COVID-19 Student FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions from current Students
This page covers changes to University life, including remote learning, as well as focused information for international students.
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Safety on Campus
Is the University of Buckingham open?
Yes. The university remains operational and all courses are being offered online until at least 11th June (the end of the Spring Term).
Should I return to campus?
England is currently in national lockdown and the UK Government has instructed people to stay at home. In line with the national lockdown restrictions in England, students should not return to campus until advised.
Right now, students should only return to campus in exceptional circumstances. For example, where they do not have access to appropriate alternative accommodation, facilities or study space, or where they need to return for health or safety reasons. However, they are still expected to study online until for the time being.
Students who return to campus should remain at their university accommodation in order to comply with the national lockdown rules and reduce footfall on campus. They will be offered coronavirus testing and should only utilise campus resources when they have to.
How will my course be provided during the national lockdown in England?
The UK Government has decided that, except future critical worker courses, Higher Education provision will remain online for now. The UK Government is expected to review this decision in April and we will contact students as soon as we receive further guidance regarding a return to face-to-face teaching.
To minimise uncertainty, we will continue to offer all our courses online until at least 11th June (the end of the Spring Term).
How do I get tested for coronavirus if I’m on campus?
We are offering Lateral Flow Device (LFD) testing to all students and staff who are on campus. Please find more details on our testing page. Testing is only open to those living or working on campus; please do not book a test unless this applies to you.
What if I test positive for coronavirus while on campus?
It’s important that all of our students and staff play their part in preventing the spread of COVID-19. If you test positive, you will not be able to use campus facilities such as shared study spaces. In line with government rules, you will need to return to your accommodation immediately and begin self-isolation.
At university level, there is a disciplinary policy in place that will be enforced for those who are found to be acting against government requirements or University protocols. If you see anyone not acting on the guidance and putting themselves and others at risk, please contact the Student Conduct Manager.
On a national level, the Police can issue fines to those breaching self-isolation rules. Fines start at £1,000, in line with the existing penalty for breaking quarantine after international travel. They can increase to £10,000 for repeat offences and the most serious breaches, including for those preventing others from self-isolating.
It is important to look after yourself and we’re here to support you. Please take a look at our Student Support and Wellbeing page for more details.
If I have to return to campus, which buildings can I access?
If you need to use the spaces that are open on campus, you are required to have attended your first LFD test appointment and received a negative test result beforehand. You will then be required to attend regular LFD appointments and get a negative test result each time in order to continue using the campus.
In Buckingham, the Vinson Building, including the first floor seminar rooms, is open for private study if you need it. The building is open from 8am until 10pm each day, seven days a week. You can purchase drinks and snacks from the vending machines.
Our library buildings are open (Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm).
In Crewe, the Wellness Centre is offering one-to-one outdoor training sessions. You can book these by contacting Amanda Weston or Georgia Bevan. Booth Hall residents are welcome to use the open study space on the ground floor if they need to.
Open spaces are only to be used by students who are living or working on-campus.
How can I access library resources if I’m not on campus?
Resources are available online and book return fees will be waived. The library offers a postal service if you require books or there is a click and collect (C&C) service. To arrange a postal or C&C service, or for any other questions you may have, please contact the library team.
The Buckingham online and postal library services are available to Crewe students. Please contact the library team to arrange.
Are the catering outlets on campus open?
Not at the moment. However, there are many alternative outlets nearby offering takeaway meals. You can find some of these by using apps like Just Eat.
Will my classes be online?
Yes, all lectures and group tutorials will be held online for the time being. It is our intention to change this once government guidance permits but all of our courses will be offered online until at least 11th June (the end of the Spring Term).
If you are a medical sciences student, you should have received separate guidance from your School regarding your teaching arrangements. If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Are the Student Union, Gym and sports clubs/societies running?
The SU team are running virtual events. Check the SU website to see what’s on.
In Buckingham, the OTM gym and SU bar are closed. In Crewe, a 1:1 outdoor training session with The Wellness Centre team may be booked by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Can I spend time with other people while I’m at university?
Our university remains the supportive community it has always been and we will all want to do what we can to keep each other and ourselves safe.
England is currently in National Lockdown. Under current guidance, you should not leave, or be outside of your accommodation except where necessary. You should pay particular attention to the rules around meeting with other people.
