Student Advice


Last updated: 1 April 2020, 11:00

If you are a student at USW, you can find additional advice and guidance on UniLife 

Your health and wellbeing

We understand that this may be a difficult time for some, particularly if you have family or friends in any of the worst affected regions.  

If you need to speak with anyone, please contact the Advice Zone or contact the Immigration and International Student team at USW.  

The University Chaplains are also available to offer support to all students and staff. To speak to the chaplaincy during office hours, please ring 01443 654060. To contact them outside of this time, please ring 03455 760101. Your contact details will be taken, and a chaplain will phone you back. You can also speak to a Chaplain via Skype – to request an individual Skype call or join the Chaplaincy Skype group email, please contact vaughan.rees@southwales.ac.uk.  


Please follow the latest public health advice on the gov.uk website

The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of: 

  • new continuous cough and/or 
  • high temperature 

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness. 

  • If you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started. (See ending isolation for more information) 
  • If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. 
  • For anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period. (See ending isolation section for more information). 

if you have coronavirus symptoms: 

  • do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital 
  • you do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home 
  • testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home 
  • if you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, then use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999. 

Please email health@southwales.ac.uk and your course leader if you are self-isolating. 


Please follow the latest public health advice on the gov.uk website

The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of: 

  • new continuous cough and/or 
  • high temperature 

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness. 

  • If you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started. (See ending isolation for more information) 
  • If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. 
  • For anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period. (See ending isolation section for more information). 

if you have coronavirus symptoms: 

  • do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital 
  • you do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home 
  • testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home 
  • if you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, then use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999. 

 

Please email health@southwales.ac.uk and your course leader if you are self-isolating. 


 

Your health and wellbeing is our and your main priority. Please don’t worry if you need to self-isolate. The University will look to see how we can best support you and mitigate any unnecessary effects to your studies. Please inform your course leader, and email health@southwales.ac.uk.  

If you need to, you can also apply for extenuating circumstances – the Advice Zone can help you with this



Following the Prime Minister’s statement on Monday 16 March, the University’s senior leadership team made a decision to immediately move to remote learning for students, with staff working from home where possible. 

  • Face-to-face teaching and assessment has been suspended. 
  • Online teaching started on Monday 23 March.
  • There will be no face-to-face exams or assessments up until the end of July. We will be reviewing the position for future exams and assessments in due course. 
  • In light of the UK and Welsh Governments’ position, no student should be visiting campus. 
  • There are students in halls who have told us that this is the safest place for them to be: it is their home, or travel to a home location is not possible or unsafe.  We are supporting them to keep them as safe as possible on campus, which may mean changes to the way they live in halls, and we’re doing that with expert advice from the health professionals and other universities.  We will keep these students updated with the latest and most detailed advice from government. 

The government is advising those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures. You can find details about who is considered to be at risk, and what social distancing measures should be followed here



Following the Prime Minister’s statement on Monday 16 March, the University’s senior leadership team made a decision to immediately move to remote learning for students, with staff working from home where possible. 

  • Face-to-face teaching and assessment has been suspended. 
  • All teaching and assessment will be delivered remotely. Online teaching started on Monday 23 March. 
  • All teaching and assessment will be delivered remotely. Online teaching begins from Monday 23 March as planned.
  • There will be no face-to-face exams or assessments up until the end of July. We will be reviewing the position for future exams and assessments in due course.

The government is advising those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures, this includes pregnant women. You can find details about who is considered to be at risk, and what social distancing measures should be followed here



Please follow public health advice. You can find the latest information on the Gov.uk website

If you are caring for someone and therefore unable to complete your remote learning, we will look to see how we can best support you and mitigate any unnecessary effects to your studies. If you need to, you can also apply for extenuating circumstances – the Advice Zone can help you with this

Government advice: 

The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of: 

  • new continuous cough and/or 
  • high temperature 

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness. 

