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Last reviewed: Monday 30 March 2020, 2pm
Last updated: Monday 30 March 2020, 2pm

The current situation at Solent

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, and following the UK Government’s latest advice, Solent has been continuing its preparations for the next stage of our response. 

Our leadership team continue to meet multiple times a day to review the latest developments and to make necessary decisions, working closely with the Government, Public Health England, the NHS and other city partners. We have been monitoring the situation closely, and now feel it is the right time to take some further steps that will help us safeguard our Solent community.

We know that this is an uncertain time for everyone, but as we take the necessary measures in line with Government advice to keep people safe, all Solent University and Solent University Services Limited employees will continue to be paid as normal and in line with University policy.

  • Protecting the health and wellbeing of our students and staff remains our top priority, so to help us achieve this, we moved towards fully remote working from Thursday 19 March.
  • All of our campuses have been locked down and are not accessible to any members of staff or students, except for essential and directly involved estates and facilities staff.
  • We are committed to ensuring our students can continue their academic work, and that those in their final years are able to complete their studies successfully. So although teaching will be happening in a different way, there are a range of measures in place - from using different technologies and providing access to specialist equipment, to altering assignments and assessments - to make sure they experience as little disruption as possible. Additional, tailored advice for students is available in the FAQs below. 
  • We have ceased all but essential on-campus activities and identified short course activities - initially until the start of the summer term on 20 April 2020. 
  • Our student support team remains available for help and advice by email student.hub@solent.ac.uk, and all University-managed accommodation will stay open.
  • Staff will be available to provide additional support to students, particularly for those who are working on their dissertations and final year projects, or who those may want help with online and digital delivery. 
  • We cancelled all University-related travel, and are advising that events are cancelled or postponed where possible.

More information on what is closed and building access information

Self-isolation on campus

We have a small number of students who are self-isolating in halls of residence as a precaution. They are being fully supported by the University to remain completely isolated and are not sharing any facilities with other residents. We have been assured by Public Health England that there is no increased risk to any of our students or staff.

Government advice

The government is closely monitoring the spread of the coronavirus Covid-19 and is taking action at home and abroad. The UK Chief Medical Officers have now raised the risk to the UK from moderate to high and the Government has announced that we are moving out of the ‘contain’ phase and into the ‘delay’ phase in response to the outbreak.

Information from Public Health England, including risk levels, advice for returning travelers and information about the virus, is updated each day here

The NHS website has more information about the virus and how to avoid catching and spreading germs, and answers common questions about the virus

The latest self-isolation advice 

If you have symptoms:

  • Stay at home for 14 days if you have either a high temperature or a new continuous cough.
  • Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. 
  • You do not need to contact NHS 111 to tell them you’re staying at home. 
  • People who are self-isolating with mild symptoms will not be tested.

You can read the latest Stay at home: guidance for people with confirmed or possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection here.

The latest travel advice

You can read the latest Covid-19 travel advice here.

Helplines available

The Department for Education has launched a new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 in relation to education for higher education staff, students and parents. 

Call: 0800 046 8687
Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

The Home Office has set up a helpline for international higher education staff and students for any immigration queries related to coronavirus, including questions about urgent, compelling, compassionate cases where a Chinese national or other visa national based in China needs to travel to the UK.

(The helpline can only speak to the visa holder or applicant about individual cases. If a third party wishes to speak on their behalf, they must have the visa holder’s permission.)

Call: 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) Calls are free of charge.
Email: CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk

Information from Solent


List of closures and access information

Our buildings and access

  • Closure of East Park Terrace (EPT) teaching facilities for general staff and student access.
  • The Spark building closed on Friday 20 March.
  • The Library closed on Friday 20 March, although resources, support and advice will remain available online.
  • The Student Hub and Solent Futures closed on Friday 20 March, with all support and advice services moving fully online. Please contact student.hub@solent.ac.uk or solent.futures@solent.ac.uk.
  • The sports complex closed on Wednesday 18 March.
  • Sir James Matthews (SJM) closed at the end of the day on Wednesday 18 March.
  • The Showcase gallery closed at the end of the day on Wednesday 18 March.
  • Test Park closed at the end of the day on Wednesday 18 March.
  • Below Bar closed on Friday 20 March.
  • Herbert Collins (HC) closed at the end of business on Friday 20 March.
  • Sir John Everett Milllais (JM) closed at the end of business on Friday 20 March.
  • Halls of residence remain open to students and staff, with resources being deployed to support students in need.
  • Weekend and evening access to the campus outside 8am-5pm is restricted and managed by access control. There will be no access to any campus buildings or satellite locations after Friday 27 March.
  • Critical support operations are restricted to CC until 6pm Friday 27 March, and for designated approved staff only. After this date, all campus buildings will be locked and secured.

Warsash School of Maritime Science and Engineering

  • All short courses at Warsash, Timsbury and East Park Terrace are suspended.
  • St Mary’s campus closed from 12 noon on Thursday 19 March.