Please note that students who are in the same accommodation block, but with whom you do not share a kitchen/bathroom, are not part of your household. Therefore, you should not meet with them socially.
In common spaces (e.g. kitchen, stairway, bathrooms etc.) you should stay 2 metres apart from anyone who is not part of your own household (or your support bubble). If it is not possible to remain 2 metres apart, you should wear a face covering but you should still stay at least 1 metre apart.
The Students’ Union are holding virtual events. Visit the SU website to find out more.
Will the university be offering refunds or compensation for tuition fees in light of the COVID-19 pandemic?
In line with the expectations of government, Universities UK (UUK), and the Office for Students, the University’s position is that we will not be offering refunds or compensation for tuition fees in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. We know that this period has been exceptionally challenging for students.
At Buckingham we have put significant time and investment in to ensuring that our courses are delivered to the same high standard that we have always provided – we are committed to fulfilling our obligations to our students. To highlight one such investment, the University has partnered with the company Kortext, ensuring that our students have access to their core textbooks digitally while they aren’t on campus and we have also invested in many other digital and online tools to aid in your learning. On request, our IT Services department can provide a PC with equipment to students who are without IT, or do not have a suitable set-up for online learning. We have also agreed that, where students are not occupying rooms on campus because of COVID restrictions, we will not charge during this period. If this applies to you please contact the Student Accommodation Office.
We have been offering teaching excellence for the last 40 years, and are renowned for our world-leading academics, small class sizes and personal tutor system. All of this is still thriving during remote teaching and learning. Our lecturers still offer an ‘open-door policy’, albeit virtually, our class sizes are still small and our students are still getting world-class teaching from experts in their respective fields. If you would like some more information about how this works, you can watch a short video about online teaching and learning at the University of Buckingham.
Although we are unable to offer our usual on-campus activities to our students, the Students’ Union is continuing to run virtual events, providing plenty of opportunities for socialising. Alongside these events, they offer daily drop-in sessions on Microsoft Teams to make sure everyone has a safe and social space to connect with fellow students and feel part of the Buckingham community. They are also always keeping on top of the latest national restrictions and, as soon as it is safe to do so, they will run in-person events abiding by the guidelines. Please visit their website to see what they are currently offering, or watch a short video to see what they have been doing throughout the last year of online and blended learning. Various other events are being held virtually too, such as work-in-progress seminars, guest speaker events with alumni and industry leaders, and our Fireside Talk series hosted by the Vice-Chancellor.
Finally, our variety of Student Experience Teams continue to provide support and guidance through online events and workshops. This includes mental health support, counselling, career guidance, employability workshops and more. We appreciate that some students may find themselves in financial hardship at this time, and we will seek to provide support wherever possible based on your individual circumstances, in which case please contact the Students First team.
Is university accommodation being cleaned?
Cleaning teams are attending to accommodation. However, as hygiene is more important than ever before, we expect students to be considerate and clean up after themselves. Staff will be wearing protective equipment but staff and students should also practice social distancing at all times.
Will I be charged for my University room in the Winter Term?
If you have any queries or concerns about accommodation costs you should contact the Accommodation Office.
I intended to live in privately-rented accommodation. Can I get a refund if I don’t use it?
You will need to contact your landlord or letting agency directly if you have queries about your tenancy. Please be mindful that government guidelines state that renters should, where possible, delay moving while coronavirus restrictions are in place.
You can also visit the Shelter website for some general guidance on leaving your tenancy early.
What extra hygiene measures should I be taking on campus?
You should follow the UK Government’s advice at all times.
Students living in university accommodation are reminded that they should use the hygiene facilities within their own accommodation, even if this means they must wait their turn. Students should not, for example, try to use the shower in someone else’s accommodation on the basis that they don’t want to wait for their own shared shower to become free. Instead, they should wait their turn to use the shower within their own accommodation.
Please note that the university is offering its courses online until at least 11th June (the end of the Spring Term). You should not try to travel to England if you can study effectively online.
We want to make sure you feel included and get the best out of your studies during this difficult time. Please do not hesitate to contact the university if you have any questions or concerns.
Students who are not currently in England should check the official advice for their own country on a frequent basis.
Before attempting to travel to England you should visit the government website for full details of the current travel restrictions.
It is important for anyone who is hoping to travel to England to be aware of the new enforcement measures that will come into force on 15th February. These include heavy financial penalties and potential jail time for non-compliance.
