Our response to COVID-19

Our response to COVID-19

Following significant new measures announced by the Prime Minister on Monday 23 March to protect us all against the spread of coronavirus, we have now closed our Coventry campus.

We had already closed many of the buildings across our Coventry campus and our locations at Coventry University London, CU London’s Dagenham & Barking and Greenwich sites, CU Scarborough and CU Coventry after moving our teaching and learning online from 5pm on Friday 20 March.

We have always prioritised the health and safety of our students, staff, partners and the communities in which we are located, while delivering a world-class education and experience for all our learners.

That has not changed with the outbreak of Covid-19, and we have responded with a co-ordinated and informed approach from the outset; co-ordinated by senior management and informed by official public health advice, and by listening to the concerns of our students and staff. 

Universities Minister Michelle Donelan provided updated advice to students about leaving their term time residences on Friday 27 March. This advises that students remaining at university in England should now stay where they are and not attempt to travel. The advice states: ‘If you are living in student halls, or private rented accommodation, you should remain there and stay indoors while current restrictions are in force.’  

We know it is vital that we support students in every way possible in these unprecedented and anxious times, particularly those students who are thousands of miles from home, or who may not have support networks around them. We have well-established student welfare services and our staff are working hard to ensure the appropriate support is provided. 

Our staff are amazing and, while the vast majority are now adapting to working remotely, some are continuing to support those students in halls who cannot return home, including those on Meal Plans.

We are profoundly aware that campus closures will be a major change for our students and staff and will present challenges for many, but this is an unprecedented global crisis and we must all be patient and understanding.

The new academic year we have introduced will help reduce the disruption for staff and students, but we are aware of the heightened anxiety this may create for our final-year students. Every effort will be made to ensure access and assistance is provided to help our students achieve the best results. We had already extended the dissertation deadline to 24 April 2020. Students can apply for further extensions and deferrals. Our Library is closed but staff are operating services online and all loans have been automatically extended.

We have been keeping students and staff up to date with regular communication on these changes. We have also set up a specific email address (virusinfo@coventry.ac.uk) and helpline (02477 656565 8am-7pm) to handle queries and signpost students to the support they need.  

We are aware of the challenges that could be created by the measures introduced by the Government in response to the pandemic. We must all support each other to ensure social distancing, wherever we are, does not become social isolation.

We are working on more ways we can support students and staff at this difficult time. In the meantime, they can continue to access support through the Mental Health and Wellbeing Support Zone, including 24/7 access to the Big White Wall.

Further information 

The following set of FAQ answers is for all our students: 

  • Coventry University, Coventry 
  • Coventry University London Campus (Liverpool Street and Cutlers Exchange) 
  • CU Coventry 
  • CU London (Barking and Dagenham) 
  • CU London (Greenwich) 
  • CU Scarborough 

International students 

Additional information for current and prospective international students can be found on the International Students COVID19 Frequently asked questions webpage

Placement students

Additional information for placement students is currently available on the Student Portal. Please note, you will need to use your university login details to access these FAQs.

Online teaching and learning

As of Friday 20 March, we will be suspending face-to-face teaching and moving teaching and learning online. We might still deliver some workshops and labs on campus but will advise you if that applies to your course and modules.

Yes, all campuses in the Coventry University Group have suspended face-to-face teaching from Friday 20 March, 17.00hrs and will now deliver teaching online from that date.

The decision to suspend face-to-face teaching was made based on Government advice on social distancing, with the aim of keeping all students and staff as safe as possible. We will continue to monitor this advice and will revert to campus based delivery once it is safe to do so. We will update you when anything changes.

We are currently looking into options for students who don’t have internet access at home, and who can’t get to the main Coventry campus to use facilities here. Please check back for updates.

You can get support from your Faculty Registry using the contact details on your campus’s student portal, and course team contact information can be found on Moodle.

Your course team will have a plan in place to provide cover, and you will be notified should this happen.

All course information including lecture slides and other resource materials will be uploaded to Moodle. Your module leaders/ usual academic staff will be available online during scheduled lecture times, and during their usual office hours to support you and answer and queries you have, as will your campus library teams.

Locate will operate as usual giving you access to online resources such as eJournals and articles, and eBook service Bibliu which gives access to hundreds of digital textbooks for students is also available. To login, select ‘Coventry University’ and login with your university credentials.

You will be advised as to what modifications have been made to your group assessments. Some will switch to individual assessments whilst others will continue as online group work and assessments.

