Tuesday 14 April 2020
All student email
Covid-19 update Tuesday 14 April - welcome to the new term
A very warm welcome to you all at the start of this Summer Term.
It’s a term that will look and feel very different for us all, with some very new ways of working to enable you to continue with your studies in light of the continuing Covid-19 pandemic. I hope all of you are well and safe wherever you are in the world.
This is an extraordinary situation and we have had to move at speed to ensure that we can put in place extraordinary measures so that you can continue your education. We know that change of this scale is unsettling and will take time to adjust to. We have already shared with you details of how teaching, learning and assessment will be delivered for the remainder of this academic year, and how we will be supporting you through this time of change. Your academic departments are now tailoring this guidance to help you adapt to this new way of learning, with the aim of establishing the rhythm and routine of term as quickly as possible.
I’d like to wish those students starting their assessments this week the very best of luck. I am proud of the strength and resilience you have shown in recent weeks. It’s nothing less than we have learnt to expect from our students here at York, and I’d like to thank you for this determination, and your patience.
Support for students
I also know that many of you will have more questions as the term progresses. In anticipation of this we have established a dedicated call centre, which you can reach on +44 (0)1904 809571.
We are also listening to your questions, feedback and concerns, and, on that basis, continually developing and posting new information on the Covid-19 website. I urge you to keep referring to this website for useful guidance and information. Do use the search function on that website to find what you need, or refer to the bespoke sections for undergraduate, postgraduate taught and research students.
We will also continue to disseminate links to new UK Government information, including a University students and COVID-19 FAQ, which covers many issues, from visas, to fees, loans and accomodation.
The Universities Minister has recently issued a letter to international students which provides tailored guidance and advice, both for international students studying now, but also details about visas and studying here in the UK from Autumn 2020 to provide reassurance during this difficult time.
We know some students are facing financial challenges as a result of the Covid-19 crisis and the Emergency Student Support Fund, established to provide support for students in financial distress will open again from 5pm on Wednesday 15 April for a second round of applications.
This fund, supported through donations from alumni, friends and supporters of the University, provides bursaries of up to £500 per applicant. It’s also open to those students who may wish to reapply following the first round, who might now be facing new or more pressing challenges. Our financial support webpage also has more information on the support available, and our advisers will talk to you about your current circumstances and direct you to appropriate advice and support.
The Covid-19 situation is the greatest challenge facing the world right now but it’s also a huge personal challenge for many of us. I do hope that your families, friends and communities are coping as best they can in this difficult period. Your health and wellbeing is our key priority and in that regard we will continue to disseminate advice and guidance in relation to maintaining good mental health and wellbeing advice - and further information will be included in the ‘Things to know this week’ email update today, or you can find more support here.
For now, I hope you are keeping safe and well, and ready to rejoin your academic community for the new term ahead.
Professor Charlie Jeffery