International Student Update: Test to Release

To all of our international students, returning and new, Merry Christmas, wherever you are in the world...

At the end of this most unusual year we wanted to let you know about two important messages related to your travel plans and intentions for Semester Two. 

1. Your Semester Two study location.

To ensure that we can plan to meet your needs and schedule your sessions appropriately for Semester Two, we are now asking you to complete the Study Intentions Form again. The purpose of this form is to enable you to tell us the way in which you need to study as a result of the Covid pandemic. 

Complete the form 

After today, the University will be closed for the Christmas vacation period so if you do have any questions or queries – don’t worry! -  we can help you with these when we get back on Monday 4 January 2021.  

2. Test to Release:  Financial support available for all international students. 

This week the UK Government has confirmed the details of the new Test to Release scheme for international travellers arriving or returning into England. 

Test to Release is for all travellers who would be required to self-isolate (also known as “quarantine”) on arrival for a period of 10 days in their accommodation. 

Under the scheme people returning to England who need to self-isolate will be able to take a Covid test with a private test provider to see if they can end their self-isolation early. Full details from the UK Government

You do not need to self-isolate if you’re travelling to England from one of the countries, territories or regions on the travel corridor list.  

The scheme is optional, but taking part means that you may be able to reduce your period of self-isolation if you test negative.

The University wishes to extend a warm welcome to all of our international students (including EU students), arriving or returning to Birmingham in the New Year.  We want to make sure that you are supported to engage with your studies and use our on-campus facilities as soon as possible so we are offering to support all international students with the additional costs of the Test to Release scheme. 

Students will need to make the test arrangements themselves with one of the approved providers and the University will reimburse the cost of the test up to a maximum of £120.00.  

We will be back in touch in January with details of the simple process for students to upload a copy of their test certificate and proof of payment to receive a refund of the costs up to the value of £120.  

We wanted to let you know in advance that this scheme will be available as you must opt-in to the Test to Release process before you travel.  We will let you know when the refund scheme is open for processing and payments – and this will apply to all registered University of Birmingham international students (including EU Citizens) who travel to England between the period 15 December 2020 to 15 March 2021. 

What you need to do:
To take part in the scheme you need to follow the advice on the UK Government website

  • Book a test with a private test provider
  • Choose to opt into the scheme on the passenger locator form before you travel to England. 
  • Keep a copy of your test certificate and proof of payment. 
  • In January the University will confirm details of how to claim your refund of the cost of the test. 
  • We will provide further information on our webpages, including details of how to access support if you are a student at our Dubai Campus. 
If you do not want to opt into the Test to Release scheme, you will need to self-isolate until 10 full days have passed since you were last in a place not on the travel corridors list.

Read details of the support available for students in self-isolation. If you are living in University of Birmingham Accommodation please let us know on your arrival that you will be self-isolating. 

Thank you all - safe travels and all of our best wishes from Edgbaston for a very Happy New Year!

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