so look out for a message from them.

What facilities will be available?

We will be opening the Resource Centre in Richmond House so that you can book a space to use IT facilities. There will be two slots available each day, one from 9,30-12.30, and one from 1.30-4.30. You can book a space by clicking on this link.

How will you keep us safe on campus?

We want to make sure that everyone who comes onto campus is safe, so we have put in place lots of measures like extra cleaning, one way systems, and far smaller group sizes. When you come onto campus you will need to follow these rules:

  • Don’t come onto site if you, or anyone in your household, has any symptoms of Covid-19, or has been told to self-isolate
  • Only come in if you have booked to – we won’t have anything available for drop-ins to start with
  • Wash your hands thoroughly or use hand sanitiser on your way into the buildings, and regularly through the day (we have extra sanitiser stations to help with this)
  • Obey one way systems and social distancing markers. You might find that some doors aren’t accessible to help with this.
  • Stay 2 metres from people as much as you possibly can. We have reduced the number in each class so that this will be possible.
  • Only use a lift if you can’t use the stairs – the space in them is very limited, so save it for people who really need it
  • Try to arrive on time – there won’t be anywhere for you to wait if you are early, and times have been carefully planned to minimise the number of people in a corridor at one time
  • Only go to the specific rooms you’ve been given – most spaces will not be open
  • Bring your own food if you will need a meal break on campus – unfortunately catering outlets won’t be open.
  • You might be given some specific instructions on behaviour from your course tutors when you sign up for their lessons.

Will I still be able to progress onto the next level of my course?

If you are due to progress onto your second year or next level of study at University College Birmingham, please note that the current method of delivery will have no impact upon this. Staff will continue to assess learners and ensure you are able to progress where appropriate to do so.

If you intend to continue your further education study next academic year, please ensure that you complete the CARe progression section on your student dashboard.

Tutors will hold one-to-one discussions with you regarding progression upon completion of your academic qualification.

Will I still be able to complete my qualification?

Staff are working extremely hard to ensure you can continue to achieve your qualifications and complete the academic year as scheduled. Your continual engagement with online delivery is essential in order for this to happen.

I am planning to progress onto University after this academic year – will this still be possible?

If you are hoping to progress onto University upon completion of this academic year, please do not worry – your programme staff will ensure that your work is signed off in adequate time for certification and UCAS.

How do I receive support from the Academic Skills Centre/CASE?

The Academic Skills Centre remains available by phone, email or video call to help you with understanding your assignment and for academic skills advice.

To book an appointment, email us on asc.booking@ucb.ac.uk or use our online booking system. You can then choose how you would like to be contacted and a member of CASE will be in touch at the time you have booked.

The Library has a broad range of digital resources available. You will find these all listed in the Library Portal pages. You can also visit this page to see the quickest way of searching for eBooks in USearch.

If you have any questions, please speak to your subject librarian who will be happy to support you.

How do I receive additional learning/disability support?

We know that students with variable assessment needs (for example, due to disabilities) may need additional support or advice. If you have any additional needs, please contact Chloe Painter on asc@ucb.ac.uk to discuss the support available.

How do I get technical support?

For online technical support, please join our online meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone (Monday to Friday, 10am-4pm). Alternatively, you can send an email to itsu@ucb.ac.uk

For support regarding Canvas, please email dice@ucb.ac.uk

What if I don’t have access to IT equipment or the internet?

We understand that some students may not have adequate access to either IT equipment or internet connections that would enable them to engage with their studies remotely. Please ensure that you have communicated this information to your tutors and year managers.

Additionally, if you do not have access to IT equipment, please email your details (including student ID) to student_services@ucb.ac.uk. If you are unable to do this, please let your tutors know and they will communicate this on your behalf.

What if I require other support, such as health or wellbeing?

If you are experiencing other issues (for example with your health and wellbeing), please contact student_services@ucb.ac.uk and we will do our best to help you.

Placement related questions

I am due to start a one-year, paid placement this summer – will this go ahead?