As of the 20 March, we will no longer be looking at just attendance data. We will look at engagement with online provision, so students need to ensure that they engage with Moodle and course and module information and attempt all assessments. Students should follow the guidance of faculty/academic staff during scheduled lecture times and should check the Student Portal regularly for updates.

Online exams, phase tests and assessments

Detailed guidance will be communicated shortly on how we are moving to online assessment instead of exams.

For Coventry University students, online assessments that are to replace exams will take place during the same period that Semester 2 exams had been scheduled for (that is, weeks 13 and 14, Tuesday 14 April to Wednesday 22 April inclusive but may be subject to change, please check back for updates).

Coventry University London students should check Moodle for updates on assessment arrangements.

CU Coventry, CU London (Barking and Dagenham), CU London (Greenwich) and CU Scarborough students should check Moodle for updates on assessment arrangements.

If you need a deferral, please request this in the normal way. We understand that some of you might be worried or stressed at this time and will treat all requests sympathetically. Because of the pressures on the NHS, GP surgeries, and NHS 111, we will not require medical evidence for deferral requests made on medical grounds. However, please be aware that if you do defer some of your assessments, this may well delay your progression or graduation. The above applies to all students at all levels - undergraduate, postgraduate and masters students.

Coventry University London students should check Moodle for updates on assessment arrangements.

CU Coventry, CU London (Barking and Dagenham), CU London (Greenwich) and CU Scarborough students should check Moodle for updates on assessment arrangements.

Coventry University students, across all year groups, will now have an automatic 2 week extension from the original published submission date, on all coursework deadlines within this semester (January – May 2020). This will apply to all written coursework, and all final year projects and dissertations (including portfolios and group projects). This will not apply to formal exams changed to online exams or coursework.

Coursework: you do not need to apply for these extensions, they apply to all students whose assessment deadline is from today, 27 March 2020 until 1 May 2020. Simply submit your work in the usual way and we will do the rest.

If your submission deadline was between 16th March and 26th March 2020, and you were unable to submit your work, you can still take advantage of this 2 week automatic extension from the original submission deadline date (e.g. the new date for assessments due on Monday 16th March will be Monday 30th March).

If your coursework assessment is not ‘written’, ie, it is not usually submitted via Moodle, further advice will be provided on the Module Moodle page.

If you are unable to submit by the revised deadline, you can still apply for a deferral in advance of the revised deadline date in the usual way.

Final Year Projects and Dissertations: this applies to all final year Undergraduate, Postgraduate and Masters students in relation to their project and dissertation modules (including portfolios and group projects). We had already agreed and informed you of an automatic extension of 1 week, but this has now been extended to 2 weeks, so the new deadline for these assessments is 1st May 2020.

For any students whose original project/dissertation deadline was later than 17th April 2020, you are also granted an automatic 2 week extension from your original deadline.

If you are unable to submit by the revised deadline, you can still apply for a deferral in advance of the revised deadline date in the usual way.

Exams: where your formal exams are now being assessed via an online exam, or replacement coursework, these will still take place on the scheduled dates, as previously advised. Details can be found on Moodle. The submission windows remain the same.

If you find that you are unable to submit during the relevant submission window, you can apply for a deferral in advance of the scheduled date in the usual way.

The turnaround time for marking may have to be extended to allow for the full marking and moderation process to take place to the same high standards that we usually adhere to. We are currently looking into options and will post an update once we have any more information.

Tuition fees will stay the same. Although the format of your teaching has changed, we are still committed to providing excellent teaching and assessment, and campus is still open to provide you with any help and support you should need.

Students can apply for a deferral for an exam or phase test, on or before the day in the normal way. You will not need to supply medical evidence for this application. Although many exams/ phase tests have been changed to open book exams or coursework questions to be submitted on the date of your original exam, they are still classified as exams and therefore you cannot apply for an extension. You must attempt these assessment as directed by your module leader or course tutor by the date specified or request a deferral.

You should check Moodle for more information about your dissertation or project. If a presentation/viva is still required for either UG or PG assessments of this nature, your module leader will make provision to run this for students.

Yes you can, if you have an approved deferral in place and you then make a submission, Coventry University students should advise your module leader of your decision and it will be marked in the usual way. Coventry University London students should email registry.london@coventry.ac.uk.

If we are still not able to teach face-to-face when semester 3 starts in May, we will continue to deliver modules online. Please check back for updates nearer the time.

Campus access and services

In line with the current government advice, it has been agreed that all our campuses, including the main Coventry campus, are now closed until further notice.