  • If you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started. (See ending isolation for more information) 
  • If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. 
  • For anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period. (See ending isolation for more information). 

if you have coronavirus symptoms: 

  • do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital 
  • you do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home 
  • testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home 


Your Studies

Following the Prime Minister’s statement on Monday 16 March, the University’s senior leadership team made a decision to immediately move to remote learning for students, with staff working from home where possible. 

  • Face-to-face teaching and assessment has been suspended. 
  • Online teaching started on Monday 23 March.  
  • There will be no face-to-face exams or assessments up until the end of July. We will be reviewing the position for future exams and assessments in due course. 

All learning and assessments for on-campus students has moved to online provision. You will be able to continue your studies online using a range of tools that USW provides - you can find out more here.

Your course and module teams are contacting you directly – please keep checking your University email address and Blackboard. 


Following the Prime Minister’s statement on Monday 16 March, the University’s senior leadership team made a decision to immediately move to remote learning for students, with staff working from home where possible. 

  • Face-to-face teaching and assessment has been suspended, and online teaching started on Monday 23 March.. 
  • We have been working up alternative modes of assessments for this remote learning situation, and these will be arranged in due course between subject teams and their students. Assessment regulations within the University have been changed to make sure that these alternative assessments will legitimately count towards students’ marks and degrees.
  • There will be no face-to-face exams or assessments up until the end of July. We will be reviewing the position for future exams and assessments in due course. 
  • We are working hard to enable every student to have the opportunity to complete their study so they can progress to their next year or obtain their final qualification. 
  • The process is under way for reviewing assessment deadlines and how to claim extenuating circumstances during these exceptional times. More information will follow as soon as possible
  •  



In response to concerns regarding finger scanning to record your attendance and the risks around coronavirus you are not required to scan your finger at this point in time. 

The University will continue to monitor Tier 4 students’ engagement through your online engagement.

If you are feeling unwell and cannot engage online, please email health@southwales.ac.uk, your course leader and the Tier 4 administration team (hoenquiries@southwales.ac.uk) immediately so that we can work with you. 



The University will look to see how we can best support you and mitigate any unnecessary effects to your studies.   

If you need to, you can also apply for extenuating circumstances – the Advice Zone can help you with this. 



International students

Following the Prime Minister’s statement on Monday 16 March, the University’s senior leadership team made a decision to immediately move to remote learning for students, with staff working from home where possible. If you are ordinarily a resident outside the UK and you wish to return to your home country before the end of term due to travel disruption or border restrictions, you may do so. If you are a Tier 4 visa-holder your visa will not be cancelled, but you will be expected to engage fully with online teaching and assessment. 

  • Face-to-face teaching and assessment has been suspended. 
  • Online teaching started on Monday 23 March. 
  • There will be no face-to-face exams or assessments up until the end of July. We will be reviewing the position for future exams and assessments in due course.
  • There are students in halls who have told us that this is the safest place for them to be: it is their home, or travel to a home location is not possible or unsafe.  We are supporting them to keep them as safe as possible on campus, which may mean changes to the way they live in halls, and we’re doing that with expert advice from the health professionals and other universities.  We will keep these students updated with the latest and most detailed advice from government. 
  • Everyone is aware that the Coronavirus pandemic is affecting international travel with the availability of flights, and some border arrangements changing. 

We know it’s worrying and we understand if as an international student, you’d prefer to travel home now in case things change. We are not sure when the international situation will resolve itself.  

If you choose to stay in the UK, you will continue to receive the same support as all other USW students. 

If you do decide to go home:  

  • Keep studying. We’ll be putting arrangements in place to allow remote study on your courses, and we’ll work hard to support you wherever you choose to study. 
  • Keep checking USW information for updates. Please check UniLife and your university email regularly. Check that your contact info’ on Quercus is up to date (particularly your personal email address and telephone numbers), so that we can contact you if we need to. 
  • You need to tell us if you’re going home. If you do choose to return home, all international and EU students must let their course leader know as soon as possible. 


