2020/21 Academic Year
We’re really looking forward to the start of the new academic year. Over the last year education and research have been at the heart of helping the world through these unprecedented times, and we look forward to continue to do so in partnership with our students and wider communities.
We have been working hard to ensure we’re ready to welcome you back to an exciting, stimulating and supportive student experience this September. Our campuses are COVID-Secure, providing vibrant and safe learning spaces in line with government guidelines. We’ll ensure that you can study in a supportive learning community both on campus and online.
How you’ll study in Trimester 1 (September – December 2021)
Our on-campus experience is going to focus on in-person active and inclusive learning and teaching: you’ll have seminars, practical’s and workshops with your peers and in our specialist labs and workspaces. And we’ve continued to structure the face-to-face timetable in teaching blocks as we know this helps you plan your week. We’ve also made changes to our non-teaching spaces to provide flexible and COVID-Secure places for you to meet between and after classes, and catch up with friends, study or relax.
The combination of on-campus learning supported by online content and collaboration provides the flexibility needed to make sure all students feel part of our community, regardless of their individual situation or needs and, importantly, allows us to quickly adapt if the Government asks us to at any given point.
If you need to study with us online only for the first Trimester, you will join the same learning community and receive the same or similar content as our face-to-face teaching, to enable you to join us on campus easily when you’re able to. You will receive your Trimester 1 timetable on 16 August (or within 5 working days of registering if you register on or after this date). If your course has an online only delivery option, you’ll be contacted and offered the option to change your study preference.
Please note that if you are a Tier 4/visa student, the option to study fully online will not be possible please read the information below.
International and EU/EEA students (Tier 4/student visa holders)
The temporary UKVI concessions in place in 2020/21 allowing students with a Tier 4/student visa to study wholly online are scheduled to end in September 2021. All international or EU students granted a student visa to study in the UK are expected to study on campus via face to face delivery from September 2021 onwards. We continue to monitor UKVI guidance and will notify you if the UKVI change these requirements. For more information visit our FAQs page.
EU/EEA or Swiss students granted settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, who are unable to join us on campus for the first trimester, remain eligible to register for online only teaching.
We know how important it is to you that you realise your ambitions and feel supported doing so, so please use your Careers and Employability Service and Health and Wellbeing hub – we’re here to support you every step of the way.
We are really looking forward to seeing you in September, and will send you further information over the summer. Please continue to check your student email account and, if things need to change due to the pandemic, we’ll be in touch.
If you have any queries or concerns in the meantime please contact our team in the i-Centre (firstname.lastname@example.org), who will be able to help you.
Your health and wellbeing
Your health and wellbeing are very important to us. Please remember to visit your Health and Wellbeing hub, we have a variety of wellbeing workshops you can get involved in and our Counselling and Wellbeing team is available to all our students. We continue to offer very close support to any students who are self-isolating: visit Supporting you through self-isolation to read more.
Have you been financially impacted by COVID-19?
We have recently launched two funds for students who have been financially impacted by COVID-19:
- the COVID-19 Financial Support Fund is if you need financial help with IT equipment, internet access, if your income has been affected by the pandemic or you are struggling to afford accommodation costs
- the Ruskin Support Fund is available to our more vulnerable students who have been financially impacted by the pandemic.
Unless you have already made your travel arrangements, we encourage you not to travel to the UK until face to face teaching on your course begins, in line with Government advice. Please also note that you will need to self-isolate in the place you are staying for the first 10 days after you arrive, unless you’re travelling from an exempt country, territory or region. See Entering the UK: Self-isolating when you arrive in the UK – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Creating a COVID-19 Secure environment
Find out more about how ARU are keeping our campuses Covid secure.
