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Keeping Corpus informed – Covid-19 situation

In this ever-changing world the College is doing its best to ensure that your studies are supported.  Rather than keep sending emails this webpage is designed to answer all your questions and provide you with links to relevant resources; it will be updated as and when we know more

As members of an academic institution, resourcefulness, improvisation and ingenuity are skills we need to practise on a daily basis, although perhaps not always at this level of intensity.  As members of faculties and departments, Corpus fellows are working hard with colleagues at the University level to find solutions that will enable your studies to continue in revised form next term.  A number of Corpus fellows currently hold significant academic leadership roles on the university stage and we are grateful for everything that they and others are doing to find a way forwards in uncharted territory.  We do not yet know what the final teaching, research, and assessment plans will look like, although it is encouraging to see that departments and faculties are putting new arrangements in place every day, particularly in respect of modes of assessment.  Please rest assured that Corpus and its tutors will do our utmost on behalf of your studies next term. 

Helen Moore
President

Who to contact with any questions:

Please be aware that all staff are now working from home and responses to questions might be slower than normal.

Should you have any questions regarding undergraduate studying, teaching and exams they should be directed to senior.tutor@ccc.ox.ac.uk.

Any questions from graduates should be sent to rachel.clifford@ccc.ox.ac.uk.

Welfare questions should be directed to either judith.maltby@ccc.ox.ac.uk, rachel.clifford@ccc.ox.ac.ukdavid.russell@ccc.ox.ac.uk or midge.curran@ccc.ox.ac.uk

Accommodation queries should be sent to andrew.rolfe@ccc.ox.ac.uk.

Financial queries should be sent to bursar@ccc.ox.ac.uk.

Teaching

All teaching next term will be online.  Your tutors, departments and faculties are working hard to produce online teaching materials; further details will be sent in due course.  The University has a wide range of tools available for academics to deliver lectures, tutorials and supervisions online. The College administrative staff have been using Microsoft Teams for meetings which works well and is likely to be the medium in which you have tutorials. Libraries are closed and will be so for the foreseeable future (see below for more information on Libraries).  Online resources remain accessible.

Although no final decisions have been made it is almost certain that no students will be allowed back in to residence at the beginning of Trinity Term. To prepare for this we would like you to make sure that you have access to a device with a microphone, speakers and (preferable but not necessary) a web cam. It is anticipated that most teaching will be via Microsoft Teams; you will need to download Microsoft Teams onto your device (https://teams.microsoft.com/downloads). Your login for this is your usual Oxford SSO username followed by @ox.ac.uk (e.g. corp1234@ox.ac.uk). You will then be presented with a university login page to enter your login and password.

Exams

As you will be aware teaching and learning in Trinity term will be moved to an online format and there will be no conventional written paper exams in Oxford. The university has now announced how exams will be run this year as follows:

First-year undergraduates 
The majority of assessments for first-year undergraduates will be cancelled, and students will be deemed to have passed. Instead of formal exams, you will be supported to consolidate your first-year learning in other ways, including informal assessments to give you feedback on your progress to date.
The only exceptions are Law and Medicine, where assessments are required for professional qualification reasons.  Details for these subjects will follow in the near future.
Where the first-year assessment includes coursework elements (such as completion of laboratory classes), these will normally be assessed on the basis of completion to the end of Hilary Term. Your department or faculty will confirm the details. 

Second and third-year (non-finalist) undergraduates, and first-year MPhil: 
Most exams will be deferred into the next academic year, though a small number will be cancelled outright.  
The exceptions are those third-year undergraduate exams which need to go ahead because they are taken by a mix of continuing and leaving students. Your department or faculty will confirm shortly. 
Further details about postponed assessments, and how the next academic year will be adjusted to accommodate them, will be decided as soon as possible. 

Final-year undergraduates and taught postgraduates: 
Exams will be replaced with alternative forms of assessment in Trinity term 2020. These will take the form of either open-book versions of the standard papers, longer pieces of work completed over several days, or a mix of the two (except Fine Art, and Music performance papers, for which separate arrangements will be put in place).  
Further details are as follows: 

Open-book exams will be required in many cases. Departments and Faculties have carefully considered the merits of this type of exam, as well as longer pieces of assessed work for their subject matter, taking student opinion into account.
  
