Information for college students on coming to University College Birmingham over the summer
Page last updated: Friday 25 June
This page contains information for new and returning further education students about attending University College Birmingham during the summer. Here you will find important advice and guidelines around coming onto our campus, as well as information about Covid-19 testing requirements.
We are continuously monitoring guidance from the UK government concerning the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and national restrictions in England, and how this will impact upon students attending our College. Please be aware therefore that the information presented below is subject to change, so you should continue to check for further updates from the College via email and on Canvas.
Latest guidelines on coming to campus
All further education students at University College Birmingham have returned to face-to-face teaching this spring following the national restrictions imposed earlier in the year.
Should you need to come onto our campus during this summer, you will need to undergo Covid testing and follow all safety regulations while on site. For more information, see Covid-19 testing below.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) (Last updated 25 June)
Do I need to get a Covid test before I come onto campus?
Yes, you should get tested before you come onto our campus. You should not come onto College premises or mix with other students and staff until you have been tested, if you possibly can.
What if I don't have IT equipment or space to study at home?
Our IT and library facilities will remain available for use by students who do not have IT equipment or space to study at home.
The library at The Link will be open from 9am to 5pm on Monday to Friday throughout the summer. Camden House is also available if you need to use the computers.
IT staff will be on site if you have any technical problems. Alternatively, you can find phone and contact details for IT support on the Portal.
Please note, you should take a Covid test before you use any spaces on campus.
Can I come onto campus to socialise with other students?
You can only come onto campus if you are here to study or attend online lessons on your own. If you seem to be on campus to socialise, you will be asked to leave.
On campus, you will be expected to wear a mask (unless you are exempt), and you must maintain 2 metres social distancing wherever possible.
What safety measures are in place on campus, and what facilities are available?
It’s really important you continue to follow all social distancing and behaviour rules if you come to campus (and indeed everywhere else). Colleges including University College Birmingham have had to work very hard behind the scenes to convince the government that students can be trusted to follow the rules, and that letting you return won’t contribute to the spread of Covid-19.
We are confident that the processes we’ve put in place will keep everyone safe, but they only work if everyone follows them, so we encourage you to be patient and sensible.
To make sure you stay safe on campus we’ll need you to follow a few rules. In particular, you will need to wear a mask whenever you are indoors on campus, unless you are eating or have been asked to remove it for a particular part of a lesson. If you are exempt from wearing a mask, you must make sure you have a card to show this – you can obtain an exemption card by asking your tutors. You should also get a coronavirus test before you attend.
Full details about our safety measures and regulations on campus, as well as details on which facilities are open for students, are available on our dedicated Covid-19 FAQs page.
Before returning to campus, all students with no coronavirus symptoms should take a Covid-19 test. You should not come onto College premises or mix with other students until you have been tested, if you possibly can.
University College Birmingham’s testing centre will be closed over the summer (from 25 June). However, if you know you will need to be on campus during July and August, you should look to get tested in one of the other ways available to you.
You can use the Home Test Ordering Service from the UK Government, which is open to the general public online here. If you are staying in Birmingham over the summer, you can also find information on pop-up lateral flow test collection sites and testing in community pharmacies here.
Even when you have received a negative test, you are still strongly advised to adhere to social distancing rules. If you test positive, you will need to self-isolate for 10 days, as you would with any other Covid-19 test.
Should you have any questions about testing, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) (Last updated 25 June)
Is it compulsory to get tested?
The UK Government has advised that all students and staff need to be tested twice weekly.
Testing is very strongly advised, as it will help to stop the spread of Covid by people who don't have symptoms – around 1 in 3 people who are infected with Covid don't know they have it, but they can still pass it on. You should be tested twice a week if you are coming to campus regularly or mixing with other people.
Do my parents need to give permission for me to be tested?
No. As long as you are aged 16 or over, you are able to consent to be tested yourself.
However, we encourage you to show this information to your parents or guardians, so they know that you are being tested.
Do I need to inform the College about my test result?
You can update your test result yourself on the Portal. If your test is positive, you will also need to email email@example.com and let us know.
