The SU Update:
COVID-19


The following is the latest update from Falmouth & Exeter Students’ Union which details our current response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We will continue to update this page with any new information as the situation develops. Please keep checking your University emails for up-to-date information and advice.

Updated 1 April 2020

Along with other Universities, students’ unions, and other higher education facilities around the world, The SU is responding to the evolving situation regarding the Coronavirus outbreak. As ever, our highest priority is the health and wellbeing of our students and staff, and any further action we take will be with this concern most firmly in mind. We recognise that these are exceptional circumstances – as a result of which we have been responding on a day to day basis. We will continue to update students via our website and social media channels as the situation changes.


What's On Your Mind?

We have all found ourselves in uncharted territory, and as your Students' Union we have created this survey to give our members the opportunity to tell us what areas of your student experience we, and the Universities, should be focusing on over the coming weeks. The more students complete it, the better picture we will build of what things are going well, what less well, and of any ideas/resources, which may be of use to other students that we can share.

Accessing our Advice Service remotely

The Students' Union's Advice Service is open 9am-5pm Monday to Friday. Email advice@thesu.org.uk with your enquiry or to ask for an appointment. Adviser appointments are available by phone or Microsoft Teams.

Weekly President Updates

Weekly updates from your SU Presidents.


Information for student groups

With immediate effect, The SU has decided to postpone all events on and off campus for the foreseeable future to encourage social distancing and minimise the risk for our members, in response to the ongoing and evolving situation with Coronavirus (COVID-19).

This approach will be continually reassessed as guidance develops and changes, and applies to both centrally SU run events and those organised by student groups. We are aware of how disappointed some of you will be particularly those who have worked so hard planning and promoting events; naturally, we feel the same and this decision has not been taken lightly.

All facility bookings for all student groups have now been cancelled.

The SU are attending campus meetings this afternoon and further information and guidance will come following this, as you are at the forefront we are letting you know prior to this. We advise student groups to apply social distancing measures in their own social lives and other activity according to the World Health Organisation’s guidance and consider other ways of meeting and being in community with each other.

The Students' Union is preparing to work digitally and in this time we ask if any of you have any cash/equipment for your Activity Group that needs to be banked/brought into the office for safeguarding that you do this by 3pm Tuesday 17 March. We understand that this might not be possible and if you are unable to make the office please can you get in touch with your key staff member ASAP as we look to put in place alternative provisions and advice.

The mental and physical wellbeing of students and staff remains our main concern. We are continuing to work with the Universities during this time, ensuring all actions and decisions are made with the University Community in mind. Stay safe and look after each other. We thank you for your continued support as we adapt during this time.

Please do keep an eye on this page for more information about our services.


FAQ

Several students have contacted The Students' Union with queries about paying next term's rent for their rooms in halls of residence. The Universities are aware of students' concerns and are reviewing their position. As soon as the Universities confirm their position, we'll pass on the relevant information.

Following new guidance from the government, Penryn and Falmouth Campus Libraries are now closed until further notice. Please hold on to your library items if you can – no need to return them as there are no fines or recalls. More info can be found here.

Following new guidance from the government, Penryn and Falmouth Campus Libraries are now closed until further notice. Please hold on to your library items if you can – no need to return them as there are no fines or recalls. More info can be found here.

Details of the University of Exeter’s approach to end of year assessments and mitigation are available here. Once you’ve read that information, if you have any concerns, contact a member of your course team, your course representative, or the Students’ Union Advice Service (advice@thesu.org.uk).

It's important that you let your landlord know as soon as possible and, having done so, update them regularly. Here's a draft letter that you might want to adapt to meet your needs. If you need anymore help, or have any other questions, contact an SU adviser (advice@thesu.org.uk).

From our understanding, assessments will be adjusted to ensure you can still meet learning outcomes regardless of the level of access to facilities/equipment. Please make sure to speak with your course team if you are concerned about your level of access to equipment.

Official Falmouth Statement (21 March): Course Teams are looking at the original assessment plans and are permitted to adjust these, as necessary so that you can still demonstrate that you have met the learning outcomes. What this means in practice will vary from assessment to assessment. It might mean the following:

  • A change to the brief to make it more achievable
  • A different form of assessment (e.g. photos or recordings of work)
  • It might mean a conversation with your course team about your processes in preparing for assessment
  • An extended deadline
  • Or it could be a combination of things.

The requirements for Falmouth University’s extenuating circumstances process have been reduced so they can provide additional support where needed. However they will still want to understand how the Covid-19 has affected your studies, but they will not be asking for any additional evidence where your EC relates to the pandemic. Additionally, if you have ECs approved for work due in this study block, you can submit up to five days late after the original deadline and have your work marked in time to be considered at the Assessment Board. If you submit after that point, your work will be considered later, without penalty, but this may delay your results.

We are just waiting on further detail on this and students will receive comms about storage/collecting belongings or having them returned to them shortly.

Following government guidelines, the Penryn and Falmouth Campuses are now closed. However, the Penryn Campus Shop is remaining open to support students still living on Campus. The Shop opening hours are:

  • Monday to Friday - 10am – 4pm
  • Saturday - 11am – 4pm
  • Sunday - 11am – 4pm

Payment: Card transactions only.

A retail care package is available for students self-isolating in Halls of Residence on the Penryn Campus. The package will be delivered to your room.

For the time being, probably the short answer is, 'We don't know, but probably you'll be charged at least some of it and possibly all'.

The Students' Union is conscious that, for most undergraduate students, the third (and last) fees instalment is due for payment on the first day of summer term. Also, for most students, that will be paid by way of a tuition fees loan.

Even if all that money is paid out, if it's coming from a loan, it won't cause the student immediate hardship.

The position is different for self-funding students, particularly those who rely on income from employment and that income is now reduced. Students who fall into this group should get advice from the Students’ Union’s Advice Service (advice@thesu.org.uk).

Your University is working hard to deliver the curriculum and, where possible, assessment online. Probably, we need to give the University a chance to do that. If it turns out that it’s not been as effective as it should have been, The Students’ Union will raise the issue with the University and, where appropriate, seek tuition fees refunds. However, right now it’s too early to be going down that route.

Callie (President Falmouth) has put together a report detailing feedback gathered from Reps and how this has been actioned thus far.

Useful Links & Information

It continues to be the Universities’ policy to follow the PHE advice about Covid-19, along with guidance from the NHS and the FCO?in the UK. As previously outlined, The SU will take its lead from the Universities and follow its policy and guidelines wherever possible.

Please keep checking your University’s and our website and social media channels for the latest updates. If you have any questions, queries or concerns please contact us at info@thesu.org.uk.


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