As we move into the Easter break, I wanted to give you a brief update on the processes for ensuring you can graduate and progress as planned during the disruption caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. This will be followed up with further detail next week and the opportunity for a Q&A discussion.
Assessment approvals began three weeks ago, so many of you will have already had information about alternative arrangements for assessment from your programme teams, and those of you in the remaining cohorts will hear soon. The assessment framework we are using is designed to both meet the standards of university regulators and professional bodies, while also ensuring students are not disadvantaged by the disruption caused by Covid-19.
Amongst the suite of measures within the framework is a mitigating circumstances policy. This recognises the impact the Covid-19 outbreak may have on the ability to prepare for and undertake your assessments. This may include:
Caring responsibilities for children and for others.
Illness and/or a requirement to isolate.
Problems with your internet connection or computer/device.
Difficulties with travel arrangements in relation to COVID-19, in particular for international students.
You will not need to provide medical evidence for any claim, whether it is due to Covid-19 or another circumstance. Where claims are accepted, you will be given a standard two-week extension for coursework (in the first instance), and for timed assessments you will be permitted to sit at the next available opportunity for an uncapped mark. Claims for Mitigating Circumstances can be made in the usual way.
We are aware that for students on some programmes – those who are undertaking research projects or have substantial placement hours to complete, for example - delays resulting from the Covid-19 disruption may extend beyond your expected completion date. For you, we will extend completion dates and registration periods as necessary in order to allow you to complete your studies. Programme teams will be in touch with further details. The Academic Registrar will sign off registration extension periods on a course-by-course basis with no need to apply.
Further details about the approach we have taken to ensure that you are not disadvantaged will follow next week.
Until then, please accept my best wishes for a happy Easter weekend.
Professor Jane Saffell
Deputy Principal (Education), St George's, University of London
St George’s will also be adapting the ways in which we, as a University, will contact you in the next few weeks. While the Covid-19 pandemic continues you can expect to receive the following from the University:
This regular briefing, which will usually be sent on the last working day of the week, aims to offer you information and guidance to support you while you are away from St George's
Fortnightly newsletters providing updates on what is happening at St George’s
Supplementary emails from the University as and when there is urgent and important information that you need to know
Regular canvas updates providing the latest course level information.
The FAQ pages on the website will also be updated with the latest institutional information.
The University hopes to include regular video messages in this briefing and this week are pleased to feature Dr Aileen O'Brien, Dean of Students, talking about supporting your wellbeing.
If you have any feedback, ideas or suggestions, please engage with Unitu in order to foster a constructive, collective dialogue between students and staff. Your perspectives are valuable for influencing University decision-making and developments. Please remember to be courteous and professional. Information on how to set up your Unitu account, if you have not done so already, can be found here.
You will have seen that St George’s University Hospitals Trust is offering to train students who wish to volunteer to work as healthcare assistants in the next few weeks. Information on volunteering can also be found here.
Funding is now available to students in priority groups who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of Covid-19 and the current lockdown.
The Access to Learning Fund is for home (UK) students.
Applications are invited from undergraduates who are care leavers, homeless, disabled or young carers; have children (especially lone parents); or meet other criteria relating to their financial circumstances (please check details at the website below for the full list of eligibility criteria). Applications are invited from postgraduates who have children (especially lone parents), are disabled or are self-funding and not eligible for forms of financial support.
The Fund will remain open until all funds are exhausted. We expect to invite applications from any home student, regardless of circumstances, down track but priority is given to the groups listed above at this stage.
The EU and International Hardship Fund is open to fully registered and enrolled full-time undergraduate and postgraduate EU and International students who are experiencing financial hardship due to unexpected circumstances which are beyond their control.
Access full information, including details of how to apply and supporting evidence required, in the student finance and funding section of the website.