All student email, Friday 1 May 2020

Dear student,

We are committed to keeping all of our students updated at this time. You may be receiving this email even though you are not based on our Birmingham campus, and some of the content may not be as relevant.

In today’s update, we share how the Library Services team are working hard to make sure you can access e-books as easily as possible and how international students can still access the Birmingham International Academy’s academic English 1-1 tutorials.

We also have news of Chinese partners sharing protective equipment with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and updated advice for the cohort of external students.

Today’s updates includes:
• E-book access from Library Services
• Academic English 1-1 tutorials
• Updated advice for “External Students”
• Chinese partners send protective equipment
• Top tip – Continuing Students - don’t forget to apply for your student finance

E-book access from Library Services

Whilst restricted campus operations are in place, Library Services are working hard to continue to provide students with access to e-books.

As well as unrestricted access to our usual content, many publishers have made their content temporarily available to support online learning. For example Vital Source Bookshelf offers access to an expansive catalogue of e-texts from participating publishers, available for free, until 30 June 2020.

A full list of additional providers can be seen on the Library webpages. If you discover that we do not hold an e-version of the books you need, then please use the MoreBooks@Bham request service, and the team will do their best to source an online version for you.

If you have any questions or require any further library or skills support, please do get in touch either via email – - or live chat (available Monday-Friday, 9.00am-6.00pm).

Academic English 1-1 tutorials

The Birmingham International Academy are running Academic English 1-1 tutorials for postgraduate and undergraduate international students from 27 April until the 28 August. There are four slots available every day and refreshed every two weeks. The sessions use Zoom conferencing for 1-1s, with joining instructions shared via an email, 1-2 days before the session.
Sign up.

Please keep an eye out on the BIA Academic English Canvas Course for further details.

Updated advice for External Students

For those members of our community who are identified as ‘external students’, we have published updated advice and information in response to the continuing challenges presented by COVID-19.

External Students are typically students who have an outstanding assessment to complete from the prior academic year and are waiting for the next assessment opportunity to progress or complete.

Initially, we had hoped that it might be possible to run a campus-based supplementary examination period later in the summer, albeit in a socially-distanced configuration, for this particular and smaller group. As lockdown measures continue we now believe that this is unlikely.

As a result, we will accommodate as many external students as possible in the emergency assessment/progression frameworks.
Updated advice for our external students is now available here.

If you are in this category of student then you should read this advice carefully as there is action you must take. 

Chinese partners send protective equipment

University partners across China have joined forces to send protective equipment that medical and care staff in the West Midlands can use in the ongoing battle against coronavirus.

Eight partner institutions have pledged over 105,000 items of protective clothing – including masks, gloves, coveralls, and goggles – for use by doctors and nurses at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham and other local medical services.

The first shipment of 2,000 particulate filter respirators, 10,000 surgical masks, 20,000 examination gloves and 500 protective coveralls has arrived at Queen Elizabeth Hospital from Sun Yat-sen First Affiliated Hospital, Guangzhou.

More equipment is on its way from Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) in Wuhan; China Railway Rolling-Stock Corporation (CRRC); the Bioscience College of Nankai University in Tianjin; the Nanjing University of Aerospace and Aeronautics; East China University of Science and Technology in Shanghai; Southeast University in Nanjing; and the Women and Children’s Medical Centre in Guangzhou.

Find out more.

Top tip - Continuing Students - don’t forget to apply for your student finance

Students in England are being encouraged to apply for student finance as soon as possible to ensure their finances are in place for the new academic year.

From this week, the Student Loan Company is contacting returning students to remind them to reapply for their next year’s student finance before 19 June 2020. The easiest way to apply is online at and SLC has produced the following guide and a video to help with the process: student finance quick guide.

There is also a dedicated resource for parents and partners who are supporting applications here.

Best wishes
Student Communications Team


Professional Services