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Covid-19 FAQs for International students

​Last Updated: 15/07/2020​ at 3:58pm – All information is accurate at time of writing.

The global pandemic is causing challenges for us all. Here at the University of Northampton, we are working hard to ensure your transition to study with us is smooth and we aim to keep you updated with all news in this fast moving environment. Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions about coming to study with us in 2020.

  • Dealing with your application in a timely manner, whilst ensuring we consider you as an individual will continue to be our aim at this unusual time. We will aim to acknowledge your application within 48 hours and then contact you again with more information, once it has been processed.

    Will it take longer than usual to process my application?

    Our Admissions Team is processing applications as normal. This is a very busy time of year for us, so please be patient – if you have received an acknowledgment, we will be in contact with you as soon as possible.

    I have been asked for documents but I cannot access them as my institution is closed.

    If you are having difficulties providing any documentation we have requested, please contact intadmissions@northampton.ac.uk to discuss your situation. One of our team will be pleased to advise you.

    I have already received an offer from UON, will this be affected?

    Your offer of a place to study with us will not be withdrawn, however, in a small number of circumstances it may be necessary to make you an alternative course offer.

    I have just completed my undergraduate studies. If I don’t get my degree award when I expected will I lose my place?

    We will be as flexible as we possibly can at this difficult time, including keeping last arrival dates under review but there are government regulations that we must follow. We will make you aware of any deadlines but if you want to discuss your situation, please contact intadmissions@northampton.ac.uk.

    I have almost met the English requirement for my programme. Is there any flexibility?

    If you have not already done so, send your current English Language results to intadmissions@northampton.ac.uk and we will advise you on the options available to you. You must still meet the minimum requirements stated by UKVI to gain a Tier 4 student visa.

    I have taken an IELTS test but I am waiting for the certificate. What should I do?

    When you receive your Test Report Form (TRF) by email, forward it to intadmissions@northampton.ac.uk. If you do not have the certificate tell us the TRF number we can verify your results.

    I can’t book an IELTS test due to test centre closures. What should I do?

    The latest information is available on the IELTS web site. We also accept a range of other English qualifications – please contact intadmissions@northampton.ac.uk to check what tests and scores are accepted.

    Do you accept other English tests?

    We do accept a range of other English qualifications and are continuously reviewing our  policy, so please contact intadmissions@northampton.ac.uk to check what tests and scores are accepted.

    My course normally requires an interview – will this be affected?

    Wherever possible we have removed the requirement for interviews. Where interviews are still required they will be conducted remotely and we will provide details of how this will be conducted.

    Will I lose my place if I do not currently have access to my work to provide the portfolio you have requested?

    Stick as closely as possible to the advice in ‘Your Portfolio Guide’ which we sent you when we asked for a portfolio, but we understand that your most recent completed work may not be available to you. We will consider photos of your work, earlier work, part-finished work, abandoned work and conceptualisations, if you explain your situation.

    When is the deadline for paying my deposit?

    It is best to pay your deposit as soon as possible after you receive an offer. This will secure your place on the course and give you access to the accommodation booking system. There is no specific deadline for deposits, but you must pay a tuition fee deposit of £5,000 before we will issue your CAS. Remember, though, there are still many stages to go through before starting your course – receiving your CAS letter, applying for and receiving your visa, for example – and you must aim to meet our standard Enrolment Deadline of 12 October. Contact intadmissions@northampton.ac.uk as soon as possible if you think you may be arriving after that date.

    If I pay my deposit and am unable to attend will I get a refund?

    If travel restrictions mean you can’t get to the UK you should be able to start your course online. We will then tell you the date from which you can continue here at the University. If you are prevented from meeting the conditions of your offer by the effects of COVID-19, we will refund your deposit.

    How can I find out about my CAS?

    If you have paid your tuition fee deposit and have any concerns or query related to your CAS, please email CAS@northampton.ac.uk.

    When will I need to arrive?

    Our standard last enrolment date is 12 October and you should aim to be with us by then, if at all possible. You must contact intadmissions@northampton.ac.uk to seek advice as soon as you think you may not be able to arrive before 12 October.

    What if I can’t arrive by 12 October?

    If you are not able to join us on campus in the autumn term for reasons related to COVID19, we will provide online support so you can enrol and engage with the programme. You can then join us on campus as soon as you are able. In the meantime, you will join scheduled sessions synchronously using technology, or engage with a recorded version of the face-to-face session. So that you can complete your award in the normal time, we expect you to join us on campus by January 2021, at the latest or else defer to the following year/intake. If you do plan to arrive after the start of term , book University accommodation from September and your rent will be automatically adjusted for the number of weeks you occupy your room.

    Will all courses be available to start online?