Our services

  • All catering outlets are closed until further notice (including The Artisan, the Dock, East Park Deli, Costa and Starbucks in the Sports Complex).
  • All scheduled campus-based events and conferences are cancelled.
  • The car parks are closed.

General FAQs

Is the University open?

  • Protecting the health and wellbeing of our students and staff remains our top priority, so to help us achieve this, we moved towards fully remote working from Thursday 19 March.
  • All of our campuses have been now locked down and are not accessible to any members of staff or students, except for essential and directly involved estates and facilities staff.
  • We are committed to ensuring our students can continue their academic work, and that those in their final years are able to complete their studies successfully. So, although teaching will be happening in a different way, there are a range of measures in place - from using different technologies and providing access to specialist equipment, to altering assignments and assessments - to make sure they experience as little disruption as possible. Additional, tailored advice for students is available in the FAQs below. 
  • All short courses at Warsash, Timsbury and East Park Terrace are suspended.
  • The library is closed, with resources, support and advice available online
  • The Student Hub and Solent Futures are providing support and advice services online and by email.
  • Our halls of residence remain open for those students who are unable to return to their homes, with additional support being provided.

What action is the University taking?

Solent has a team in place to manage the University’s Covid-19 response. We are following all PHE advice, communicating regularly with staff and students, and following all relevant guidance.

The Vice-Chancellor and her team are also in close contact with the University of Southampton, the City Council and other local organisations to ensure we are kept up to date with all developments.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and to provide as much advice and support as possible. 

I have recently travelled from an affected area, what should I do?

Please take a look at the latest travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

I’m worried, what should I do?

Follow good hygiene practices as advised by the NHS and the latest advice and guidance about self-isolation from the Government.

If you have specific health concerns, please contact NHS 111.

I am organising a University event or due to attend a University event, will it be going ahead?

We will not be holding any University events on campus until further notice. We are continuing to monitor the situation extremely carefully and will provide updates when this changes. In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding a specific event please contact your manager, or the event organiser, in the first instance.

I have been advised to self-isolate by NHS 111, who do I need to inform?

Students who are self-isolating are requested to contact the Student Hub: student.hub@solent.ac.uk and the residences team: reshub@solent.ac.uk by email, stating your name, block, room and contact telephone number so we can ensure any necessary support is put in place.

Students who are self-isolating in private accommodation should also contact the Student Hub by email: student.hub@solent.ac.uk, so we can ensure any necessary support is put in place.

Staff who are self-isolating are requested to contact their manager, who will ensure any necessary support is put in place.

I have plans to travel outside the country for work or leisure, what should I do?

We have cancelled all University-related travel abroad.

If you are planning to leave the UK, please check advice from the FCO before you travel regarding any precautions you may need to take. 

Remember that travel to and from some areas could become more difficult as airlines and national authorities impose restrictions. You can find the latest advice from the FCO here.

Students with any concerns regarding travel plans should contact the Student Hub by email student.hub@solent.ac.uk.

Some of you may be planning trips over the Easter break. Please do keep yourself informed of the Government’s advice on affected countries. It’s also important that you know if you need to self-isolate when you return, even if you don’t have any symptoms. 

It is particularly important that any Tier 4 students liaise with the UKVI team to keep us informed of any travel, so we can offer advice and support.

Is the University bringing in additional hygiene supplies?

Our hand-washing facilities and hand gel dispensers are currently being kept fully stocked, and the University is sourcing additional supplies, including disinfectant wipes and viricidal products for the cleaning of key contact points on campus in line with health and safety advice. These will be distributed and introduced as soon as they are available. 

The University continues to conduct thorough and regular cleaning of all university facilities, including the halls of residence, and has placed additional notices across the campus buildings highlighting the guidance to wash hands regularly. 

I am at higher risk from Covid-19, what should I do?

If you feel you are vulnerable or at higher risk from Covid-19 because of a medical condition or any other factor, please get in touch as soon as possible so we can provide any advice and support you may need.

Students, please contact the Student Hub by email: student.hub@solent.ac.uk.

Staff, please speak to your manager in the first instance, who should contact People and Development for further advice if necessary. 

Applicants holding conditional offers subject to achieving grades

In light of the unprecedented challenges learners are facing, Solent will be as flexible as it can in relation to applicants fulfilling the terms of their conditional offer.

The University recognises potential - in terms of the qualifications which you have already achieved and additional selection, such as portfolio, audition or interviews, predicted grades, personal statements and your tutor's reference - and will take these factors into account where learning has been disrupted.

The University is awaiting further updates, in the coming days, from the Government and OfQual on how qualifications may be awarded this summer. Depending on the outcome of those discussions, the University may choose to amend, or even waive, the academic conditions of your offer. We will let you know as soon as we are in a position to do so.

The University reserves the right to make independent academic decisions on each individual application. Please be assured, the University is actively considering how to minimise the disruption for you. We know you must be anxious and we will be in touch again as soon as we can.

Student FAQs

Online learning arrangements - undergraduate students

Face-to-face lectures, seminars and tutorials ended on Tuesday 17 March and learning assessment will continue online, wherever possible. All information will be on your SOL pages.

By now you should have received detailed information from your course leader about your ongoing learning and you are feeling confident about moving forward with your studies in this new online format. Please remember that your teaching team remains fully available to you, so do keep in contact with them so they can help with any questions or concerns you may have.

All assessment deadlines for the remainder of this academic year are being extended to reflect these difficult circumstances:

  • A two-week extension is being applied to all Level 3, 4 and 5 assessments.
  • A two-week extension is being applied to all modules at level 6 except for final major projects and dissertations (see below)
  • A four-week extension is being applied to level 6 final major projects and dissertations

Your course leaders will be in touch regarding specific submission dates for all your assessments, but please contact them if you have any queries in the meantime.

The Student Hub: student.hub@solent.ac.uk, Solent Futures: solent.futures@solent.ac.uk and the student funding team: student.funding@solent.ac.uk are also all still ready to provide any advice you may need, so do get in touch for further support.

If you have any questions about accessing disability learning support remotely, please contact access@solent.ac.uk.

Online learning arrangements - postgraduate taught students

Face-to-face lectures, seminars and tutorials ended on Tuesday 17 March and learning assessment will continue online, wherever possible. All information will be on your SOL pages.

By now you should have received detailed information from your course leader about your ongoing learning and you are feeling confident about moving forward with your studies in this new online format. Your teaching team remains fully available to you, so keep in contact for any support, questions or concerns you may have.

Assessment methods will be adapted to allow online assessments and recognise that certain live events or group work may not be possible:

  • A four-week extension to all postgraduate taught assessments.

Your course leaders will be in touch regarding specific submission dates for all your assessments, but please contact them if you have any queries in the meantime.

The Student Hub: student.hub@solent.ac.uk, Solent Futures: solent.futures@solent.ac.uk and the student funding team student.funding@solent.ac.uk are also ready to provide any advice for support you may need.

Online learning arrangements - doctoral students

Face-to-face lectures, seminars and tutorials ended on Tuesday 17 March. Supervision will be via email, Skype, etc. Vivas will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

Online learning arrangements - apprentices

Face-to-face lectures, seminars and tutorials ended on on Tuesday 17 March. We will work with you and your employers to ensure you can continue your off-the-job training. Course leaders and heads of subject will provide precise information on your structured programme of learning and virtual progress reviews to align with potential home-based working. All information will be on your SOL pages.

If there is any change in your employment, in most circumstances you can continue your apprenticeship and we can put in a support plan to assist you in finding another apprenticeship role.

If you are coming up to end point assessment, we will be in contact with you to confirm arrangements. We are incontact with our end point assessment organisations to establish their plans to enable this part of your apprenticeship to continue.

Maritime officer cadets

All forms of assessment, where feasible, are being adapted so they can be undertaken off campus and outside the UK. There will be no assessment tasks for the remainder of this academic year, ie, until 31 July, that will require you to be on campus or submit manually. Any assessments required to be on campus will be rescheduled for your return or for the next phase. We will be working with the MNTB and the MCA to minimise the impact.

We appreciate that this situation may impact on your sea time. We will be working closely with sponsoring companies, training managers, the MNTB and the MCA to minimise the impact on you.

As you may already be aware, the MCA has suspended oral exams until further notice. We will ensure you receive support to be fully prepared for your orals once this service resumes.

Maritime seniors

All forms of assessment, where feasible, are being adapted so they can be undertaken off campus and indeed outside the UK. There will be no assessment tasks for the remainder of this academic year, ie, until 31 July, that will require you to be on campus or submit manually. Any assessments required to be on campus will be rescheduled for your return. We will be working very closely with the MCA to minimise the impact on you.

All assessment deadlines are being extended to recognise the difficulties this situation has caused and in reponse to student feedback. The new dates will be available on SOL pages by Thursday 26 March, sooner where possible.

We appreciate this situation may impact on your sea time. We will be working closely with companies, training managers and the MCA to minimise the impact.

As you may already be aware, the MCA has suspended oral exams until further notice. We will ensure you receive support to be fully prepared for your orals once this service resumes.

Short courses in Warsash School of Maritime Science and Engineering

Short courses at Warsash will cease from Monday 30 March, unless otherwise directed.

Additional learning support

We've added some new learning resources that you will find useful as you continue your studies remotely.

  • A succeed@solent SOL page has been created to help with learning at a distance.
  • A new virtual helpdesk is availbale where you can video chat with an e-learning expert - open 10am-4pm, Monday to Friday.

Your lecturers and course leaders remain fully available to you, so do let them know if you have any questions or concerns.

Can I request an extension to my assignment deadline if I am having to look after dependents due to Covid-19

Yes. If you are having to look after dependents due to circumstances caused by the Covid-19 pandemic (for example due to school closures), you can cite ‘Covid-19 circumstance’ on the extenuating circumstances form. You will not be required to provide evidence for this and will be allowed a 14-day extension or a deferment. You can submit a single form covering all affected modules and assessments.

Will my final-year summer showcase being going ahead?

In order to safeguard the wellbeing of our students and staff, their families and our visitors, and in line with evolving Government guidance, our School of Art, Design and Fashion has taken the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Summer Showcase, which was due to take place in June.


However, plans are already underway to develop alternative ways to showcase the culmination of three years’ hard work by students and staff alike –  more information on this will be available soon. 

How can I access Adobe Creative Cloud from home?

As a result of campus closure, Adobe has provided temporary at-home access for impacted students and staff, so you can continue your work remotely. Please follow the instructions below to enable access to Creative Cloud Desktop Apps on your personal device:

  1. Visit https://creativecloud.adobe.com and use your school credentials to sign in.
  1. If prompted, select Company or School Account and then enter your password. Or provide your credentials in your school’s login screen.
  1. From the Creative Cloud website, browse for and download your desired app. Click Apps on the top of the page to view all apps.

For more information on how to download or install apps, see Download and Install Creative Cloud apps.

To help students to continue to develop their skills, Adobe is also offering free 'Daily Creative Challenges'. These are guided projects where participants receive creative prompts and connect with pros, mentors, and other students for feedback and support. Click on the app name to learn more: PhotoshopXD and Illustrator. Also, for inspiration and over-the-shoulder learning, watch pros share their creative process on Adobe Live daily at www.behance.net/adobelive.

For staff seeking to engage students during campus closures, Adobe has curated resources to help them discover inspiring projects, best practices, and new ideas so they can continue to drive valuable learning in virtual environments. For more information on Adobe’s distance learning resources please click here.

When will I be returning to campus?

To ensure we are best protecting the health and welfare of our Solent community, and in line with the latest Government social distancing guidelines, there will be no teaching or assessment activity for the remainder of this academic year that will require students to be on campus.

What is happening with my assessments?

Please speak to your lecturer who will advise you on the exact submission dates, but rest assured assessment deadlines are being changed where needed to reflect these extraordinary circumstances:

  • A two-week extension is being applied to all Level 3,4,5 assessments.
  • A two-week extension is being applied to all modules at level 6 except for Final Major Projects and Dissertations (see point 3)
  • A four-week extension is being applied to level 6 Final Major Projects and Dissertations
  • A four-week extension to all postgraduate taught assessments.

Your course leaders will be in touch regarding specific submission dates for all your assessments, but please contact them if you have any queries in the meantime.

What is happening with results and graduation?

We will be releasing undergraduate student results at the end of August and re-sits and resubmissions will take place at the beginning of September. We then plan for continuing students to move on with their studies as planned.  

Final year students will receive their final results in early September and will graduate from their courses as normal. This year’s graduation ceremony will be postponed to a later date.

Can I still get careers advice, job alerts and business start-up support?

You can access Solent Futures Online through the Careers tab on the Portal where you’ll find advice and guidance on all aspects of career planning, as well as video and interactive content to help you plan your future.

You can also sign up for email alerts for both graduate and part-time jobs. If you have any questions, please email solent.futures@solent.ac.uk.

There is also still support available for any students who are considering starting their own business, including online workshops and the opportunity to take part in a virtual pitching panel for seed funding to get your business idea off the ground. Please email enterprise@solent.ac.uk if you’d like to know more.

I’m a student, should I go home?

While many students have already travelled home, Government advice is now that students remaining at university in England should now stay where they are and not attempt to travel. If you are a resident in one of Solent's halls of residence and this affects you, please contact the accommodation team (accommodation@solent.ac.uk) to advise if you now plan to remain living in halls.

We also understand that some of our international students are hoping to travel home and we are in touch with them to provide support where we can.

We can confirm that:

  • There will be no teaching or assessment activity for the remainder of this academic year that will require students to be on campus.
  • No students should visit any of the University's campuses.
  • Students unable to return home (for example if you are a care leaver, an international student, are self-isolating, or have vulnerable relatives at home) should contact the accommodation team: accommodation@solent.ac.uk or the Student Hub: student.hub@solent.ac.uk to advise of your specific situation, so we can ensure you’re getting the support you need. Full advice for students in our halls of residence can be found immediately below this FAQ.
  • We do ask that students remain in contact with the University and course leaders as much as possible to minimise any disruption to your learning experience.

The Student Hub team also remain available for help and advice via email: student.hub@solent.ac.uk.