This means that our buildings are closed to all students and staff who do not have prior arrangement for access. If you have prior agreed access, please email Coventry University Protection Service to agree access details on ProtectionShiftManagers@coventry.ac.uk and ProtectionSeniorOfficers@coventry.ac.uk or phone 024 7765 7363.

Our halls of residence will remain open to those who need accommodation.

We are working closely with Sodexo to ensure that food continues to be provided to catered residents in the safest possible way. We will be contacting all residents who this applies to.

If you have left campus to go home, you can surrender your halls of residence licence so that you will no longer be in occupation of the room and you will no longer be required to pay the Licence fee (rent) due from at the end of the second semester, 17 April 2020 by emailing Surrender@futurelets.co.uk.

If you choose to surrender your licence but you are unable to take your belongings with you at this time, or you have already left occupation of your room, we will leave your belongings in the room to which you have surrendered the licence and make arrangements with you for collection before 31 July 2020.

If you are self-isolating in either private accommodation or halls please contact your SEC Team by email engagement@coventry.ac.uk or phone 02477 656565 to notify them. If you are struggling to get food supplies, we will endeavour to make arrangements to support you during your isolation.

Please do not attend the medical centre in person, unless you have been asked to do so by the medical centre itself. You may call the medical centre as usual on telephone number - 024 7659 2012.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature or a new, continuous cough), use the 111 coronavirus service. If you need help or advice not related to coronavirus, you can use the NHS website or the Coventry University Medical Centre Website. For urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service – only call 111 if you're unable to get help online. For life-threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance.

If you are struggling financially due to changes brought about by Covid-19, please email suadvice@coventry.ac.uk for support and advice.

Students with current appointments with the CAW have been contacted and offered an email appointment or a cancellation dependant on their circumstances. Students requiring an appointment can email writing.caw@coventry.ac.uk

You can still get help from sigma; please visit sigma.coventry.ac.uk for further information.

Lanchester Library is now closed due to new regulations put in place by the government. You can find FAQs for use of Lanchester Library on their website, which provides answers to queries around the impact of COVID-19.

Due to the current circumstances, all book loans have been extended and are now due back by 30 June 2020.

Unfortunately, we have had to make the difficult decision to cancel The Coventry Collective for 2020. We are seeing so many inspirational responses from the online creative community that we hope to still be able to showcase our graduating students’ work in different formats. More information on this will follow over the next few weeks.

All Students’ Union services are still operating, services are transitioning to digital delivery, some events have been postponed or cancelled. For department specific updates and contact details visit www.cusu.org/covid19/. For general enquiries email email infooffice.su@coventry.ac.uk.

Societies and sports teams have cancelled face to face activities and events and this will be reviewed again on 6 April. However, we are planning on lots of online activities for you to get involved in. Make sure you are following us on social media @cusu.societies or @sport_coventry and if you have any questions please email societies.su@coventry.ac.uk or sportcoventry.su@coventry.ac.uk.

If you need advice around accommodation, money, or your course, please email suadvice@coventry.ac.uk, provide your name, student ID number, a contact telephone number, and brief details about your issue and an advisor will contact you.

University support
We are working on more ways we can support students and staff at this difficult time, but there are lots immediate advice and resources that are already available, so please make the most of these.

Appointements
Whilst we are trying to support as many students as we can and continue to offer out a range of support service we are keen to ensure the safety of all our staff and students. As a result of this we have taken the decision to work online. Therefore all Health and Wellbeing appointments will be offered either by telephone or email.

Any student worried about the current situation or experiencing distress or difficulties with their mental health who would benefit from speaking with a Welfare Officer, Counsellor or Mental Health Advisor can contact Health and Wellbeing via counsell.ss@coventry.ac.uk.

Students who are already registered with the service can continue to make appointments via the booking system.

If you have any concerns about your own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of any of your friends and family you can:

Mind charity advice and support
The mental health charity Mind has information for those who are worried about the coronavirus outbreak and how it could affect your life.

They have information available for if:

  • you're feeling anxious or worried about coronavirus
  • you're asked to stay at home or avoid public places, for example if your employer asks you to work from home
  • you have to self-isolate

If you have a medical condition, disability or neurodiverse condition and you are worried about the changes that are having to be put in place around assessments, or anything else please do contact the Disabilities Team.

Whilst there are no face-to-face appointments you can book a phone call or Microsoft teams video call (accessed via office 365) just let us know how you want us to contact you and give your up to date contact details when you book. We are still able to support you via email to disabilityadvisor.ss@coventry.ac.uk so please do not feel that you are alone.