International students on a Tier 4 visa 

If you are an international student studying with us on a Tier 4 visa and you decide to return home, you must also email HOEnquiries@southwales.ac.uk. You should provide a copy of your flight itinerary and entry stamp from your passport. This is very important. 

It is also important for all Tier 4 students to be aware that even if you return home to continue your studies, we will still need to continue to monitor your engagement with your studies as part of our Tier 4 attendance monitoring obligations. You will therefore need to ensure that you follow the instructions about your studies carefully. 

Further queries 

If you have any queries about any implications to your visa, then please contact Immigration and International Student Advice international.advice@southwales.ac.uk 



In response to concerns regarding finger scanning to record your attendance and the risks around coronavirus you are not required to scan your finger at this point in time.  

The University will continue to monitor Tier 4 students’ engagement through your online engagement.    

If you are feeling unwell and cannot engage online, please email health@southwales.ac.uk, your course leader and the Tier 4 administration team (hoenquiries@southwales.ac.uk) immediately so that we can work with you. 



 

Postgraduate Research Students

You can find a comprehensive list of FAQs for Postgraduate Research Students on the Graduate School website.

 


Support Services


All of our Support Services can be contacted via Advice ZoneOnline and queries will be responded to between the usual opening hours of 8.30am - 4.30pm, Monday to Friday. 



USW Careers is still here to support you.  We have been delivering most of our services online for many years, so everything is already up and running for you to access. Extra activities will be added over the coming weeks.  

The Careers website is the best place to start with lots of resources and signposting to all of services, such as; Careers Connect - jobs board and events system, MyCareer - career and skills development system, and GradEdge Award - online employability award.   

All appointments are running via Skype with details on how to book here.  The Ask a Question service is also running as normal.  

Keep an eye out for online events that will be running, including these workshops:  

The secret to Succeeding at Interviews - 24 March  
Psychometric Tests & Assessment Centres - 27 March  
Bright Ideas Den (BID) – 30 March  


 

Campus Advice Zones are delivering all services online only. Telephone service is currently unavailable but will resume as soon as possible. 

The Advice Zone can be contacted via Advice Zone Online and queries will be responded to between the usual opening hours of 8.30am - 4.30pm, Monday to Friday. Remember to check your student email account; you will receive an email there when your query has been answered. 



The Counselling and Mental Health Services can be contacted via Advice Zone Online and queries will be responded to between the usual opening hours of 8.30am - 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.  

Support is available via 30-minute wellbeing advice telephone and Skype appointments, which can be booked via Advice Zone Online. 



The Health Service can be contacted via Advice Zone Online and queries will be responded to between the usual opening hours of 8.30am - 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.  

Telephone appointments can be made with the Health Service through Advice Zone Online. Please include your mobile number in the notes section of the online booking form. 



The Progression Advice Team is continuing to offer guidance and support to students through Advice Zone Online, by email, telephone and Skype appointments. 

Telephone and Skype appointments (link to: ) are available during term time, 9:30am – 3:30pm, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. You can book an appointment using Advice Zone Online. 



There are several ways to access support from the Disability Advice Service: 

  • You can book a telephone appointment by clicking here. If you’d prefer an appointment via Skye or online chat please email disabilityadviser@southwales.ac.uk.
  • Specialist Study Skills Tutors and Mentors are offering remote sessions via Skype or telephone. If you’re unsure how to contact your assigned support worker, please email SSST@southwales.ac.uk for Study Skills or MHS@southwales.ac.uk for the Mentor team. If you access your specialist support externally, please contact your provider or a disability adviser for further advice. 
  • If you have an assigned note-taker and need support accessing any of the online teaching, please email disabilitysupport@southwales.ac.uk
  • You can access useful resources on the Disability Advice Service website including some assistive software. 



Students who are in the process of applying for Disabled Students Allowances (DSAs) and are due to have a DSA Needs Assessment can find contact details for local assessment centres on the DSA Hub website DSA Needs Assessment Centres are equipped to carry out Needs Assessments remotely. 