Open-book exams will be of slightly longer duration (e.g. a three-hour paper will be extended to four hours, with comparable timings for other paper lengths). Further adjustments will be made for those with approved alternative exam arrangements such as extra writing time.  Exams will be taken within a 24-hour window to account for different time zones.   

We will make an effort to reduce the number of assessments. And, in a few instances where a large fraction of the award has already been assessed, the remaining exams will be cancelled. 

We plan to implement a safety net policy, which will aim to minimise the risk that Trinity term assessments harm students’ outcomes, compared to their performance in earlier formal assessments. Because of Oxford’s very diverse assessment landscape, the details of this are still being finalised and will be communicated as soon as possible. 

We will put in measures as a priority to support students who are concerned about access to necessary workspaces, technology and resources.  Your college will contact you about this soon. 

Steps will be taken to address plagiarism and collusion, including the implementation of an ‘honour code’ and the use of specialist software.   

While the exam timetable will need adjustment, most assessments will take place at similar times to a normal year. However, most exams in Weeks 0 and 1 will be rearranged to help staff and students prepare.

It will not be possible to postpone exams for final-year undergraduates and taught postgraduates until Michaelmas 2020. The only exception is for exams which are required to be sat in an invigilated setting by external accreditation bodies.

The following has also been agreed by the University with regard to exams:

All written assessments (dissertations, extended essays etc.) are to be submitted online – you should have heard from your department or faculty about this.

A 48-hour extension to the submission deadline for any students due to submit work between 16th March (Week 9 of Hilary Term) to 18th April (week -1 Trinity Term). Any students with an extension request in place prior to Monday 16 March 2020, can add an additional 48 hours to their request without the College needing to contact the Proctors regarding this.

A self-certification process for those students affected by the coronavirus or by a short-term illness to be introduced for the remainder of this academic year, initially for extensions to written assessment deadlines. For those affected directly or indirectly by COVID-19 this will enable a self-certification of up to 14 days, whilst for those affected by a short-term illness (migraine, noro-virus, gastroenteritis, flu, diarrhoea, etc.) this will enable a self-certification of up to 7 days. You will need to complete a self-certification form. The Proctors will consider the case and inform you, the college and your department or faculty of the outcome.

PGR student vivas will be by videoconference. The videoconference viva will need to comply with the agreed protocols and you will need to provide your written agreement to the arrangements.

The use of RTDS for all PGR (re)submissions regardless of whether the original submission was in hard copy or electronic (mainly for major corrections).

The requirement for a hardcopy DPhil thesis to be delivered to the Exam School and filed in the Bodleian Library is suspended for the remainder of the academic year. Instead you will need to (i) submit an electronic copy to ORA as normal, and then (ii) submit a hard copy between January 2021 and March 2021

Exams FAQs

Can I suspend my studies and sit Finals in 2021?

You are expected to complete the academic year in line with the approach outlined by the University. If you have exceptional reasons which prevent you from completing teaching and/or assessments the College will consider a request to suspend study in line with the College rules; however, the College will not grant suspension of status solely on the grounds that an undergraduate is, or feels, ill-prepared for examinations, or that they have underperformed on course.  Again, in line with University guidelines any student who is given permission to sit Finals in Trinity Term 2021 will only be able to return to sit the exams and will not receive any tuition.

What informal assessments can I expect?

Departments and faculties are currently considering how informal assessments should be run.  It is possible that collections set later in the term will be used to assess you but this has not yet been confirmed.  You will be notified of how you will be informally assessed in due course.

Can I return to Oxford to sit open book exams?

The majority of students have now left Oxford and the UK Government has advised that you should not return to Oxford until further notice. This means you will need to carry out remote exams in the area you are currently located in. The University is keeping the situation under constant review; if national guidance changes the College will consider requests from Finalists to return to Oxford if their home situation will make it difficult to sit their exams.

Will my approved alternative arrangements still be in place?

Yes, where this is possible your alternative arrangements will remain.  If you have any concerns about your alternative arrangements contact Rachel and she will try to answer your query.

