FAQs for students

Page last updated: Monday 14 September 2020, 16:45

We have prepared the FAQs below to help answer any questions that both new and returning students might have about the impact of the new local restrictions on their study, accommodation or arrival on campus.

If you are a new student please visit the Welcome website, returning students can visit the Welcome Back pages on the student Intranet.

We will continue to keep this page under review and update it if the advice from government, Public Health England or the city’s Public Health Team changes.

Can I still arrive on campus?/Will my course be able to start?

Welcome week will begin as expected on 21 September, with the Semester (and therefore teaching) beginning on 28 September. If you have made plans to arrive on campus for the start of the academic year these do not need to change. We have been working over the past few months to put measures in place to ensure that campus can operate in a safe way for staff and students and anticipate that most of our activities will continue as planned through a mix of on campus and online provision.

Will there still be face-to-face teaching?

As you’ll be aware, we’ve been planning to teach both online and face-to-face wherever possible from the start of semester one. This does not change with the new restrictions in place. Lectures will be delivered online to ensure that you can access them whatever the circumstances. This means that we have extra space on campus for the hands-on experience in labs and workshops. Seminars and tutorials in small groups will be delivered in person and on campus where possible, and online where required. This means that you get time on campus whilst still getting access to all the course materials you need.

Will Welcome Week still be happening?

We are looking forward to welcoming you to campus and Welcome Week will begin on Monday 21 September. Many of the activities will be available online so that you can still get to know your fellow students and feel a part of campus life.

We have extended our welcome activity so that you can be sure of a warm Birmingham welcome whenever you arrive – and all of the details are available on our Welcome pages.

What will life be like on campus?

As an educational setting, and with our careful preparations in place we can still welcome you as planned. This means that the Library will still be open, our catering outlets will be open and you can still enjoy our outdoor spaces.

I’ve arranged a pick up from the airport – will you still be collecting me?

Our airport collection service will continue. If you have already told us when you’re arriving and have booked your slot, you do not need to do anything else. If you are planning to arrive in September but haven’t yet told us, you can still book your airport pick up.

Can I still move into my accommodation?

Yes. The Government has confirmed that moving to your University accommodation is considered ‘essential travel’. In order to help us all maintain social distancing it is important that you do the following:

  • Book your arrival timeslot;
  • Only bring one helper with you when moving in. If you are accompanied by more than one person, they should wait in the car and should not help you move in; 
  • Bring a face covering and wear it when moving into your accommodation. Your helper should also wear a face covering.
  • Once you have finished moving in your helper should not return to your house/flat/room.

Do I need to self-isolate when I arrive into my accommodation?

If you are a UK student you do not need to self-isolate when you arrive to your accommodation however be aware that you will only be allowed to socialise with those in your immediate flat during this period of extended restrictions.

If you are an international student, the Government maintains a list of countries within its Travel Corridor. If you are arriving from a country that is not on this list, you will need to self-isolate when you arrive to your accommodation. You can find details of the support available on our dedicated webpage, and we also ask that you submit a form notifying us of your self-isolation so that we can best support you.

Please note that if a student needs to self-isolate because they are arriving from a country outside of the Travel Corridor, the rest of the flat do not need to self-isolate unless one of the flat members starts displaying symptoms or returns a positive test.

Who can I socialise with?

From Monday 14 September, in England, social interactions are restricted to the 'rule of six'. What that means is that you can socialise with up to five other people, from multiple households, whether that is outdoors or indoors. But remember, that even under the 'rule of six' you should still socially distance from anyone that you do not live with.

However, if you live in Birmingham, from Tuesday 15 September you must not:

  • host people you do not live with in your home or garden, unless they’re in your support bubble
  • meet people you do not live with in their home or garden, whether inside or outside of the affected area, unless they’re in your support bubble. (Your household is only the people you live with and any support bubble.)

Am I allowed to invite guests into my flat/house?

No. In light of the new restrictions, no one who isn’t a house/flatmate is allowed to visit or socialise in your home/flat/room and this also applies to private gardens.

Remember though, the Student Mentor Scheme and Hall Reps, are going to be hosting a range of both physical and virtual events from the moment you arrive. You can find live updates of the events (and sign up) on the Guild of Students website.

Will I still be able to get to campus – is the city locked down?

The city is not locked down and you will be able to arrive on campus in September, there are no restrictions on entering or leaving the city, it is just tightened restrictions around some activities and businesses. You should already know if you need to quarantine on your arrival in the UK, and should have arranged this as part of your accommodation.

Can I visit my Parents’ (or another) home after I have moved to Birmingham?

You can still see and meet up with your parents, relatives, and friends from home, in any another setting – just not in their home, nor garden. Once you have formed a new household bubble in your (new) flat or student house you should not visit any other home or garden, whether inside or outside of the affected area, unless they’re in your support bubble. This applies for as long as Birmingham is subject to the additional social contact restrictions. So, you can arrange to meet with anyone else; in a restaurant, in a pub, in a café, in the park - it is only in the home or garden where this is not currently allowed.

I am a commuter student - what does this mean for me?

If you are commuting to campus for your studies then your house where you live is your household.

If you live within the Birmingham (Local Authority) area then you are subject to the local restrictions (and if you live in any other area where local restrictions are in place).

If you live outside of the Birmingham (LA) area, while these new restrictions do not apply to your home or garden, you should not meet with anyone in their home, garden or flat from the affected area - and you should not invite them to your home either - for as long as Birmingham is subject to the additional social contact restrictions.

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