We look forward to welcoming you to the campus in September.

As the campus is relatively small, we are well underway with measures to keep students and staff safe whilst on campus. We are updating our plans, in line with the government guidelines, any changes and updates will appear on this webpage.

As you prepare for the start of your first semester, you are bound to have a lot of questions, especially about how Coronavirus will affect your student experience, and what we are doing to ensure that you get the most out of your studies. We want you to start to feel part of the Newman community, settle into your new course, get to know your lecturers, meet new friends, gain confidence in your subject and be ready to succeed.

Where and how will I study?

We are currently working on our plans to welcome you for the start of the semester in September 2020. Working to Government guidelines, we are introducing physical distancing measures across our campus and halls of residence, to ensure the safety of all students and staff whilst on the campus. As a one-campus university with generally smaller class sizes, we can adapt quickly to the government’s rules around physical distancing. From September, we are planning for the following:

  • Regular on-campus contact time in small teaching groups, as well as tutorials, and workshop sessions for practical subjects.
  • Online and remote alternatives to lectures and larger sessions.
  • Access to our on-campus facilities where it’s safe for these to open – this will include carefully managed access to the library.
  • A full induction programme to introduce you to the range of services and facilities at the University.

A high-quality learning experience with on-campus activities and face-to-face online sessions:

Lectures and larger sessions will be delivered online, and we will offer teaching and learning activities on campus, such as seminars, workshops and practicals where it is safe to do so following UK government guidelines.

In semester 1, your learning will be fully supported with timetabled activities to bring an important level of structure to your week. The online resources and materials will allow you to work at your own pace, wherever suits you. It will also bring opportunity for Q&A sessions and other interactions across different formats in timetabled slots.

Quality teaching:

We are committed to improving and extending your online learning materials and are supporting our excellent teaching staff to make these as engaging online as it would be on-campus for 2020/21. Through the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) you will be able to access all key module materials and we will provide information and training so that you can study flexibly in a way that suits you best.

 

Your Questions answered:

The campus is gradually being reopened to staff. Detailed risk assessments are taking place to ensure that the campus is safe and adheres to advice and policies from the government.

We have increased the frequency of cleaning key areas. High footfall and social areas show social distancing space, seating has been rearranged, and Perspex screens and shielding barriers have been installed across the campus.

Keeping yourself safe

Good personal hygiene is essential for you to look after your own health and that of fellow students and staff. Hand sanitising gel is available, and frequent handwashing is recommended

Although face coverings may not prevent an individual from getting infected, there is evidence to say they do help to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when social distancing cannot be achieved or where you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet. Therefore, they are strongly encouraged in enclosed public spaces.

Physical distancing, hand washing and respiratory hygiene, are still the most important and effective measures we can all adopt to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Therefore, the wearing of facial coverings must not be used as an alternative to any of these other precautions.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (cough and/or high temperature) you and your household should isolate at home: wearing a face covering does not change this.

A face covering is not the same as the surgical masks or respirators used as part of personal protective equipment (PPE) by healthcare and other workers; these supplies should continue to be reserved for those who need them to protect against risks in their workplace.

A face covering is something which safely covers the nose and mouth. You can buy reusable or single-use face coverings. You may also use a scarf, bandana, religious garment or hand-made cloth covering but these must securely fit round the side of the face. Face coverings are not classified as PPE (personal protective equipment).

Government guidance states that face coverings should be worn in public spaces where social distancing is not possible.

We acknowledge that certain activities within the University may fall into this category, including but not limited to:

  • Where staff have restricted access behind a serving counter, for example in a kitchen
  • A first aider attending to a first aid incident
  • Work in the laboratories and other areas where close proximity is required, such as in the drama studio, psychology practical work and some indoor sport

Individual areas and teams are providing detailed risk assessments, which are being reviewed by our Health and Safety Officer, to identify areas and particular roles where face coverings or face masks should be used.

Face Masks: If risk assessments indicate that PPE standard face masks are required, the University will provide these in a manner that is appropriate to that particular role or function within a role.

Face Coverings: If face coverings or visors become mandatory as identified by risk assessments, again these will be provided by the University. This process will take place through the University line management channels in consultation with our teams in Health & Safety and Estates.

It should be noted that a face mask (PPE) is different from a face covering; PPE is very specific and is governed by Health & Safety legislation. 

We encourage you to purchase your own face covering. We recognise that everyone’s circumstances will be different.  Many people wear masks to protect themselves from air pollution or allergens as well as viruses.  In such circumstances the University will not prevent people from wearing a face covering if they so choose, but the University will not supply or fund this.

With the exception of those roles where the Risk Assessment requires the University to provide PPE, no enforcement protocol is required in relation to face coverings.

There may be instances for safety or security requirements that will necessitate individuals to remove face coverings for identification purposes. Such requests should be undertaken in a well-ventilated location, observe good hygiene practices and maintain adequate social distancing.

Please note the following related aspects of the University General Academic Regulations: E13.9 (expected conduct for exams) and B7.8 (identification cards).