    For some courses that use specialist facilities or resources, this may not prove possible – for example where you can’t achieve learning the learning outcomes without physically using those facilities or resources. We are currently determining which courses may be affected in this way and seeking ways to avoid this problem. If studying entirely online in the autumn term is simply not possible for your course, will advise you to consider other options, such as deferral or alternative courses.

    Will I be able to defer my place until January, if I can’t make it in September?

    Some of our Masters and undergraduate top-up courses start in January and, in that case, deferring to January will be an option. If not, you can start online and pick up your course on campus, as long as you arrive by January. The situation is under constant review and you can contact intadmissions@northampton.ac.uk for the latest information.

    Can UON help me get my visa if the visa centre in my country is closed?

    We know that visa centres are closed in some countries but the situation is changeable and you should check the VFS Global website regularly. Universities cannot directly intervene in your visa application.

    Do I need a visa to start my course online?

    You will not require a Tier 4 visa if you start online because you are unable to travel to the UK. Once you receive information about when you can continue your course at the University, you will need to apply for a visa.

    Who can I contact at UON for advice?

    In the first instance you should contact intadmissions@northampton.ac.uk. If our Admissions Team cannot answer your query we will put you in contact with the person who can.

    Is UON attending any of the planned Education Fairs in my country?

    At present University staff are not carrying out any recruitment activity overseas. In some countries virtual events are being organised, so you should check with the event organiser. We are also hosting online Open Days and subject-specific events which you can find out about by following us on social media. Facebook: INTUniNorthants, Twitter: @INTUniNorthants and Instagram: @INTUniNorthants. You can also book a one-to-one advice session with one of our International Officers.

    Is the UON Regional Office still open in my country?

    You can still contact Regional Offices and our network of local representatives for advice and assistance, but staff may be working from home in some cases. Visit our pages for information about your country for contact details.

    When will there be specific information about my course and how will I find out?

    Planning for socially distanced study in accordance with government guidelines is at an advanced stage. We will shortly begin to communicate details about specific courses as they are finalised in regular emails.

  • At the University of Northampton we have developed a style of teaching and learning that is ideally suited to the situation in which we find ourselves now. Our expertise in delivering our courses via a mixture of face-to-face sessions and innovative use of modern technology, avoiding the use of mass lectures, means we have not been forced into sudden and radical adaptations of our methods. Our students regularly praise this modern learning experience.

    Will courses be delivered on campus in September?

    Yes. All courses will have some face-to-face delivery from the start of the academic year, with online learning making up the remainder of the teaching and learning experience. The appropriate level of social distancing will be in place with clear markings on floors and all necessary measures will be in place to ensure your safety and the safety of our staff.

    What will the learning experience at UON be like this September?

    All courses will have some face-to-face delivery from the start of the academic year, with online learning making up the remainder of the teaching and learning experience. Specialist teaching spaces, such as laboratories, workshops and studios will be open for those courses that need them. Social distancing will be maintained at 2 meters with clear markings on floors and all necessary measures will be in place to ensure your safety and the safety of our staff.

    How will practical courses like Nursing or Podiatry, for example, be taught?

    Specialist teaching spaces and clinics will be open and students will have the necessary levels of face-to-face teaching and practical experience to meet the requirements of the course. Social distancing will be maintained at 2 meters, with clear markings on floors and all necessary measures will be in place to ensure your safety, the safety of our staff, patients and members of the public. Online learning will make up the remainder of the teaching and learning experience.

    Will I be able to start online and then travel to the University later to continue my course?

    If you are able to come to the UK to start your course we strongly advise that you do so. This will avoid potential complications later and give you the best teaching and learning experience possible in these unusual times. However if it is not possible for you to travel to the UK or you have strong and genuine reasons not to do so, you will be able to start online and join us on campus at a fixed later date, which we will give to you.

    If I start online will it be the same fee?

    Yes. The fee will remain the same as you will still be receiving the same high quality teaching and learning thanks to our expertise in delivering courses through a mix of face-to-face teaching and the innovative use of technology. Working in this way is not new to us – it has been a distinctive feature of UON’s teaching and learning style for a number of years and is highly valued by our students.

    Will my certificate say that the course was taught online?

    No. Your certificate will state simply your degree subject and classification and will be exactly the same as in any other year.

    What can I do to get ready for coming the university?

    You can take part in online Open Days and subject-specific events which you can find out about by following us on social media. Facebook: INTUniNorthants, Twitter: @INTUniNorthants
    and Instagram: @INTUniNorthants. You can also book a one-to-one advice session with one of our International Officers.

    What if I start the course online and then am not able to get a tier 4 student visa to continue my course in the UK?

    Every case is different and we will consider your individual circumstances at the time. You may have a number of options including continuing to study online, suspending your studies temporarily and withdrawing from your course. If you are prevented from coming to the UK as a consequence of COVID-19, we will consider your case very sympathetically.