Can I submit a mitigating circumstances notification to the examiners regarding the impact of Covid-19 on my exams?

Examiners will be very aware of the impact the current situation is having on all students and in particular those who will be sitting exams; they will take this into consideration when marking the open book exams.The Pro-VC (Education) in his email stated: ‘We understand that all students have been impacted by the effects of the coronavirus, some very severely. This will of course be fully taken into account in assessment and classification. Our examiners are very experienced in making adjustments of this sort, and will do so sympathetically and with great care.’

Some students may fall ill (with Covid-19 or other illness) over the coming period, and some students will be trying to study whilst dealing with difficult family circumstances and in a range of different environments; it will be possible to submit a Mitigating Circumstances Notice in these situations. However, the normal processes will be simplified – the University will make it as easy as possible for students to explain their circumstances at this exceptional time. There is no action required at this stage. 

My home situation will make it difficult to sit open book exams – what can I do?

The College and the University understand that the impact of working in a home that is not conducive to academic study is a concern for students.  Where possible the College will aim to provide additional support in order to address specific concerns. You will shortly receive a survey from the College, its aim will be to gather information on your particular circumstances so that we know how best to support you.

I don’t have adequate IT facilities to study online/or to sit open book exams.  What help is available?

The College will do its best to support you and treat requests for support both flexibly and sensitively.

The Maintenance Support Funds will continue to operate during this time. Apply in the normal way by downloading the form from Weblearn. The Dean of Welfare and other senior members of the welfare team are happy to provide advice to assist you in making your application.

Should you need to purchase academic related sundries to enable you to study from home you can claim for reimbursement up to the usual limit of £150p.a. through the academic expenses grant (although immediate reimbursement is unlikely owing to the limited resources staff have at home). Such sundries might include, for example, noise cancelling headphones if you do not have a quiet space in which to study. The form is available to download.

What welfare/tutorial support will be available during exams?

The usual support will be available during exams.  Your tutors will be available to contact via email or you can arrange a Teams chat with them.  Likewise, the Welfare Team will be available either by email, phone or Teams.

Who can I talk to about any non-welfare concerns I have in regard to exams?

You can talk to your tutor, the Senior Tutor or Rachel about any concerns.  If they are unable to help they will try to find out the answer to any questions or concerns that you might have.

Will I be able to practice for open book exams?

It is the College’s intention to run a form of collections either at the start of term or a few weeks in to term.  The collections will be open book with a set start and finish time in order to allow you to practice this form of assessment.  More information will be provided in due course.

Will collections happen in 0th week of Trinity Term?

Collections will take place during the term but not necessarily at the start of term.  Owing to the nature in which they will be run they will spread out to enable those with open book exams towards the end of term to sit collections early and those who will not have exams this year to sit them later in the term possibly as their informal assessment.  Tutors are being consulted about the nature of collections and the informal assessment; more information will be provided in due course.

Welfare

We realise that the strain of what is happening at the moment and the impact it is having on your family, your studies and your future is also having a significant impact on many people’s mental health.  College fellows and staff are working from home but are available for welfare appointments electronically.  The Dean of Welfare, Welfare tutor, College nurse or Rachel can be contacted and will try to respond promptly but we all ask for your patience in these extraordinary times – we are all in uncharted waters.  Email is the best way to reach us and we can fix a time to speak.

Further, the University Counselling Service works throughout the academic year as do the college doctors at King Edward Street, if you are still in Oxford.  Currently, however, the staff at the Counselling Service are providing sessions and taking appointments but all sessions are being done electronically.    The surgery is taking telephone consultations only in the first instance (01865 242657). 

We will do our best to respond promptly for ‘face to face’ appointments (electronically or by phone) but we all ask for your patience.  So, your first point of contact should be as in term time - that is Judith Maltby, David RussellMidge Curran, or Rachel Clifford:  we are all working from home and Midge is self-isolating.  Email is the best way to reach us and we can fix a time to speak using a variety of electronic means.

The Maintenance support fund will continue to operate – please see the Financial Support page below for more information.