As of 15th February, the following restrictions apply:
You cannot travel to the UK if you’ve visited or passed through a country where travel to the UK is banned in the last 10 days, unless you’re:
- a British national
- an Irish national
- anyone with residence rights in the UK
If you are allowed to enter England and you have visited or passed through a country where travel to the UK is banned in the last 10 days, you must:
- quarantine for 10 days in a managed quarantine hotel
- take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 of quarantining
- follow the national lockdown rules
Before you travel you must:
- take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test and get a negative result during the 3 days before you travel.
- book a managed quarantine hotel where you will quarantine and be tested for COVID-19. Please note you will need to meet the cost of this yourself.
- complete a passenger locator formwith details of where you will quarantine when you arrive. You must provide a quarantine package booking reference number to complete your passenger locator form
If you are allowed to enter England and you have not visited or passed through a country where travel to the UK is banned in the last 10 days must:
- quarantine for 10 days in your own accommodation
- take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test on day 2 and day 8 of quarantining
- follow the national lockdown rules
Before you travel you must:
- take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test and get a negative result during the 3 days before you travel
- book and pay for a travel test package, which will include COVID-19 tests to be taken on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 of your quarantine
- complete a passenger locator form with details of where you will quarantine when you arrive and the travel test package booking reference number
Safety on campus
What cleaning measures will be in place?
Our cleaning teams will be regularly attending to student accommodation and University buildings throughout the week and deep cleaning spaces to ensure a hygienic environment.
We will be providing sanitising stations with hand gel and antibacterial wipes. All necessary precautions are being taken to help reduce any contact risks. We have installed screens at all face-to-face service points and are closely monitoring the cleanliness of social study spaces.
What extra hygiene measures should I be taking on-campus?
Students will be expected to sanitise their own study areas and equipment. We will be providing sanitisation equipment, so please wipe down your seats and desk areas before and after use.
Do I need to wear a face covering?
You can find the latest information and a list of the places you will need to wear a covering on the government website.
In order to keep all students and staff as safe as possible, the wearing of face coverings is currently mandatory when walking through all buildings where it is not possible to keep a 2-metre distance from others (e.g. corridors and staircases), so please carry a face covering at all times. Face coverings can be removed where a 2-metre distance from other people can be maintained.
A limited supply of disposable face coverings are available through the University.
We expect everyone in our university to show respect to one another at all times. Please bear in mind that some people are unable to wear a face covering for medical reasons. This is why it’s important for those people who can wear a face covering to do so.
What should I do if I see others not following the coronavirus rules and guidance?
Whatever the circumstances, we expect everyone in our university to show respect to one another at all times.
If you know the faculty or department to which the person belongs, you should send an e-mail to the Department Administrator. The matter will then be taken forward by the person’s personal tutor, department head, etc.).
Alternatively, please contact the Student Conduct Manager directly to raise your concerns.
What if I develop symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)?
You should also send an email to the Students First department to make them aware of your situation. This will help the university to look out for your welfare during self-isolation. However, please be aware that Students First is not a medical centre. You should access the NHS 111 system if you need medical advice. You can do this online or by dialling 111 from your phone.
Do not try to access the Students First building or any other part of the campus in person if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.
It’s important that all of our students and staff play their part in fighting against the spread of Covid-19. Please follow the safety measures in place on-campus and government guidance at all times.
The University’s disciplinary policy will be enforced for those who are found to be acting against the government guidance or University protocols. If you see anyone putting themselves and others at risk by not acting on the guidance, please contact the Student Conduct Manager.
Offences include but are not limited to:
- Acting against governmentor University guidance
- Meeting socially indoors with family or friends that are not part of your household, meaning the people you live with, or your support bubble. This includes others in the same accommodation block but not directly within your household.
- Not maintaining a 2m distance from others in common spaces (e.g. kitchen, stairway, bathrooms etc.)
- Not wearing a face covering where a 2m distance cannot be achieved. Please note you should be no closer than 1 metre at any time, even when you are wearing a face covering.
- Failing to self-isolate when required
University sanctions include:
- Verbal warnings
- Formal warnings
- Monetary fines
- Eviction from University accommodation
- Suspension from campus
Disciplinary measures will depend on the particular circumstances of each case.
In the event of more complex cases, an investigation will be carried out and the matter may be referred to the police or other public authority.