FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

LOCKDOWN 3 - FAQS - Last Updated 07/01/2021 1pm

We’re working with the University to regularly seek answers and find updates to your ongoing questions.  If a question currently does not have an answer, please check this page regularly for updates. If you do not find answers to your queries below please email your Students’ Union President at CSUPresident@chester.ac.uk

General

  • Is there going to be a safety-net policy/ no detriment policy reinstated?
    • Jack, VP Education (formal) is currently working with the University Registrar on this and an update will be given as soon there is more information.
  • Will libraries and work spaces still be accessible?
    • There will still be access to Seaborne (Parkgate Road), Warrington,  Shrewsbury, Marriss House and Riverside libraries. They will be unstaffed with support being remote. Book click and collect will be available on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
  • Will there be a reduction is tuition fees?

Eleanor (formal president) to discuss independently with VC

  • What is the financial support available to students?
    • Students can access the University’s Financial Hardship Fund if they need any financial support. The SU Advice Service can help you to access this and support you with the process, contact csuadvice@chester.ac.uk or head to their section on our website.
  • Can students return to University if they do not have sufficient resources to learn in their non-term time address? *this was possible before the lockdown announcement, has this changed?*
    • The Department for Education guidance states “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”.
  • What facilities will be accessible over this lockdown? Will there be access to the football pitch etc?
    • The shop will remain open 9.00/5.00 @ Chester & the Binks Café will remain open also

Warrington: The dining room & shop will be open on reduced hours

All sports facilities will remain closed but the all-weather MUGA (Parkgate) is there to use if a student wishes to use it.

Academic

  • How will a phased return in February look?
  • Will face-to-face teaching go ahead as planned in February?
  • Can we still check out equipment such as cameras?
  • How will practical assessments planned for this term go ahead?
    • We will be working through for courses that have them, the impact on any other types of assessment scheduled to be completed on-site, such as practicals and in-class tests.
  • what courses are going ahead from the 4th at Chester? - Please could you provide me with a complete list of programmes?
    • The question about what courses are running from the 4th is covered in the VC’s email to all students on 31st December, which followed the communication universities received late on the 30th from the Higher Education Minister.
  • will placements still be going ahead? and what's the comms to students about this?
    • As you know there are many placements at many different points of time across the University and students are being kept informed by their departments in respect of those that are imminent. There are for example Nursing students being tested on site this week prior to placements starting next week. The situation for WBL placement students is something we will be looking at and will let students know about as soon as we can.
  • what does this mean for Level 2 exams? and then other levels in the summer term?
    • Exams in the conventional sat in the Sports Hall type sense are not happening this year and were replaced by other assessments.

Testing

  • Do you need to book a test or can you just turn up?
  • How many days between tests do you have to wait?
    • DfE states “students should be tested twice – immediately upon their return and then again three days later. While they await their result (typically it takes one hour), the student should not interact with other students to avoid virus transmission.”
  • Do you have to prove you have taken a test? Is a test compulsory?
    • No proof of test is required, but it is advised for your safety and that of others, that a test is taken.
  • Can commuting students get tested too?
    • Commuting students must get tested if they are on any University site at any point. Unless necessary, students should stay at their current address and avoid coming to campus.
  • How do Marriss House students get tested?
  • How do you book a covid test with a non-UK phone number?

Accommodation

  • Will the University be offering rent rebates for this lockdown?
    • The University will not be taking the Direct Debit on Friday, 8th January for the Spring Term accommodation instalment. Instead, accommodation fees will be charged from the date that you are allowed to return to campus for the Chester Blend. If you are currently already occupying your University accommodation, then there will be no change to your Spring Term accommodation instalment and you can make payment here. For those waiting to return to University as per the national lockdown rules you will receive an update on your accommodation payment instalments from the Finance Department later in the term when the Government has predicted all students should be allowed to return to campus. If exceptional personal circumstances mean you need to return to accommodation earlier than expected and permitted for the Chester Blend then you will be charged from the date you start to occupy the accommodation - you will also receive an update to your accommodation instalments later in the term as detailed above. The final accommodation fees instalment for the Summer Term will be paid by direct debit, as planned, on 23rdApril, 2021. If you have any queries about University accommodation fees, please contact accommodation.fees@chester.ac.uk
  • If you’ve already moved back to University, should you stay there or go back to your home address?
    • You should stay in the residence you are currently in and not move between addresses.
  • Should international students arriving this month (January), push back their arrival date?
    • We’re just finalising a comms piece to go out to all currently enrolled but still overseas internationals, as well as all those new students due to start their studies in Jan/Feb to delay their planned travel/arrival in the UK if at all possible and feasible to the middle of February at the earliest, if not later. The piece confirms that the University will continue to support wholly online teaching and learning in the interim period. There are some nuanced challenges with international student travel and enrolments which might force students to still travel, for example students only have a limited visa time window to enrol if they’ve been issued a visa to study, or they risk timing out. Also travel bookings that have already been made can be problematic, changing at this late stage may not be realistic or possible.
  • What is happening to fully catered students who are back on campus?
    • Full board students that have returned are will be asked to move into Grosvenor until the lock down finishes & will be catered for food from the Binks Café from Monday 11th.
  • Will there be support for rent contracts from SU and University for those living in private accommodation?
    • The SU will be writing to local providers to encourage them to offer some form of rent rebate. We are also discussing this on a national level with other SU Officers and the NUS.