Welfare for those self-isolating:

Should any student still in college accommodation find that they need to self-isolate, we can arrange for food packages to be delivered.  You should email andrew.rolfe@ccc.ox.ac.uk and he will put the arrangements in place.  Note this service is only available for those self-isolating.  College fellows and staff are almost entirely working from home but are available for welfare appointments electronically (see above for contact details). 

Financial Support, Fees and Rent

The University announced (on 3 April) the following regarding fees:

What is going to happen with course fees?

We are focussing on supporting students and delivering our programmes of study within the constraints of current circumstances. Whilst we appreciate that this will mean that they are not delivered in the same manner as previous years, we still intend to ensure that students are able to take advantage of our world class academic teaching and meet the educational objectives of each programme. For these reasons it is not appropriate for course fees to be waived.

For those postgraduate students whose work is substantially disrupted (particularly because of closed labs or the inability to do fieldwork) we are working case by case on practical adjustments, often including, where necessary, suspension of studies and/or extensions of relevant deadlines.  Work is ongoing to look at the impact of current disruption to see what else may be done in these cases.

The current circumstances are exceptional and well beyond our control, yet University staff are working strenuously to ensure our high quality teaching, assessments and examinations, go ahead while minimising impacts for students. Other University services (e.g. student welfare, careers support) will continue to be provided even though staff are working remotely.'

The Student Loans Company has confirmed that students will receive their scheduled or next instalment of their maintenance loan at the planned start of their summer term, regardless of whether their university or provider has made alternative arrangements for teaching.

Following the latest University guidance we are planning that students will not be required to return to College for Trinity term. Those that remain in College accommodation will be permitted to remain and will pay their normal rent. For those currently away from College the following will apply:

For Undergraduates: College will not be imposing any rent charges on unoccupied student accommodation at all for Trinity Term – this will apply from 1/04/20 through until the end of Trinity Term.

For Graduate Students:   the above also applies, from the same date, to unoccupied graduate accommodation through until the end of the current lockdown or the end of your existing contract in the summer – whichever is the earlier.

In both cases the above will include the cancellation of any requirement to pay storage charges through until the dates referred to above.

This is a significant change to the College’s normal policy.  See the accommodation section for more information.

The Maintenance Support Funds will continue to operate during this time. Apply in the normal way by downloading the form from Weblearn. The Dean of Welfare and other senior members of the welfare team are happy to provide advice to assist you in making your application.

Emergency Assistance Fund for students

The University has launched an Emergency Assistance Fund (EAF) for on-course, matriculated students of all fee statuses whose finances have been negatively affected by coronavirus. The fund is intended to supplement existing provision offered by the collegiate university. Emergency Assistance grants of between £200 and £1,000 are available, taking into account individual circumstances and need, to provide short-term support only. The Fund is being administered by the Student Fees and Funding team with oversight by the University Hardship Committee. As with other schemes, applications have a section for colleges to complete in support of the application.  Contact the Bursary if you would like an application form. The Fund will close on Friday 12 June (week 7, Trinity term). A range of financial information, including details of schemes that can provide help for other reasons, is available on the University's Fees & Funding webpages

Should you need to purchase academic related sundries to enable you to study from home you can claim for reimbursement up to the usual limit of £150p.a. through the academic expenses grant (although immediate reimbursement is unlikely owing to the limited resources staff have at home). Such sundries might include, for example, noise cancelling headphones if you do not have a quiet space in which to study. The form is available to download.

If you received a travel grant and are now unable to travel you may retain any amount of the grant that you have received to cover expenses not covered by insurance. You should send any receipts plus the claim form (available to download) to Rachel and she will arrange reimbursement (again noting that there might be some delay).

Library

The Library is now closed and staff are unable to provide a fetch and loan system for physical books (or scans); the Librarian will be liaising with tutors about the best way to support you all.  You can keep any books you have on loan.  These are now due at the end of Trinity Term, to avoid any fines being accrued.

Online resources information is below.  General resources are listed first, followed by more subject specific information.  You are likely to be familiar with many available to you. Many publishers and suppliers are widening access, either to new titles or increased numbers of simultaneous readers.  More reading lists are being made available via ORLO, which can provide links to scanned chapters from books, so it is worth checking the range of resources available. 

