COVID-19: The latest advice for students studying in the UK and Europe

There is growing concern around the impact of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom and Europe. StudyCo would like to assure you that we will keep you informed of any cases that impact the students.

UK: Latest government health and travel advice

On 18th March 2020 the UK government announced that schools and colleges will close from Monday 23rd of March as a response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

As a result, our UK universities closed on 20th March 2020 with all teaching and learning continuing online until further notice.

On 23 March the government imposed new public restrictions to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to keep people safe. This announcement does not change our provision of online teaching and support to students, but it will impact how students in the UK interact with others.

The government requires that everyone:

  • Stay at home;
  • Do not socialise in person with others;
  • Only go outside for food, health reasons, or essential work;
  • Stay 2 metres away from other people;
  • Wash your hands thoroughly as soon as you get home;
  • Do not gather in groups of more than 2, outside of your immediate household;

All current students have been contacted by their university or College with detailed advice related to these changes that is tailored to their specific needs.

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Ireland: Latest government health and travel advice

On 27th March 2020, the Irish government imposed new public restrictions to tackle the spread of COVID-19. Everyone, including students, must now stay at home except for shopping for basic necessities, daily exercise, and any medical needs.

The government requires that everyone:

  • Stay at home;
  • Do not socialise in person with others except people you live with;
  • Only go outside for food, health reasons, essential work, or to exercise outdoors (within 2km of your home and only with members of your household);
  • Stay 2 metres away from other people;
  • Wash your hands thoroughly as soon as you get home;

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has also advised against all non-essential travel overseas until further notice. This includes Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) but does not apply to Northern Ireland. If students do intend to travel, they should check regularly on the availability of their flight and any restrictions in place at their destination.

This announcement does not change our provision of online teaching and support to students, but it will impact how students in Ireland interact with others. University College Dublin (UCD) closed to all teaching with learning continuing online until further notice.

All current students have been contacted by the university with detailed advice related to these changes that is tailored to their specific needs.

Holland: Latest government health and travel advice

The Dutch government requested that all universities and universities of applied sciences offer online education in place of face-to-face teaching. In addition the government requested all schools to remain closed until further notice. This means is that Holland International Study Centre is closed and moving all teaching, learning and assessment online until further notice.

Travel arrangements

Many areas throughout the world are now experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and taking action to limit all avoidable travel.

Current students:

  • Students that are already studying to travel home: Many countries have imposed travel restrictions and it is therefore unlikely that students will be able to book travel at this time. Students that still wish to return home may wish to contact their Embassy or High Commission for advice. It is important that all students keep their education providers updated on their location so that university or college are able to keep their records up-to-date and provide any support required.
  • Where it is not possible for students to travel, accommodation remains open and our college and university partners are putting plans in place to ensure that this continues to be the case.

Prospective students:

Students should begin their studies online. All universities are developing online teaching and learning environments to minimise disruption to study plans for all students that are now unable to travel.

Due to the current travel restrictions, UK Visas and Immigration have issued new guidance permitting international students to begin their studies online from their home country without requiring a visa. This means that students do not require a CAS to start their course online.

  • Education Providers will not issue a CAS for confirmed students to apply for a Tier 4 visa to come and study in the UK. 
  • If students have already been issued a CAS, Education Providers will withdraw the CAS. This means that students will no longer be able to use it to apply for a Tier 4 visa to come and study in the UK.
  • Students that have been issued a visa and decide not to travel, must inform their education providers so that they can update their visa status with UK Visas and Immigration. If the visa application is still pending an outcome, students should contact the visa application centre to withdraw their visa application.

When travel restrictions have been lifted, students that successfully complete their course of online study, can be issued a new CAS enabling them to make a Tier 4 visa application.

It is important that students let their education providers know if they have already arrived, so that they can provide them with local support.

Online learning will be made available to:

  • Students that are in the UK and are unable to attend face-to-face classes.
  • Students that remain in their home country due to government health guidance or travel restrictions.

Universities represented by StudyCo are working closely with online learning experts to ensure they are leading innovation for the benefit of our students and intend to provide the same high quality teaching and personal support in our online courses as we would on our campuses.

  • Teaching, learning and student support will involve some 'live' teaching sessions. These sessions are delivered at a time of day which is suitable for the various time-zones of the students in each class.
  • Most teaching will be delivered through pre-recorded lessons and independent learning tasks that students can complete at a time of day that suits them.
  • Teachers will also be engaging with students individually in order to provide academic and pastoral support.
  • Attendance will be monitored through students’ engagement with online learning activities.

Examinations

High School Programmes:

The UK government confirmed that it would not go ahead with secondary school examinations this summer, including GCSEs and A levels. 

Government plans are underway to define how learning to date is recognised, and we will notify you of that as soon as possible. The government has committed to working with schools and colleges to ensure students get the qualifications they need.

Higher Education pathway programmes:

No face-to-face assessments will take place while teaching and learning moves online, and you will need to seek advise from your education provider on the plans for each specific programme of study in due course.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions pages are available for each of education provider to assist you in responding to enquiries from students and parents. These pages will be updated regularly as new information becomes available: