Archive

2020-2021

  • University Update 14 July - Lifting of Restrictions

    The university have recently sent another COVID-19 update for students in light of the Prime Minister’s confirmation that the easing of restrictions will go ahead as planned from 19 July. This means that the university will begin to ease some of the restrictions and measures on our campuses.

    The university have stated a number of changes that will be made gradually from the 19 July, and some measures that will be retained for now, which we have summarised for you below. The full message can be found here.

    For social distancing and room occupancy, the university have stated that:

    - Social distancing will no longer be mandatory on our campuses, and one-way systems as a result of COVID-19 will begin to be removed.

    - Booking and rota systems for research spaces will be retained, but available capacity will increase.

    - The university can now start planning for the return to in-person in the new academic year. More information on education delivery at the university can be found here.

    - The current signage about social distancing and room occupancy levels will remain, but they will not apply as of 19 July. They will remain as a precaution in case of any potential resurgence of COVID-19. The university will let students know as soon as this happens.

    - Students should continue to follow the building and room requirements on ventilation.

    - Rooms which are currently closed will remain so until they can be assessed.

    - Further information with regards to teaching and other spaces ahead of the next academic year will be shared with students shortly.

    - Some bookable study spaces may still have a capped occupancy level due to furniture not being in place. This will be reviewed over the summer months.

    For policies on face coverings, the university have stated that:

    - Face coverings will no longer be available in outdoor areas.

    - The University has a strong expectation that students and colleagues will continue to wear face-coverings in shared indoor spaces to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.

    - Colleagues and students using our RILD and other hospital sites in Cornwall and Exeter must wear face coverings in accordance with government guidance that face coverings remain mandatory in healthcare settings.

    - Continue to be sensitive to that fact that some members of our community are unable to wear face coverings.

    - If you have COVID-19 symptoms and are travelling to a test site, you must wear a face covering at all times.

    With regards to hand sanitiser and cleaning stations, the university have stated that:

    - Hand sanitiser stations will remain in place and the university have encouraged students to continue using them.

    - Cleaning and face covering stations will remain in place.

    - Please continue to use the available cleaning products to wipe down workspaces.

    The university have requested that students continue use the NHS COVID-19 track and trace app, and to check-in to campus spaces where the relevant QR codes are provided.

    In terms of vaccinations, everyone over the age of 18 (including international students) is now eligible for a vaccination. Vaccinations are not mandatory, but the university strongly recommends that students take the opportunity to get vaccinated to protect our community. Further information on vaccinations for students can be found here.

    It is vital for everyone to continue to get tested twice a week by visiting any of our campus test centres or collect a home test kit. Please test before coming to campus and before meeting friends. More information on testing can be found here.

    Contact the Rapid Response Hub if you experience any COVID-19 symptoms and to access any support if you need to self-isolate.

    Please continue to be considerate and respect your neighbours in relation to concerns at the recent rise of COVID-19 case numbers, and the impact of noise.

    You can find out about all of the latest guidance and the University’s response here.

    Remember that you can also access Wellbeing support at any time.

    Further updates about the University’s approach will be sent via email. Updates will also be included on the Covid-19 webpages.

  • University Update 15 June - Government Announcement

    The University provided an update following the Governments announcement that the latest stage of lockdown restrictions being lifted would be delayed. We’ve summarised the message below, but you can read it in full here.

    On Monday 14 June, the Government announced that there would be a delay to the further easing of the lockdown restrictions. Now, there will be no further easing until 19 July at the earliest. Due to the rise in cases linked to the lifting of restrictions over recent weeks, the Prime Minister explained that the current restrictions would remain in place. The Government has also laid out plans to ensure everyone over the age of 18 will be offered at least one dose of the vaccine before 19 July. If you are invited to get vaccinate, we encourage you to take it up as soon as you can.

    The announcement does not significantly impact the University’s current plans, however stage 5 of our return to activities roadmap has been delayed in line with the restrictions. This means that all in-person activities cannot resume until 19 July at the earliest, click here to read more.

    There has been an increase in cases amongst students in Exeter and Cornwall over the last 2 weeks. We want to remind students to follow the current restrictions and take precautions when mixing households, particularly indoors. This includes getting tested twice a week, every week. Moreover, if you have been instructed to self-isolate, please remain in isolation for the full period. The University will support you throughout your period of self-isolation, so feel free to get in touch. Find out more here.

  • University Update 12 May

    Following the latest government announcement, the university have provided another update for students about Covid-19. This covers the return to on-campus activities, basic safety and testing, Covid testing, the Festival of Discovery, the Exceptional Circumstances Policy, and Mental Health Awareness Week. We have summarised the key points of this email for you below, but you can find the full email here.

    The government have recently announced that, from 17 May, all remaining students can return to on-campus activities. A letter from the Minister of State for Universities details these changes, which can be accessed here. All assessments and exams will remain online, but keep an eye on your timetables for any updates for teaching.

    Access for PGR students to labs and study spaces will continue through the online booking systems. We will update you on any changes regarding fieldwork and human participation research as this is under review.

    We want to thank you for your efforts this year to reduce the number of Covid-19 cases, which has enabled us to finally return to campuses.

    As of 17 May there are also further changes to restrictions that you should be aware of: • You can meet indoors in groups of up to 6 or as 2 households • People will be able to meet outdoors in groups of up to 30 people • Be cautious and respect the wishes of friends and family when meeting in person • Hospitality venues will reopen indoors • Indoor entertainment, like cinemas and museums, will resume • Hotels, hostels and B&Bs will allow overnight stays for groups of up to 6, or 2 households

    Fitness classes and student sports club activity at the university will continue from 17 May.

    Please continue to social distance and wear face-coverings. The locations of new ‘face covering stations’ can be found here. Transparent face coverings and sunflower lanyards for those who are exempt can be requested from the ‘Here to Help’ team.

    Please continue to use cleaning products available in teaching and study spaces to reduce the spread of any infection. Remember to check in with the QR codes.

    If you are returning to our campuses for the first time then please book a test as soon as possible. To further help stop the spread of the virus, you can continue to book twice-weekly tests on both Streatham and St Luke’s campuses. More information on testing can be found here.

    Remember that if you develop COVID-19 symptoms then you must self-isolate and contact the Rapid Response Hub.

    Please remain cautious, meet outdoors where possible, and be mindful of those around you.

    Follow the links for further advice on safe travel and for those arriving from overseas.

    The overall rate of positive results on our campuses and across the region remains very low, with no positive cases on our campuses over the last 7 days. The daily numbers of confirmed positive cases for students and staff can be found here.

    After the exams period, the university will be holding the Festival of Discovery on campus form Monday 24 May – Friday 4 June, where you will be able to engage in academic and social events and reconnect with friends.

    The university would like to remind you about the Exceptional Circumstances application deadline on Friday 21 May. If you feel that exceptional circumstances as a result of COVID-19 have impacted your assessments this year, then you can submit evidence and apply to be considered. This is for situations of 4 weeks or more and does not apply to PGR students. Full details can be found here.

    As part of #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek there are posts across social media channels of the University and Students’ Guild with information and links for you to explore.

    You can find a range of support and resources via our wellbeing service for students on our Devon campuses, and via student support for Cornwall.

  • Registrar Update 14 April

    The Registrar provided the latest update following the lifting of some restrictions, and what it means for students. You can find the update summarised below or read it in full here.

    Don’t forget, we released our return to activity roadmap, which has meant that societies can begin planning and holding in-person activities again. You can check that out here.

    Following the recent Government announcement on the lifting of further lockdown restrictions, , including how this applies to universities, the University have provided another update for students around Covid-19. This includes information about returning to campus, the start of the summer term, Covid-19 testing, university accommodation and financial hardship. We have summarised the key points of this email for you below, but you can find the full email here.

    The university had hoped to be able to offer limited in-person activities following Easter, however the recent government announcement states that a return to campus will not be possible before 17 May at the earliest. This does not affect the students who have already been allowed to returned to campus, and they will be able to continue as per last term.

    Students who require additional support, such as for mental health issues, may return to campus sooner to access study spaces and support.

    Please continue to follow government guidelines, engage with the vaccination programme when invited, and continue with regular Covid testing.

    The summer term will begin on 26 April and examination will continue as planned and held online. For those who started in January 2021, please refer to your timetable for teaching arrangements.

    Students who have returned to university should not be travelling back to their home address, unless they meet one of the exemptions. When students return to university they should undertake 3 supervised tests at an on-site test facility, before resuming regular, twice-weekly testing. More information on testing can be found here.

    With the easing of national restrictions, some additional facilities and activities have been able to restart. A full list of what is now available on each of our campuses can be found here.

    The University’s Festival of Discovery is planned for 24 May – 4 June 2021. Subject to Government guidance, there will be a fortnight of events and opportunities to get involved with, including a programme of academic activities and social events.

    For students who are in University or FX Plus accommodation, or whose accommodation contracts were arranged with the university or nominated partner, you will continue to only pay for your room from when you return to live in it.

    The university would also like to remind students to apply for the Success for All Hardship fund if you are in need of additional financial support.

    We hope you are enjoying your Easter break and wish you luck for any upcoming assessments.

  • Registrar Update 24 March

    As we head towards the first Government restrictions being lifted, the Registrar provided a latest update on coronavirus, which we’ve summarised for you below. You can read the full message here.

    There is a travel window where students can travel away from university and back to their term-time accommodation once during the spring break (March 26-April 26).

    Despite the travel window, the Government is advising to only travel if necessary to avoid the spread of coronavirus.

    If travelling, it’s so important you take a test. You can find details of when and where testing is available here.

    For international travel, it’s really important that you follow testing and self-isolation rules, which you can read about here.

    PGR students can continue using research spaces, even throughout the University closure (2-7 April).

    Restrictions will begin to be lifted from Monday 29 March, meaning the rule of 6 will be reintroduced with social distancing. This also means in-person society can begin – we’ve outlined the full roadmap for the return to activities here.

  • Registrar Update 17 March

    Following the return of a small number of students to on-campus teaching, the university have provided another update for students around Covid-19. This covers the existing Covid-19 guidelines, the first Big Conversations event, continued Covid testing, and student travel over the Easter break. We have summarised the key points of this email for you below, but you can find the full email here.

    As the number of students coming to campus increases, we must continue to follow government guidelines to do our bit for the community and to keep our campus safe. By meeting outside, observing social distancing, regularly sanitising and wearing face coverings, we will be one step closer to restrictions being lifted and to open up more opportunities within the University.

    The university have introduced the first of three Big Conversation events which is currently live until 29 March as part of the university’s Strategy 2030. We encourage you to take part and share your ideas about how we can shape the future of the university.

    Covid case numbers on campus remain low.

    To further help stop the spread of the virus, you can continue to book twice-weekly tests on both Streatham and St Luke’s campuses. More information on testing can be found here.

    Please continue to book study spaces and check-in when you arrive so that we can ensure that study spaces remain at a safe capacity.

    The government have advised students to remain in term-time accommodation over Easter where possible to minimise the transmission of Covid-19. However, there will be another 'travel window’ to allow students to travel once during the Easter break if you need to. Please book a test before leaving Exeter to ensure you are travelling safely.

    If you are travelling internationally, you will need to take a HALO PCR test, which you can book online here.

    You must not travel if you test positive and you are legally required to self-isolate for 10 days.

    If you are in University catered accommodation and choose not to travel during the Easter break, you will receive information on how to book emergency accommodation from Residential Services.

    It’s important to continue looking after yourself and others as you continue to avoid social gatherings and mixing households. Alcohol use in the UK has increased during lockdown, so please act responsibly and be wary of the impact that excessive drinking can have on yourself and the community.

    There is continued support available through Wellbeing.

  • Registrar Update 24 February

    Following the Government announcement on Monday, the University have provided another coronavirus update, which covers the lifting of restrictions, returning to campus, testing and more. We’ve outlined the key points below, but you can read the full email here. We’re hoping to provide an update from your Students’ Guild soon, so keep an eye out for that.

    As outlined in the Government’s plan, the following courses can return to access specialist facilities from 8 March are Archaeology, Biosciences, Drama, Education, Engineering, Environmental Science, Film Studies, Geography, Geology, Maths and Computer Science, All Exeter Medical School programmes, Mining Engineering, Natural Sciences, Physics and Astronomy, Renewable Energy and Sport and Health Sciences.

    Timetables will be updated soon for these courses.

    Return for the other students will be decided by the Government in the next phase of lockdown easing, hopefully by W/C 5 April.

    It’s really important that we all do our bit to ensure the Government targets are met in order for lockdown to be lifted, which will help us get back onto campus as soon as possible.

    Students that would prefer to continue learning remotely, even if they’re on courses where face to face teaching can commence, will be able to do so.

    Accommodation fees for University owned or nominated accommodation will continue to be waived until students are able to return to their accommodation.

    There are currently no major changes for postgraduate research students.

    Some sports facilities may be able to open from 29 March – more info will be sent out soon about when these can open, including the swimming pool, gym and fitness studios.

    Case numbers on campus remain low.

    Testing is available twice a week if you’re in term time accommodation on Streatham and St. Luke’s, which will help to stop the spread of coronavirus. More info available here.

    If you have symptoms, you need to self-isolate and request a HALO PCR test here.

    It’s important you avoid mixing households – the University can issue fines to students in breach of guidelines.

  • Registrar Update 22 February

    The Registrar provided an update following the Government’s announcement of their plans for lifting national lockdown. We’ve provided a summary of the Registrar’s email (full version available here, but it’s important you keep an eye out for more soon, as we’re expecting more detail in the coming days and weeks.

    - Students on courses that require practical teaching, specialist facilities, or on-site assessments will be able to return from 8 March. These specifics of which courses these are will be outlined in the next few days.

    - All other students will continue with online learning; a further announcement will be made after Easter.

    - This announcement essentially means nothing much has changed for Universities immediately.

    - Students should stay at the accommodation they’re currently in, whether that’s their University accommodation or elsewhere (for example with family).

    - It’s important that everyone does their bit to ensuring the targets outlined are reached so we can come out of restrictions.

    - There will be a further update on Wednesday.

  • Registrar Update 10 February

    The Registrar provided another update on Wednesday 10 February. We’ve summarised the update below as usual, but you can read the full update here .

    - Testing is continuing, and cases currently remain low.

    - It’s so important guidelines and social distancing are followed at all times, particularly between tests.

    - It is hoped that the Government will issue guidance about returning to campus in the W/C 22 February.

    - The requirements for those travelling to the UK from overseas have changed – visit the Government’s travel advice webpage for more info.

    - You can book regular tests on the University’s testing webpages for both St. Luke’s or Streatham.

    - Three layer face coverings are now available, which are an upgrade to regular face coverings. There are available on both campuses – full details available here .

    - It’s important to look after your wellbeing at this time – be sure to check out resources and more from our Wellbeing Week .

  • University Update 29 January

    The University released an update following the government update earlier this week. We’ve summarised the email below, but you can find the full version here.

    - The Department of Education (DfE) have advised that the current restriction on education activities would remain in place until 8 March at the earliest

    - This means that face-to-face teaching will not be able to start in mid-February as was hoped

    - Students currently receiving in-person teaching will continue to do so

    - Students are being advised to remain where they are, whether that is in Exeter or at alternative accommodation elsewhere

    - The accommodation fee waiver for University or University nominated accommodation will be extended to reflect the extension of the lockdown

    - Financial support is available through the Success for All Fund

    - The Students’ Guild Advice Service is available to provide support on accommodation and finances.

  • Registrar Update 20 January

    The University released their latest Registrar update on 20 January – there is a summary of the key points below, but you can read the full update here .

    - We share your disappointment at the delayed start to in-person teaching. We must all abide by the rules so we can get back to normal as soon as possible and we continue to plan so we can welcome students back as soon as Government guidance changes

    - We have seen an increase in the number of positive cases amongst students

    - One in three people may be carrying COVID-19 without knowing it, and getting tested is critical to preventing transmission. If you have returned to Exeter , or remained here over the winter break, you should get tested

    - Students currently in Exeter or Cornwall should complete our form so we can ensure support is in place for you

    - Social gatherings help to spread COVID-19. The rules are clear and we must all follow them

    - Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught students have received an email detailing our No-Disadvantage Guarantee

    - Remember to book your study spaces in advance and follow the rules strictly when using any campus spaces

    - A range of our wellbeing resources are listed below along with details of student events and online fitness sessions

    - There is an increased risk of phishing attacks. Please be aware of how to avoid falling victim

  • Doctoral College Update 18 January

    Dear Postgraduate Research Students, 

    This brief update is for the attention of our UKRI-funded students

    We are now ready to invite applications for the UKRI COVID-19 Phase 2 Doctoral Extension Funding. We have written directly by email to students who may be eligible to apply for this funding – however, if you think you may be eligible and have not received the email, please contact us at pgr-extensions@exeter.ac.uk

    The application form, our Guidance for Applicants and the timetable for the application and assessment process is available on the Doctoral College website. The deadline for applications is midday Monday 01 February 2021.
     

    Best wishes,
    Doctoral College Team

    PGR Support Advisor for Welfare

    We recognise that this is an uncertain and unsettling time. Our Wellbeing Service can be contacted via telephone, email or Skype. If you would like to speak to our PGR Support Advisor for Welfare, Cathryn Baker can be contacted at: welfare.pgr@exeter.ac.uk or tel: 01392 726207.

    PGR Support Team

    Remember we are currently not in the office however you can still contact us via email or via a Teams appointment. Full details on how to get in touch with your PGR support team, please see our enquiries webpage.

    For enquries surrounding training and development please contact the team on: doctoral.college@exeter.ac.uk

  • University No-Disadvantage Update 15 January

    The University provided an update on the measures they have in place to ensure students aren’t disadvantaged academically during Covid-19. We’ve provided a summary below, but you can find the full update here.

    - The University are maintaining high academic standards, overall marks will be fair, students will be on an equal footing with previous graduates – this is what they are describing as the no-disadvantage guarantee in place.

    - Exam boards (Assessment, Progress and Awarding Committees (APACs)) in each department will take a consistent approach and will compare average marks, and the distribution of marks, achieved by each year group this year with the equivalent marks from previous years. They will then apply appropriate adjustments to correct any significant deviation.

    - Additional support is in place for students, including mitigation, deferring of assessments, revision of appeal processes and empowering department exam boards to account for the context of this year.

    - For finalists and taught postgraduate students entering the job market or applying for further study, there is further assurance concerning classification through an additional safety-net addressing feedback from the campaign group and Guild/SU Officers. The University are committing to explaining in more detail the ‘borderline zone’ and ensure that all students who are close to a degree class border are considered in detail.

    - The University will continue to work with the Guild Officers to support students and clarify information.

    - It’s important you continue providing feedback to your Reps, Officers and to the Students’ Guild.

  • Registrar Update 13 January

    The Registrar provided another update on 13 January, including information on testing, guidelines and travel. We’ve summarised the key points of that email below – you can also read the full version here.

    - Covid-19 is spreading rapidly in the South West, so it’s important you make use of the testing facilities at the University. It’s crucial you take a test if you’ve returned to Exeter and haven’t done so yet – you can book your tests online.

    - It’s so important that you continue to follow the guidelines particularly when on campus and in research spaces.

    - The University are asking for input from students about how safety measures could be improved – contact registrar@exeter.ac.uk with any ideas or feedback you have.

    - Please remember the rules on social gatherings and parties to help reduce the spread of Covid-19.

    - The Government has introduced anyone arriving to the UK from 04:00 on 15 January will now have to produce a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of arrival.

    - University staff and researchers students are classed as critical workers, and therefore are able to send their children to school for face-to-face teaching. More info is available here.

    - There are a number of fake Covid-19 scams going around via email or phone – it’s important to remain vigilant.

  • Registrar Update 8 January

    The University released another update on Friday 8 January following a busy week of updates and decisions following the announcement of the national lockdown. We’ve summarised the key points of the email below, but you can view it in full on the University’s coronavirus webpage or in your emails. 

    Summary of email

    • It’s really important students look after their wellbeing during this time and access support services if they need help. 
    • Students are being asked to complete this feedback form which is to find out how many students are currently in Exeter – this will help the University ensure provision is in place for students. 
    • University are committed to protecting your academic outcomes, with colleges and academics working hard to redesign courses and develop resources. In-person teaching will return when Government restrictions, as well as campus capacity, allows it. 
    • If you need support with your studies, you can access these resources
    • Mechanisms in place are in line with other Russell Group Universities and are confident that your outcomes will be similar to previous years. 
    • Continuing to meet with Students’ Guild Officers, and further updates will be provided to explain the measures in place. 
    • PGR activity is currently under review, and PGR students should work from home if they can. 
    • Rent for University accommodation or University nominated accommodation will be waived for the lockdown period. More info here. 
    • Students in privately rented accommodation should access support from the Guild Advice Service or through the Success for All Fund. 
    • With Universities being an essential service, carers or parents may be eligible for additional support. Students should get in touch with the Guild Advice Service
    • Testing is available and students are encouraged to get two tests as a matter of urgency if they are in Exeter already. Tests can be booked here
    • The Digital Hub is available to offer guidance and support to help you with digital and remote study. 
    • International students should not travel to their Offices to complete police registration currently. Please continue to check this webpage for updates. 

    The University are planning to move to one Registrar email a week, which we will continue to summarise here. 

  • Guild Update 5 January 2021
    January Lockdown Information

    You have probably seen, or heard, the Prime Minister’s announcement last night (Monday 4 January 2021). In England, we’re now in a national lockdown; find out what the new rules and guidance are here.

    We know that another lockdown will leave many of you feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, confused and many more emotions. Please know that we are here for you and that we are in this together. We’ve pulled together this summary email to highlight the key points from the University communication as well as our own updates and how we’re operating including useful resources and activities to get involved with.

    If you need any support, advice, representation or just a bit of fun to take your mind off things, then we’ve got you!

    University Summary

    • In-person teaching will be delayed until at least mid-February for all students except for the exemptions listed.

    • Timetables will be updated this week to reflect these changes.

    • Students who are already at the University should remain in place and not travel away.

    • Students already on campus should book their two tests as a matter of urgency.

    • Students who have not yet arrived but who are beginning in-person teaching or placements for future critical workers, or those who cannot work at home, should book tests urgently to help the University to plan for the demand for testing in the coming weeks.

    • In line with the national guidance, where it is feasible to do so, PGR students should work from home. If you cannot work from home for any reason, you can continue at present to access campus office and study spaces.

    • The Doctoral College will be reviewing their current approach to lab, field and office based research, in the light of the expected Government guidance. They are committed to maintaining, within the limits of the guidance, as much of the research activity as they can.

    • The Uni will shortly be sharing a survey to all students to identify those who are at the University and who may need additional support.

    • Exam results will now be announced on Thursday 18 February (one week later than originally planned).

    • Sports facilities and services are now closed with virtual activity continuing.

    • Other campus services, including the Library and study spaces, will remain open for those who are permitted to come to campus.

    • The University will keep campus services provision under review over the coming weeks and will ensure you are updated.

    You can find all the University communications on their COVID hub.

    Guild Update

    Despite the difficult news, your Students’ Guild is still very much ‘open’ and ready to support you. The announcement does mean that the Officers and staff will be working remotely, but we’re committed to supporting you as we have done throughout the pandemic.

    If you need to get in touch with us to get support, you can do so by emailing us or by contacting us on social media. You can also reach the Officer team through email and social media – you can find their details here. If you need to reach a specific department, please visit our Meet the Team page. You can also get in touch about coronavirus related issues through our feedback form, or by contacting coronavirus@exeterguild.com.

    As we have done throughout the pandemic, we’ll continue to provide updates and resources on our coronavirus hub. We know you get a lot of important communications to your email, so we aim to summarise these on the hub, including those sent out by the Registrar.

    We’ll be getting in touch with student group leaders and society committee members separately with a bit more info about what the announcement means for student activity over the coming weeks and months – keep an eye on your emails if that’s you.

    Student Reps- look out for your first newsletter for Term 2 on Friday for more information and support, as ever please do contact the Voice team if you have any questions at voice@exeterguild.com.

    In terms of what the national lockdown means for Students’ Guild spaces on both campuses, we’re working with the University to understand whether these can remain open – we’ll update you as soon as we can on this.

    Despite the lockdown, Get Connected will continue to run, including for the upcoming Get Connected X Refreshers (which we’ll be telling you a bit more about very soon!). We know it’s been a difficult year to meet people, have fun and try new things, so we’d really recommend getting involved. There’s also the Get Connected Community Facebook group, which is a brilliant way to meet other people – we’re especially keen to welcome as many students in single households as possible to help you stay connected!

    We’ve got your back

    As always, we’ve got your back and are constantly ensuring you’re represented in meetings, committees and decisions. Whether that’s through Guild staff, your Full-Time Officers or amazing Student Reps, we are making sure your voices are heard at all levels throughout the University.

    We need you to continue talking to your Student Reps in the first instance; you can find out who your Rep is here. Reps are an essential part of making sure your views, opinions and experiences are shared with the lecturers, faculties and colleges. This is how change happens and we continue to represent your academic interests throughout the pandemic.

    You can also share your experiences to your Full-Time Officers; you can find out who they are here and how to contact them here. Please remember to be patient and kind to our Reps and Officers, they are working so incredibly hard for you during this challenging time.

    If there are any student issues or causes that you’d like for us to campaign on or help fight your corner, please get in touch with us! A good example of this is that Penny (VP Education) has been working with a great group of students as part of the ‘Students for Academic Mitigation’ campaign in lobbying the University for another No Detriment Policy and even taking it to National Union of Students (NUS) to become a national movement- find out more here. It’s important to remember that policies such as this take time and we need your input and support campaigning to make change happen.

    We understand that there are other issues such as rent and fee rebates which we are raising with the University and we’re hoping to be able to provide updates soon.

    Helpful Resources and Activities

    We know how difficult of a time this is and how much of a challenge the coming weeks will be, but there is a range of support to help you with issues you’re facing. Our Advice Service may be able to support you with any issues you’re having, including with finances, academic matters and accommodation. The University’s Wellbeing Services are also open to support you with your health and wellbeing. We know that many of you will have exams and assessments due this week and if you are finding this difficult with the impact of COVID and lockdown, you may want to consider mitigation to defer exams or request extensions for essays. For more information and how to apply, have a look at the University website.

    If you’re struggling financially because your hours have been cut or for any other reason, then you can apply for financial support with the Success for All Fund. The fund can be used to pay for IT equipment to support your studies, pay for bills or a number of other things to ensure that you can succeed at University. Societies can also apply for the new Get Connected Grant Fund to help them put on activity for their members, whether that’s to support their wellbeing or to provide some entertainment during the national lockdown.

    External support is available through charities like Mind, who can provide mental health support should you need it. Samaritans are also on hand if you ever need someone to talk to, as well as Exeter Nightline who are currently running at a reduced service. We can’t stress enough how important it is to get the support you need, even if that’s just having a chat with someone.

    It’s also really important to regularly check the University’s coronavirus hub to stay up to date with the latest information about testing, returning to campus and more. As always, we will continue to summarise key information sent out by the University on our own coronavirus hub.
     

    Stay safe and stay in touch,

    Your Students’ Guild

    Sunday, Penny, Ruby, Liv and the rest of the Guild team

  • HUMS & SSIS Joint Statement 4 January 2021

    Dear All,

    This is a conjoined open letter from the Humanities College Officer and the Social Sciences and International Studies College Officer of the University of Exeter Student Guild. After receiving the email from the Registrar, we are aware that many students are conflicted in receiving information in regard to the lack of a no detriment policy as well as the inequitable extension given to academic staff in regards to marking. We as your student representatives want to assure you that we are taking this sudden change with the utmost urgency and competence. We would like to assure you at this time that we as College Officers are working together to address this issue with the support of the guild. Although we are aware that many students have taken their constructive thoughts on Facebook, we would like to request that students directly email us as we would be able to address your concerns directly to the University.

    Although we are aware that many students are currently studying for exams and uncertain as to the outcome of this sudden change, we would like to assure you that we are here to help. As College Officers, our job is to address your concerns and represent you. Collectively, we feel that changes must be made, and we are requesting your support to make this possible.

    Even though as students we have weathered many storms this academic year, we believe that this time we must take a stand. We hope that students can get behind this sentiment and have hope that changes will be made. In the meantime, we would like to acknowledge the competence and respect students have shown during this time and remember that so long as there is hope, we have a fighting chance.

    All the best,

    Cherry Anastasia Chan (HUMS College Officer) cyc218@exeter.ac.uk  & Alex Greenhouse (SSIS College Officer) ag751@exeter.ac.uk

  • University Update 31 Dec 2020

    Registrar Update 31 December

    Following a series of changes to the tier restrictions over the Christmas break in response to rising coronavirus cases across the UK, the University have provided an update about what this means for students, returning to campus and more.

    You can find the key points of this email below, and you can also read the full email here.

    The University will be providing another update on 5 January so keep an eye out for that – we’ll be sharing that info when we have it.

    - The Government has asked universities to reduce the number of students returning to campus to only medicine & dentistry, subjects allied to medicine/health (including Nursing and Medical Imaging), veterinary science, education (initial teacher training), social work, courses which require Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) assessments and or mandatory activity which is scheduled for January and which cannot be rescheduled.

    - The University have been asked to delay in-person teaching for other students until 25 January at the earliest. Timetables will be updated to reflect this.

    - Online examinations beginning on 4 January will continue as planned.

    - Students can return to university accommodation if they don’t have alternative accommodation, access to study space, if they require additional support or for placements which are COVID secure.

    - Commuter students shouldn’t access campus unless they meet one of the above exemptions.

    - International students travelling from overseas are being asked to consider whether if they could delay their travel.

    - PGR students are being considered the same as staff, and should work from home if they can.

    - Devon is in Tier 3 at time of writing, so students must follow restrictions and guidelines relating to that.

  • University Update 8 Dec 2020

    Travel and Staggered Return Update

    The University released another important communication on Friday 4 December, which included updates on the travel window and testing, as well as outlining the staggered return to campus in January.

    We’ve summarised the key points of the email here, but you can read the full email here.

    Lateral Flow Device (LFD) testing will finish on 8 December – HALO testing can be booked until 18 December if you’re experiencing Covid-19 symptoms or are travelling internationally.

    The majority of teaching has now moved online.

    Continue to follow government guidance, particularly when travelling.

    Support for students staying on campus over the Winter Break will be released this week (W/C 7 December).

    The Department for Education (DfE) has released guidance on students returning to campus – the University will continue to update on this.

    In response to the Government guidance, a staggered return to campus has been outlined.

    Teaching will begin from 11 January, with the introduction of in-person teaching staggered between then and 1 February.

    Students are advised to not return to Exeter until their in-person teaching commences, unless you need to for reasons including not having access to appropriate alternative accommodation, IT facilities, studying space, or those who need to return for health reasons.

    Those courses with placement or practical elements which cannot be delivered online will resume in-person teaching first, with most resuming from the week beginning 11 January. However, students should refer to their programme for individual arrangements.

    New Postgraduate Taught students will also begin their in-person teaching from the week beginning 11 January.

    Final year undergraduate students and returning Postgraduate Taught students will resume in-person teaching in the week beginning 25 January.

    All other Undergraduate students will resume in-person teaching in the week beginning 1 February.

    Postgraduate Research students can resume their research from 4 January, and details of the facilities available during the winter break will be shared next week.

  • Guild Update 01 December 2020

    No Detriment Policy Update

    Penny Dinh, your VP Education, has been working hard to ensure that students are fairly supported and represented in their academic studies throughout coronavirus in the 2020/21 academic year.

    Penny and students who founded the S4AM group this week met with key stakeholders at the University to highlight concerns with current mitigation policies. The outcomes of the hugely productive meeting are below:

    • A working group of staff and students to explore whether the APAC (exam boards) could be used to identify students who have 'anomalous' marks which might not be covered by the current scaling process.

    • Communications sent to students around APACs will be reviewed in order to provide more clarity about for students.

    • Students will be helped to make the best decisions for them about mitigation and deferrals. Blanket deferrals are not always in a students’ best interest, so it’s important they are supported to make the right decisions for their circumstances.

    • - Ensure that students are made aware of the support and investment made so far to support them in their studies, for example increased support for assessments.

    The meeting was an important step in ensuring students get the best mitigation outcomes possible, but it’s so important that you continue to feedback how your academic experience is going through your Student Reps, getting in touch with Penny, your VP Education or completing our coronavirus feedback form.

  • Guild Update 20 November 2020

    University Update 

    The University sent a further update relating to coronavirus on Friday 20 November, covering travel, testing and more. We’ve summarised that email here to ensure the information is as accessible as possible, but you can read the full message here.

     

    Travel Window (3-9 December) Update

    • Additional testing available from 30 November.

    • Any student can get a test.

    • Additional details to be provided on Tuesday 24 November.

    • Testing booked through the Rapid Response Hub.

    • All but essential teaching will be online after 4 December.

    • Support will be available for any student staying in Exeter over Christmas. Please complete this survey about what your plans are for the Christmas period.

    • Taking a test is not mandatory before travelling, but we are encouraging you to take one so that you can be confident you do not have Covid-19.

    • If you’re struggling financially and are worried about being able to travel, you can apply for the Success for All Fund.

    • You can travel overseas, however it’s important you are aware of any additional self-isolating rules you’ll encounter both outbound and inbound.

    As always, we’ll continue to update you here so that you have all the relevant and important information in an easy to understand way. It’s important to remember that government guidance plays a huge role in everything we and the University are doing, including the travel window.

  • Guild Update 12 November 2020

    University Update 

    Last Thursday, the University released communications around plans for the end of term, including for travel and testing. We’ve summarised the email below, but you can also read the email in full here.

     

    Travel

    • The government have outlined plans for a travel window from 3-9 December. Students self-isolating must complete their period of self-isolation before travelling.

    • Students who live outside of the UK can also travel in this window, however they will need to consider additional restrictions where they are travelling, and also whether they will need to self-isolate on their return to the UK.

    • The University believe postgraduate research students will be able to travel outside of the window.

    • Support will be available to students who are staying in Exeter over Christmas for any reason.

    • Further information will be released here.

    Teaching

    • After Friday 4 December, all teaching will move online with the exception of teaching activities requiring specialist spaces or facilities where online provision is not possible, which will continue until 8 December. All teaching after 8 December will be online.

    • Timetables will be updated to ensure you have enough time to arrange travel home for Christmas, if you are doing so.

    • Postgraduate research students will be able to continue working as currently.

    • Healthcare students will receive further details from Programme Directors, as they are considered essential workers.

    • The government has made it clear that universities cannot restart any social, extra-curricular or sporting activity when the period of national lockdown restrictions end on 2 December.

    Testing

    • Additional testing should be available from 30 November.

    • The University are working with the government to ensure anyone who needs a test will get one.

    • Whilst getting a test is not mandatory in order to travel during the window, but it is being encouraged.

    The University will continue to update their guidance over the next couple of weeks ahead of the travel window, which we will summarise here.

  • Guild Update 3 November 2020

    University Update 

    Key points from the University update sent via email on Monday 2 November:  

    • A period of national lockdown will begin on Thursday 5 November and last until 2 December. 

    • The University will remain open and we will continue to deliver a blend of face-to-face and online teaching. 

    • Students must stay at University and not move back and forth between their student home and permanent home before the end of term. 

    • Sports facilities and some catering outlets will close during this period. Study spaces will remain open. 

    • Case numbers in Devon and Cornwall are low and we must continue our collective efforts to ensure we can see restrictions eased in early December. 

    You can find the full University email here. If you have any questions regarding the University’s guidance, please email coronavirusenquiries@exeter.ac.uk.  

    You can also find the latest UK Government guidance and updates here.  

    Student activities and music  

    We’re working to understand what activities our groups and societies can do. We are waiting for further information and guidance on outdoor sport and fitness activities. Unfortunately, all indoor sport and fitness will be cancelled from Thursday in line with Government guidance.  

    We will be reaching out to our academic societies to link them up with their academic departments to look at what activities can be safely co-created and co-educational. Student media will continue as they have been operating. 

    We are also still awaiting confirmation and guidance on how our music offering can proceed; we will be providing an update soon as we have one.  

    How we’re operating 

    We are still open! Most of our teams are operating remotely and are still ready to support you with advice, represent your student voice and support student activities. We do have limited staff on campus in select areas.    

    Our Guild Reception will remain open in Devonshire House (DH1) with our normal opening hours (Monday to Thursday 08:00-16:00 and Friday 09:00-16:00).   

    Our study spaces on Streatham campus in DH1 and DH2 remain open and for you to use, please remember to stay safe and follow guidance on cleaning the spaces.  

    Our commercial operations transferred to the University on Sunday 1 November, so if you any questions regarding the outlets on campus, please email csmarketing@exter.ac.uk.  

    Your wellbeing  

    We know that another lockdown is going to be challenging, so we just wanted to highlight some ways in which you can receive some support and advice if you ever need it: 

    Get Connected 

    Over the last month we’ve been running our Get Connected campaign helping you to make connections, meet new people and have fun during this pandemic. We’ve hosted a number of digital events and have more planned over the next few weeks; make sure you follow our Facebook page and Liv’s page (VP Activities) to keep up to date. We also have a great Pen Pal scheme, blogs and resources on our website - check it out here.  

    Let us know how you’re doing  

    We want to hear from you on how you’re doing and if there is anything we can do to help or support you during this difficult and challenging time. We will also use your feedback to raise directly to the University and help us fight your corner. You can either fill out our feedback form, talk to your Student Reps and Full-Time Officers or email us at coronavirus@exeterguild.com.  

  • Guild President Update 7 October 2020

    Update RE All Party Parliamentary Group for Students Campus Lockdowns

    -

    The meeting with MPs went really well and there were a fair few in attendance. And I got a shout out from Parliament's official APPG for Unis which was nice! Michelle Donelan (who advised the uni re: no society events) wasn't present but the MPs in attendance are presenting my concerns to her today. I am hoping she can re-evaluate.

    -

    I conveyed all concerns emailed, DM'd and commented to me, with particular stress on:

    -

    In terms of current issues: the severe mental health and non-covid health that is being impacted by lockdown. There has been a rise in alone drug use (due to lockdown and 10pm curfew) and by easing restrictions it may be that this is tackled.

    -

    I particularly stressed that mature students and student parents, and PhDs, can be more isolated (as well as having extra financial burdens), as well as the concern for international students.

    -

    I also brought up that students are being unfairly targeted and, in some cases, harassed by residents unfairly (and international students are experiencing racism in similar to the ways to the racism in the city in March). This is obviously in need of addressing, especially as the vast majority of students are keeping to (unfair) rules. This, in turn, has health impacts on students - anxiety etc, but also the physical health issues that come with being kept indoors.

    -

    In terms of future: I focused heavily on graduate employment, and this was well received (especially as tory gov. is focusing on employment atm) However, when I brought up interest rates being suspended (as other loans are) they were less convinced! This was predictable but now the conversation is started we can keep pushing!

    -

    I was very clear students had been monumentally let down, sold unrealistic expectations of educational and social delivery this yeah, and basically used as cash cows. I was very forceful with this (y'all know I can be when I need to be ahah) No confirmation but no disagreement, so I’m taking this as they do know this! There will be national push on this now. The talk is loan forgiveness (not reimbursement or refund). I will update as I can

     

  • Guild President Update 2 October 2020

    Hey hey sorry I was on leave today and only just got back from a medical appointment in Bristol (whew, the M5 is nasssty atm)

    Anyway, saw the email went out: great news! Saw it was very long and a little complex so here's a TL:DR

    (also sorry I couldn't share some of the below earlier, some of it - like the PHE data was confidential until shared by uni!)

    FAQs:

    So, main biggie is the University are asking you NOT to go INTO other students houses atm.

    - Yes, you can go home

    - Yes, you can meet other households in public places (stay under 6)

    - Yes, you can go to work

    - Yes, children can go to school if you have them

    - Yes, you can go to non-student houses

    - Yes, you can form a support bubble with one house if you live alone

    - Yes, you are free to go to places of worship and attend religious ceremonies

    - Yes, you can attend non-uni educational sessions such as driving lessons etc.

    - No, I’m so sorry, you can’t go to your partner’s house if they are a student (but you can meet them in public)

    Im a bit wiped from being prodded and poked, and the drive so definitely missed something so ask me questions if you have any!

    The Basics Behind Decisions:

    - Track and trace data is showing that the majority of Exeter student cases are happening at house parties.

    - There is no evidence of transmission to the wider community

    - The University promised Public Health England that they would do something to tackle this

    - The University have asked you to stop going to other student houses.

    - There has been a further rise in cases since this, but it could be down to the fact the university are privately testing us quicker than the NHS are testing people

    -  Because of the rise the University are setting up a temporary testing centre on Streatham campus and rolling out testing to staff family, too.

    - There is no evidence of transmission from seminars and so are continuing face to face teaching (although please record your seat number in classes to help with trace and trace)

    - Public Health England as asked the University to remind students who work to make sure their employers are carrying out the correct risk assessments. You can still go to work!

  • Guild President Update 24 September 2020

    We know that the majority of our students have been doing the right thing and following COVID-19 guidance from the University and Government. We want to take a moment to thank you for all those sacrifices you’re making to keep you and others safe.

    It’s really important to note that the health and wellbeing of all our students is paramount. We also need to stress the importance of the ‘track and trace’ process in keeping us safe. Track and trace data is completely confidential and there is never any link to the reporting of breaches of the COVID-19 rules, or disciplinary procedures.

    We are urging all students to do the right thing, be honest and report your contacts when requested to do so, even if those contacts were made in breach of the guidelines. The University are committed to confidentiality.

    You can find information about the University’s Rapid Response Hub here: exeter.ac.uk/coronavirus/students or exeter.ac.uk/coronavirus/rapid-response

    What to do if you think someone is/has breached COVID-19 safety rules:

    You may be aware that some acts, like coughing, spitting or failing to isolate when you think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, are criminal offences and must be reported to the Police. You can do this using at devon-cornwall.police.uk/contact

    If you think, or know, that a student has not been complying with COVID-19 rules then we would ask that you let the University know about this so that they can take action. You can do this by completing the reporting form on the Student Cases website http://exeter.ac.uk/.../non...

    Be kind and conscious of your actions and the impact that you may have on others around you.

    Please follow the guidelines and we hope to all be back together on <3

  • Change in Government Guidance- In-Person Events 11 September 2020

    9 September Update

    We are aware of the proposed changes around social gatherings and for laws and guidance to be updated from Monday. As soon as the new guidance is published by the Government and we have had a chance to consider it, we’ll be in touch with any updates on how this will impact our Freshers’ 2020 plans. Thank you for your patience.

    11 September Update

    We are disappointed that the University have had to make the last-minute decision to pause any in-person events on campus for the next 4 weeks. We have been clear that this will impact the student experience of our new and returning members, however we agree that safety is paramount at this time.

    Over the summer, our team has worked hard to understand all the guidance issued, work with University colleagues to get facilities ready and prepare training for our student leaders. The work done by those student leaders in preparing their activities in a safe and responsible way has been amazing, and we thank you for your hard work.

    We appreciate that the last-minute nature of these decisions has come due to the actions of the Government in changing the law around social activity. We have been in discussions with the University today to understand what could be possible within the new laws. It is our belief that students are being demonised at present and would urge the Government to provide more clarity and support for our members in returning to the University.

    Despite this hugely disappointing news, we will continue to support student groups in creating the best digital experience possible for all our members in the coming few weeks.

    We will continue to work with the University to review the guidance and we’ll update you as this develops.

  • Guild Restart 12 August 2020

    We are currently preparing for staff to return to campus from Tuesday 1 September; we will be operating on a smaller in-person capacity and resources with a number of our staff working remotely still. We have seen great success with providing online support, meetings and representation over the past few months, and we're confident that we will continue having a positive impact on the student experience. We will be providing a blended approach to our membership offering with some services being available on campus for specific support or activities.

    Our reception service has been delivered remotely since March and we will be looking to supplement this with an in-person service during term-time. Our aim is to ensure that a member of our team is available during core hours to help with any queries or issues that our members have during the week. We will be confirming the opening times for both Streatham and St Luke’s in due course.

    We are excited to announce that we will be opening the Guild Shop, The Ram and Comida for the start of term with the aim to have them opening up between 1 September and 10 September! After being closed for several months, we are looking forward to having some of our outlets open again in time for the start of the new year. We have a number of safety measures and precautions being put in place to make sure that these are as safe as they can be for you all. However, it’s important to note that your experiences will be significantly different in some of the outlets to allow us to open; this includes limited capacity in our shop, a click and collect service in Comida and table service in The Ram.

    Sadly, we are not able to open all our outlets. Grove Diner and Italiano will be closed still for the foreseeable future as due to lower footfall on campus it isn’t financially viable for us to continue with these outlets given the current environment. The Lemon Grove will also not be able to open as Government guidance still has nightclub and live music venues closed. We will be providing an update about the Print Room soon.

    We are committed and doing our best to ensure that new incoming students and returning students have a welcoming experience to the start of the new academic year. If you have any questions or queries, please contact us on coronavirus@exeterguild.com or get in touch with one of your Full-Time Officers.

2019-2020

  • Update 29 May 2020

    Coronavirus: Latest Update

    Earlier this week on Wednesday 27 May, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) Tim Quine released further information about the University’s plans for the 2020/21 academic year. Registrar Mike Shore-Nye also sent an update on 28 May. We know you’ve been waiting for updates, so we’re going to provide a summary of these important communications here. We recommend that you read the emails sent to you this week in full to ensure you’re as informed as possible – you can find them here.

    Summary of DVC Tim Quine’s Update (27 May)

    • The plan is for campus to be open with adaptations for social distancing. What this looks like exactly will depend on what the coronavirus situation is locally and nationally, and what the government regulations and advice is.
    • The University are planning for blended learning – anytime, anywhere access to guided online learning, supported by face-to-face teaching (on campus when conditions allow, or real-time online).
    • The University are prioritising:
      • The health and safety of students, staff and communities
      • Excellent learning opportunities that are flexible to work no matter what the year holds
      • That students can thrive and achieve their goals
    • Your feedback is essential to ensuring the success of this plan – you can provide feedback by completing a survey the University will be sending out, or by getting in touch with the Students’ Guild Full-Time Officer Team, your Academic Rep or the Students' Guild coronavirus feedback form.
    • There are a range of paid opportunities available for current students and graduates. The University have released further information on these employment opportunities here.

    Summary of Registrar Mike Shore-Nye’s Update (28 May)

    • Summary of University’s plan for 2020/21 – please see above for further details.
    • Finalists should ensure their HEAR record is up to date.
    • A range of career opportunities and programmes are being planned for the rest of the summer term and vacation – log onto Career Zone to find out more.
    • Graduation ceremonies will now take place in 2021 – graduating students will shortly be polled on whether they would prefer Easter 2021 or Summer 2021.
    • Plans are now in place for students who need to collect belongings from their accommodation in Exeter. The guidance varies greatly depending on whether you’re in University, nominated or private accommodation.

    Further updates and information

    For more information, please visit the University’s FAQ page. We’d also like to reiterate again you should read the University’s emails in full to ensure you have the full details, as we do only provide a brief overview here.

    We are aware that some students are sceptical about digital learning and its quality due to your past experiences of online learning resources, specifically recap recordings. Project Enhance is set up exactly to address this feedback. This is especially to ensure that students who require flexibility in their studies due to caring responsibilities, disabilities, or chronic health conditions, can access education in the way that meets their needs.

    We urge any student with feedback about this update from the University or anything else related to coronavirus to complete our feedback form or to email coronavirus@exeterguild.com.

    Take care,

    Penny
    Vice President Education

  • Update on University 2020/21 Communications 28 May 2020

    The University announced yesterday their plans for the 2020/21 academic year, and we’re aware that a number of students would like further clarification on some of the points and decisions made.

    We’re going to be meeting University Senior Management tomorrow (Friday 29 May) to make sure the picture is as clear for students as possible, and we’ll be providing an update for you then which we hope will clarify any confusion.

    If you have any feedback about the announcement, or anything else related to Covid-19, please get in touch with me at vpeducation@exeterguild.com, or complete our feedback form on this page.

  • Update 13 May 2020

    Following further updates from the Prime Minister on Sunday evening, and with the additional information released this week, we’d like to provide you with an update of what this means for you as a University of Exeter student. Throughout this week, both the Students’ Guild and the University have been working to understand what this means for you, and to begin planning for beginning activities on our campuses again.

    What is your Students’ Guild doing?

    We are closely following guidance from the Government and are following the University’s lead. You can read a summary of the University’s email below or the full email in your mailbox.

    In terms of a return to campus, this will be a gradual process and one which we will work on alongside the University. This is something that we’ll continue to update you on as clearer plans are developed, however we want to reiterate that the safety of all Exeter students and staff, both Guild and University, is our absolute priority. Our Officers and staff will continue working from home until further notice, however we’re beginning to plan for what a phased return to campus could look like. Some of our staff remain furloughed.

    We’re continuing to represent your interests to University Senior Management, with a particular focus on exams at the moment – we're with you every step of the way. We’re also supporting the NUS Safety Net campaign, which includes reimbursement for students. In order for us to represent you as best as possible, it’s vitally important you continue giving your feedback using our coronavirus feedback form, or by contacting coronavirus@exeterguild.com. We’re delighted that Exeter has been sector leading on many important issues; the amazing amount of student feedback we’ve received so far has been central to this.

    What have the University said?

    The University will have sent you an email explaining these points further which we encourage you to read and understand fully. Here is an overview of their update:

    Campus remains closed

    At this stage our campuses remain closed – it’s really important that you stay away from campus until further notice, unless you’re currently living in campus-based accommodation.

    Accommodation

    Plans are being made by the accommodation team to allow you to collect your belongings from University or private accommodation. Further information will be communicated in the next few weeks.

    Exams, Assessments and Research

    Summer examinations are underway (we hope it’s going well!) – take a look at the Exam Process Guide, Technical Guide and University FAQ's. Don’t forget to record the time you download your exam paper, track your time as you’re completing your exam, and submit it to BART before the deadline.

    If you submit your assessment late, you’ll be contacted by your Hub Education Support team who’ll advise you on the penalty for late submission. If you’re having issues submitting, you can contact the Assessments Helpdesk by phone (+44) 01392 726800 (8:00-20:00 Monday-Friday BST) or by email Exams2020@exeter.ac.uk.

    Companies offering to write essays for you are unfortunately very common – it’s really important that you avoid these companies. If you are having difficulty completing assessments or need support, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Advice Service.

    Planning is underway to identify how scientific research and field work can resume safely – again, further updates will be provided as soon as possible.

    Stay safe and good luck in your assessments,
    Your Students’ Guild

  • Furlough Update 24 April 2020

    Due to the ongoing circumstances surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to furlough a number of staff to protect the Guild. We are working hard to make sure that this has limited impact on you. As the situation develops and constantly changes, there may be further decisions required that impact the structure of the Guild. We will update you as and when those decisions are made and how they may impact you.

    Read More

  • Private Student Accommodation Letter 6 April 2020

    We are urging all purpose-built student accommodation and private landlords to offer the following:

    1. For students who are no longer living at the tenancy address, to be released from their current tenancy agreements, at no financial penalty to them. This follows similar action taken by the University's and providers such as Unite Students. If students have already paid third term rent, you should refund this along with their deposit.
    2. For students who cannot return home or are unable to find another place to live, an extension of tenancy subject to the Covid-19 pandemic continuing past tenancy dates to prevent students from becoming homeless.
    3. For students who have been financially impacted due to Covid-19 and are unable to move, a significant rent reduction or a rent holiday for the duration of the pandemic.
    4. For students who have moved home and are unable to collect their belongings, we ask you to show compassion and work with those students to find a solution.

    We have produced a letter, which you can read online by downloading the PDF here.

    • CRM Students
    • Homes For Students
    • Campus Living Village
    • Prestige Student Living
    • Host
    • Collegiate
    • Fresh Student Living
    • The Student Housing Company
    • Downing
    • Vita Student
    • Cardens
    • Gillams
    • Platform_
    • East of Exe
    • RSJ Investments
    • Hunters
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    • More have been added to the list, please click here. If your landlord or provider isn't on the list, please use our letter to send to them directly.
  • University Summer Assessment Update 3 April 2020

    The University of Exeter have released further information in relation to the summer assessment period: ‘the no detriment policy’; the format of summer examinations and assessments; applying to defer your exams; and the release of exam results. As well as information on helping you prepare for your examinations and assessments.

    You can find the email in full on the University Coronavirus subsite here.

    The Full-Time Officers, Academic Representatives and the rest of the Guild have been working tirelessly to make sure that the new policies have been created with students at the heart of them. We are very proud that we are leaps and bounds ahead of other universities round the country in providing the best possible outcomes for our students.

    If you have any further feedback on the new policies or information, please complete our feedback form or email us at coronavirus@exeterguild.com, or feedback to your Academic Representative (AcRep) - you can find yours here.  

    To summarise the communications sent out today:

    • The University have extended the no detriment policy so that it includes all assessments submitted by undergraduate and taught postgraduate students in the 19/20 academic year. Therefore, taught postgraduate dissertations will be included in the policy (please see the detail for how this will be handled) and deferred and referred assessments taken in August will also be covered.
    • They have now published the ‘no detriment’ policy in full online, here.
    • A further communication via the FAQs will be sent on Thursday 9 April with an update on how this impacts students who have undertaken industrial placements, study or work abroad placements during 2019/20.
    • In some circumstances programmes subject to professional regulation may not yet be permitted to apply the no detriment policy, you will be communicated by your College if this is the case. The University are proposing it to the regulatory bodies for approval.
    • More detail on summer examinations and assessments will be sent to you by your colleges in the coming weeks.
    • The University have developed a simplified and accelerated mitigation process through which you can apply to defer your examinations and assessments, with no requirement for evidence. Please see our website for further details of this process, and to complete the application form – note, from this webpage you can select options to defer all of your assessments, or one or more where short- lived circumstances impact on your ability to complete some assessments but not others.
    • You can also apply for mitigation or deferral should you experience technical issues or IT failure during an examination here.
    • If you wish to defer all assessments the form will open at 12:00 BST (midday) on Monday 6 April, and close at 23:59 BST on Friday 1 May. Please consider these carefully, our Guild Student Advice Service can support you if you’d like to talk through your options.
    • APACs (Assessment Progression and Awarding Committees), or more commonly known as exam boards, will be delayed by two weeks to allow the University to undertake marking and recommendations in these difficult circumstances. You will receive your grades and outcomes on 8 July.
    • The University will be making appropriate adjustments for students with Individual Learning Plans (ILPs), you will need to contact AccessAbility Service or Wellbeing Services by Thursday 9 April 17:00.
    • If you have any concerns about taking a remote examination or assessment, contact the University on coronavirusenquiries@exter.ac.uk

     

    No Detriment Policy Summary

    • The benchmark will be based on actual achievement from the current academic stage as far as possible.
    • In order for the benchmark to be reliable, it will be based on a mean mark derived from sufficient credit (equivalent to half the total credits of the relevant stage; a stage equates to an academic year for full-time students).
    • If insufficient credit has been accumulated in the current stage, achievement in the previous University of Exeter-based stage will be included within the calculation.
    • If there was no prior University of Exeter-based stage, then the benchmark will be provisional until, in the case of first-year Undergraduates or Postgraduate Taught students (PGTs), sufficient credit has been accumulated to confirm the benchmark.
    • The benchmark will be calculated and applied after all other normal assessment processes have been completed (e.g. condonement, mitigation, scaling, late and academic misconduct penalties). Please see the relevant policies for further details.
    • For students who pass the current stage during 19/20 academic year, the credit-weighted mean for all assessments contributing to the stage (academic year for full-time students) will be compared to the benchmark, and the higher of these two results will be used as their overall result for the stage.
    • The student transcript will be annotated to reflect this policy.

    Read it in full here.

    If you have any further feedback on the new policies or information, please complete our feedback form or email us at coronavirus@exeterguild.com, or feedback to your AcRep- you can find yours here.  

  • VP Welfare: Coronavirus Statement 24 March 2020

    As the coronavirus situation continues to develop, we wanted to provide you with an update on where we are, and how we’re supporting you through this difficult time.

    We are continuing to assess the situation regularly, and will continue to adapt accordingly. Additionally, we are in constant contact with the University to communicate your feedback and to represent your interests.

    We have now closed all of our trading outlets, and our staff our now working remotely. All meetings, including for representation and Advice appointments, are now being held online.

    If you haven’t already, we recommend you take a look through our coronavirus webpage, which includes our latest statements, key resources and some FAQ’s. You can also give your feedback, which can be anything from how your studies have been affected, accommodation issues or anything else related to the coronavirus. We use your feedback to ensure student concerns are heard at the highest level within the University and fight to make sure your voice is heard, including on the Uni providing more student wellbeing information and raising your concerns about accommodation charges.

    Sunday Blake, VP Postgraduate, has written her latest update, which we hope will reassure you of some of the amazing work which the Full-Time Officers are doing for each and every student at Exeter.

    If you have any concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us at coronavirus@exeterguild.com or via our feedback form. The University have published a series of coronavirus FAQ's which may have the answer to your question. We strongly encourage you to read your regular emails from the University as they are filled with really important information.

    We’re continuing to get used to what is our new normal, but we’re looking forward to beginning to share some more normal Guild activities later in the week!

  • Guild President: Coronavirus Statement 20 March 2020

    I’d like to give you a bit of an update on where we are after what has been a week like no other I’ve had as your Guild President.