Students who are due to begin a one-year paid placement, during the summer of 2020, will have received an update from their Employability Tutor on 9th June. We are currently monitoring this situation and liaising with industry. We will be aiming to get students started on placements as soon as opportunities are available, subject to the agreement of the employer, and any travel restrictions or advice that may apply at the time of travelling (if going abroad).

The advice provided sets out details of how we will ensure you start to work towards your learning outcomes, even if you cannot start a placement during the normal timeframes.

As well as liaising with hired@UCB regularly, you should keep monitoring all UK Government advice, as well as the advice from the host country if you are planning on completing your placement overseas.

I started a one-year, paid placement in Jan/Feb 2020 but was only able to complete a few weeks before lockdown, what should I do?

Students will have received an update from their Employability Tutor on 9th June. Please read this carefully and then contact your Employability tutor to discuss your next steps.

I am an HE student and I was unable to start / complete an unpaid placement on my HE degree course during academic year 2019/20, what happens now?

Students on our Higher Education courses are not required to attend their unpaid placements for the rest of this academic year if they feel it is not safe to do so, you will not be disadvantaged for not completing your hours. Please ensure you fill in all work that has been requested by your Employability Tutor and contact Hired if you have completed logbooks/diaries than need to be checked.

For academic year 2020 / 21, we will be working with employers to ensure we get placements started, as soon as possible, within the different industry areas. Further details will be communicated directly during pre-placement sessions next semester.

I am an FE student; can I have an update about placements?

Students on our Further Education courses are not required to attend their unpaid placements for the rest of this academic year, you will not be disadvantaged for not completing your hours. Please ensure you fill in all work that has been requested by your Employability Tutor and for those completing the 350-hour Industry Placement, please ensure your Skills Audit is done and that your Pebble Pad logbook is complete.

For academic year 2020 / 21, we will be working with employers to ensure we get placements started, as soon as possible, within the different industry areas. Further details will be communicated directly during pre-placement sessions next semester.

Questions for current international students

I am an international student and my visa to remain in the UK is due to expire and I am unable to leave the country due to travel restrictions – what should I do?

I am an international student and my visa to remain in the UK is due to expire and I am unable to leave the country due to travel restrictions – what should I do?

Your visa will be extended to 31 July 2020 if you cannot leave the UK because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to coronavirus (COVID-19).

You must request an extension by updating your records with the Coronavirus Immigration Team (CIT) if your visa is expiring and you cannot leave the UK at present but are not planning to stay in the UK in the long term.

If you have already had your visa extended to 31 May 2020 your visa will be extended automatically to 31 July 2020.

You are expected to take all reasonable steps to leave the UK before this date where it is possible to do so.

If you have any questions about your visa, please contact  tier-4-advice@ucb.ac.uk

How will my visa be affected by distance learning?

The Home Office has temporarily lifted the restriction on distance learning for Tier 4 students. This means that University College Birmingham can continue to sponsor your visa while you are distance learning.

We will continue to monitor your engagement with your studies, so it is essential that you log into Canvas regularly, stay up to date with lecture content, submit assignments on time and stay in touch with your lecturers and tutors.

I have already left my accommodation but still have possessions in my room – what should I do?

Where you still have possessions in your room, this will not affect the release from your contract. Once it is safe for non-essential travel to resume, we will contact you with the date by which your belongings must be removed.

For those unable to return to the UK and collect any belongings, please contact accomodation@ucb.ac.uk to discuss how we can support you.

Your belongings remain insured while they are in University accommodation. See our insurer’s page for more information.

If you have not already done so, please arrange to return your keys and fob (whether for The Maltings or Cambrian Hall) to the following address: Caroline Norton, The Maltings, Granville Street, Birmingham, B1 1SB

Where can I find more information about Covid-19 related immigration issues?

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) provides a comprehensive and up to date list of FAQ’s for international students.

If you have any questions about your visa please contact us and we’ll be happy to help – tier-4-advice@ucb.ac.uk

Questions for UK and EU applicants

Will I be able to start my course this September 2020?

