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Coronavirus (Covid-19): advice and updates

Latest information from the University.

This page has been set up to provide information for students with questions or concerns about coronavirus (COVID-19). It will be updated on a regular basis.

LATEST NEWS

(Last reviewed 6 April 2020)

Following the recent Government health guidance and in the interests of the health, wellbeing and safety of all members of the University community we have made the decision to suspend all face to face assessments and teaching at all our campuses including Hong Kong and Berlin on a temporary basis until further notice.

  • Detailed information on forthcoming assessments and exams will be circulated by all Programme Directors by the end of the week and will also be available through your Course Information on ELITE. Please check ELITE and your university email account regularly
  • Students on a Tier 4 visa will continue to be sponsored by the university during this period and should attend any online learning sessions for their course
  • All our campuses are now closed for students and staff until further notice
  • A comprehensive list of online events have been created for prospective students to attend

The health and welfare of our students is our paramount concern and we will be doing everything we can to support you during this challenging period.

How we will communicate with students

The general health advice is constantly changing. Please refer to your local health authority for the most up-to-date advice. For those in the UK, this will be the NHS’s page on Coronavirus: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

We know that many of our students will be feeling anxious at this time and our Wellbeing Team will continue to provide our services remotely. All students can access support from a Welfare Officer at their campus and appointments can be pre-booked via email: welfare-(CAMPUS)@law.ac.uk. We also work in partnership with Big White Wall (www.bigwhitewall.com) a digital mental health support service available 24/7. This is a free completely anonymous service that allows you to access peer support and tailored self-help programmes.

Our Counselling Service is also offering appointments online and students based in the UK can access this support in the usual way via email: counselling-(CAMPUS)@law.ac.uk. Further details on the Counselling Service can be found here and on ELITE, in the Health and Wellbeing section of the Student Hub. To maintain safe and ethical practices, we are currently only able to offer counselling appointments to students based in the UK. If you are living outside the UK and need support, please contact us and we will provide advice and guidance and assist you in locating external support.

Above all, please follow government health advice and be compassionate, supportive and considerate to those around you.

Our Disability Support and Inclusion Service is continuing to work as normal remotely and students can contact us by email or phone. With teaching moving online, we are keen to make sure that you get the support your need with any issues accessing Panopto or Collaborate via ELITE due to your disability, condition or illness. Please get in touch as you usually would – we are here to support you.

All ULaw students can also access Study Skills Support during the campus closures. We are offering one to one support and group workshops online alongside our usual e-resources, including Macmillan Skills for Study and a wealth of content on ELITE (within the ‘My Study Skills’ pages). To contact your local Study Skills Advisor, please email studyskills-(CAMPUS)@law.ac.uk

Changes to Teaching Delivery

In line with Government instructions, we have ceased all face to face teaching at our UK campuses (including partner UK universities) until further notice.

Please be assured that during this challenging period we will endeavour to continue to provide online high quality equivalent learning, teaching and support services to all our students.

Assessments/Exams

We ceased all face to face assessments at our UK campuses (including partner UK universities) from 17.30 Tuesday 17 March.

We are reviewing how and when assessments will be undertaken to the end of the academic year to ensure that, wherever possible, you will be able to complete your current year of studies. Please refer to the update for your programme circulated by the Programme Director to your university email account and available on ELITE.

In light of the decision to cancel any face to face assessments due to take place on Campuses, the University will automatically apply a concession application for you and you do not need to take any action. Students will be granted an additional attempt at the assessment. Details of the next additional attempt opportunities will be published on a course by course basis. We will update you on a regular basis so please check our website, Elite and your university email account regularly.

Graduation

In light of the current situation we have postponed our May 2020 graduation ceremony and rescheduled it for 20 October 2020. This ceremony is for students who have successfully completed their course and had all their results published by 1 March 2020. All students eligible to attend have been emailed with the new date – if you have not received an email but believe you are eligible to attend, please email academic.registry@law.ac.uk

Our November 2020 graduation ceremonies are currently scheduled to go ahead as planned and eligible students will be sent an email in May.

If you have any queries about Graduation, please visit our Graduation page and read through our FAQs.

FAQs for current UK students

Are the campuses open?

In line with Government guidance, all our campuses are currently closed with no access to students or staff until further notice.

How will face to face teaching be replaced?

Until further notice, and with the exception of the Business School, International Foundation Year and AMIL, face to face teaching will be replaced by:

  • A Panopto recording for each large group and workshop where an allocated tutor will take students through the learning materials and activities as if the tutor was delivering the session in the classroom. The date release will be removed for all category 2 materials to facilitate this so all activities will be accessible to students.
    This will result in a single Panopto recording for each session which will effectively form part of the students’ preparation
  • A Collaborate session hosted at campus by tutors for their workshop groups which will effectively be a Q&A session enabling tutors to reinforce the key learning points and outcomes for the session. It must be emphasized to students that attendance is expected in the same way as for the F2F sessions and attendance will be monitored

Please check ELITE for full information about these sessions.