What happens if I test negative?
If your test result is negative, you can attend classes and campus facilities as required, but should be particularly careful to maintain social distancing and other safety measures.
What happens if I test positive?
If you receive a positive result, you must begin self-isolation immediately for 10 days from when you receive your result.
You should also report your test result to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can undertake contact tracing and provide you with advice and support.
If you test positive through a lateral flow test, you must also take a confirmatory PCR test within two days. If you do not, you will need to self-isolate for 10 full days even if you get a negative PCR result. If you book the PCR test within two days of the positive lateral flow test and it provides a negative result, you can return to campus, and close contacts and other household members can stop self-isolating.
What happens if my test result is invalid?
If your test result comes back as invalid, please let us know and then book a new test.
If I test negative, does that mean I definitely don't have Covid-19?
No. The test can’t guarantee that you don’t have Covid-19, as it can take some time for the virus to incubate after you are infected.
By having two tests every week, we increase the chances of identifying the virus if it is incubating. So it’s a good sign that you are not infectious, but it is not absolutely guaranteed. This is why it is important to continue to wear a mask, wash your hands and maintain social distancing, even if you have tested negative.
What happens if I test negative, but discover I am a close contact of someone who has tested positive?
If you are a close contact of a positive case, you would need to self-isolate for 10 days from your last contact with that person. That’s why it’s particularly important that you maintain social distancing, to minimise the chance of you being identified as someone’s close contact.
The virus can take time to incubate, which is why you have to isolate if you are a close contact of a positive case, even if you have tested negative.
Where can I get a test if I am experiencing symptoms of Covid-19?
If you are experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19, do not come to campus. Instead, you should stay at home and book a different test called a PCR test, available for free at your local testing centre. For more information, visit the GOV.UK website.
If you are struggling to book a PCR test, please let us know by contacting email@example.com and we may be able to help.
Should I get tested if I've recently had Covid-19?
If you have tested positive for Covid-19 recently (i.e. within the last 90 days), we do not advise you to get a test. You are very unlikely to be infected again so quickly, and the test may still show you as positive, although you should not still be infectious. You should email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know if you have recently tested positive. You will not need a doctor’s note as we have a record of this.
If your positive test was more than 3 months ago, you will need to continue to get tested.
I am already getting tests twice weekly from my employer – can I use those results?
Yes. Please confirm to your tutor that you have tested negative, as well as sending an email to email@example.com.
I'm only coming onto campus as a one-off, or once a week – do I need to get a second test?
If you're only coming onto campus as a one-off, then as long as you get tested before you attend, you don't need to be tested again if it is not convenient, unless you wish to do so for peace of mind.
If you are only visiting campus once a week, you will only need one test, but if you are working or mixing with people during the rest of the week then we advise you to get a second test if you can.
Do I have to get tested before I can come to classes?
You are very strongly encouraged to get tested, but it is not compulsory. Getting tested is a great way to help ensure you do not risk passing Covid-19 to your friends, lecturers or classmates, and should reduce the number of people who need to self-isolate during term.
I have received a coronavirus vaccine – do I still need to get tested?
Yes. Even if you have received one or two doses of a coronavirus vaccine, you will still be required to get a test, as well as following all the requirements and guidance concerning face coverings, social distancing, hand washing etc.
What support is available if I need to self-isolate?
We encourage all of our students to look out for each other, and to let us know if you need more support.
If you need wellbeing and mental health support, check the Canvas page or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For help outside of University College Birmingham, you can also call the mental health support line offered by Birmingham and Solihull NHS Trust. The helpline is available on 0121 262 3555 and is open 7 days a week, from 9am to 11pm.
More detailed information about support services is available on our Covid-19 FAQs page.
Where can I find more information?
If you have any questions about what all this means for you, please speak to your teaching teams in the first instance, or send an email to email@example.com.
Teaching and support staff will continue to be available via email and phone to provide you with support and advice if you need it.
Further information about coronavirus and frequently asked questions for University College Birmingham students can be found on our Covid-19 FAQs page. More information is also available on the GOV.UK website and the NHS website.