Whilst the libraries are currently physically closed on our campuses, USW Library Services is open online. Students, staff and researchers can access support from USW Library staff and hundreds of thousands of resources remotely. 

Over the coming days, an additional 180,000 new e-books will be made available as well as new online content to support students with their studies. Our Library staff are working with the UK academic publishing industry to keep this access available and free to everyone to use.  

USW students, staff and researchers can access the USW Library Services online via FINDit or via the library website


  

We provide a staffed 24/7 virtual chat service to help with any query students have with library services and resources 

Virtual appointments can be made with a Faculty Librarian for one-to-one support.  Students can indicate which technology they are most comfortable using, either email, Skype, or another online tool  



Subject support is available through our numerous subject guides and BoB (Box of Broadcasts) allows you to view films, TV programmes and listen to radio programmes online

Many Blackboard modules will have a Reading List online which will include links to books, e-books, e-journal articles, digitised chapters, websites and more. Module reading lists are also accessible here.  

Many other online guides are available to help you 



Please keep any library books you have borrowed until the University is open again. Your books will be automatically renewed, and you will not be liable for any fines. 


Please keep any library books you have borrowed until the University is open again. Your books will be automatically renewed, and you will not be liable for any fines. Information about how to return your books will be made available once the University campuses have re-opened. 


The University Chaplains are available to offer support to all students and staff. To speak to the chaplaincy during office hours, please ring 01443 654060. To contact them outside of this time, please ring 03455 760101. Your contact details will be taken, and a chaplain will phone you back. You can also speak to a Chaplain via Skype – to request an individual Skype call or join the Chaplaincy Skype group email, please contact vaughan.rees@southwales.ac.uk



Student Finance

The Student Money Advice Team is continuing to offer guidance and support to students through Advice Zone Online, by email, and telephone appointments. 

Telephone appointments are available Monday - Friday, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. Please include your mobile number in the notes section of the online booking form. 


The Government has issued advice and support for individuals affected by Covid-19. There is guidance is available on: 

The Student Money Advice Team may be able to offer further information and assistance.  



You can contact the Revenue department if you would like to discuss making changes to your current payment plan. 



The Student Loan Company has published information for students here

 Third term payments are due to be paid at the expected time and undergraduate students can still apply/reapply for funding for the 2020/21 academic year. 



Accommodation

If you are a student living in University halls on the Treforest Campus, our accommodation team have emailed your student email account with further advice and guidance.

We are strongly encouraging all students who can to return home, supporting students who need help to do this. We are not making any student leave halls if they are not able to return home, and we are making arrangements to support the wider needs of those who need to remain. 

Please refer to the email and make contact with the team through the details they have provided.  

If you are a student living in private accommodation, please contact your provider directly for advice and guidance. 



Work-based placements

The health and safety of our students and staff is the University’s main concern and we are closely following the advice of the government and the professional body regulators for our courses, where applicable.  Course and faculty teams are monitoring the individual placements on a daily basis, and are working closely with students and employers. We know that employers will also be carefully considering this advice and will wherever possible, be looking for their staff to work remotely. 

Employers may therefore choose to end or postpone short, curriculum-based placements. These work placements are being managed by individual course leaders, with alternative arrangements being developed to recognise work-based learning credits, should these placements not be possible in the current climate. 



These are exceptional circumstances and the University does not want you to be disadvantaged by things which are beyond your control. Your course leaders and course teams are developing alternative arrangements to recognise work-based learning credits, where necessary in discussions with professional bodies, and these will be communicated to students individually based on their individual circumstance. 


These are exceptional circumstances and the University does not want you to be disadvantaged by things which are beyond your control.  Your course leaders and course teams are developing alternative arrangements to recognise work-based learning credits, where necessary in discussions with professional bodies, and these will be communicated to students individually based on their individual circumstance. Please contact your course leader to find out how this will affect you. 


We would encourage you to follow the latest public health advice, around social distancing, and self-isolation should you have an underlying health condition or a high temperature and/or persistent cough. If you are unable to attend your placement, please let your host-organisation/company and your course leader know.  

