What further support is available to students?
The University is also very aware that many students have suffered lost opportunities for part-time work, experienced changes in family circumstances or incurred a variety of additional costs as a result of the pandemic. In this academic year, the University will make available more than £10 million in student financial support – financial awards that directly benefit and are directly paid to students.
More than 4,500 individual students will benefit from the Chamberlain Award this year – sharing more than £8.5 million between them. These awards support some of our most financially disadvantaged students: from low-income households, under-represented groups and Care Leavers, with first instalments due to be paid by the end of January.
The University has also increased the value of its existing Student Support Fund to £1 million – and this is open to applications from all students. The Student Support Fund is a hardship fund - meaning that it is intended to support students who are experiencing genuine financial difficulties. In direct response to the circumstances of the pandemic, the application criteria have been changed and any students who have previously applied to the fund this year (or who have applications in progress) will be re-assessed under the new criteria automatically.
Do you offer wellbeing support?
Yes. Support for your wellbeing is always available and we are continuing to provide a range of resources and expert contacts that are accessible wherever you are. Our Wellbeing Services are open from this week in your Schools and Colleges and from our Mental Health and Wellbeing Team. Our support includes regular wellbeing check-ins and the provision of essential supplies to keep you going. You can also access support to keep you active, connected and engaged via our webpages here.
How do I get a test so I can return to Campus?
We are continuing to participate in the national programme to offer all students rapid, asymptomatic Covid tests to support your return to campus. The latest UK Government guidance states that all students should book two rapid asymptomatic Covid tests (at least 3 days apart) and you should plan to do this before you begin to use any on-campus facilities.
In-between your 2 tests you should restrict your social contacts as much as possible and not attend any on campus activity. You can book your test dates here.
The rapid, asymptomatic Covid tests are recommended by the UK Government, for use by universities, as a proactive way of detecting potentially infectious, but asymptomatic individuals. These Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests, are not as sensitive as the other commonly used PCR tests available for people with symptoms but they are now used across the UK – and taking two tests provides additional confidence in identifying those individuals who don’t have symptoms but have high levels of infection.
Alternatively, students returning to campus, or to your Birmingham-based accommodation, may choose to self-isolate for ten days before commencing any learning activities on campus – following the advice here.
The only other exception, is if you have had a positive PCR test result within the last 90 days and have fully completed your period of self-isolation.
If community-based rapid testing is available where you live then you should consider taking an initial test before you travel. These will be operated locally and you can search online for: “rapid covid testing near me”
At any time, if you receive a positive test result you should self-isolate immediately and please let us know via this link.
At all times and in all settings we should all continue to follow the important Hands; Face; Space guidance and any local restrictions where you are living.
What do I do if I need to self-isolate?
For students in University of Birmingham accommodation: If you need to self-isolate on your return then please let us know, by contacting Accommodation Services via the portal here, so that we can support you Our support includes regular wellbeing check-ins and the provision of essential supplies to keep you going. You can also access support to keep you active, connected and engaged via our webpages here.