We are updating our plans, in line with the government guidelines, any changes and updates will appear on this webpage.

Latest Update, 6th January 2021:

Coming back after the Christmas break for Semester 2

Universities are being asked to delay the start of face-to-face teaching to help to stop the spread of Covid-19 as students return to university. We appreciate that the latest government guidelines create new challenges for many of you, as fully online teaching is now in place until at least mid-February. There are some exceptions to this, and for Newman this includes students on Initial Teacher Education Courses, for 5 sessions, 4 of which are outside sports sessions.

Regular updates will be sent via the Student Bulletin.

When on campus we must all continue to adhere to the guidelines, and social distancing rules. We are working in an environment of rapid change where national, regional and sector requirements result in changes, which often need to be made quickly.  This will require understanding and cooperation from everyone at Newman and respect of the diversity of our community as we work together to keep each other, our family and friends safe and healthy.

As we continue to receive government updates, we will communicate these to you, if there are any changes to timetables or access to the campus . Communication updates will be delivered via the staff and student bulletins

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, and for new students to settle into your new course, get to know your lecturers, meet new friends, gain confidence in your subject and be ready to succeed.

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.

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. 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:

Latest Government Information and Restrictions:

Students can visit gov.uk for more information about the local restriction tier system that will be in place from Wednesday 2 December, including what you can and cannot do in each tier.

Information regarding support bubbles and interacting with other households can be found on the rules and restrictions page of the government website.

Your Studies in Semester 2

Message from the Vice Chancellor 5.01.21

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement last night, England is to move to a new national lockdown similar to the situation in March last year.

As was the case then, from Wednesday 6 January we will need to deliver most courses online until at least mid-February. There are some exceptions to this, and for Newman this includes students on Initial Teacher Education Courses.

As has been the case throughout the pandemic situation, we will prioritise the health and wellbeing of staff and students and will continue to follow government guidance. We will be working to ensure that students can continue with their studies and some essential services on campus will remain open.

As we continue to receive further guidance we will keep you updated with more detailed information, which will be communicated via the student bulletin.

Please make sure that you stay safe in order to protect yourselves, your families and the whole community.

The university is committed to making sure that no students are disadvantaged as a result of the ongoing pandemic situation and government restrictions under lockdown, and a new ‘no disadvantage policy’ has been developed specifically to take account of circumstances in 2020/21. Read our No Disadvantage Policy 2020/21.

Please see below the current list of University services and their availability during this period:

Student support services

For issues with welfare, financial circumstances, housing, disability, dyslexia or mental health, visit Student Support’s dedicated page on the intranet.

Learning Development support

For issues with completing academic work and should you need additional support developing academic skills beyond the support offered by the subject teaching team, you can access Learning Development support on Moodle and their weekly email of workshops and bookable meetings.

Library

We will update you with any changes as they become available. For the present, however, the Library is open for its usual opening hours, but can ONLY be used by making a booking – either to study in the Library, or to make a quick visit to collect or return books. All bookings are for individual study, even if you are from the same household or social bubble.

Registry

The Registry team will now be working remotely. However, they are still able to provide support to all of our students. The team are available by phone or email and in exceptional circumstances will be able to offer appointments if required. All information on these processes can be found on their page on the intranet.

Finance support

The finance department remains open, correspondence by email and telephone will be dealt with as quickly as possible during normal office opening hours. Please direct any email queries to finance@newman.ac.uk, or telephone 0121 483 2253. All finance team contact information, together with our opening times, can be found on the intranet.

IT support

The IT Service Desk will remain available, but only remotely.  This means the team will be contactable by telephone (0121 483 2293) or email (support@newman.ac.uk) but not in person. This service will continue to operate from 8:30 until 16:30 Monday to Friday.  Don’t forget that you can reset your own password or unlock your own account by going to https://login.newman.ac.uk/pw or by clicking on “I can’t log in” on the MyNewman login page.

Online Exams

With the two week exam period starting  next week, the e-Learning team has provided some Technical Advice for Students about Online Exams.

E-Learning

E-learning has a number of other support pages on the intranet about using technology in your studies. Please see e-Learning Help for Students​.

Student Mentor support

Students can request support from the Welcome Mentor Team at any time up until the 22nd January by completing an online form– and it will be responded to within 24 hours.

Students’ Union support

All SU staff will be working from home and the SU Office (physical space) will be closed. This does not mean we are not working, and all of our services will continue to be available online. All physical activity (on site) is completely OFF or CANCELLED until further notice, but may be replaced with online alternatives in line with government guidelines.

Social Media and Facebook

We understand that not all students have or want Social Media. However, if you DO have Social Media, please follow our Facebook Page to keep up to date with us. it would be really helpful if more of our students engaged with us digitally during this time where we can’t physically see you on Campus. Like our SU Facebook page.

IT and computer equipment

Additional computers can be booked with security, these are located in Julian of Norwich, they can book a normal open access PC for working at, or a PC in single use room for joining zoom sessions etc.  Bookings are for an entire day.  These bookings should only be requested if students have an essential need, and are unable to work elsewhere.

Slots can be booked to study in the library, and students will need to continue to sign in at security, and show proof of the library booking.

Support for students studying on campus

  • 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

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. More images can be found on our transition back to campus page.

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.

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.

There is a variety of (PPE) personal protective equipment used to control the transmission of infectious diseases. This ranges from sophisticated full-face respirators to simple disposable fluid repellent medical masks to a simple medical face mask covers the nose, mouth and chin. They prevent droplets from reaching these parts of the wearer’s face and reduce the spread of infectious droplets from the person wearing it. All types of medical face masks are designed to meet quality standards, however there are currently no UK product standards for face coverings.