    As your Students’ Guild, we’re still adjusting to the situation we find ourselves in. The vast majority of our staff are now working remotely, however I can assure you that we’re all working hard to ensure that we’re still providing services to you and are representing you effectively. We’re more than just a building, and although we’re going to miss our home in Devonshire House, we’re working on our plans to get used to our new normal.

    Stay up to date with what we’re doing during the coronavirus situation on our coronavirus webpage, which also contains some useful FAQ’s.

    We’re committed to representing you

    Over the last week, it’s been amazing to see so many of you engaging with myself and the rest of the Full-Time Officer Team. We’re going to continue raising any concerns and questions you have with University Senior Management, so please, keep getting in touch with us – you elected us to represent you!

    If you want to raise any concerns, you can do so by:

    Completing our feedback form
    Speaking to your Academic Rep
    Getting in touch with myself, Liv, Penny, Sunday or Katie

    If you are thinking about creating an open letter or any other way of appealing to Senior Management, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We have regular direct contact, so we can support you and do our best to make sure your voice is heard at the highest level.

    Our trading outlets

    Throughout this week, Comida, Guild Shop and the Print Room (online orders only) have remained open. For next week:

    - Comida will now be closed until further notice.
    - Guild Shop will be open from 10:00-16:00, Mon-Fri
    - Print Room will be open for online orders only, collection from the Guild Shop

    We’ll continue to update you on when our commercial outlets are likely to open again.

    I hope you can try to enjoy your weekend as much as possible! Take a look at some amazing advice from Katie, your VP Welfare & Diversity, about social distancing, including some top playlist recommendations!

  • Guild Officers: Coronavirus Statement 17 March 2020

    Following guidance from the Government, WHO and the University, we have made a number of decisions to protect our students and staff. We are encouraging Guild staff to work from home; this means that staff will not be accessible in person. All staff and officers will still be available digitally both via email and video conferencing, and we encourage you to contact them should you need to – you can find contact information in each department’s section of our website

    Our Reception in DH1 will be open this Wednesday and Thursday 10:00-14:00 if you have any enquiries. 

    We are closing a number of our outlets; as of 17 March, the Ram, Grove Diner, Lemon Grove and Italiano have been closed until further notice. Currently the Guild Shop (09:00-17:00), Comida (08:00-15:00) and the Print Room (online orders only, collection from Guild Shop) are remaining open – this is subject to change, and we will constantly be reviewing this. We thank all our students for supporting our outlets, and the staff who make them as amazing as they are. We’ll provide updates on when our outlets are likely to be open when we can. 

  • Guild Officers: Coronavirus Statement 16 March 2020 - 20:00

    Please read the important update from the University in your emails.  

    From tomorrow, the majority of Guild staff will now be working from home as per the Government and University guidance; you will be able to reach us digitally via email and/or video software.  

    The Guild will be opening select outlets only tomorrow; our Guild Shop and Comida in DH1, and our Reception. We will review these services tomorrow and take a view on their longer term opening after we have reflected more fully on the Government and University advice.  

    Our Print Room will also be available for online orders only, which will have collection from the Guild Shop. Our other outlets will now be closed for the foreseeable future: The Ram, Lemon Grove, Pieminister, Italiano and the Grove Diner.  

    If you have any immediate concerns or worries, please email us on coronavirus@exeterguild.com or provide feedback via the student feedback form above!  

  • Guild Officers: Coronavirus Statement 16 March 2020

    We are continuously monitoring the situation and taking advice and guidance from the University and Government. You can find the University’s resources here, which they are regularly updating.

    The Full-Time Officers have a meeting this afternoon with University Senior Team and will be providing an update after this with any important outcomes. We encourage you to fill out the student feedback form we’ve created so that we can gather student opinions and feed this back to the University Senior Management regularly.

    Guild update:

    • We have implemented guidance on risks for events and trips on Friday via email to committee members. It will be down to societies or student groups to make the decision that best suits them; we will support those who would like to cancel or postpone and the challenges this may cause.

    • If you are involved with any Guild democracy, keep an eye out for further communications coming your way. We will be cancelling Guild Exec and the scrutiny panels, our Societies Council and Guild Council will be held digitally, and Equality Council to be confirmed as soon as possible.

    • Due to staff availability, Grove Diner will be closed until further notice.

  • Guild Officers: Coronavirus Statement 13 March 2020

    We, as your Full-Time Officer team and an organisation, are continuing to monitor the latest updates on coronavirus, and are following advice from the government, as well as the University. We recommend that you take a look at the University’s Coronavirus Information and Advice webpage, which will be updated regularly as the situation continues to develop.  

    The latest advice means that we have made some decisions which will affect certain activities, services and events; these decisions have been taken with the health of our students and staff as the absolute priority. We will continue to update on these decisions, and will be contacting students affected, including those due to travel abroad with a society or student group.  

    At time of publishing (13 March 2020), the Students’ Guild is remaining open as normal until further notice, including our commercial outlets.  

    If you have any queries or concerns, you can get in touch at coronavirus@exeterguild.com. We have also opened a student feedback form link, which we encourage you to fill out.  

    This is a situation which is constantly developing and evolving, and we will be ready to react in any way we need to in order to protect our students and staff. During this time, we are calling for respect and kindness; harassment, hate and violence are completely unacceptable. If you are a victim or see any inappropriate behaviour, we urge you to call it out if you feel safe to do so, or report it using the University’s Speak Out page.  

VP Postgraduate Updates 19/20

  • Doctoral College Update 3 Jul 2020

    Dear Postgraduate Research Students,

    Our update today is to highlight the availability of a new Work Zone, which is now bookable by any students or staff who are experiencing significant challenges at home that are having a negative impact on mental or physical wellbeing.

    Read More

  • VP Postgraduate Update 29 May 2020

    Coronavirus: Latest Update

    Earlier this week on Wednesday 27 May, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) Tim Quine released further information about the University’s plans for the 2020/21 academic year. Registrar Mike Shore-Nye also sent an update on 28 May. We know there has been confusion and frustration around this, and you’ve been waiting for updates, so we’re going to provide a summary of these important communications here. We recommend that you read the emails sent to you this week in full to ensure you’re as informed as possible – you can find them here.

    We are aware that a number of students are requesting further clarification on various aspects of the University’s update and what it means for them. We’re committed to ensuring that the University does clarify any confusion; the Full-Time Officer team met with University Senior Management today (Friday 29 May), and will continue to work together to ensure you have everything you need to know. I have tried to provide clarification alongside the summarised points, however we hope to provide you with more details next week.

    Summary of DVC Tim Quine’s Update (27 May)

    • The plan is for campus to be open with adaptations for social distancing. What this looks like exactly will depend on what the coronavirus situation is locally and nationally, and what the government regulations and advice is.
    • The University are planning for blended learning – anytime, anywhere access to guided online learning, supported by face-to-face teaching (on campus and in person when conditions allow, or real-time online).
    • The University are legally tied to government regulations and are prioritising:
      • The health and safety of students, staff and communities
      • Excellent learning opportunities that are flexible to work no matter what the year holds
      • That students can thrive and achieve their goals
    • Your feedback is essential to ensuring the success of this plan – you can provide feedback by completing a survey the University will be sending out, or by getting in touch with the Students’ Guild Full-Time Officer Team, your Academic Rep or the Students' Guild coronavirus feedback form.
    • The University are aware of the current global employment uncertainty and have created a range of paid opportunities to help. There are a range of paid opportunities available for current students and graduates. These opportunities include supporting the University's transition to blended learning (digital teaching alongside physical teaching). We spoke to DVC Education today (29th May) who assured us that these are not teaching roles and so would not replace Postgraduate Teaching Assistants. We welcome the inclusion of digital learning for its inclusivity of students with chronic illnesses and disabilities, or parent and caring responsibilities. However, we will also be urging the University, where possible, to provide in person teaching.

    Summary of Registrar Mike Shore-Nye’s Update (28 May)

    • Summary of University’s plan for 2020/21 – please see above for further details.
    • Finalists should ensure their HEAR record is up to date.
    • A range of career opportunities and programmes are being planned for the rest of the summer term and vacation – log onto Career Zone to find out more.
    • Graduation ceremonies will now take place in 2021 – graduating students will shortly be polled on whether they would prefer Easter 2021 or Summer 2021.
    • Plans are now in place for students who need to collect belongings from their accommodation in Exeter. The guidance varies greatly depending on whether you’re in University, nominated or private accommodation.

    PGR Funding Update

    Last week the Doctoral College confirmed there will be an extension to studentship funding to support PGR students whose research has been impacted by Coronavirus. You can find the full email outlining this here.

    Further updates and information

    For more information, please visit the University’s FAQ page. We’d also like to reiterate again you should read the University’s emails in full to ensure you have the full details, as we do only provide a brief overview here.

    We urge any student with feedback about this update from the University or anything else related to coronavirus to complete our feedback form or to email coronavirus@exeterguild.com.

    Take care,

    Sunday
    Vice President Postgraduate

  • VP Postgraduate Update 28 May 2020
    Following the University’s announcement yesterday of their plans for next year, I want to reassure you that, along with the rest of the team, we’re still representing you. This includes getting further clarification on various aspects of the announcement; we are meeting with University Senior Management tomorrow (Friday 29 May) to do just this. Following our meeting, the Guild will be providing an update which will include further clarification of what this announcement means for students.

    I know you all want answers and clarification, but please bear with us – we’ll update you as soon as we can.

    If you have any feedback about the announcement, or anything else related to coronavirus, please get in touch with me at vppostgraduate@exeterguild.com, or complete our feedback form at exeterguild.com/coronavirus. I also just want to reiterate that I’m still in my post as VP Postgraduate, and therefore my absolute focus is on postgraduate students. If you’re an undergraduate student, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Patrick (president@exeterguild.com) who is still your Guild President, or any of the other Officers – particularly Penny (vpeducation@exeterguild.com) in this case!

  • VP Postgraduate: PGR Update 21 May 2020

    Dear PGRs, 

    You’ve been waiting for an update for a while and then two come along at the same time! Our original email earlier this evening was intended to touch base as part of a regular update from Ginny (PVP Postgraduate Research) to keep you informed, and this week we didn’t have much to update you on, but things moved so quickly that the Doctoral College’s update and ours accidentally coincided.  

    We would like to say how delighted we are with the policy and that there has been an extension to studentship funding, Ginny and I have been involved in regular discussions with the DC so it’s great that this news has now been confirmed and released! This is a great win for PGR students, and we want to thank the Doctoral College for providing this crucial funding support for you.  

    Please find below the most up-to-date information from the Doctoral College regarding funding, and you can find the DC email in full here

    If you have any feedback on how the policy impacts you, do get in touch using our PGR feedback form or by emailing coronavirus@exeterguild.com.  

    Doctoral College Update: 

    A new policy on extensions to studentship funding to support PGR students impacted by COVID-19 to complete their research has been announced. The policy includes provision for final and non-final year students who are in receipt of studentship funding from the University (and whose funding period ends/ended after 01 March 2020).  Applications for funding extensions will be considered on a case-by-case basis. We will provide further details on the application process in due course. 