Advice for students in halls of residence

Leaving halls

While our halls of residence remain open and operational, in light of the most recent Government guidance, we are suggesting that all those students who are able to do so safely, return to their home addresses as soon as possible. This may not be an option for everyone and will allow us to continue to focus support where it is most needed and to best protect those who need to remain on site.

If you are unable to return home (eg, you a care leaver, an international student, are self-isolating, or have vulnerable relatives at home) please contact the accommodation team: accommodation@solent.ac.uk or the Student Hub: student.hub@solent.ac.uk to advise of your specific situation, so we can ensure you’re getting any support you need.

If you have already moved out leaving belongings in your room, please be assured these items are safe, and there is no need for you to return to collect at this point. We will keep you updated should this position change.

Social distancing in halls
For those students who need to remain in halls, it is really important that you follow all Government guidance around social distancing in order to protect yourselves and your fellow students, as well as staff members and the wider community. You can find all the information on what you should be doing here: www.gov.uk/coronavirus,

Rents and refunds
All our halls of residence remain open and fully operational in order to provide support for those students who need to remain on site. However, regardless of whether you remain on site or move out:

  • The University will not be collecting any further rent payments for this academic year from today’s date.
  • You will not be charged for any accommodation fees after 1 April.

If you have any further queries, please contact the accommodation team: accommodation@solent.ac.uk, or the Student Hub student.hub@solent.ac.uk, who will be happy to help.

Possessions insurance for students living in Solent residences

We know you may have suddenly left your room in residences to return back home and, as a result, may not have taken all your personal items with you. Endsleigh Insurance will continue to cover any items left in your room up to the policy limits, even though you’re not living in residences, until 1 July 2020.

As an additional benefit, when you’re travelling (in the UK only) you’ll also be covered for any personal items you carry with you against theft for up to £500 per bag.

If you should need to make an insurance claim or check your cover under your Endsleigh Policy, the policy number is HH1179.

  • Claims can be registered 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by reporting them online via www.endsleigh.co.uk/newclaims.
  • Endsleigh’s claims service is open five days a week, Monday to Friday 9am - 5.30pm, tel: 0800 923 4042.

Guidance for students with disabilities or long-term health conditions

It’s important you are prepared for the different situations that could arise due to the coronavirus, Covid-19.

  • If you have non-medical help (NMH) eg, a specialist mentor or specialist study skills tutor, please contact your support provider to ask what their plans are in the event of your mentor being unable to attend your sessions or the University being closed.
  • If you have personal care or other care support, please contact your provider to discuss plans for any situation that may arise due to the coronavirus.
  • If you have a health condition or disability that you think makes you more vulnerable if you catch the virus, please make sure you have discussed this with a medical professional.
  • It’s important you consider whether there are any situations that would mean you would need to go home for health reasons.
  • If you have any questions or difficulties making plans, please contact Access Solent by email access@solent.ac.uk.

I am applying for extenuating circumstances for a medical condition that is unrelated to Covid-19 - do I still need to get medical evidence from my doctor?

Please don't worry, and please don't try to get evidence from your doctor, as we know they are exceptionally busy at the moment and that the Government have advised us all to stay at home. In these exceptional circumstances (from 24 March 2020 to 31 July 2020) we will accept an application for extenuating circumstances without medical evidence. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact student.hub@solent.ac.uk.

Social work placement specific guidance

Students and staff are continuing to attend University and placements but we are aware that this is a fluid situation and that there is a need to respond to local decision-making processes within placement agencies. 

We are aware that the COVID-19 response may encompass changes to working practices and the potential for reduced direct access with people with lived experience and/or wider service provision within your areas of practice. 

If placement agencies continue to operate a meaningful, safe and proportionate service - then it is anticipated that students will continue to attend placement and work in line with agency guidance (National Guidelines will inform this) 

If agencies operate a policy for home working and you have appropriate mechanisms in place to support your continued activity from home, please continue in line with the guidance of your Practice Educator/Supervisor or Placement Agency Line-manager. 

Should your placement agency undertake measures to close your placement setting – as a temporary response - please discuss the potential for research activity and/or project work that may be relevant and achievable while working from home.

If opportunities for practice are severely curtailed it may be necessary to suspend your placement. The University will liaise with placement providers and Social Work England to draw upon relevant guidance and ensure the best support for your continued studies.

Throughout this period we ask that students, practice educators and practice supervisors retain a log of placement days and notify the Practice Learning Coordinator and individual tutors if placements need to be suspended.

If you have concerns, please liaise with individual tutors, the Practice Learning Coordinator and/or the Student Hub by email: student.hub@solent.ac.uk

Healthcare placement specific advice

If I am on a healthcare placement and there are suspected cases of coronavirus (Covid–19) what should I do?

All placement areas have protocols to manage the situation and will be linking with infection control teams and Public Health England (PHE). You will therefore be following these procedures in the same way you would for other placement activities.

Key things to remember: 

  • Adherence to infection control procedures remains paramount. 
  • Continue to maintain confidentiality and not discuss details outside of expected parameters. 