 

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The pandemic has caused a lot of uncertainty for students – whether that is returning to their studies in September or starting their degrees with us at the University of Chester.

We’re working with the University to make sure student queries are answered to help you feel reassured for September. We’ve compiled a list of FAQs relating to student life to answer some common questions and will keep updating any to keep you as up-to-date as possible.  

Be sure to check out the University of Chester FAQs too! Questions about the academic experience, support services and local area available to view here: https://www1.chester.ac.uk/undergraduate/how-apply/how-apply-through-clearing/clearing-faqs

Are face coverings compulsory on campuses?
The primary concern of the Union and University is to keep students learning safely. To ensure this, various safety measures have been put in place minimise risk. Face coverings are mandatory in all public/communal spaces on sites. This goes for communal corridors (in University buildings, catering outlets and accommodation), learning environments (lectures/seminars/library) and communal facilities e.g. toilets or baby changing facilities.

What if I have a health condition which means I can’t use a face covering?
The Union is working with the University to implement provisions for students who cannot wear face coverings for health reasons. More information to follow ASAP.

Are there sanitizers available on site to use on the entrance and exit of a building or site?

The University has invested in sanitizer dispensers on the entrances/exits to venues across University sites. Students and staff are encouraged to use dispensers regularly when they are travelling around campus.

Are there extra cleaning provisions in place?

The University cleaning procedures will continue to operate thoroughly across all sites and buildings, with some additional staffing resources to focus on common touchpoints/communal areas. For additional information about sanitizer stations on site, please see above question.

Am I allowed visitors in my accommodation?

We know moving to University can be exciting and friends and family want to visit once you’ve settled in. Unfortunately, to keep everybody as safe as possible there is a no visitor policy across the University – including in accommodation. This is not just relating to student visitors, there are no allowances for visiting staff, conferences or third-party organisation visitors on site to avoid any interruptions to the necessary learning experience.

We know this is disappointing, but you can still meet visitors off site and it is a great opportunity to explore the local area in Chester, Warrington and Shrewsbury with friends and family and get to know your new surroundings.

Are the University catering outlets/bar & shop open?

We know you will want to meet a friend for coffee before a lecture or head to the bar for something to eat – so we want you to know that the University bar, shop and catering outlets are all open – just with some additional safety measures in place to make your experience safe as well as fun!

Catering outlets

To ensure all services can run safely, some facilities may run at reduced capacities to ensure safe distancing between students/customers and minimise large gatherings.

  • The University are using an app called YoYo wallet to minimise contact between staff and customers. The app is available to download on the App store/Play Store and allows you to place an order (even pre-orders!) via the app, state your table number and make a payment from your phone/chosen device.
  • YoYo Wallet also provides opportunities to track and trace students via their catering visits/previous order history
  • Where possible, all University catering outlets will be cashless to mitigate regular contact between staff and students
  • We recommend all students download the app, but in the case this isn’t possible, contactless payments are still available for students to place orders in outlets without having to use cash.

CH1 & Varsity Sports Bar

  • The Bar remains open and welcome to students this academic year. The Bar will be a table service venue and customers are encouraged to use the YoYo wallet app to order and pay for food and drink. You can even book a table through the app!
  • Customers will need to wear a face covering when not sat at the table in the bar. If you have a condition which you prevents wearing a face covering, don’t worry – please see above question which details further the way to communicate you can’t do this.
  • Protective screens are up at the bar and staff will be wearing face coverings where appropriate to protect themselves and customers

CostCutter Shop on Parkgate Road Campus

  • Similar to other Supermarkets, the Costcutter at Parkgate Road will be available for a Click and Collect service via the YoYo Wallet App.
  • Face coverings must be worn whilst visiting the shop and there will be a maximum amount of customers at one time, so please be prepared to queue should there be numerous students visiting at once – this is to keep facilities as safe as possible
  • University branded merchandise will still be available via the Yoyo App

Can I go to the gym on campus?

Absolutely! The gym is opening on 7th September at Parkgate Road at a reduced capacity to make sure there is safe distancing between gym-goers during their workouts. Memberships are still available  and the gym has fitted protective screens between equipment alongside regular cleaning. On top of this, there are sanitisers and tissue for all users to wipe down equipment in-between uses. Remember – face coverings must be worn in reception and when leaving the gym, but are not mandatory when exercising!

What about the campus pool? Is that open?

The University Pool at Parkgate Road is hoping to reopen on the 14th September with similar safety measures regarding cleaning to the gym. We will update this page to let you know further information should you need it.

Can I smoke on campus?

We want to remind the University of Chester community that COVID-19 is a respiratory virus. This means, if you smoke, you generally have an increased risk of contracting respiratory infection and of more severe symptoms once infected. COVID-19 symptoms may, therefore, be more severe if you smoke. 

Because of these reasons, sites are non-smoking/vaping between the hours of 8am-8pm. This is across all University of Chester sites and applies to staff and students. Outside of these hours, smoking or vaping is permitted in the designated smoking areas on campus.

For more information on smoking/vaping and COVID-19 please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-advice-for-smokers-and-vapers/covid-19-advice-for-smokers-and-vapers

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