All student email, Tuesday 2 June 2020

Dear student,

In today’s briefing, we have an update on the NHS Test and Trace service and what you should do if you are contacted. We also have some details from Careers Network about their new one-day virtual event to help you plan your career journey. Elsewhere, we share some fantastic examples of community support from three of the University’s faith groups.

Also a reminder that at the end of last week, we published the first initial information regarding the 20/21 academic year and announced that we are preparing to teach both on-campus and online from the start of the autumn term. You can review the message again here.

Today’s updates includes:
• NHS Test and Trace service
• From Campus to Career
• Faith groups during restricted operations
• Courses for Postgraduate Researchers
• Top tip - Free Microsoft

NHS Test and Trace service

The UK Government has launched their new Test and Trace service, which alerts people if they have been in contact with someone who has coronavirus and as such, should stay at home (self-isolate) for 14 days from the day they were last in contact with that person.

You should follow the new advice (applies in England only) if you:
• have or develop coronavirus symptoms such as a high temperature, new, continuous cough or loss or change to your sense of smell or taste;
• or if you're told by the NHS Test and Trace service that you've been in contact with a person who has coronavirus.

From Campus to Career event

Date: Wednesday 10 June 2020
Time: 9.30-4.30pm

Getting ready to graduate this year? Join us for our one-day virtual event, which will provide you with the tools, tips and tricks you need to get your career off on the right foot. Whether you are still exploring your options, planning the next steps of your career journey, or you are currently applying for jobs – there is something for everyone.

Hear from alumni, employers and career experts and get key insights, including what employers are doing to adjust to the impact of COVID-19. You can even get feedback on your applications or LinkedIn profile.

The event has a range of sessions running throughout the day, so you can pop in and out depending on what is most relevant to you.

Book your place.

Faith groups during restricted operations

We appreciate that these are unusual times for our community. During campus restricted operations, our faith groups have been expressing the value of kindness and supporting the University’s community. Here are some examples from three of the University’s faith groups:

• Chaplains at the Multi-Faith Chaplaincy
During the restricted campus operations, Chaplains have continued to provide spiritual and emotional support to our community of students and staff, of all faiths and none, by email, Skype, Zoom and phone. Apart from personal one-to-one support, the Chaplains have also adapted their regular chaplaincy programmes for those staying at home to watch or join online. For example, Rev’d Dr Sharon Jones leads a Zoom meditation session on Mondays for all staff and students and Midday Prayer on Tuesdays. Fr Kensy Joseph SJ streams Masses via Facebook and Zoom for our community. They also launched new activities to help mitigate the effects of isolation – the weekly Zoom book club gives both staff and students regular opportunities to socialise in a relaxed, yet intellectually and spiritually-stimulating environment. More information on the Multi-Faith Chaplaincy.

• The University of Birmingham Islamic Society
Over the past few years, during the holy month of Ramadan, the University of Birmingham Islamic Society served free meals (iftar) every evening in the Multi-Faith Chaplaincy, for students, staff and their families. Last year, up to 200 people benefited from this service every evening throughout Ramadan. This year, as Muslims observing Ramadan had to adapt to the challenges of lockdown and social distancing, the society was unable to provide iftars at the University. Instead, they delivered food parcels for students observing Ramadan in the Selly Oak area and in University accommodation. Up to 70 students and their families benefited from this free service.

• The University of Birmingham Adventist Students on Campus
The students at the University’s Adventist Students on Campus (ASC) society have been working with Pastor Obi Iheoma, the Seventh-day Adventist Chaplain in the Multi-Faith Chaplaincy to raise £4,200 to purchase 100 Aerosol Shields, which they hope to distribute across Care Homes in Birmingham. The Aerosol Shield is a 'pop-up tent' designed to cover a patient’s head, neck and shoulder area while treatment is given, and has been designed by a collaboration of teams across this University.

Fantastic work all-round and a big thank you from us!

Courses for postgraduate researchers

The Research Skills team have been converting popular workshops into virtual courses and classes to support PGRs. Examples include:

• Introduction to Endnote
• Literature Review
• Managing your research project
• Research Data Management
• Surviving Your Viva

You can see a full list of courses on Canvas. To keep up to date with regular posts, you can join the main course.

Top tip - Free Microsoft Office 365 for students

Did you know that you can download the Office 365 suite on your personal devices for free? Students are able to access up to five free licenses to install Microsoft Office for home usage on your personal PCs or Macs. You also get five free app versions for your mobile phones as well as five free app versions for tablets. Follow this link for guidance on how to download Microsoft Office.

Best wishes
Student Communications Team


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