Will examinations and assessments be impacted?

Due to the current circumstances, we have ceased all face to face assessments at our UK campuses (including partner UK universities). Detailed information on how we will be managing assessments and exams will be updated soon. In the meantime, please continue to check our website, ELITE and your university email account regularly.

In light of the decision to cancel any face to face assessments due to take place on Campuses, the University will automatically apply a concession application for you and you do not need to take any action. Students will be granted an additional attempt at the assessment. Details of the next additional attempt opportunities will be published on a course by course basis. We will update you on a regular basis so please check our website, Elite and your university email account regularly.

Coursework assessments will proceed as scheduled, unless you are specifically advised otherwise. You should submit these via Turnitin.

If assessments are delayed, does this mean students on the LPC and the Bar course will not be able to qualify this year?

The University will do everything it can to avoid delay to students in starting the next stage of their training (training contract or pupillage).

We are liaising closely with the SRA and BSB and detailed information on how we will be managing assessments and exams will be updated soon. In the meantime, please continue to check our website, ELITE and your university email account regularly.

I am experiencing financial difficulties due to the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic or am unable to access my online learning, what should I do?

We are committed to supporting our students to continue their studies during the pandemic. The University maintains an Emergency Assistance Fund for students experiencing financial hardship and has also launched a new Covid-19 Short Term Assistance Fund for students specifically affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. This fund is limited and intended to support students with short-term financial problems resulting from the pandemic. If you are struggling financially or cannot otherwise access your online learning resources, Student Services at your local campus can tell you more, or you can visit the finance section in the Student Hub on ELITE for further information.

If I defer my exams will the Employment Promise still be valid?

The University will be understanding of examination deferrals and this would not jeopardise the requirement under the Employment Promise to pass your exams at the first attempt.

I am an existing online student having issues, who can I contact?

LL.B Online (i-LL.B) – i-llb@law.ac.uk 

GDL Online (i-GDL) – i-administrator@law.ac.uk / Assessment enquiries to i-gdl.assessments@law.ac.uk 

MA Law Online (i-MA Law) – i-malaw@law.ac.uk / Assessment enquiries to i-ma.assessments@law.ac.uk  

LPC Online (i-LL.M LPC) – i-administrator@law.ac.uk / Assessment enquiries to lpcsmode-assessments@law.ac.uk 

LLM / Academic MAs Online – management-llm@law.ac.uk 

Exam resits

We appreciate the uncertainty that the current situation is causing any students with resits outstanding. We are currently reviewing our arrangements for resitters on a programme by programme basis and will provide further information on ELITE as soon as we are able to update. In the meantime, registration for resitters has been paused

With the exception of the 2-hour workshops which will be delivered online using Collaborate, the Business School programmes are running as usual to the same timetable when possible. Students can expect the same interaction and practical activities they are accustomed to in their face to face sessions. Participation is highly encouraged. For those students who cannot attend for technical or any other reasons, the sessions will be recorded and be made available to them.

We have ceased face to face teaching at all campuses including partner Universities, The University of East Anglia, The University of Exeter, The University of Liverpool and The University of Reading. Please refer to section on Changes to Teaching Delivery.

  • Hong Kong Status: Campus building closed until further notice. All face-to-face teaching is suspended temporarily. We will be providing online high quality teaching and support services that are equivalent to the face-to-face provision. Login details for workshops and lectures have been sent to students’ university email addresses. Students are advised to refer to the HKSAR Government website: https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/index.html for general advice about health and travel during this time.
  • Berlin (GISMA) Status: Campus building closed until further notice. Updates can be found here: https://www.gisma.com/media/2223/coronavirus-information_gisma-updated-18-mar-2020.pdf
  • Madrid (IE Law School) Status: Campus building closed until further notice. All our sessions and assessments for the LLB CEL will be conducted online and students will be kept informed with all the information as it is released.

If I have been diagnosed or suspect that I have the coronavirus, what should I do?

Please follow the advice above for all students who may have the coronavirus.

The Home Office has confirmed that any students who cannot attend their course due to the coronavirus will have their absences classed as authorised. This means your Tier 4 sponsorship will not be negatively affected.

Please make sure that you complete an absence form on ELITE or write to visacompliance@law.ac.uk if you have any queries.

I am a student sponsored by the University on a Tier 4 Student visa. What will happen to my attendance during the suspension of face-to-face teaching?

The Home Office has confirmed that due to the current exceptional circumstances, Tier 4 Students can continue their current studies via distance learning. Therefore, the University will continue your Tier 4 sponsorship during the suspension of face-to-face teaching. Tier 4 Students should continue to engage with their course by attending any learning sessions that are delivered online.