If an individual chooses to wear a face covering, but does not wish to buy one, here are some useful links to show how to make them:

We would ensure that people are informed about the prohibitive nature of face coverings.  However, we are not able to force individuals to take off a face covering if they have made the personal choice to do this.  Under such circumstances, we will put alternative methods in place (e.g. notetaking) so that no student is disadvantaged.

  • Do wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on, and after removing it
  • Don’t touch your face or face covering whilst wearing a face covering, as you could contaminate them with germs from your hands
  • Do change your face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it
  • Do continue to wash your hands regularly
  • Do change and wash your face covering daily
  • Do wash in line with manufacturer’s instructions, if the material is washable. If it’s not washable, dispose of it carefully in your usual waste
  • Do practise social distancing wherever possible

The University is putting in place the following measures to enforce social distancing as much as possible:

  • changing entry and exit points of buildings to manage the flow of people accessing buildings;
  • marking 2m intervals in heavily used thoroughfares,
  • ensuring desks are spaced 2m apart
  • restricting the number of people on campus at any one time.
  • Visible social distancing guidelines – signage and electronic screens
  • Perspex screening/ shielding barriers have been installed across the campus
  • One way systems around the campus
  • Socially distanced social spaces
  • Hand sanitising stations
  • Socially distanced layouts of teaching rooms, and safe maximum capacities displayed

The university is conducting individual building risk assessments. The university is following government guidelines around social distancing for social and teaching spaces and is organising rooms so that the adhere to the current guidelines.

The University will ensure that shared spaces are cleaned thoroughly and regularly throughout the day. Hand sanitiser and cleaning wipes will be available, should students wish to clean any surfaces themselves prior to using them. These spaces will form part of the building risk assessment and the social distancing arrangements that are implemented before buildings reopen. Extra cleaning facilities and wipes will be available in all food areas.

Wayfinding and one way systems allow the flow of people around the building, and all toilet facilities have been adapted to meet government guidelines.

  • The sanctuary will be open for a hot and cold take-out service.  This will be available from 9.00 am – 2.00pm, then from 5.00 – 7.00 pm Monday to Friday Perspex screening and a queuing system have been put in place
  • Starbucks will be open Monday to Friday 8.00 am – 5.00 pm (subject to review) Screening and a queuing system is in place.
  • Vending machines for cold drinks and snacks are available as are Costa machines for hot drinks.
  • All of the above will take card payments

Newman Students’ Union is working hard to plan a Freshers Offering that has something for all of our students, with a mixture of virtual and on-campus activities. We are also planning contingency plans for Freshers in the event of changes to government guidelines about social distancing, and how we make these activities just as much fun, but online instead. We hope to be able to give you more information around Freshers throughout the month of August so keep an eye out for updates via the Student Unions’ Social Media platforms and Website.

Facebook :https://www.facebook.com/newmanstudentsunion

Instagram: newman_su

Website:  http://www.newmansu.org/

Gym facilities will be available from the first semester.

Your safety will always be our main priority. We are putting measures in place to meet the governments social distancing guidelines and framework, as your health and wellbeing , and that of our staff is our highest priority.

Booking slots will be introduced to ensure that we can adhere to social distancing guidelines along with other measures;

  • Posters will be on display informing staff/ student of social distancing and cleanliness/ hygiene protocols
  • Hand wipes/sanitiser will be on offer (or people will be directed to where they can clean their hands)
  • Sanitiser stations
  • Increased cleaning of equipment and touch points
  • Protective screens around equipment where needed.
  • Equipment to be spaced out for social distancing
  • Marking put around machines and workout benches to denote social distance areas where appropriate.
  • Increased ventilation within the gym facilities
  • Fully trained staff on Covid-19 Gym framework

Student Support Services offer a wide range of developmental, advice and support services. When you join us in September, we will be delivering our services remotely, but with some campus-based appointments planned too, so why not get in touch?

  • Advice and support if you have a physical or sensory disability, dyslexia, a long-term health condition, autism, or a mental health difficulty
  • Study skills appointments and workshops with our Learning Development Tutors, plus IT and writing peer mentors
  • Advice from our Academic Support Advisers about what to do if circumstances beyond your control have affected your ability to submit coursework or sit exams
  • Therapeutic counselling for up to six sessions, if you are experiencing emotional difficulties and need time to talk about this
  • Careers information, advice and guidance to enhance your employability and plan your dream career
  • Advice and guidance about money matters, tax credits or benefits, housing issues, challenging domestic circumstances or other personal welfare concerns.
  • Overseas work and study opportunities have been suspended due to current travel restrictions, but we hope to issue further advice as this situation changes.

 

Contact us via email us at studentsupport@newman.ac.uk (Help Desk hours are 9am – 5pm Monday – Thursday, 9am – 4.30pm Fridays) to book an appointment, ask us something or to find out more about what we offer. Our services are confidential, professional but we are all very friendly; we want to help you succeed and asking for support along the way is a positive step, never a failure!

We are planning to have the library open, but we cannot guarantee what that will mean in practice. We have been operating a ‘click and collect’ book loan service from 13th July for our current staff and students, and hope to extend this to a ‘click and study’ bookable study space scheme for individuals later on.