Other Health and Wellbeing services are working as normal, albeit without face-to-face appointments so please do use our services as needed.

The government has provided advice about travel for students leaving their term time residences.

For any specific queries, the Department for Education has launched a helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 from higher education staff, students and parents. Phone: 0800 046 8687; email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk. Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday).

International students who have immigration queries related to coronavirus can call 0800 678 1767 (9am to 5pm) or email CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk. There is also more detailed advice on the government website.

International students

Information for current and prospective international students can be found on the International Students COVID19 Frequently asked questions webpage.

General questions on Coventry University Group’s response to COVID-19

Cases of coronavirus are now increasing across the country and we appreciate that many people will be concerned about COVID-19 and want to know about our response and planning.

Health and safety is our first priority and we are taking a co-ordinated and informed approach.

Senior management across our locations in Coventry, London and Scarborough are co-ordinating our response using the advice of the UK Government and public health officials. Our staff are experienced in dealing with public health issues and we are taking sensible precautions in line with official advice.

In line with our co-ordinated and informed approach, we have introduced a range of precautionary measures that we consider to be sensible.

  • We have suspended nearly all face-to-face teaching to move teaching and learning online (from Friday 20 March). There might be some workshops and practical/lab sessions that still take place after Friday 20 March; you will be notified by your course team if this applies to you;
  • We have suspended all open days until further notice;
  • We have postponed or cancelled all field trips;
  • We have suspended all Coventry University Group international travel unless it is deemed essential. Exceptions will be considered on a case by case basis;
  • We have suspended all graduation ceremonies scheduled for March and April, while ensuring degrees are awarded. Celebrations will be re-arranged later in the year;
  • We are encouraging students with underlying health conditions to inform the Student Engagement Centre by emailing virusinfo@coventry.ac.uk.

Everyone should follow the clear and simple health advice from the government for good hand hygiene, as outlined in the ‘How can I protect myself from COVID-19?' section.

We have a good working relationship with Public Health England (PHE) and are constantly assessing all available information from all relevant official bodies. As part of our co-ordinated and informed approach, we are constantly reviewing guidance for students and staff and updating our dedicated pages here and on the Staff Portal.

Please visit the Department of Health and Social Care website for the latest information; updates to the data on tests for COVID-19 in the UK are made just after 14.00hrs each day.

The risk to the UK has been raised to high. Coventry University continues to liaise with officials from Public Health England and we are constantly monitoring for updated advice. We will continue to update the information provided on the staff and student portals.

On 16 March, the government released new guidance on social distancing, and advises on measures everyone should now take to reduce social interaction in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). Please refer to the full guidance on social distancing from the UK government.

In the event of a confirmed case of coronavirus at any of our sites, we will continue to work under the close advice of Public Health England to ensure that all of our students and staff continue to feel safe and to limit the risk to others.

The university will of course take an open approach should this circumstance arise, and will inform all students and staff so that those who may have been in close contact with the individual can self-isolate.

Our advice would be to continue with your studies if you can for the remainder of this semester, but if you are unable to do so, or to submit your assessment or complete the replacement exams at the end of the semester, then the option to request an extension of two weeks or defer is available. If you are due to study in semester 3 commencing in May and do not feel you would be able study, then we would suggest contacting your course director or the Faculty registry for guidance on your options, if the current situation continues.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus, please immediately notify the Student Engagement Centre by emailing virusinfo@coventry.ac.uk or phoning 02477 656565 (opening hours: 08.00-19.00hrs) if you cannot email.

This dedicated page is regularly updated with the latest information in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak. You should ensure you check this regularly to keep yourself informed.

The university is also regularly updating students and staff via their university email accounts with key information.

The advice from the government is clear and simple - good hand hygiene is the best form of defence against COVID-19 (or any virus) on a personal level.

In practical terms this means washing your hands more often, especially:

  • when you arrive at one of our locations
  • after you blow your nose, cough or sneeze
  • before you eat or handle food
  • when you arrive home

You should wash your hands for 20 seconds, using soap and water or hand sanitiser. You should also cough or sneeze into tissues before binning them. All of our locations have ample and accessible hand washing facilities with hot water and soap dispensers, which are regularly restocked, and posters explaining the importance of hand washing to stop the spread of all viruses. If you are aware of soap dispensers which are empty or broken, please let us know by emailing estatesalerts@coventry.ac.uk.