    What if there is a second wave and courses move entirely online?

    We hope that there will not be a second wave, of course, but should courses move fully online you will not have to leave the country. If regulations allow, you could return home to continue your studies but there is a chance you might not be able to return for some reason. If you remain and study online, you will be able to re-start face-to-face classes as soon as that is allowed again.

    When will I find out about the exact plans for my course?

    Plans for each course are at an advanced stage of development to determine how many students can be in class and how many hours of face-to-face teaching will be possible. All courses will receive some face-to-face teaching and we will let you know as soon as possible the exact arrangements for your course.

    Is it possible to study a UON course via distance learning?

    We have a range of programmes available entirely by Distance Learning. More information can be found on the Distance Learning page of our website.

  • We have planned very carefully for your safe arrival and welcome in Northampton and taken steps to minimise the financial and logistical impact that coming to the UK may have, for example in quarantine, welcome and induction. If your question is not answered below, please contact international@northampton.ac.uk for assistance.

    Will I have to quarantine when I arrive in the UK?

    From 10th July you will not have to quarantine if you come to England from one of the travel corridor countries.

    If you are arriving from, have travelled via, or have stayed in a country not on the list during the 14 days prior to arriving in England, you will have to quarantine. If this is the case when you arrive we will provide transport to our off-campus halls at Scholars Green, where you will be accommodated alongside other students who arrived at the same time as you. Before you travel to the UK you must complete this form with details of your travel arrangements and contact address. The UK government has provided guidance on how to go about self-isolating when you arrive.

    You will not be charged any accommodation fees before the date you move into your contracted accommodation. You will be provided with bedding for the duration of your quarantine and the flats will be equipped with cooking utensils, pots and pans and crockery and cutlery. We will also ensure that you have the ability to receive food via an ordering system. This service will be provided free of charge.

    What happens if my parents accompany me to the University to help me settle in?

    If you come to England from one of the travel corridor countries and have booked University accommodation, you and your parents can travel to Northampton. You can move into Halls as arranged and meet with your parents whenever you wish.

    All arrivals from countries which are not on the list of travel corridor countries must self-isolate. Details of arrangements for students travelling unaccompanied by parents are in the answer to Will I have to quarantine when I arrive in the UK?

    If you wish to be in the company of your parents as you settle in to the UK and start your life at UON, then you must self isolate in accordance with the UK Government guidelines.

    Please note that in all cases, parents and friends travelling with you will need to book their own accommodation in the local area – they cannot be accommodated in University Halls.

    Can I self-isolate, if necessary, in University accommodation and then move into my private accommodation?

    No. If you do need to self-isolate when you arrive you can only do so in University accommodation if you have booked to stay in one of our Halls of Residence. If you have booked private accommodation, you must self-isolate there.

    Will I have to wear a facemask?

    The UK government recognises that wearing facemasks can help limit the spread of the virus, so it is compulsory to wear a face covering on public transport and, from 24 July, in shops. Because we are continuing to socially distance by 2 meters at the University, you don’t need to wear a face mask in University buildings but it is your decision whether you wear a face mask on campus or not.

    I may not be able to arrive by the start of the programme; can I arrive late?

    If you expect to arrive later than the last arrival date shown on your CAS, you must contact intadmissions@northampton.ac.uk as soon as possible for advice. It may be possible to provide an extension, depending on the course and your expected date of arrival.

    How will I get from the airport to the University?

    We will arrange for you to be met at the airport and transferred to the University by bus. Appropriate personal safety, social distancing and, if applicable, quarantine measures will be in place from then on.

    How do I request an Airport pickup and on what days can I get picked up?

    You will be notified of the days on which our airport pickups will be in operation and sent the necessary booking form. If quarantine is still in place you must arrive on those dates if you have booked University accommodation.

    What are the activities in welcome week and orientation week?

    We are working on how sessions can be delivered prior to enrolment so you will feel part of our community and secure in your learning and teaching. A range of events, some virtual, some face-to-face with social distancing are being arranged by the University and by the Students Union. Every attempt will be made to make your Welcome Week experience as engaging, active and complete as possible. We want you to get to know your tutors, make new friends and have confidence about starting your studies with us.

    How will enrolment and induction happen?

    Enrolment will take place online – please be sure to complete the pre-enrolment details that you will receive from us. Induction into your course will be by a combination of socially distanced face-to-face meetings an online meetings.

    How do I apply for work on campus or off?

    You will be able to register with the Employability Service at the University and with our dedicated Employment Agency, Unitemps.

  • Should I apply for University accommodation?