You should follow procedures outlined for the general public if you are unwell  https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

If I am on a healthcare placement and there are confirmed cases of coronavirus what should I do?

It is not expected that you would be required to provide clinical care for a person with confirmed coronavirus as there will be healthcare professionals with specialist training for this.

I’ve had contact with somebody who has travelled to one of the affected countries – can I go to placement / university?

Follow Public Health England’s advice on their website

If you are still unsure or concerned, you can speak to the member of staff in charge on placement, the education lead for your placement, your academic adviser or programme leader. 

Students on international placements

If a student on placement overseas is quarantined with the coronavirus and then has to fly home, would the travel insurance pay for an additional ticket and/or refund the cancellation of the existing ticket?

Any additional costs to return home early or later than the original ticket can be submitted for the insurers' review, but first check whether you can get a refund for the existing ticket.

If a student on placement becomes unwell and incurs personal costs due to being quarantined with the virus, would these costs be covered?

Medical expenses incurred while on an insured trip are covered, there are no COVID-19 exclusions in place. Students (or staff) should contact our assistance company (details are on the Portal and on the emergency medical assistance card and app) as soon as symptoms are present, or they feel unwell, to enable a swift co-ordinated response for treatment and cost reduction accordingly.

If a student on placement becomes unwell and incurs medical costs from being treated in hospital with the virus would these costs be covered?

Medical expenses incurred while on an insured trip are covered. There are no COVID-19 exclusions in place. Students (or staff) should contact our assistance company (details are on the Portal and on the emergency medical assistance card and app) as soon as symptoms are present/feeling unwell to co-ordinate any treatment and reduce costs accordingly.

What do I need to know about student funding?

Student loans
The Student Loans Company (SLC) has confirmed it is planning to make term 3 tuition fee payments as scheduled and that you will continue to receive maintenance payments on the scheduled dates, whether or not campuses are closed or learning has moved online.

Student funding advice
The student funding team are available via email for any funding related enquiries from UK, EU and International students. 

We will now accept all grant* applications (with their evidence as per the application form) by email to student.funding@solent.ac.uk

Students must ensure they have provided their UK bank account details via the portal using this secure link: https://bit.ly/2kDS38g

Support grant applications will continue to be assessed on a case by case basis, for example loss of employment, unable to return home. Students will be notified directly via their university email.

Forms and information are on our Portal pages.

*Please note if you are applying to the ‘unpaid placement support grant’ please check your placement is still going ahead before applying.

International students (visas and immigration) FAQs

Can I return home and will this affect my visa?

International students are permitted to travel home and this will not affect your Tier 4 visa status. 

We know that many of our international students have travelled home and we hope you are now safe and well with your families. 

If you are still in the UK, please seek travel advice in advance. Please see the FAQ below: 'I am in the UK but wish to return to my country of nationality/permanent residence, where can I seek travel advice' for more information.

I am in the UK but wish to return to my country of nationality/permanent residence - where can I seek travel advice?

As well as seeking guidance directly from the airline and/or travel agent, check the website of your Embassy/High Commission for any information on returning overseas from the UK, as well as the official travel advice from local government authorities in your country of nationality/permanent residence.

Students can also check the website for their Ministry of Education, or equivalent office, which may post specific guidance for students.

Do I need to inform the University I am leaving the UK?

No, at this stage you do not need to inform the University if you have left or plan to leave the UK.

Depending on developments and Home Office guidance, we may need to request information regarding your departure in the future.

I have a short-term student visitor visa and I require treatment for coronavirus, do I have to pay for NHS treatment?

Government advice is that no charge is made to an overseas visitor for the diagnosis or treatment of coronavirus (COVID-19). All overseas visitors, including anyone living in the UK without permission, should be aware that:

  1. No charges apply to testing for COVID-19, even if the result is negative, or to any treatment provided for COVID-19 if the result is positive or up to the point that it is negatively diagnosed. The same is true of most other infectious diseases.
  2. NHS trusts have been advised that no immigration checks are required for overseas visitors that are known to be only undergoing testing or treatment for COVID-19.

Source: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-entitlements-migrant-health-guide

My UK visa has or will expire soon and I am concerned I cannot travel home

If you are unable to leave the UK due to travel restrictions or due to having Coronavirus symptoms please see advice below - we will update with more information as the Home Office publish further guidance.

If you're in the UK and your leave expires between 24 January 2020 and 31 May 2020
Your visa can be extended to 31 May 2020 if you cannot leave the UK because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to Covid-19.

If the above applies to you, you must contact the coronavirus immigration team (CIT) to update your records if your visa is expiring.

You should provide:

  • Your full name
  • Date of birth (dd/mm/yyyy)
  • Nationality
  • Your previous visa reference number
  • Why you can't go back to your home country, for example if the border has closed.

The Home Office will let you know when you request has been received and when you visa has been extended.