The wearing of facemasks is very common across the globe when someone has a cough or cold and has been common across our locations in the last few years (well before COVID-19). This does not indicate that the individual has coronavirus or is of any threat to others. Masks are frequently worn as a courtesy to others. Public Health England has not recommended that members of the public wear masks in response to COVID-19. If a student chooses to wear a mask, they are free to do so and should not be subject to any discrimination or inappropriate behaviour as a result.

On 16 March, the UK Government issued new advice for:

  • people with symptoms that may be caused by coronavirus, and do not require hospital treatment, who must remain at home until they are well
  • those living in households with someone who shows symptoms that may be caused by coronavirus

The NHS defines the symptoms of coronavirus as:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

The main messages are: 

  • if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started. (See ending isolation section for more information)
  • if you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. In student accommodation this means anyone who shares the same kitchen or bathroom. If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.  
  • it is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community
  • for anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period. (See ending isolation section for more information
  • if you can, move any vulnerable individuals (such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) out of your home, to stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period
  • if you cannot move vulnerable people out of your home, stay away from them as much as possible
  • if you have coronavirus symptoms:
    • do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital or the university
    • you do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home; please use the health advice on NHS 111 Online.
      If you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home or your condition gets worse call NHS 111.
    • testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home
  • plan ahead and ask others for help to ensure that you can successfully stay at home and consider what can be done for vulnerable people in the household
  • ask your employer, friends and family to help you to get the things you need to stay at home
  • wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser
  • if you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, then use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999

If you need to self-isolate, you should notify the Student Engagement Centre via virusinfo@coventry.ac.uk or on 02477 656565 (opening hours: 8am-7pm) if you cannot email.

CUSU are currently working on a program of activities to support students who may be isolated socially. If you would like to be notified of when these go live, or would like to contribute, you can register your interest on the CUSU website.

Students with underlying health conditions, or who have caring responsibilities for people who could be more vulnerable to COVID-19 should they become infected, should contact virusinfo@coventry.ac.uk to advise the university of their individual circumstances.

You should also contact your GP to discuss any additional preventative actions that you should take in addition to the usual Public Health advice, either for you, or as a carer. If you have not yet done this, we recommend that you telephone your GP for advice.

If you wish to advise us of your underlying health condition or of your carer responsibilities you can do this by emailing virusinfo@coventry.ac.uk. Please note we will discuss this with you as a precautionary measure and there is no need to be alarmed or panic about the current coronavirus situation on campus. Currently, we are not aware of any confirmed cases on campus.

Finally, please ensure that you read all university communications and check the dedicated student portal page and public health guidance on a regular basis, and take sensible precautions in line with Public Health England advice.

This is a spam or 'phishing' email, where cyber criminals are trying to get hold of your personal details. Do not share any information or send the email to colleagues. Please forward on to reportspam@coventry.ac.uk.

Graduation ceremonies scheduled to be held in March and April 2020 have been suspended. This decision has not been taken lightly – we know how important graduations are to our graduands and their families – but we must prioritise the health and safety of our students, staff and the communities where we are located.

So as not to disadvantage students due to graduate, the awards will be conferred administratively and certificates posted to home addresses. It is therefore important that students due to graduate this spring check that their address details are up-to-date on SOLAR. Dates will be organised and circulated in due course for formal celebrations so that those affected do not miss out on the graduation experience.

Ede & Ravenscroft provide the gowning and photography for our graduation ceremonies. You can cancel your gown and photography online by logging back into your account, or you can contact them through their call centre on 01223 861 854 to request a refund. Please use this link to cancel online: www.gownhire.co.uk.

For further information, Coventry University and CU Group students should email: graduation.reg@coventry.ac.uk and Coventry University London students should email: graduation.culc@coventry.ac.uk.

All international and UK field trips are suspended for the next 8 weeks. Field trips set to leave after Friday 15 May 2020 will be reviewed nearer the time. Please check back for updates.

We do not want students financially disadvantaged by this decision so will refund students where costs cannot be reclaimed from travel providers, insurers or credit card companies.

We have worked hard to become one of the most globally connected universities in the UK because we believe in the benefits it offers our students and society, but we must take this precautionary measure to protect our students, staff, the communities where we are located and the destinations we were planning to visit.

The advice issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) on 17 March 2020 states that they now advise British people against all non-essential travel worldwide. This advice takes effect immediately and applies initially for a period of 30 days.

On 23 March 2020, the FCO also advised that all persons currently overseas should evacuate if they are able to do so immediately. They advise they may not be able to arrange evacuations at a later stage and therefore any persons who chooses to remain now may not be able to leave at a later stage.

Visit the government Travel advice: coronavirus (COVID-19) for the latest information.