You can still make book suggestions, including e-books via library.staff@ccc.ox.ac.uk and can access the Library's Weblearn page for more information. 

SOLO
Use SOLO to search physical and electronic items available across the University's libraries, including over a billion records for articles and other e-resources, both open access and restricted to members of the University of Oxford. 

Oxford University Research Archive (ORA)
ORA provides open access to a wide range of articles, dissertations and other papers by Oxford academics and research students. Over 56,000 complete works available. 

Digital Bodleian
Search and explore the Bodleian's collections on Digital Bodleian, with over 900,000 images of c.16,000 collection items. 

Open access materials
Open access materials, including a wide range of scholarly papers, are available to anyone via SOLO. Filter by Open Access at the top of the left-hand column of search results. Alternatively, enter keywords and then on the results screen choose Open Access in the Show only section on the left-hand side.   

E-books 
Access over 1.4 million e-books via SOLO. Filter results by Online Resources to find e-books – look for the green Online access icon for those that can be accessed off site. Find out more about information on accessing e-books on the e-books LibGuide. Information on additional materials made available is being added all the time to https://libguides.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/e-books/covid-19

Suppliers such as Dawsonera, Proquest, EBSCO, Askews and Holt are providing unlimited access to titles we have already purchased until mid-June, where publishers have agreed. Publishers that have already agreed to extending credits include: Bloomsbury, Edward Elgar, Elsevier, Hodder Education, Kogan Page, OUP, Sage, Springer, and Taylor and Francis.

E-journals
Access over 118,000 e-journal titles via SOLO. Filter results by Online Resources to show resources that can be accessed offsite – look for the green Online access icon.

Oxford Reading Lists Online
Explore reading lists for a selection of courses across all divisions on ORLO, with access to scanned book chapters where available.  

Databases
Access over 1,300 databases across a broad range of subject areas. Visit Databases A-Z or search SOLO

Free online resources

- Cambridge Core https://www.cambridge.org/core/browse-subjects >browse by subject >log in > click on login via Shibboleth or Athens > from the Institutions list find University of Oxford
- National Emergency Library
https://archive.org/details/nationalemergencylibrary - a United States collection of books that supports emergency remote teaching, research activities, independent scholarship, and intellectual stimulation while universities and libraries are closed
- VitalSource https://get.vitalsource.com/vitalsource-helps-ukir This will let you access up to 7 e-books free till 30th June 2020. You need to set up an account using your ox.ac.uk email to login.
- Digital Online Access Books (DOAB) is a series of additional free full-text books made available via JISC’s 'Library Hub' website: https://discover.libraryhub.jisc.ac.uk/search?q=held-by:+doab

To access the texts of particular items you should follow these steps:

- Enter your search terms in the search box to the right of the doab qualifier and click on the search button to the right;

- Click on the short title and thumbnail for the book you want.  This will take you to the full record for that item;

- Scroll down towards the END of the links below the item record. To access the text, you need to click on the link with the prefix 'doab'.  

At present, the JISC are aiming to make this resource available until the end of July.  As in the case of other emergency resources, new titles are still being added.

English

- videos and audio recordings, complementing the full text of Shakespeare's plays on the Folger Shakespeare site, along with textual notes, scene summaries, and commentary

- For electronic journal articles, use bibliographical databases such as the MLA International Bibliography or ABELL (Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature). Find these databases on the Databases A-Z platform.

- You can also try ‘Search Everything’ on SOLO to find e-articles. Use the ‘Resource Type’ filter on the left-hand side of your search results to filter to articles.

- The Databases A-Z platform links to the Libraries’ major e-resources, including electronic collections of archival materials (e.g. British Literary Manuscripts Online, Eighteenth Century Drama, Shakespeare in Performance, and much more), and bibliographic databases as mentioned above. You can browse Databases A-Z by subject, e.g. English, Biographical Resources, Newspapers, etc. 

- The English LibGuide links to several subject-specific guides which signpost to online resources useful for particular papers.

- Search the Internet Archive for digitised largely 19th-century publications. Google Books or Project Gutenberg may also help.

- Search the National Emergency Library to borrow any of the 1.5 million digitised 20th century books. 