    Policy on funding extensions

    As indicated below, some of this information has been released previously, but is included here in the interest of completion. 

    a) UKRI-funded students (re-announcement) 
    Exeter has committed to match the UKRI provision, where studentships are match-funded by the University. 

    b) Students funded by the Wellcome Trust (new announcement) 
    Exeter has committed to match the Wellcome Trust provision, where studentships are match-funded by the University. 

    c) Students funded entirely by the University of Exeter (new announcement) 
    Students will be eligible to apply for 1-6 months of funding extension. (Note: although part of a collaborative programme, QUEX students ‘homed’ at Exeter will be considered under this heading.) 

    d) Students funded by Exeter in collaboration with non-UKRI partners (new announcement) 
    Students will be eligible to apply for 1-6 months of funding extension. Exeter will cover its portion of costs; external partners will be asked to contribute proportionate to their element of the studentship. (If you are partly or wholly funded by income from a partner organisation – including clinical fellows who are PhD candidates – we will liaise with your funder regarding their provision for extended funding).  

    e) Self-funded students (re-announcement) 
    Self-funded students will be eligible to apply for a ‘fees scholarship’, in respect of any approved extension period due to COVID-19 impacts. 

    f) Directly-sponsored students (e.g. by overseas governments or national/international scholarship schemes) (re-announcement) 
    We will liaise with sponsors to understand how they propose to support students who require an extended period of study due to COVID-19 impacts. 

    Process for application

    We are now developing a process for handling individual applications for extension to studentship funding, and we aim to have this in place as soon as possible. We will aim to assess applications fairly and transparently, identifying the appropriate level of support given the nature of the disruption. The process will also need to be appropriately rigorous, out of respect to the intense pressures on University resources. We expect the criteria will include: unmitigable impacts of COVID-19 on projects; personal impact of COVID-19; redeployment of the student as a result of COVID-19. We anticipate that applications will be considered in a phased approach, with applications from final-year students prioritised in the first instance.  

    We will share further information on our policy and process and the timescales for application as soon as we can.” 

  • PVP PGR: PGR Update 21 May 2020

    Dear PGRs 

    No news is … no news. We really hoped to have an update by now regarding COVID-19 extensions to periods of study and extensions to funding but unfortunately we don’t … yet. An update from the Doctoral College is definitely on its way (although they’ve been saying that for some time now!) but part of the delay is how complicated this is and that they’re working on getting the best possible conditions for PGRs. Given that we still don’t know what, or even if, anything will be offered, for now we have to carry on as best we might. So please keep on keeping on if you can. Until we know for sure what extensions will be offered, it’s safer to expect less support. That’s not to say we won’t get funded extensions, just that we shouldn’t bank on that for the moment. And please keep using the PGR portal on our website to give us feedback on specific issues that are affecting you – in the maelstrom of worrying about needing more time and more money we also need to make sure that the minutiae of the challenges to conducting research remotely are not neglected.  

    Which brings us on to research ethics - not that this is a mere ‘detail’, but minutiae in the sense of ‘intricacies’.  For some, ‘fieldwork’ has now morphed into ‘kitchen-table work’ meaning that research plans have changed significantly. For others ‘desk-based research’ has become, yes, ‘kitchen-table based research’. The University has advice regarding ethics in its Research Tool Kit and on its Research Ethics and Governance page, but please get in touch via email or on our PGR portal if you have feedback regarding conducting your research remotely, particularly in relation to ethics. We can then report this to the University and, we hope, get any issues resolved. 

    In the meantime, kia kaha 

    Ginny Thomas 
    Pro-Vice President Postgraduate Research  

  • PVP PGR: PGR Update 7 May 2020

    Six weeks is a long time in research and now, six weeks into lockdown, it is becoming increasingly apparent that we aren’t going to be able to go back on to campus for quite some time – probably not before the next academic year at the earliest for most of us. That’s not to say that it might not be possible for exceptions to be made before that but at the moment that is by no means certain and not in any way guaranteed. So, we continue with our research in mitigated form, from kitchen tables rather than desks, conducting interviews by telephone rather than face to face, with screaming children in their bedrooms rather than the ‘silence’ of the library, and with time and/or money running out. No change to that last one except the rate. COVID-19 has an invidious ability to accelerate time and inflate costs, or at least reduce incomes. And the University appears to have lost much of the sense of urgency that it had in the early days of this pandemic.

    We know that we can get extensions to our study period if required, but for many funded students there is still no assurance that any such extension will be funded rendering it potentially worthless.

    Self-funded researchers will be awarded a ‘fees scholarship in respect of any approved extension to the period of study due to COVID-19 impacts’ but, and this is the crucial part, this will apply only to researchers who ‘remain registered throughout the period of COVID-19 restrictions’. That is, if a self-funded researcher takes an interruption during the period of COVID-19 restrictions they will lose their eligibility for a fees scholarship.

    UKRI funded researchers are being offered a funded extension of up to six months if they are in their final year and can apply for funded extensions on a case by case basis if they are not in their final year. The difficulty here arises from the fact that many PGRs are funded through a model in which funding comes from UKRI and one or more other sources. These sources may be unwilling or unable to match UKRIs funding model so these PGRs may receive only the UKRI proportion of their funding.

    PGRs who are funded by non-UKRI systems are still in limbo with the University having currently yet to make an announcement about how, or if, these researchers will be supported until the government decision was announced with respect to the UUK request for support for universities. At the time of writing (04/05/20) it seems that this request has been declined by the Government, although some concessions have been made, meaning that the onus is now entirely on the University to support its PGRs.

    The Guild will continue to lobby the University to stand by its PGRs and support them and their futures. To strengthen our case please continue to use the PGR Covid-19 Feedback Form to let us know how you are affected and what you need. We will take this feedback to the University and lobby on your behalf for whatever you need as a result of COVID-19 or any other aspect of your research.

    If you have any issues at all you want to make us aware of, you can do so by contacting us at coronavirus@exeterguild.com, or by completing the PGR coronavirus feedback form. Remember to keep checking the PGR specific webpage for further information, as well as the University's portal. If you need any additional support, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Guild’s Advice Service at advice@exeterguild.com.

    In the meantime, kia kaha.

    Take care,

    Ginny Thomas

    Pro-Vice President Postgraduate Research

  • VP Postgraduate: PGR Update 9 April 2020

    The Doctoral College have sent out an email detailing a number of policies and solutions which will hopefully alleviate some of the issues you’re facing as a result of coronavirus. In this email I’m going to outline these, however I would recommend also reading the Doctoral College’s email, which will provide more detail.

    I’d also like to remind you of the PGR specific coronavirus webpage we have put together – we’ll continue to update this as we get more information, so please keep an eye on this. Our PGR community is diverse with many unique issues, so I’m continuing to work to find solutions which give students clarity.

    Virtual Vivas

    The University have introduced a policy which will enable vivas to go ahead via video conferencing software. You can find out more about this on the COVID-19 temporary policies webpage.

    Electronic Thesis Submission

    If you have a thesis due in the next few weeks, the PG Admin team should have contacted you about a temporary electronic submission solution. If you have any urgent issues, please contact pgradmin@exeter.ac.uk. A longer term solution is being worked on, which we will bring you information on when ready.

    Upgrade assessments

    The Doctoral College have been working with the College Directors of PGR, who have been reviewing planned timelines for upgrade assessments and making adjustments to these where required. The aim is to support both those who are ready to move ahead with their upgrade, and those who need to defer their upgrade deadline. College or Discipline DPGRs will be communicating arrangements in due course.

    Extensions to period of study

    Where progress for any postgraduate research student is impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak and associated restrictions, it will be possible to apply for an extension to your period of study, or a deferral of particular programme deadlines. Further information will be posted about this as soon as possible.

    Extensions to studentship funding

    Work is continuing with UKRI and Research England to quickly get to a stage where it is clear what support will be available for funded extensions to studentships – I hope that this information will be with you very soon. If you are in receipt of a UKRI-funded studentship, you can find their latest advice here.

    Emergency assistance fund

    If you’re facing financial difficulties as a result of coronavirus, you are able to apply for the University’s emergency assistance fund; you can get up to £1,000 in emergency support.

    IT loan scheme

    any students, including PGRs, who have difficulties with IT hardware or internet connectivity while working remotely can seek support from this fund. Students who have difficulties should contact 01392 725000 (international: +44 300 555 0225), or coronavirusenquiries@exeter.ac.uk.

    Students’ Guild PGR Feedback form

    As well as our PGR coronavirus webpage, we also want to hear as much feedback from PGR students as possible. We’ve set up a PGR feedback form, which you can use to tell us how you’ve been affected by coronavirus, whether that’s with funding, your research or accommodation. You can also get in touch with me directly at vppostgraduate@exeterguild.com, Ginny at pvppostgraduate@exeterguild.com, or you can email coronavirus@exeterguild.com.

    Extended Easter closure

    All Guild Officers and staff will be taking an extended break for Easter – we’ll be closed from Friday 10 April until Thursday 16 April. If you’ve got any issues during that time, please let us know at coronavirus@exeterguild.com and we’ll get back to you then.

    If for any reason you are feeling unsafe at home:

    • Women can call The Freephone National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by Refuge on 0808 2000 247 for free at any time, day or night. The staff will offer confidential, non-judgemental information and support

    • Men can contact Men's Life Advice on 0808 8010 327 (Monday and Wednesday, 9am to 8pm, and Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 9am to 5pm) for non-judgemental information and support

    • Men can also call ManKind on 0182 3334 244 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm)

    • If you identify as LGBT+ you can call Galop on 0800 999 5428 for emotional and practical support

    • Anyone can call Karma Nirvana on 0800 5999 247 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm) for forced marriage and honour crimes. You can also call 020 7008 0151 to speak to the GOV.UK Forced Marriage Unit

    • In an emergency, call 999

    • If you need mental health support, take a look at these helplines


     

    Stay safe,

    Sunday Blake, VP Postgraduate

  • VP Postgraduate: PGR Update 7 April 2020

    Dear PGRs
    Firstly, I would like to apologise for the piecemeal nature in which you are receiving updates. There are many factors at stake and a great many decisions rely on the actions from external and third parties. The Doctoral College cannot make internal decisions before we know what the external decisions are.

    Yesterday (Monday), and today (Tuesday) I have had meetings with the University where I relayed the many questions and concerns, I received over the weekend. We spoke about the following:

    Extensions

    1. Period of Study (agreed to support)
    2. Funding (if you do get an extension to study, will you also get funding extended?)

    1. Period of Study

    As mentioned before, the University approach is in line with UKRI advice and therefore they are advising students to apply for extensions. Extensions are usually granted in exceptional circumstances. As we are all in an exceptional circumstance, no one who applies for an extension will be turned down and you will not be expected to give evidence. This is in line with the postgraduate taught mitigation policy released last week.

    You may want to seek an interruption. These are given for, “personal, medical, or financial circumstances.” Please think very carefully about applying for an interruption as you will not have access to your supervisor, resources, and in funded cases, your stipend.

    Upgrades

    Colleges and disciplines are looking at timeframes and adjusting where necessary. Your College should be communicating this but please let me know if you haven’t heard anything (by emailing me at sunday.blake@exeterguild.com).  We will have a upgrade deferral form to share with you very soon from the Doctoral College (without strict requirement for evidence). This is in line with the postgraduate taught mitigation policy. This will give you a blanket deferral for three months.

    If you do want to upgrade on the original deadline it will be done via Microsoft Teams without an independent chair. If you are uncomfortable completing your upgrade viva on a virtual platform, you can defer it.
     

    Vivas

    Vivas are being extended from within two weeks, to be six weeks of submission and conducted via Microsoft Teams.

    2. Extension Funding

    The University are conduced comprehensive overview (including all categories of funding - e.g. external, sponsor, match funded and self-funded) and costs related to extension to bring to Gold group. They are working externally with the Russel Group to present to the Government the cost of PGR extension. UKRI are likely to make further announcements on PGR financial support.

