Student and Staff Wellbeing

Covid-19 Update - 18 March 2020

Covid-19 Update Message to students - 18 March 2020

Lucy Backhurst, Academic Registrar shares the latest updates with taught and research students.

Dear Taught and Research Students

I am writing with today’s update. 

New travel advice for British nationals

The Government has updated their foreign travel advice, as countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions.  The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is advising British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice.

In view of this change in guidance, we would encourage those of you to whom this is relevant who wish to travel home, to urgently look at travel options to get home before airlines start cancelling flights. The latest travel advice can be found at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

Home Office advice

We have received many questions from international students about the situation with regard to visas. We know this is a real concern for students, but we are still awaiting guidance from the UK Visas and Immigration. As soon as we receive this guidance, we will let you know.  In the meantime, I want to reassure Tier 4 students that the University's move to remote teaching and alternative assessment will not impact upon visas for this academic year. Where students continue to engage with our virtual provision, their Tier 4 visas will not be affected.

Library Services

The Philip Robinson and Walton Libraries will formally close from 5pm on Friday 20 March.  The Marjorie Robinson Library Rooms and the Law Library are already closed as there are insufficient staff left on site to keep them open safely.

The Library does not expect any staff or students to return items that they currently have on loan until the Library re-opens, and all loan limits have been raised so that users can borrow more print books than would normally be the case. 

The Library will continue to support our users in a number of ways.  Additional ebooks and other online content are being purchased as a matter of urgency.  Books on Time will continue to be available, and staff and students may request titles through this route which will be purchased if available in electronic format.  Inter library loans for items in electronic format will also be available.  The Library Help service will continue to respond to queries through email and chat.  Liaison Librarians will be available to support staff and students either through email or through online appointments.  The Writing Development Centre will offer one to one appointments online.  The Library's extensive web pages, including subject guides and tutorials, provide help and guidance in the use of the Library's extensive online collections.  Regular updates regarding Library services will be published on the Library’s web pages and through the Library’s Twitter feed @nclroblib .

IT Support and Computer Clusters

An IT Services toolkit is available to support working off campus. It gives advice on how to access your University email, software for home use and collaboration tools to help study groups stay connected.

The computer clusters, including the facilities available in the Old Library Building, are open but in order to ensure social distancing, capacity will be halved. This will be reviewed on a daily basis and regular information on availability will be provided in future updates and in the FAQs.

Support for students experiencing financial difficulties

Any student who is experiencing financial difficulties can apply to the Student Financial Support Fund (UK students) or the Financial Assistance Fund (international and EU students).  To support social distancing measures, the team have suspended face to face submission appointments, so completed application forms and supporting documentation must be submitted by email to student.fin-supp@ncl.ac.uk. The team will make every effort to process your application as quickly as possible.

Counselling and Wellbeing support

All Student Health and Wellbeing support services remain available and are now being delivered remotely using telephone or video call.

For pastoral support please call: 0191 208 6341

If you need ongoing therapy please see: https://studenthealthandwellbeing.ncl.ac.uk/home.html

If you need support from any of the specialist disability teams, the details are below: 

MentalHealthAdvisor@newcastle.ac.uk

specialistlearning@newcastle.ac.uk

disabilityadvisor@newcastle.ac.uk

 

You can also find advice and support on the Student Minds website. 

King’s Gate Opening Hours

From tomorrow King’s Gate formal opening hours for student services will be restricted to 10am-4pm. 

More information

Don’t forget – we’re updating our Frequently Asked Questions daily and adding to them as the situation changes. If you have a question that is not answered by the FAQs, please forward it to: covid19enquiries@ncl.ac.uk.     

Take care, support each other, and continue to follow the guidance provided by Public Health England to keep you safe and well.  

 

Best wishes, 

Lucy Backhurst

Academic Registrar

Student and Academic Services