- A number of academic publishers have made additional e-books available free-of-charge on a temporary basis. We hope to get this content temporarily added to SOLO, in due course, but in the meantime check the following platforms: Project Muse (list of participating publishers is here: https://about.muse.jhu.edu/resources/freeresourcescovid19/) & JSTOR

- If you can’t find a book available as an e-book, then we may be able to purchase one, if it’s available – you can still make requests via the EFL’s book recommendation form https://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/english/collections/recommendations 

- For online performances of Shakespeare plays, try Box of Broadcasts which you can also access via the Databases A-Z platform. It’s an archive of off-air recordings from television and radio, and includes plenty of films of Shakespeare plays. You can also access recordings of live Shakespeare performances from the Globe, the RSC and more, via the Drama Online resource on Databases A-Z (individual Drama Online recordings can also be found via SOLO – restrict your search to Audio Visual). NB some Drama Online content, including all RSC performances, is available on temporary basis only, until 31 May

- Digital Bodleian https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/ with over 900,000 images of c 16,000 archival and rare books items.

- You can make requests for new ebook purchases via the Faculty library online form on https://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/english/about/library-news/closure

- The Bodleian ‘Live Chat’ resource has been expanded to be available 7 days a week, 9-7 on weekdays, 10-7 at weekends

History

- National Emergency Library – temporary free access to 1.5m ebooks with a focus on materials published during the 20th century, the vast majority of which do not have a commercially available e-book

- British Online Archives – full access until 20 April 2020

- Bloomsbury Medieval Studies which includes 150 ebooks – until 31st May 2020. [To access remotely, login to SOLO with SSO first, then click on the link in the SOLO record—JW]

- Tips for locating digital resources & ebooks (this will be kept up to date so do revisit)

- Gale / Cengage - full access to a vast range of source databases and newspapers until 1st September 2020. They are all relevant for early modern and modern historians and cover a wide range of topics. The entire list of the additional resources and links to access them is at http://blogs.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/history/2020/03/25/gale-primary-sources-access-until-1-sept-2020/.

- American History – COVID-19 update from the Vere Harmsworth Library: http://blogs.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/vhl/2020/03/25/covid-19-new-primary-resources/

If you want to get automatic alerts for new blog posts, just sign up to the HFL blog mailing list http://blogs.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/history/.  If you want more information visit https://libguides.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/history/covid19

Law

The Bodleian Libraries now have access to Law Trove https://www.oxfordlawtrove.com/ – but it is limited free access until 31 May and access has been provided for academic purposes only. Please email the Law Library directly with questions and for more information: law.library@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

Science and Medicine (MPLS and MSD)

- E-books: The Bodleian Libraries are continuing to expand their collections of online textbooks with new purchases of individual titles and via temporary access to entire collections. For example:

- There is now access to the LWW Health Library ebook collection (https://lwwhealthlibrary.com)
- 1,500 new eBooks have been loaded into SOLO, with more added daily
- MPLS and MSD reading lists and “hotlists” of heavily borrowed items have been checked for online availability. 
- The Bodleian are very happy to receive recommendations – please email:

MPLS suggestions to enquiries.rsl@bodleian.ox.ac.uk
MSD suggestions to hcl-enquiries@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Accommodation

A number of students have been in touch regarding access to accommodation next term. Because your teaching will be online for Trinity Term (as will all assessments) there is no requirement or expectation for you to return to Oxford. We realise that studying from home is not ideal and many students do not have access to a quiet study space, fast internet access etc. It is anticipated that next week (week beginning 6 April) you will be sent a survey requesting this sort of information so that the College and University are able to assess the kind of support that is needed to ensure that everyone is able to study during these complicated times. Please do complete the survey so that we can help provide the best environment for you to be able to study.

At the Undergraduate End of Term / Graduate contract

While this is a long way off we would hope that the current travel restrictions may be lifted by this time. If this is the case then we would ask that all personal items be removed from storage and rooms (international students may leave items in the College Gym as for Christmas and Easter Vacs) as soon as possible after the end of term. This will permit other College activities to take place over the long vacation using your existing rooms – these include access initiatives and possibly summer conferencing activity. If this is the case then College reserves the right to charge a proportion of rent for rooms not fully vacated in any requested timescale. Fully vacated means that all personal property be removed and the keys returned to the lodge.

