Coronavirus Information


Last updated: 16 March 2020, 16:00

See a summary of updates

Coronavirus / COVID-19  

We know that there will be queries about coronavirus and how this impacts on the University’s business. We want to reassure you that we are actively monitoring, following and sharing advice from Public Health Wales and are continuing to prioritise the health of our staff, students and visitors to our campuses. 

We are updating our staff and students via our internal channels. Please check these regularly in order to keep up to date with the latest advice.  



Latest advice

Based on the World Health Organization’s declaration that this is a public health emergency of international concern, the UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the UK to moderate. 

You can view the latest official information about coronavirus on the gov.uk website.

If you are a member of staff at USW, we are regularly posting updates on Connect. If you are a student at USW, then please regularly check UniLife and Blackboard. 

Further advice about coronavirus is also available on the following websites: 

 

The Home Office has also set up a helpline for international university students and staff, if they have immigration queries related to coronavirus. If a third party wishes to speak on their behalf, they must have the visa holder’s permission. 

Telephone: 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm). Calls are free of charge. 

Email: CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk

 

Public health advice is that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus via good hygiene.  

Do

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell

Don't

  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean 


University business

We’ve decided to pause all face-to-face teaching and assessment for all students at the end of this week.   

From Monday 23 March until at least after Easter, all teaching will be done online and through arrangements between course teams and the students.  

This is a major change, and it will need everyone to be flexible. We broadly intend, where possible, that timetables will continue as they do now, particularly for final year students. Where this can’t be practically done, course teams will be working with their students this week to find alternatives. In a few instances, there may need to be very limited face-to-face professional assessments with individual students, but we’ll manage that directly with them. We’ll also be talking to students whose home is on campus to make sure that they will be ok after teaching moves online. 

Staff in the Faculties and Schools will be working hard to finalise and test these arrangements.   

The top priority for all the staff of the University is the students, to facilitate this move to online teaching so that students’ learning continues.  We will be engaging further with staff on their own working arrangements later during this week. 

These are very unusual circumstances, and we all need to be supportive and flexible with each other as we pull together to make this happen. We’ll continue to update you every day.   

After careful consideration and reviewing the public health guidance and concerns around coronavirus (COVID-19), we have taken the decision to cancel the Open Day that was planned for Saturday 28 March and the Postgraduate Open Evening on Wednesday 1 April at the University of South Wales. 

While we understand there will be disappointment at the news of this cancellation, the health and safety of prospective students and their families, as well as our staff is of the utmost importance to us. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.  

We are in getting in contact with people who had booked on to either event to let them know what happens next. They have been automatically re-booked you onto our next Open Day on Saturday 27 June or our next Postgraduate Open Evening on Wednesday 10 June. 

We’ll also try to contact you over the coming weeks, to answer any questions you may have about becoming a student at USW and we will be creating alternative information, which we will send to you as soon as it is available. 

Alternatively, you can get in touch with us via any of our social media channels, online live chat on our website, by e-mailing enquiries@southwales.ac.uk or by calling 03455 76 77 78. 

We are currently planning for the graduation ceremonies, scheduled to be held in July, to proceed. We are putting plans in place to consider other options should there be a need to do so. We would encourage people who were planning to attend the ceremonies to currently refrain from booking accommodation or travel so that they don’t incur unnecessary costs, in the event that changes have to be made to the scheduled dates. 


Your health and wellbeing – students

Please visit UniLife to view the latest advice and guidance for students.

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 latest government health advice is:  

Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms

  • Stay at home for seven days if you have either:

               - a high temperature

               - a new, continuous cough

  • 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.
  • Read public health advice about staying at home

Urgent advice: Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after seven days

Use the 111 coronavirus online service

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online. 

Please email health@southwales.ac.uk and your course leader if you are self-isolating. It’s important that the University is aware of this, so we can see how we can support you.  

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.  

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

We’ve decided to pause all face-to-face teaching and assessment for all students at the end of this week.   

From Monday 23 March until at least after Easter, all teaching will be done online and through arrangements between course teams and the students.  

This is a major change, and it will need everyone to be flexible. We broadly intend, where possible, that timetables will continue as they do now, particularly for final year students. Where this can’t be practically done, course teams will be working with their students this week to find alternatives. In a few instances, there may need to be very limited face-to-face professional assessments with individual students, but we’ll manage that directly with them. We’ll also be talking to students whose home is on campus to make sure that they will be ok after teaching moves online. 

Staff in the Faculties and Schools will be working hard to finalise and test these arrangements.   

The top priority for all the staff of the University is the students, to facilitate this move to online teaching so that students’ learning continues.  We will be engaging further with staff on their own working arrangements later during this week. 

These are very unusual circumstances, and we all need to be supportive and flexible with each other as we pull together to make this happen.  

We’ve decided to pause all face-to-face teaching and assessment for all students at the end of this week.   

From Monday 23 March until at least after Easter, all teaching will be done online and through arrangements between course teams and the students. 

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 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 and you will be able to use it to return to the UK before the end of your programme, should you wish to. 

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. 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 

 


Your health and wellbeing - staff

Please visit Connect to view the latest advice and guidance for staff. 

Please follow public health advice.  

Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms

  • Stay at home for seven days if you have either:

               - a high temperature

               - a new, continuous cough

  • 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.

Read public health advice about staying at home

Urgent advice: Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after seven days

Use the 111 coronavirus online service

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online. 

Please keep your line manager updated. More information is available on Connect.

Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms

  • Stay at home for seven days if you have either:

               - a high temperature

               - a new, continuous cough

  • 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.

Read public health advice about staying at home.

Urgent advice: Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after seven days

Use the 111 coronavirus online service

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online. 

Please inform your line manager by phone or email and keep them updated. If you need to self-isolate, then you can find some advice here.  

More information is available on Connect


Travel Advice

Please follow public health advice.  

Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms

  • Stay at home for seven days if you have either:

               - a high temperature

               - a new, continuous cough

  • 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.

Read public health advice about staying at home.

Urgent advice: Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after seven days

Use the 111 coronavirus online service

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online. 

If you are a member of staff, please keep your line manager updated.
 
If you are a student, please email health@southwales.ac.uk and inform your course leader. 

All student and staff international travel beyond the UK and Ireland for University related business has been suspended until the beginning of May 2020 with immediate effect. This includes any travel that had previously been approved. The decision has not been taken lightly and has been done to protect the health and wellbeing of our staff and students. 

 
If you are planning to travel in a personal capacity, please follow travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the UK Government. They are advising against all but essential travel to some countries, cities and regions. You must check the travel advice for the country you are travelling to.
 
The situation is changing quickly in some countries, so please stay up to date with the latest information and make a considered decision about whether or not you should travel. Please consider how this could impact your studies.   

For up to date travel advice for University related business, staff should visit Connect and students should visit UniLife.  

International students can contact Immigration and International Student Advice (IISA) if they have any questions or concerns by emailing international.advice@southwales.ac.uk

The Home Office has a helpline for international university students and staff, if they have immigration queries related to coronavirus. If a third party wishes to speak on their behalf, they must have the visa holder’s permission. 

Telephone: 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm). Calls are free of charge. 

Email: CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk




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 students and staff to report any incidents. Students who have any concerns can contact IISA for advice and support.  

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




Updates made to this page

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, travel advice, and updated links to government information pages.