The Home Office will review this provision on the 31 May 2020 and we will update our website accordingly with any new information.

Will my Tier 4 sponsorship continue if need to take an intermission or withdraw from my course?

The Home Office has confirmed that in these cases, we are required to report a withdrawal of Tier 4 sponsorship as normal. Therefore, your Tier 4 Student visa will be curtailed and you will be required to leave the UK, unless you have made a new visa application.

I would like to return to my home country due to concerns about the coronavirus. What will happen to my Tier 4 Student visa?

If you decide to return to your home country, the Home Office has confirmed we can continue your Tier 4 sponsorship during your period of absence. In order for us to do this, please follow this link and complete the form with your return travel information:
https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=8eZDEXRsh0Sw-0hOVesskNtEII3FQW9IpxSyadWSHxdUQ0VNVjRIQ1JMUURRSFFFODY5SlNIOEVNTS4u

Please note that you will need to enter your University of Law email address and password to access the form. Our Visa Compliance Team will collate your information and maintain a record for the Home Office.

It is very important that you provide the Visa Compliance Team with this information so that we can continue your Tier 4 sponsorship while you are outside the UK.

Will I have any problems returning to the UK on my current Tier 4 Student visa?

Provided you have submitted details of your departure to the Visa Compliance Team (see above), you should not have any problems as your Tier 4 Student visa will still be valid.

If we receive any updates from the Home Office with advice for returning Tier 4 Students, it will be published on this webpage.

My current Tier 4 Student visa is due to expire, but I cannot leave the UK due to travel restrictions. What should I do to prevent becoming an overstayer?

The Home Office has confirmed that if an individual who is in the UK legally (e.g. has a valid visa) and whose visa is due to expire and cannot leave because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to COVID-19, they will not be regarded as an overstayer and this will not negatively affect any future visa applications for the UK.

Students who fall under this category can submit a request to have their current leave extended until 31 May 2020. Please write to our Visa Compliance Team at visacompliance@law.ac.uk who will advise you on the process to follow.

It is very important that you contact the Visa Compliance Team to advise you on the process to extend your current leave extended, as this will not be done automatically by the Home Office and without their authorisation you will become an overstayer.

What about if I need to extend my visa beyond the 31 May 2020?

At this stage, the Home Office has only confirmed that current visas can only be extended until the 31 May 2020. They will be reviewing this provision by the 31 May 2020 and we will update this webpage when we receive further guidance.

Will I receive a new biometric residence permit or status letter to confirm my leave has been extended?

The Home Office has advised that individuals who have their current leave extended will receive confirmation. However, they have not confirmed what evidence will be issued to the individual. We will update this webpage when we have further information.

Library support whilst campuses are closed

Library staff are working remotely and are available to help you with any queries regarding access to our wide range of online resources. Contact a Librarian via our online chat service on the Library Portal: https://library.law.ac.uk – look for the chat window in the bottom right corner of your screen. If we’re not there, you can leave a message and we’ll contact you as soon as we can.

Email your Campus Library:  library-(campus name)@law.ac.uk

Research Skills support

Visit https://library.law.ac.uk and click on the Research Skills tab – here you’ll find recorded webinars, guides on referencing your work, and much more. If you have a specific query or would like to arrange direct support via email, phone or a Collaborate session, contact your Campus Librarian using the email addresses as above.

What about my library loans?

If you have books on loan, don’t worry about renewing or returning whilst Campuses are closed. All loans will be extended to the end of June and you won’t have any fees to pay. If you do receive any automated messages relating to items on loan, don’t worry but you can contact Library staff for clarification if you have any queries.

Finding online resources

Our library webpage at library.law.ac.uk is the place to start looking for help. You will find information on:

  • UDiscover library Search (UDiscover is our main Library search. It provides you with access to a large library of electronic resources. You can filter your results so it shows those items available online)
  • Legal & Research Databases (click Databases tab)
  • Research Skills (access to research tips, FAQs and recorded webinars)
  • Business Resources (links and guidance on finding Business information)

What about print resources?

We are unlikely to be able to provide you with print copies of our library books, as Campuses will be closed, so please do make sure you check out the wide range of ebooks that we have available via UDiscover. If you have any queries about resources not accessible through UDiscover contact your Campus Library Team and we will see if we can find them or suggest alternatives to meet your needs.

We are scheduling the PSC Core modules, Client Care and Professional Standards as well as Advocacy and Communication Skills, to run remotely using a live interactive online tool. We are also scheduling PSC elective modules to run in this way. Our website will be updated shortly to reflect this.

All delegates who were booked on courses which were cancelled are being emailed and offered priority booking on these courses. We are mindful of the trainees need to qualify and will be doing all we can to support them. We are constantly adding courses to our schedule and the website is being updated regularly.