In the event that the existing lockdown, or similar, remains in force then College will review these requests in the light of the circumstances nearer the time.

What if you are required or permitted to return to College accommodation for term

In the current situation it is not possible to return to College; however, the University is keeping the matter under constant review and should national guidance change it might be possible to allow some students to return to College accommodation. In the event that you are required to return to College accommodation – or have exceptional permission to do so for other reasons - then rental charges will resume from the point of your return until the end of term or your contract. The College reserves the right to allocate a different room for a period in order to maintain social distancing etc should we need to or in the event that a small sub-set of students are required / permitted to return. If we move you then we will only charge that rent due on your current room – unless you move to a lower grade of room when we will charge you the lower rent.

What about catering and cleaning

We are only just beginning to explore what might be offered here. Catering (under current conditions) would only be possible through a take-away service; we have yet to design this but would hope to be able to provide a cold lunch service and take-away hot meals in the evening (or possibly the other way round). Charging would be via the till as normal.

In terms of housekeeping we need to consider what is possible and safe for the staff as well as what is required for supporting you. Current residents are having to self-clean and we may need to require that of all in the event of only a partial lifting of the current restriction or special permission being granted to enable some students to return. If that is the case then we will review rents once we have more detail.

Insurance

These key changes have been made to your cover have been uploaded onto a web link:

https://www.endsleigh.co.uk/faqs/question/coronavirus-update-block-possessions-insurance/

In addition, there is a new tab to your ‘Review Cover page’ – How has Coronavirus affected my policy. This can be found by searching for your policy through the below link:

www.endsleigh.co.uk/reviewcover

Collections

Collections will take place in some format but until we know how you will formally be assessed we will not devise alternative collection arrangements. In the light of the alternative form of assessment you are likely to be examined under it will be important for you to have some practice in writing exams this way.

International Students on Tier 4 Visas

The Tier 4 Student visa will remain valid when you study remotely. If a DPhil student definitely cannot study remotely, the University could agree a one-term absence and keep the visa valid but you should discuss plans with your department/faculty first. The Home Office has published new guidance for students with visas that are due to expire soon and cannot return home because of travel restrictions. The UKCISA website has a helpful summary of the changes and you can also contact student.immigration@admin.ox.ac.uk if you need advice.

Travel Guidance

The Government has now advised that any students remaining at University should now stay where they are and not attempt to travel. Students who are at home should not return to Oxford until further notice. FAQs on the student advice page have been updated to reflect this advice. The College is running a minimal service in order to comply with government rules on social distancing and health and safety of our staff.  We remain committed to supporting students in residence to the best of our abilities and will provide food to anyone self-isolating (see the welfare page for more information), limited welfare support is available during the vacation and will be fully operational during term time (see the welfare page) and we have provided cleaning equipment for those remaining in residence.  

Graduation

All ceremonies taking place in July and August have been cancelled. The decision was taken in line with Government advice regarding the pandemic.

Affected students will have the choice about whether to have their degree conferred in absentia or to attend a degree ceremony at a later date.  

Because of the logistical challenges involved, rescheduled degree ceremonies will have to be modified from their current form - but the aim is to keep the existing format and venues as much as possible. The timeline of these events is not yet confirmed, and will depend on a range of factors, including the development of the pandemic in the coming months. It is possible that it could take two years or more for all degrees to be conferred - and you are unlikely to have a choice in the date of your ceremony.  

 

A working group is being established to plan the rearranged ceremonies, and further information will follow as soon as possible.Once the necessary arrangements have been made, graduands will be contacted as soon as they need to do anything.  

University Support

The University has a helpful FAQ/student advice page which we encourage you to read and check on a regular basis. Do also check your emails regularly, in particular ones from the University.  The latest ones they sent can be found in the links below:

-          Email to all undergraduate students (focusing on teaching and exams); Email to all undergraduates (exams)

-          Email to all postgraduate taught students (focusing on teaching and exams, as well as field and lab work); Email to PGT (exams)

-          Email to all postgraduate research students  (providing advice and guidance to this specific group of students)