Tier 4 visa holders needing to extend their visa to complete their course in the UK
If you hold a Tier 4 (General) visa and need to extend your visa to continue your course of study, please complete the CAS request form on the Portal. Please note, if you are a Tier 4 (General) visa student who has completed their course, please see the guidance above.

Will my attendance/engagement be monitored?

Due to no face-to-face lectures, tutorials and seminars taking place your physical attendance will not be monitored. However, as a Tier 4 sponsor the University is required to continue to monitor Tier 4 visa students to ensure they are still engaged with their studies. Therefore, it is essential that Tier 4 students continue their academic work.

We are putting a range of measures in place to support studies and your lecturers and course leaders will continue to provide learning, teaching and assessment using technology rather than in person. They will be in touch with you directly, but it is also really important you check your SOL pages regularly for further advice.

If you experience any problems accessing SOL from outside the UK, please email ltu@solent.ac.uk for help.

Please remember you can access our library material remotely through the Portal.

In order not to affect the status of your visa, please engage with your studies as directed by your course leader. 

Physical teaching has been suspended - can I work full-time on my Tier 4 visa?

Although no face-to-face lectures, tutorials or seminars are taking place, you remain in term time, except for official vacation periods at Easter and, for undergraduate students, during the summer. Therefore, your restricted working hours, as stated on your BRP, still apply.

View term dates and holidays

Who can I contact for further questions regarding my visa?

Students with immigration and visa related queries can contact the International Support team by email: internationalsupport@solent.ac.uk

Staff FAQs

Should I work remotely

The University is now fully remote working, initially until 20 April 2020.

All of our campuses have been locked down and are not accessible to any members of staff or students, except for essential and directly involved estates and facilities staff.

Specialist arrangements for all short courses, cadet, senior and apprenticeship students will be shared directly by their Schools in the coming week.

Your managers will be working with you on what the implications of this action will mean for you and your team.

Remote working guidance

Our move to new ways of working during the current pandemic has created a new opportunity to test our ability to work remotely. Many of us have had to think differently about the way we work and the way we use technology.

Remote working will mean different things for each individual and team, depending on their roles. There is no 'one size fits all' approach to remote working, but this guidance aims to support you with this new way of working.

Guidance on remote working

How can I access Adobe Creative Cloud from home?

As a result of campus closure, Adobe has provided temporary at-home access for impacted students and staff, so you can continue your work remotely. Please follow the instructions below to enable access to Creative Cloud Desktop Apps on your personal device:

  1. Visit https://creativecloud.adobe.com and use your school credentials to sign in.
  1. If prompted, select Company or School Account and then enter your password. Or provide your credentials in your school’s login screen.
  1. From the Creative Cloud website, browse for and download your desired app. Click Apps on the top of the page to view all apps.

For more information on how to download or install apps, see Download and Install Creative Cloud apps.

To help students to continue to develop their skills, Adobe is also offering free 'Daily Creative Challenges'. These are guided projects where participants receive creative prompts and connect with pros, mentors, and other students for feedback and support. Click on the app name to learn more: PhotoshopXD and Illustrator. Also, for inspiration and over-the-shoulder learning, watch pros share their creative process on Adobe Live daily at www.behance.net/adobelive.

For staff seeking to engage students during campus closures, Adobe has curated resources to help them discover inspiring projects, best practices, and new ideas so they can continue to drive valuable learning in virtual environments. For more information on Adobe’s distance learning resources please click here.

What can I do as a manager?

Here are some simple but important steps you can take to help protect the health and safety of your people and be prepared for any developments:

  • Direct people to this Covid-19 page (www.solent.ac.uk/covid-19) for latest updates and advice.
  • Ask people to check their full contact details, address and other personal details are up to date on MyView.
  • If you have any further staff queries, please escalate them to your Business Partner.

What if I feel unwell and need to self-isolate?

If you are at home and are unable to work due to self-isolation, self-isolation with symptoms, or diagnosed with Covid-19, you are required to inform your manager, then email absence.reporting@solent.ac.uk or leave a voicemail on 023 8201 3895 stating your name, department, manager and reason for absence. 

It is also important that you record your absence on MyView. Please use the table below for advice on recording your absence on MyView:

 ReasonDuration to record on day 1 Pay 
Elected self-isolation  7 to 14 days  Normal pay 
Directed self-isolation  7 to 14 days  Normal pay 
Confirmed coronavirus  7 to 14 days, or as required  Occupational sick pay 
Coronavirus symptoms  7 to 14 days, or as required Occupational sick pay 
Urgent family leave  Days as required up to 10  Normal pay 

Your usual sick leave and pay entitlements apply if you are required to self-isolate. Normally we would require a sick note authorising your absence, however we recognise that this may not be possible where you are required to self-isolate. In this case an exception can be made, please make sure your manager is aware.

For further advice please see the Covid-19: Stay at home guidance from PHE: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance

How should I record my absence from work?