    Our accommodation compares very favourably in price, location and range of rooms available and many international undergraduate students find that University accommodation is the best option for their first year. You should book in the usual way once you have paid your tuition fee deposit. If you start studying online, you can join us at any time up to 15 January  but you should still book University accommodation from September and your rent will be automatically adjusted for the number of weeks you occupy your room. If you are unable to take your place due to COVID-19 restrictions you will receive a full refund of any fees paid.

    If I pay my accommodation deposit and I am unable to travel to the UK, will it be refunded?

    If you are unable to take your place due to COVID-19 restrictions you will receive a full
    refund of any fees paid.

    What will happen if the quarantine for travellers entering the UK is still in place?

    We are keeping the situation under constant review but if the UK is still imposing quarantine on international arrivals, then yes. If this is the case when you arrive we will provide transport to our off-campus halls at Scholars Green, where you will be accommodated alongside other students who arrived at the same time as you.

    You will not be charged any accommodation fees before the date you move into your contracted accommodation. You will be provided with bedding for the duration of your quarantine and the flats will be equipped with cooking utensils, pots and pans and crockery and cutlery. We will also ensure that you have the ability to receive food via an ordering system. This service will be provided free of charge.

    How will I get food and essential items if I am in quarantine?

    We will provide free food packs of essential items free of charge and make arrangements to have further shopping and take-away meals delivered by request. The latest government guidance explains how quarantine will work.

    How would social distancing and lockdown work if I am in student accommodation and lockdown rules apply?

    Lockdown rules are gradually being relaxed in the UK and we expect to see further easing of restrictions. Whilst this will be kept under constant review by the UK government, it is hoped that a return to stricter lockdown measures can be avoided. However, should that happen you will be notified of any restrictions that come into force and be expected to comply with them.

    If I am living in private accommodation will I still need to quarantine?

    Yes. If quarantine is still in force you will be expected to comply with the regulations.

    Will I be able to live in private accommodation if I start in 2020?

    Yes, private accommodation will still be an option and we can help you find
    accommodation to suit your needs. Bear in mind the importance of living within easy
    travelling distance of campus and read our Guidance for international students living off campus.

  • Your safety, the safety of our staff and visitors and the general public is our top priority and we will continue to ensure our full compliance with all government regulations and advice.

    How will people go in and out of University buildings and move around once inside?

    There will be a one-way system with separate entrances and exits. The doors won’t open if you try to exit the wrong way.

    How will social distancing be maintained?

    Furniture has been reduced and stickers on floors and furniture indicate social distancing, including in communal spaces. This will be adapted as and when the regulations change.

    Will sanitiser be provided?

    Yes. All students, staff and visitors will need to use the hand sanitiser on entering the building – dispensers have been fitted on the walls outside the buildings. When you enter the classroom you will again need to use the hand sanitiser and an anti-bacterial wipe to clean your desk down before settling in for the session. The lift buttons and turnstiles etc. will be regularly sprayed with an antibacterial shield to ensure they are germ free.

    What about Help desks and places where we need to talk to Support Staff?

    Screens have been installed at the student desk and a ticket system will be used to encourage students not to congregate around the desk whilst waiting.

    Will the Library be open?

    E-books are provided where possible but if that option is not available, a click and collect system has been put in place. The library team will email you with a time to come and collect your book from the campus and instructions about how to do so safely.

    Will the restaurants and coffee bars be open on campus?

    The Market restaurant and coffee shops will be open but you must bring your own cutlery and you are encouraged not to eat inside, whenever possible. There will be additional outdoor furniture so students can eat, wait, relax or work in the fresh air.

    Will it be possible to go into town for shopping?

    Lockdown rules are gradually being relaxed in the UK and many shops, restaurants, coffee bars and pubs are now open. You should take your own sanitiser with you and consider wearing a mask if you go into town. Masks are compulsory in shops from 24 July and are already compulsory on public transport. Shops often have sanitiser stations and are allowing a strictly limited number of customers inside at any one time, so you may have to queue.

    Will sanitiser be available in town?

    Some shops, but not all, will have sanitiser available for you to use – it is advisable to carry your own.

    Will public toilets be open?

    Public toilets are not currently open but you can expect toilets in supermarkets, restaurants, cafes and some shops to be in use for customers, with some controls. Toilets on campus are open and have been adapted to make social distancing easier.

    Will I be able to visit other parts of the UK?

    There are currently no travel restrictions in England but there are rules about where, with whom and with how many others you can meet. These are gradually being relaxed and you should keep up to date with changes as they come into force.

    Will I be able to stay with family in the UK or friends?

    The rules are quite complex and subject to change. There are restrictions in place and you should check what is permitted and what is not on a regular basis.

    Where can I find up to date advice on studying and living in the UK?

    Further information and advice is available from UKCISA and the British Council.

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