The health and safety of our students and staff is our main concern and we are closely following the advice of government.  Employers will also be carefully considering this advice and will wherever possible, be looking for their staff to work remotely. Employers may therefore choose to end or postpone short, curriculum-based placements. These work placements are being managed by individual course leaders, with alternative arrangements being developed to recognise work-based learning credits, should these placements not be possible in the current climate. 



During your sandwich placement, you are an employee of your host organisation and you should follow their advice and guidance. All employers will be paying careful attention of the Government’s advice and will be considering remote working options for their staff, wherever possible. 

We would encourage you to follow the latest public health advice, around social distancing, and self-isolation should you have an underlying health condition or a high temperature and/or persistent cough. If you are unable to attend your placement, please contact your line manager and follow your employer’s sickness absence procedures.  

If you have any specific queries or concerns which you are unable to resolve by speaking to your employer, please speak to your course leader or Placement Partner, who will try their best to help you. 



We do not yet know how long the current pandemic will last or how this will affect the recruitment plans of employers, or how their plans may change over the coming weeks. 

Employers are still advertising opportunities and using Skype and other tools to interview remotely. The Careers and Employability Service can help you with applications, and to prepare for Skype interviews and other selection activities. 



Enrolment

Please follow the instructions, which will have been sent to you via email. Your tutor will contact you shortly with the next steps. Please make sure you access UniLife and look for updates on how to access online learning which will be via your student email account. 


Please log into your Unilife account and click on the enrol now button. Your tutor will then contact you with the next steps. Please make sure you access UniLife and look for updates on how to access online learning which will be via your student email account. 


Students’ Union

For a full list of FAQs about the Students’ Union, please visit their website: www.uswsu.com  


Following the University's decision to move to remote learning, the Students' Union has made the difficult decision to close all buildings and venues from Tuesday 17 March.  


Advice and support can be accessed from SU Officers via email:  

You can reach staff members via direct email or contact the Students' Union via email, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.  You can also send them your queries via an online form



Abuse or harassment

We are aware that there have been some incidents of harassment and abuse towards Chinese people in the UK. The University takes this very seriously and we encourage any students who have concerns to get in touch with Immigration and International Student Advice (IISA) for advice and support. 

The University has a Dignity at Study policy and a Student Code of Conduct, which includes information on how we would treat such incidents.  Further advice and guidance are available from studentcasework@southwales.ac.uk  

Incidents can also be reported to South Wales Police by contacting PC Lorraine Tinsley or you can report anonymously via the Crimestoppers website



If you are unable to find a response to a question that you have in the FAQs above, then please email coronavirusadvice@southwales.ac.uk.  


Updates made to this page 

1 April 2020  
Link added to FAQs for postgraduate research students, and contact details for the Revenue department  

30 March 2020  
Updated links to government information about student loans, and a Students’ Union feedback form.

26 March 2020 
Information about returning library books.  

25 March 2020  
Updated to reflect the Government’s stay at home guidance, the latest position for students in University-owned accommodation, and new information from the Student Loan Company.  

23 March 2020 
Updated information from the Student Loan Company, and information about work-placements 

20 March 2020 
Details added about how to access student support services, as well as information about the Students’ Union and student finance. 

19 March 2020 
Guidance for students living in University accommodation, and advice about how to continue your learning online, additional information for students studying with us on a Tier 4 visa, assessments and exams, and access to the libraries and support services such as USW Careers and the Disability Advice Service..

17 March 2020 
Updated public health advice, links to government information pages, immediate suspension of all face-to-face teaching suspension, start of home working for staff where possible and remote learning to begin from Monday 23 March. 

16 March 2020 
Update about face-to-face teaching and assessments stopping at the end of this week, with online teaching starting from Monday 23 March, and clarification for students on a Tier 4 visa. 

14 March 2020 
Updated guidance for international students who wish to return home. 

13 March 2020 
Updated public health advice about self-isolation and when to contact 111, fingerprint scanning for international students, travel advice, and updated links to government information pages.