By the beginning of the academic year, we expect to have some limited study space available – you will probably have to book a seat before you come to the library.

You will be able to borrow resources from the library, but we are not yet sure if you will be able to collect these from the shelves yourself, or if you will request them online and pick them up from us.

Library staff will be available to help you. This may be by live chat through the website, by email or by speaking to us in the library.

Our availability in person will be limited to our staffed hours, and may be limited by staff availability – but if we are not available in person, we will be available virtually throughout our staffed service hours.

You will also be able to book a one-to-one meeting with an Academic Services Librarian, either in person or as a Zoom meeting.

You can always find the latest information about us on the library website.

This is where we tell you about all the services that we offer, and our current arrangements.

We also keep you up to date about changes and new services through our library facebook and twitter accounts.

During the Covid pandemic, we have used a separate page on the library website to let you know how our services are operating and the changes we have made. You can find this at https://libguides.newman.ac.uk/covid-19

  • The IT Service Desk will be available via email (support@newman.ac.uk) and telephone (0121 483 2293), but the physical Service Desk will be shut.  This arrangement is under constant review and we hope to be able to open the Service Desk for face-to-face service when health and safety concerns have been addressed.  This may involve time slots being allocated for help at the Service Desk rather than a drop-in service.  We will communicate any changes of provision through the student bulletin.
  • If you have not received a username and password for logging on to Newman systems (rather than the applicant portal), please contact studentrecords@newman.ac.uk to ensure your enrolment is complete.
  • If you are unable to log in, you can use the self-service system (either by clicking on the ‘I can’t log in’ link on MyNewman, or by going to https://login.newman.ac.uk/pw). You will have been automatically enrolled onto this system using the email address you provided when you applied.
  • You can also get IT assistance by using the IT Help Forum on Moodle.
  • There are a number of help guides available on the intranet and we hope to be able to collate these into one place shortly.  Keep checking the IT Services page on the intranet for more information.

The Chaplaincy team are available for spiritual, pastoral and faith support on digital platforms and occasionally in person by appointment.

The Chapel will be accessible, for prayer and reflection, for a limited number of people at any one time, in line with Covid-19 guidelines.

Our Multi-Faith prayer room continues to follow the guidelines of the Muslim Council of Great Britain, and will be open via a booking system, you are requested to bring your own prayer mat and note that wudu facilities remain closed. We will adapt and update you as these guidelines change.

Chaplaincy activities will re-commence at the start of the new academic year with opportunities for prayer, to meet socially and hopefully find inspiration together (virtually or in person when safe to do so). Updates will be sent via the staff bulletin of opportunities and activities.

Your Questions about Moving into Halls of Residence answered:

You are able to move into Halls of Residence from the date in your confirmation pack, no earlier than Saturday 5th September

You will be able to live on campus from September with no delay to the start of term.

For those not committed to halls contracts but require accommodation whilst participating in campus activities or just for ease of travel, we have nightly up to weekly accommodation options available in Edgbaston and Maryvale Halls, for students who may only wish to stay in Halls during the week.

Your safety will always be our main priority. We are putting measures in place to meet the government’s social distancing guidelines as your health and wellbeing, and that of our staff is our highest priority.  As government guidelines change, we will act accordingly.

We have set out the following plans and procedures to ensure that social distancing measures are followed when you move to campus in September:

  • Students will live in a flat with six people / flatmates (household)
  • Students can socialise with flatmates within their flat plus one other flat, and  including communal areas and with one other household at a time.
  • All students will receive a start of year cleaning pack which includes facemasks, gloves and hand sanitiser.
  • Initial cleaning materials for a household’s kitchen.
  • social distancing guidelines must be followed with anyone who is not considered a flatmate
  • Additional cleaning of halls has been scheduled in all social spaces and kitchens from September delivered by our in-house housekeeping team.
  • Hall tutor teams will be available for all students in halls and they are first aid and mental health trained, as well as being up to date with Covid-19 best practices
  • There is 24-hour university security on-site and also 24-hour emergency maintenance if needed
  • Additional hand sanitiser stations are in Halls, and digital signage with Covid-safe messages, being regularly updated
  • Social spaces which adhere to the social distance guidelines will be created around campus to enable you to make friends with those outside your flat to allow you to be part of the Newman community

If there is another public health crisis which prevents you from accessing our campus, your contract will be put on hold for that duration.

If travelling from abroad and your country is in lockdown from government guidelines and unable to join us from semester one, we will make the appropriate alterations in your accommodation fees.

International students can have access to accommodation two weeks prior to first semester to allow for any quarantine periods.

If you have any queries about starting your new university life in Halls, please contact our Accommodation office by emailing accommodation@newman.ac.uk.

If you have any queries about joining us in September, please e-mail heretohelp@newman.ac.uk or you can speak to us via our website LiveChat facility. We are regularly updating the website to keep you up to date with our plans.

In the meantime, keep safe and stay well.

We look forward to meeting you in September.