We are planning that practical teaching will take place on campus, with lectures available online. This means that you will be able to go back through lectures to revise, or to remind yourself of things you missed. Seminars will mostly be on campus, but this will vary depending on your course. All students will be offered some on-campus teaching, and exactly what this will look like will be confirmed by your course team over the coming weeks and months. We expect that we will gradually be able to introduce more face to face teaching during the semester, and we will make sure our plans are flexible, to account for changes in guidance. Whatever happens, we are confident that we will be able to give you high-quality teaching.

What if I cannot get to campus for this September 2020?

We have already announced that for students in some years and on some courses (see here) we will be able to support online study in semester 1 if local travel restrictions do not allow travel to the UK. We will also do everything we can to support students who are shielding as a result of medical advice relating to their own or household members’ health conditions to continue with their education. If you think it is likely that you will be in this position, please get in touch with us on wellbeing@ucb.ac.uk so we can discuss the options with you.

Will I still be able to access specialist facilities and equipment?

We’re pleased to be able to announce that we are intending to open the campus and give you access to our resources in September, beginning with enrolment and welcome week on 21 September 2020. In particular, you will have access to our fantastic practical facilities, and we are putting in place extensive plans and risk assessments to make sure you can do so safely.

I was due to attend an applicant day/open day how can I find out more about the University?

You can still find out what it’s like to study at University College Birmingham through our Virtual Open Day, which is now available on the University website. We are also holding a large number of virtual applicant days for you to discover more about the course you have chosen to study – if you want more information click here.

There's no better way to find out what it's like to study at University College Birmingham than to ask our current students. Whether you'd like to find out more about the course you're interested in studying, or about living in Birmingham's buzzing city centre, our students are on hand to help. Out students are on hand to answer your queries!

Can I still apply for this September 2020?

Yes – we are still open for applications for this September. Find a list of our courses here

When do I need to make a decision on my firm choice of University?

UCAS has given all applicants extra time to make their decisions during this challenging time. If you received your last offer on or before 4 June 2020, then you must reply by 18 June 2020 (unless you’re using UCAS Extra to find a place). If you received your last decision on or before 13 July 2020, you must reply by 20 July 2020, including any of your UCAS Extra choices.

Will I be able to apply to UCB in Clearing this year?

Yes, we will have courses available in Clearing this year and will welcome Clearing applicants who do not gain a place at their chosen institution. 

However, if you have not already applied to university, then we recommend that you apply to us now to secure your place before Clearing. Once we have your application, we will be able to assess whether you meet our criteria – course entry requirements can be found on our course pages.

Can we still do the UCB English Proficiency Test to meet our English requirement?

Yes – we have organised for the UCB English Proficiency test to be online. If you have applied via one of our EU Representatives, then please contact them regarding booking an appointment.  If you have applied independently then please contact the European admissions team if you think you will need to take the test on euadmissions@ucb.ac.uk  Please note that you need to have an offer in place with UCB to be able to take one of our online tests.

Will my application to the UK student loan’s company be affected by the outbreak?

No. UK and EU applicants to courses starting in September 2020 can apply for student finance online as normal.

Can I still book my accommodation?

What if I cannot move into the accommodation in September?

For all accommodation contracts with a start date in September 2020, we will not require payment of agreed rent if a student cannot safely reach the campus because of travel restrictions relating to Covid-19, or if we are not able to open the campus for teaching because of Covid-19 restrictions. We will expect students to pay for any full or part weeks that they are occupying their accommodation, as per the terms of the contract. If government advice allows a student to move into their accommodation, but they choose not to attend, it will not be possible to cancel the contract.

For students whose primary address is in the UK, the usual contract terms will be in force, and normal rent payment will be expected from the earlier of either the first date of room occupancy, or from one week after UK government restrictions allow students to attend. For students whose primary address is outside the UK, the usual contract terms will be in force, and normal rent payment will be expected from the earlier of either the first date of room occupancy, or from one week after both the UK and the relevant overseas government restrictions allow students to travel.