The SRA has agreed to consider applications for online or remote proctoring of assessments for the PSC. We are currently in communication with the SRA and we are hoping to be able to add Financial & Business Skills to the schedule shortly.

For any further information or enquiries, please do not hesitate to contact our PD Public team on PDPublic@law.ac.uk

Advice and Information for our undergraduate applicants

We understand that, following the recent announcement of the cancellation of exams this summer, you may be worried about the impact on your place at university.  Here at ULaw we are actively engaging with the relevant governing bodies, including UCAS and the Department for Education.  Our priority is to ensure you are able to progress your plans to start University this September.

Initial guidance from the Government has been published around how grades will be calculated for your cancelled exams, and UCAS will continue to update you and your school or college on what happens next.  We will keep in touch with you via email over the coming days to see how we can support you. 

In the meantime, if you have any questions we are here to help and you can email us at study@law.ac.uk or call +44 (0)203 4354608

What events can I attend if I want to find out more about the University?

We are pleased to announce that we will be delivering an schedule of online events. These will give prospective students the opportunity to continue to benefit from the event and engage with us whilst at home. This includes Virtual Events, Live Chat and Facebook/Instagram Live Q&As. Many of these events are now live on our website and if you wish to book your place you can do so at www.law.ac.uk/events and check our Facebook and Instagram pages.

On-Demand Course Presentations detailing information about all of our key courses, are being added to the respective course pages of our website.

I’m concerned about the impact of COVID-19, should I still study in September?

We understand your concerns but would like to reassure you that as of today we’re not planning any changes for the September intake and will continue to work on the assumption that our portfolio of courses will run as normal. We’d therefore recommend progressing with your existing plans.

We are committed to ensuring minimal disruption to the student’s future plans.  The situation and guidance is changing daily but should there be any disruption then the university is very well placed to offer alternatives. We offer online versions of many of our courses and we’re reviewing further options, including the possibility that students can start their programme online before transferring to on-campus delivery. 

What options are available if programmes are cancelled?

We are committed to ensuring minimal disruption to the student’s future plans. In addition to our on-campus programmes, we have been successfully running a popular suite of online courses that offer an excellent learning experience.  We’re also reviewing options, including the possibility that students can start their programme online before transferring to on-campus delivery.

Even in the event of additional escalation, we’re confident that we’ll be able to deliver courses in September that allows students to progress with their studies.

Will I receive a refund on any payments I make if I’m effected by Coronavirus?

In light of the current Covid-19 situation, in instances where students have paid or are due to pay an acceptance deposit for courses commencing in July 2020 and September 2020, we are now allowing a longer ‘cooling off period’.  This means if you accept a place for the September 2020 intake, you won’t have any financial commitment until July 1st and can cancel your place before then and receive a refund on your deposit. More details can be found here - https://www.law.ac.uk/student-terms-and-conditions/fees-and-instalment-schedules/

Our first fee liability date for the September intake is on 31st August 2020. If you decide to cancel your place any time up to this date then you’ll be entitled to a refund on any fees paid.

Should we have to cancel your programme then you’ll receive a refund on your deposit and any payments made towards your tuition fees.

For prospective international students, we appreciate that  travel guidance is being constantly updated by the Government over which you have no control.  We will review advice from Public Health England and in the event that travel is restricted from your area we will offer alternatives including the option to study online, or a full refund of your deposit and any tuition fee payments.

When will I know if my programme is due to run?

There are no plans in place to cancel any courses at present but as you are aware we are dealing with unique and fast changing circumstances. Should that change then any applicants who’ve accepted a place on a given course will be updated at least 4 weeks in advance of the course start date, as per the University course cancellation policy. If we have information any earlier then we will let you know asap.

What will happen if I need a tier 4 visa to study in the UK?

We recommend that tier 4 applicants continue as normal with their plans for future study. Should circumstances change then we’ll update effected students as soon as possible and relay alternative options to you. This includes the possibility of studying online or at our Hong Kong campus.

Can I defer my course start date?

You have and will continue to have the option to defer your place to a later start date.

If the decision is driven by health concerns then we’d recommend waiting for more clarity on whether your programme will be impacted before making a decision. We will keep applicants updated with any key information as it develops.

If you wish to defer then you should contact our Admissions team. Their email address is admissions@law.ac.uk

What can I do if I want to apply and can’t get references because my previous institution is shut?

Although universities are suspending face to face teaching, many will still have staff working remotely and you should still be able to access references.

Please contact your university in the first place and reach out to our Admissions team if you still find this is an issue.

Can I attend a BPC Selection Event face to face?

No, all Selection Events will take place via Skype. You can book these events via the portal link sent by the Admissions team.