    Mitigated Thesis

    This would be when you are marked on a thesis that is shorter, or with less data than originally planned. There has been no decisions on this yet but the Doctoral College are interested in seeing what circumstances have prompted these requests or discussion. (E.g. I have had requests for this from international wishing to submit, finish, and go home etc). Please let me know if this is something you have been thinking about, as well, so I can represent your interests fully- please do so by filling out the PGR feedback form at www.exeterguild.org/coronavirus. This may be more beneficial to MRes students. PhD students need to carefully consider their academic and career progression.  This isn’t something the Doctoral College have committed to doing, but they certainly are considering it as one of the many options they wish to give you.

    e-Submission

    The Doctoral College are in discussions with IT Services about best way to progress with this. The right software is complicated, as is the right method of submission and then further distribution. There have been some successful thesis submissions without this policy or procedure and have been sent out to examiners using the software available.  There is still some question about examiners wanting hard copies and this is an ongoing discussion. In any case, do NOT come on to campus if you need to submit. Contact the Doctoral College directly, and well in advance, to discuss your options.
    Difficulty conducting research

    If you are struggling to do any research now, it’s really important that you speak to your supervisor directly. As academics, they will also be facing the same frustrations as you and as the expert in your study, they will know best how to mitigate this. Do also speak to your pastoral tutors.

    The library is continuing to add E-books to their collection every day to ensure resources are remotely accessible. If there is something missing that you need urgently email  library@fxplus.ac.uk (Cornwall) or library@exeter.ac.uk (Exeter). Guides on using the library online can be found here https://libguides.exeter.ac.uk/?b=s

    Other students concerns that I put forward:

    • Lack of communication and attention paid to PGRs compared to undergraduate provision.
    • Clarity around 1+3, MRes Dissertations and Progression.
    • Provision needed for students from High Risk groups who have been advised by the government to self-isolate for 12 weeks, if campus reopens before then.
    • A lot of advice and communications have been given to undergraduates and we feel neglected.
    • Lack of access to equipment or primary data collection being impossible.
    • Provision for student parents or those with new caring duties for relatives.

    These concerns are being discussed with immediate effect and I really hope to get answers to you all soon.  There will be an email sent out from the Doctoral College Wednesday or Thursday this week with further information.  

    Please remember if you have any concerns to contact me directly: Sunday.Blake@exeterguild.com and I strongly encourage you to fill out the PGR feedback form found at the top of this page. 

  • VP Postgraduate: Coronavirus Statement 31 March 2020

    ALL POSTGRADUATE UPDATE COVID-19

    *If you have any concerns about anything posted below please EMAIL me, not message me on Facebook. I am at work 7 - 12 hours a day and more likely to see emails! sunday.blake@exeterguild.com*

    Hi everyone, just an update with the movements I have managed today. I'm sorry this is relatively late - I had Guild trustee board meetings, alongside trying to represent the sheer amount of human experiences and different and complex circumstances, it's really taking a lot of time and emotion. I had meetings, emails, phone calls with different members of the University and have made the following progress for today.

    Firstly, Doctoral College is sending out comms which will supplement the Registrars emails. I believe a lot of the confusion as to what does and doesn’t apply to PGs last week was because some PGs were receiving both staff and student emails which some, both, or neither of the contents being relevant. This should be being addressed both in a Registrars email you would have received this afternoon, and in communications from the doctoral college.

    TAUGHT STUDENTS THIRD TERM MODULES
    Please prepare for these to be delivered online the same way modules for term 2 finished being. Of course, this will be continuously reviewed and updated if the circumstances permit.

    TAUGHT STUDENTS AND: THE "NO DETRIMENT" POLICY
    The no detriment policy I worked on last week absolutely does apply to PGT assignments (this is why I - as the PG rep - was working on it!). I reported back to the University that the emails weren't clear and seemed only to refer to undergraduates. You should have received an email from the registrar this afternoon clarifying that this policy is for all PGT assignments this term! Please check your emails and if you need any clarification let me know: sunday.blake@exeterguild.com -

    TAUGHT STUDENTS DISSERTATIONS:
    Currently I still don't have an answer as to whether these will be permitted under the 'No Detriment Policy.’ Of course, I am arguing that there needs to be some consideration. The University is still arguing that autumn is a long way off, and the global conditions may have changed. I have been following the news and I am not so sure. A lot of the concern with some MA dissertations is that they obviously act as steppingstones to PhD research, sometimes acting as a proposal and completing these differently would be detrimental to your preparation and put you at a disadvantage when applying for funding. This is not what we want. The University do have your best possible intentions at heart, and are engaging with pedagogical, mental health, and discipline specific experts to ensure that both your wellbeing and your academic career are protected. I am really keen to hear back from as many people as possible about this and the impact COVID-19 is having on your ability to do your PGT Dissertation. Please email me with any and all concerns, big or small: Sunday.blake@exeterguild.com

    You will have an absolute answer by Friday 3rd April, and I will continue to fight for the best possible outcome for you by then.

    UPGRADES
    The Doctoral College have stressed that for everyone’s mental health we approach the coming months as goal-orientated and not deadline-orientated. Upgrades will continue to be run as the schedule is set as closely as possible, but these are and will continue to be movable. Ideally upgrades can happen online during lockdown (and there have already been several examples of this occurring this week, with minor interruptions or problems). There will be issues around internet connection, appropriate space to take the upgrade, and time/headspace to prepare for it. Therefore, in some cases there may be the need to postpone it. You will need to contact your supervisor and college as soon as possible if you think this will be the case. Which leads me on to:

    EXTENSIONS VS. INTERRUPTIONS
    The University approach needs to be inline with UKRI and therefore they are advising extensions. No one will be turned down. This is because extensions tend to be granted in “exceptional circumstances,” which I saw, and argued, us as all, blanketly, find ourselves in, without any explanation. Every single PGR is in an “exceptional circumstance.” It is very likely to be confirmed that there will be no fees attached to any extension. However, you WILL still need to apply for them, they won’t be automatic. Some students won’t need them and are continuing to work through the lockdown normally, and in some cases e.g. International Students, the anxiety is actually around getting the research finished and getting home to their loved ones.

    Extensions will be granted for other programme deadlines as well as for overall candidateships (e.g. for upgrades etc.). Deadlines for admin/paperwork etc will be at college/discipline level.

    Interruptions will be for “Personal, medical, or financial circumstances.” Therefore, extensions will be the blanket default for all of us impacted by COVID-19 and interruptions will be reserved for those who have met significant hardship during the lockdown. Please think very carefully about applying for an interruption as you will not have access to your supervisor, resources, and in funded cases, your stipend. Obviously this may be the option for some, but think carefully as you may be able to manage your circumstances with an extension, especially is stipend extension is granted.

    FUNDING
    As mentioned before the University are working with UKRI. UKRI are agreeing to the cost of extensions on a CASE BY CASE basis. This is far from ideal. The University and I will continue to lobby them for leniency. The extension process will be fully developed in partnership with UKRI, throughout April.

    For student funded by the University scholarship schemes, the University is asking the government to help with the cost of extensions. This is a huge exercise which is about totalling up all the thousands of students and what the amount is, and the extent of funds needed. I know that this is an incredibly anxious time for you all and I will absolutely endeavour to get clear answers on this asap.

    Self-funded students absolutely have not been forgotten about. There are a lot of conversations around supporting you in your ability to study and again, I will update you as soon as I have the answer. It is worth knowing that the COVID-19 hardship fund (to be agreed this week!) will be open to ALL PG STUDENTS regardless of funding status.

    STUDENTS IN ISOLATION
    I am aware that there are students still in Exeter. Please contact the University’s Corona Crisis Team so that they can check on your welfare and ensure you have everything you need.
    The Doctoral College should have uploaded comprehensive FQAs by tomorrow.
    Once again, I am so sorry that not everything is as clarified as we want it to be. I am working incredibly hard and as fast as I can. I know that DVC Education, and the Doctoral College are also trying to work out the best possible circumstances for you.

    Please continue to prioritise the health of yourself and your loved ones.

  • VP Postgraduate: Coronavirus Statement 25 March 2020

    I am working as hard as I can attempting to coordinate with different parties, bodies, and organisations to ensure your research and wellbeing are both protected. You are my sole and complete priority right now. As predicted, mitigating the impact and distress of COVID-19 is proving lot more complex than with mitigating taught degrees (which was complex in itself!).

    My main concerns at the moment are:
    - Extra funding for those who now need more time to complete their research
    - Students with childcare or care responsibilities
    - Isolation and impact on mental wellbeing.

    Please email me with absolutely anything that is currently impacting you. There is no concern too small. I am collating as much feedback as I can so I can truly reflect your needs to the Doctoral College.

    A virtual vivas policy is being finalised. The PG Admin team will advise those candidates and examination panels directly on the virtual vivas policy and assess whether those vivas can proceed, or need to be postponed. However, right now DO NOT travel to our campuses for any viva examinations until further notice. Please seek advice from the PG Admin team - pgadmin@exeter.ac.uk if you have a scheduled viva.

    The University are in the process of identifying potentially safe study spaces for you to use. These are unlikely to be your offices but will be spaces on campus where you can work at a socially safe distance from others. I will update as soon as I have more details on this.

    The Doctoral College has a live Doctoral College Coronavirus webpage which I strongly encourage you continue to check for up-to-date policies and regulations. The Guild also have our own website, https://www.exeterguild.org/coronavirus/ And the library has a live page, also: https://libguides.exeter.ac.uk/coronavirus

    Important Contacts

    • Business School- uebs-pgradmin@exeter.ac.uk
    • College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences- emps-pgr@exeter.ac.uk
    • College of Humanities-humanities-gradschool@exeter.ac.uk
    • College of Life and Environmental Sciences-
      cles-pgr-support@exeter.ac.uk
    • College of Social Sciences and International Studies (Stretham)- ssis-grs-streatham@exeter.ac.uk
    • College of Social Sciences and International Studies (St Luke's)- ssis-grs-stlukes@exeter.ac.uk
    • College of Medicine and Health- UEMS-graduateresearch@exeter.ac.uk
      All Cornwall Students- cornwall-pgr@exeter.ac.uk
    • If you are uncertain which team to contact, please email Doctoral.College@exeter.ac.uk

Other Information

  • Society Events 16 March 2020

    As of 5pm on 16/03/20, the UK Government has advised against ‘all non-essential contact with others as Coronavirus cases rise’. In light of the most recent statement from Boris Johnson, all societies must move to cancel or postpone their events until further notice. If you are a society or student group committee member, you will have an email detailing this fully, including the support available. If you have any questions regarding the decision, refunds or anything else, please contact coronavirus@exeterguild.com. 

    Information and resources for committee members can be found on our Committee Resource section.

  • Society and Student Group Trips 16 March 2020
    Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, we have taken the decision to cancel all affiliated group trips occurring in March and April. This decision has been taken to safeguard our students both on the trip and in the wider community. If you are a society or student group committee member, you will have an email detailing this fully. If you have any questions regarding the decision, refunds or anything else, please contact coronavirus@exeterguild.com.
  • Exeter Respect on Campus Postponed 15 March 2020

    We regret to announce that we have made the difficult decision to postpone Exeter Respect on Campus (Tuesday 17 March) until further notice due to coronavirus concerns. This decision has been made following, careful risk-assessment, and taking into account advice related to covid-19.

    Ultimately the health of the students, staff, performers and volunteers is our primary concern.

    We are extremely disappointed to have to postpone; Exeter Respect on Campus promised to be a hugely important celebration of diversity, with an important message. Despite the cancellation of this, we will be focussing efforts on ensuring that diversity is celebrated, and that the important discussions to further inclusion will still have a place at our university. We will keep colleagues and students informed on plans when rescheduled.

    We would like to thank everyone who had already registered for tickets, as well as all the performers, volunteers and staff who had worked so hard to get us ready to host this event.

    Please continue to treat each other with kindness and compassion during this difficult time, and please respect the privacy of friends, colleagues and students. If you experience, or are witness to, any inappropriate behaviour please report it to the University via our Speak Out web pages.

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