What if confirmation of my qualifications are delayed or cancelled due to coronavirus (COVID-19?)?

Firstly, please try not to worry. We know that this is a worrying time especially given the UK government’s announcement that school and college exams will not go ahead this summer.

Ofqual, the examinations regulator, has stated that they intend to provide calculated A level grades for students in England on 13 August 2020 and it is likely that other awarding bodies in the UK will adopt similar timescales.

The current UCAS deadline for applicants to meet the conditions of their offer is 31 August 2020. In light of the recent announcements regarding the timing of examination results there are currently no plans for this deadline to change but UCAS are continuing to review the situation.

For EU students we understand that some universities overseas have had to delay teaching due to the coronavirus and therefore, some students may not be able to complete their course and their grades will be delayed.

In such cases, University College Birmingham will be as flexible as possible and students who are in receipt of an offer will be able to commence their studies slightly later than planned. It is still early days, but please be assured we will work with all applicants to support your decision to study with us and we will be as accommodating as possible.

Questions for international applicants

I have applied (or wish to apply) for a pre-sessional English language course but I may not arrive in time for the start date – could I still join at a later date?

The Pre-Sessional English course has been moved online for a 10 week course from 22nd June to 28th August. The Online Summer Pre-Sessional English course is suitable for you if you need to improve your existing level of English in order to progress to study at a UK university. UCB will accept the Online Summer English course certificate as proof of your English level. If you wish to study elsewhere after the Online Summer English course, it is recommended that you check whether the particular institution will accept the certificate.

Is the University able to test my English Language instead of having to provide a recognised SELT?

We recognise that English language testing centres are closed in many countries due to the Covid-19 situation. We therefore now accept the following online tests for entry onto degree level courses this September:

  • TOEFL at Home
  • Language Cert

A list of our current English language requirements can be found here, and further country-specific information can be found here.

What if confirmation of my qualifications are delayed due to coronavirus (COVID-19?)?

We understand that some universities overseas have had to delay teaching due to the coronavirus and therefore, some students may not be able to complete their course and their grades will be delayed.

In such cases, University College Birmingham will be as flexible as possible and students who are in receipt of an offer will be able to commence their studies slightly later than planned. It is still early days, but please be assured we will work with all applicants to support your decision to study with us and we will be as accommodating as possible.

How will my visa and enrolment be affected?

The Home Office has confirmed that Visa Application Centres are starting to reopen in countries where is it safe to do so. Where visa application centres are open, we will be able to issue a CAS for your visa application once you have met the conditions for your course and paid the required deposit amount.

We are closely monitoring the situation in each different country and we will start issuing CAS as soon as it is possible for you to make a visa application.

If you cannot make it to the UK in time for September due to travel restrictions or visa issues, we have already announced that for students in some years and on some courses (see here) we will be able to support online study in semester 1. You can then join your course in the UK as soon as you are able to before the start of semester 2.

Where can I find more information about Covid-19 related immigration issues?

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) provides a comprehensive and up to date list of FAQ’s for international students.

If you have any questions about your visa please contact us and we’ll be happy to help – tier-4-advice@ucb.ac.uk.

Questions relating to quarantine

 

Do I need to self-isolate when I arrive in the UK?

If you are from outside of the UK, it is likely that you will need to self-isolate for 14 days after you arrive, unless your country is exempt.

Please check the UK government website here to see if you will be required to self-isolate when you arrive in the UK.

The list of exempt countries changes regularly, so please make sure to check just before you travel. Unless your country is listed on the ‘exempt’ list, you will need to self-isolate.

If you are required to self-isolate, you will need to complete the public health passenger locator form 48 hours before you arrive.

You should not travel at all if you have coronavirus symptoms.

How should I self-isolate?

If you are required to self-isolate, you will not be allowed to leave the place that you are staying for the first 14 days that you are in the country. This means that you will not be able to go shopping, visit public areas or have any visitors.

Please read the full UK government guidance here.

