Concerned about being on campus?
It is only natural if you have some concerns about being on campus; you are not alone - the whole world feels a little uncertain right now. But here are some things that might help you feel better and give you the confidence to enjoy being on campus and getting on with your life at university.
Making campus safe
Your health and wellbeing is our top priority. Working within Government guidelines, we have made campus a safe space for our students and our staff.
We’ve implemented staggered starts to reduce the traffic flows on campus; physical distancing within all of our classrooms, labs, and other teaching and learning spaces; a one-way system for travel on campus; and a test, track and trace system to ensure that students who come in contact with someone who is ill are isolated appropriately. There are hand sanitising stations in every building and we provided washable face masks at the start of term.
If you are particularly worried about the risks associated with the virus because of a pre-existing medical condition, we advise that you speak to your GP and to Disability Services.
For anyone feeling anxious we have a set of resources to help you manage these anxieties yourself; if you need a little extra support, you can consider speaking to the Open Door Team. They are experts in mental health, and may be able to help you to get some of the worries under control.
If you need to self isolate
If you do need to self-isolate, we are here to support you.
If you live on campus, colleges will support you throughout your self-isolation period. If you live off campus, you'll will have access to the wide variety of University and community support services which make self-isolation practicable in a small city like York.
Changes to our teaching and learning
As of Monday 2 November we are in DfE Tier 2. This means the proportion of online learning in most programmes has increased. The exact proportion will vary depending on your programme of study.
This way of teaching and learning is new to us all; your department has worked hard to maximise the value of your learning experience even when we have to reduce the level of face-to-face teaching. If you are worried about the impact of this change, please contact your supervisor or your department to discuss what it will mean for you.
Changes to your financial circumstances
If your financial circumstances have changed (for example, you or your parents have been furloughed) then there are options for you to consider.
If you are a UK student in receipt of a Student Loan Company (SLC) loan, it’s possible to have the amount of student finance you are eligible for reconsidered in light of your new circumstances. This evaluation is based on ‘Current Year Income’, so you’ll need to provide the SLC with evidence of your parent’s new income. If you are an undergraduate student, you may also be eligible for a York Bursary based on your new residual household income. This will be calculated based on your SLC evaluation.
We can also potentially help with other unexpected costs associated with COVID-19 through the Student Support Fund. If you are concerned about your finances, please talk to our Student Welfare Advisors who work within the Student Hub team.
Working to help pay for university
Many students use part-time work to help cover some of their costs at university. The economic downturn has made the employment market more difficult for everyone. If you already have a job, have an honest conversation with your employer about the amount of work they predict that you can expect so that you can budget accordingly. If you are looking for work in York, it’s worth looking at the resources available through Careers and Placements, which can help you look for part-time and casual work as well as supporting your longer-term career goals.
It may also be possible to get by on less money than you might think. Take a look at the resources on the Managing your Money page to consider ways that you might be able to cut costs, even if you can’t increase your income at the moment.
Access to a computer
You will be taking part in more online learning, and studying on a phone (or even a tablet) isn’t likely to be a viable plan for a year. There are also likely to be fewer study spaces available with access to computers.
That’s why we’ve set up assistance funding schemes to help any student who cannot afford to buy their own laptop to invest in one to allow them to continue to study regardless of varying access to campus.
If you're self-isolating and don't have access to a computer (or if yours is broken), we may be able to lend you a laptop. If you would like to use this service, make sure you've filled in the self-isolation report form, then contact the IT Support team (available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) - call +44 (0)1904 323838 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Options for students who cannot study this year
If, once you’ve considered all of your options, and all of the support that we can offer, you decide that you really can’t make study work for you in the current circumstances, you can consider taking a Leave of Absence. That would mean taking a period of time away from your degree (usually a year for taught students) and rejoining the cohort behind you next year.
You won’t be eligible for student finance at this time, and we suggest that you speak to the Student Welfare Advisors, or someone you trust in your department before you make this decision so that you can be sure that your decision is well informed. But for a small number of students, this may be the right choice.