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)

We want everyone to feel safe on campus, and to understand that a huge amount of work has been undertaken to protect students and staff. The new position is that we require members of the Newman community and visitors to campus to wear a face covering in all environments in and around campus – this now includes teaching environments. Read our face coverings position statement in full.

Face coverings do not need to be worn when eating or drinking (provided in all cases that 2m social distancing is consistently maintained). In addition, they do not need to worn by staff working in settings with protective screens in place such as reception areas, or in student accommodation where students are living in defined household groups. Or when communicating with someone who uses lip reading (when 2m social distancing should still be maintained). Wearing face coverings all day can be uncomfortable therefore if you are alone in a room, or outside and with plenty of space from others, it is useful to take breaks from wearing your face covering.

  • 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
  • when wearing a face covering, avoid touching your face or face covering, as you could contaminate them with germs from your hands
  • change your face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it
  • continue to wash your hands regularly
  • change and wash your face covering daily
  • if the material is washable, wash in line with manufacturer’s instructions. If it’s not washable, dispose of it carefully in your usual waste
  • practise social distancing wherever possible

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.

A close ‘contact’ is a person who has been close to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 anytime from 2 days before the person was symptomatic up to 10 days from onset of symptoms (this is when they’re infectious to others). This could be a person who:

  • spends significant time in the same household
  • is a sexual partner
  • has had face-to-face contact (within one metre), including:
    • being coughed on
    • having skin-to-skin physical contact, or
    • contact within one metre for one minute
  • has been within 2 metres of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes
  • has travelled in a small vehicle, or in a large vehicle or plane

Students should report to their faculties (email: fasps@newman.ac.uk or fed@newman.ac.uk) where all the relevant information will be captured by a Faculty Office staff member. The protocol for reporting cases is also available on the student intranet. Please take some time to read about what you should do if you need to report a case.

You can get a free NHS test to check if you have COVID-19 by applying on the UK government website or by calling 119. You can only get a free NHS test if at least one of the following applies:

  • you have a high temperature
  • you have a new, continuous cough
  • you’ve lost your sense of smell or taste or it’s changed
  • you’ve been asked to by a local council
  • you’re taking part in a government pilot project.
  • you can also get a test for someone you live with if they have symptoms.

Students should report to their faculties (email: fasps@newman.ac.uk or fed@newman.ac.uk) where all the relevant information will be captured by a Faculty Office staff member. You will be encouraged to follow NHS advice.

If someone you live with develops Covid-19 symptoms, or if you are advised to self-isolate by the NHS Track and Trace service, you will need to self-isolate for a period of 14 days as per government guidance.

Your Questions about Halls of Residence answered:

The Guidance from the Government is that everyone should stay where they are during the lockdown period to decrease the risk of transmission and ‘If you live at university, you should not move back and forward between your permanent home and student home during term time.’

You cannot leave your home to meet socially with anyone you do not live with or are not in a support bubble with (if you are legally permitted to form one). A support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household. You are still not able to mix with other households in halls of residence or have visitors to your flat. A household is the flat that you live in where you share a kitchen and a bathroom (where appropriate).

You may exercise on your own, with one other person, or with your household or support bubble. This should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.

You cannot meet other people you do not live with, or have not formed a support bubble with, unless for a permitted reason.

Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household.

Following on from the Government’s announcement about recent restrictions, as part of a national lockdown, the DfE and Minister Dolan have asked universities to restrict the numbers of students on campus as teaching has become fully online. For students expecting to return to Halls the Government’s message is clear – that you should ‘remain where they are wherever possible, and start their term online’, as facilitated by their university until at least mid-February as detailed in the most up to date government guidance.

However, HE providers should also consider allowing the return of students who may need to return earlier for other reasons, for example, students who do not have access to appropriate alternative accommodation, facilities, IT equipment, studying space, or that need to return for health reasons (mental and physical health). In these circumstances, HE providers can make plans to welcome these students back on campus from their original start date but their courses should not resume face-to-face teaching, unless they study one of the practical courses defined above.  If you feel that you meet the criteria for early return then please confirm this by email to accommodation@newman.ac.uk and we can arrange for your early return.

Wherever possible, students should remain at their vacation accommodation and should not travel to access their university facilities until the resumption of their face-to-face teaching.

Students should avoid returning to university to collect any of their belongings which they may have left at their university accommodation over the winter break. However, students can travel back to collect any medical equipment or items required for online learning if it essential.

The University considers that it is not appropriate for students to pay for accommodation when, due to Government guidance, they are unable to return to halls of residence. Therefore, a scheme has been approved whereby the student rent is rebated for the period of the lockdown.  This is initially for 6 weeks from 4 January 2021 – 14 February 2021 and may be for a longer period if the lockdown is extended by the Government. Any residential student who has not been able to return to halls after the Christmas break due to the travel restrictions, is eligible for the rebate.

The second instalment of the halls fees will be processed on Tuesday 12 January 2021 as scheduled, so students need to ensure that the funds are available in their account for this payment.  The Finance Team will then arrange for a refund of the appropriate amount for this period to be credited automatically to the card from which payment was made.  In order for this to be carried out, the student will need to complete the rebate form sent to students confirming that they are not currently residing in halls of residence in order to be eligible. The form needs to be completed asap and a refund will be processed within 7 working days (be aware it may take the bank an additional 3 days to process this).

If you have been residing In halls of residence since the announcement on 4 January 2021, the Government guidance is to remain where you are, and you will not be eligible for a refund for this period.

If you have any queries about studying at Newman, please e-mail heretohelp@newman.ac.uk. We are regularly updating the website to keep you up to date with our plans.

Keep safe and stay well.