If you are staying in UCB accommodation, we will support you while you are self-isolating by partnering you with a ‘buddy’, who will call you each day to make sure everything is ok. We are also able to organise food and other essentials to be delivered to your room (see the accommodation policy for full details and charges).

If you will be staying outside of UCB accommodation in private student halls, you should contact your accommodation provider to find out what arrangements they will have in place.

If you will be staying in private rented accommodation, or with friends or family, you will need to make enquiries and prepare in advance to make sure that you will be able to follow the government’s rules.

Breaking the rules regarding self-isolation is illegal and could result in a fine of £1000.

What are the quarantine arrangements for UCB accommodation?

If you will be staying in UCB accommodation, you can find full details of our quarantine policy here.

If you have any questions about UCB accommodation or our accommodation quarantine policy, please contact accommodation@ucb.ac.uk.

How can I travel to my accommodation?

When you arrive in the UK you should go straight to your accommodation, avoiding public transport if possible.

If you will arrive at Birmingham International Airport, you can book a place on our International Meet and Greet service, where a UCB student ambassador will meet you and arrange a taxi to take you to your accommodation.

Please remember that you will need to wear a mask or face covering while on public transport and in taxis.

Do I need to wear a face mask or covering in public?

You must wear a face covering in a number of different public places, including in shops and supermarkets and on public transport. You can find a full list of locations where face coverings are required here.

You should also wear a face covering in any other situation where social distancing may be difficult.

If you will be staying in UCB accommodation, we request that you wear a face covering when you arrive at the accommodation and while you are completing the check-in process.

I am concerned that I will miss classes while I am self-isolating

We strongly recommend that students arrive in the UK two weeks before the start of induction (for new students) or the start of teaching (for continuing students). This will mean that you can complete any self-isolation period before the start of term and you can commence your course as normal.

If you will not be able to attend classes due to self-isolating, you should study online until you can attend in-person. You should contact your school and I.international@ucb.ac.uk to confirm once you have arrived in the UK and how long you will need to self-isolate for.

You will not be penalised if you miss any in-person teaching due to self-isolating, and we will check your participation with online classes during this period instead.

What if I can’t collect my BRP card within 10 days of arriving in the UK due to self-isolating?

If you are a Tier 4 student and you need to collect your BRP card when you arrive in the UK, the Home Office has confirmed that you will not be penalised if you cannot collect this within the usual 10-day period.

You will need to complete your self-isolation period before you collect your BRP from the Post Office.

Once you have collected your BRP, you can upload a scan when you complete the online enrolment task, and we will arrange an appointment for you to collect your Student ID card at the University.

What support will UCB provide while I am self-isolating?

If you are staying in UCB accommodation, we will support you while you are self-isolating by partnering you with a ‘buddy’, who will call you each day to make sure everything is ok. We are also able to organise food and other essentials to be delivered to your room (see the accommodation policy for full details and charges).

If you are staying outside of UCB accommodation you can sign up to have a daily phone call from a UCB buddy, by emailing mentoring@ucb.ac.uk.

When can I complete enrolment and start attending classes?

If you are a Tier 4 student, you will be able to complete the final stage of the online enrolment process once you have arrived in the UK, completed any period of self-isolation, and collected your BRP card. You can then upload scans of your passport and visa documents when you complete the online enrolment process and we will arrange an appointment for you to collect your Student ID card.

If you don’t need a Tier 4 visa, you can complete the final stage of the online enrolment process once you have completed any period of self-isolation. You will need to upload your passport and/or visa documents and we will arrange an appointment for you to collect your Student ID card.

Your Student ID card will enable you to access UCB buildings and facilities and to attend classes in-person according to your timetable.

Questions for University College Birmingham customers

When will the University restaurants reopen?

Our University restaurants are currently closed to the public. Further updates will be provided in due course.

When will Cakes and Bakes reopen?

Cakes and Bakes in Summer Row is currently closed. Further updates will be provided in due course.

When will the spa, hairdressing and sports therapy clinics reopen?

The spa, hairdressing and sports therapy clinics are currently closed. Further updates will be provided in due course.

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