If you need to be absent from work you will need to let your manager know as soon as possible and record your absence as normal on MyView.

If your absence relates to Covid-19 (Coronavirus), please use the table below for advice on recording your absence on MyView:

ReasonDuration to record on day 1 Pay 
Elected self-isolation  7 to 14 days  Normal pay
Directed self-isolation  7 to 14 days  Normal pay 
Confirmed coronavirus  7 to 14 days, or as required Occupational sick pay 
Coronavirus symptoms  7 to 14 days, or as required Occupational sick pay 
Urgent family leave  Days as required up to 10  Normal pay

What if I start to feel unwell at work?

If you are still working on campus and feel unwell, please let your manager know as soon as possible and:

  • Remain at least 2 metres (7 feet) away from other people, ideally in a well ventilated area or separate room.
  • Avoid touching anything.
  • Only cough or sneeze into a tissue and put it in a bin. If you do not have any tissues, cough and sneeze into the crook of your elbow.
  • Use a separate bathroom from others, if and where possible.
  • Use your own mobile phone to call NHS 111 for advice, or alternatively 999 if you are seriously ill and explain which country you have returned from.

Do I need to take my leave before the end of the holiday year (31 August 2020)?

The position with regard to taking annual leave remains unchanged - all holiday should be taken by 31 August 2020. We appreciate that at this time, some people are working remotely, while others are unable to do so for a variety of reasons, including the type of job role they hold. We want to continue to support your health and wellbeing at this time, so it's still important everyone takes their holiday by the end of the current holiday year.

Holiday should continue to be booked in the usual way through MyView for managers to authorise. We recognise there may be exceptional circumstances where it is not possible to take all of your leave, but we expect these cases to be small in number and to be approved by your dean or director, in conjunction with advice from your relevant P&D business partner.

What if I need to look after a dependant?

You are entitled to reasonable time off work to help someone who depends on you in an unexpected event or emergency. For example, if you have children and you need to look after them due to a school closure or because they are sick. 

You should contact your manager in the first instance if this is the case, who will discuss options available such as a period of urgent family leave, flexible working or other leave options. Your P&D Business Partner can advise on further guidance if necessary. You will need to record your absence on MyView as normal.

What about my childcare voucher and travel/season ticket loan?

Childcare vouchers
If you are currently a member of the University’s childcare voucher scheme through EdenRed and wish to reduce your contributions as an interim measure at this time, you will need to log in to your EdenRed account in the normal way at www.mychildcarevouchers.co.uk. You will need your membership number and 4-digit pin. It is not advisable to leave the scheme completely, but to reduce your contributions instead. To do this, please select the Join/Amend/Leave option from the menu and amend your contributions to no less than £1. Depending on the date you submit the change, it may not take effect in the current payroll month but will do so in your following month’s salary. 

Travel/season ticket loans
Train companies have confirmed that they will be refunding unused season tickets, however you will need to check directly with your train company on how to do so. For those using South Western Trains you may find this link helpful: https://www.southwesternrailway.com/contact-and-help/refunds-and-compensation/refunds. Solent will continue to deduct the monthly repayment from your salary during this time. If you have any further queries, please contact your P&D business partner.

What should I do if I want to volunteer?

Volunteering is an important part of our commitment to the Civic Charter and people experience. If you wish to volunteer for the NHS or other organisations at this time, you should speak with your manager in the first instance.

The current policy entitles all employees to request to volunteer for one day a year on a paid basis. At the current time, it may be possible to increase this, but this would depend on the nature of the role being undertaken and current operational requirements. Employees wishing to volunteer should complete the form and risk assessment attached to the policy and send the completed form to their business partner.

Where can I go for wellbeing support?

If you require wellness support, our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) provider, Health Assured, provides a staff helpline and counselling service, as well as helpful webinars and medical information. Please visit the Portal for contact details and more information.

If you’re feeling anxious about coronavirus, you can find advice and tips for looking after your mental health and wellbeing, as well as plans for if you have to self-isolate, on the Solent Mind website.

If you are working from home for the foreseeable future, please follow these DSE guidance tips on staying safe while working remotely.

More helpful resources are available here:

If you have any other queries regarding your mental health and wellbeing, please contact your Business Partner.

Message from Professor Karen Stanton, Vice-Chancellor

Professor Karen Stanton, Vice-Chancellor, Solent University“I understand that the risk posed by Covid-19 can create an increased level of anxiety; however, I would like to provide reassurance that we are continuing to monitor the situation and are ready to take any appropriate actions, as necessary.

It is also important that we continue to treat everyone, both here at the University and across our wider communities with care and respect – particularly our international students and staff who may be feeling vulnerable or concerned.

Any student who feels they would benefit from additional wellbeing support should contact the Student Hub by calling 023 8201 5200 or email student.hub@solent.ac.uk, and staff members should speak to their manager.” 

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