While studying on campus during Covid times may be a little different to what you may have originally anticipated, we know how important it is to be part of a learning community with other students and staff, so we are committed to providing an excellent learning environment for all our students, despite the current challenges. As the health and well being of our students and staff is our absolute priority, we wanted to outline just some of the measures we are implementing on campus for the new academic year:
In line with Government, Public Health England and Universities UK guidance, we are putting social distancing measures in place throughout the University and are doing everything practical to manage the risk of transmission, including:
- Introducing one-way systems in campus buildings wherever possible
- Increasing cleaning regimes of the campus and our buildings
- Providing hand sanitizer stations around campus for your use
- Restructuring the timetable to stagger break times, to prevent crowds from forming outside teaching spaces
- Changing the layout of classrooms and other specialist learning spaces, such as workshops and science labs, to comply with social distancing requirements
- Offering grab-and-go options at our catering outlets, and using cashless payment.
Supporting you academically
We are committed to providing a supportive and inclusive environment for you to start your studies, and to be successful in all you wish to do.
We’re committed to providing a supportive and inclusive environment for you to start your studies.
From September you’ll be able to access campus every day and be taught in smaller groups, ensuring excellent support:
- teaching blocks of four hours, on campus one day a week (for example 8am–12, 12–4pm or 4–8pm). You won’t have to attend more than one teaching block on that day but you will be able to access other facilities outside your teaching block. We’ll publish teaching timetables week commencing 14 January
- campus teaching may include seminars, workshops, practicals and labs (where relevant)
- campus teaching will be supplemented by a rich range of online group teaching and learning activities delivered through Microsoft Teams, such as virtual practicals, online assessments, discussion boards and group work exercises
- courses that use specialist learning spaces, such as skill labs, will have additional time allocated in those spaces
- we’re installing some of the specialist applications software that are normally only available in our IT teaching labs on computers in Open Access areas to increase availability outside teaching hours
- we’re also arranging for specialist facilities to be available for booking for self-directed learning, when they’re not in use for timetabled teaching
- we’ve published guidelines on technical requirements for online learning.
Supporting your studies
We know how important it is that you receive excellent support. You’ll be able to access:
- library resources and digital support online
- campus libraries from 1 September (with reduced opening hours and seating to allow for social distancing)
- all student services, including counselling and wellbeing, disability and dyslexia support, employability and placement services, and Study Skills both face-to-face (by appointment) and online
- the iCentre and ARU Temps recruitment agency without appointments
- open access PC areas, with some computers available on a drop-in basis, and some bookable in advance.
Providing a wider student experience
It’s never been more important to have some fun, relax and enjoy a bit of ‘normality’ in our lives. And so:
- your Students’ Union will be putting on both face-to-face and online activities to help you meet like-minded people, make friends, and have some fun and relax. From quizzes and bingo to volunteering and yoga, there’ll be something for everyone
- student-run societies will continue to have fantastic events and activities
- your confidential advice service will be open to provide support and guidance if you ever have any questions
- campus gyms will be open, and Team ARU welcomes you back to enjoy social and competitive sports in a safe and socially distanced way
- we’ll also be providing space on campus for socially distanced social activities, group and personal study, and relaxation.
Our ARU accommodation team are putting in social distancing measures, and we will update you on what these will look like in the coming weeks. We still have accommodation available, to book yours visit aru.ac.uk/accommodation.
Frequently asked questions
Q: Is the September 2021 intake running?
A: Yes, the intake is still open for all students.
Q: I already have an offer, how can I keep informed on next steps?
A: Our student recruitment and admissions team will make sure you keep informed on the next steps for you to do. Also please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com if you any questions regarding your offer.
Q: I want to accept my offer, but I am worried that the intake will be cancelled?
A: We would like to assure you that we will run September 2021 intake for all students.
Q: What will be the deadline for payment to secure my place? Can I accept the offer now and pay later?
A: There is no deadline of payment set up to secure your place and you also can accept the offer first and pay later but we encourage all students to make a deposit sooner rather than later in order for us to issue Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS), which will allow yourself enough time to apply for a visa.
Q: Will I be learning online or on campus?
A: We are working with ARU and monitoring UK Government guidance policy closely in order to inform our plans for September. As soon as any decisions have been made on how we will deliver in September 2021 we will update this site and inform all offer holders and current students.
Q: If I choose digital studies how long will this be for?
A: We will offer a digital option for as long is necessary in order to protect our students and staff during the Covid-19 epidemic.
Q: How can I indicate my preference for digital or on campus studies?
A: At the point of accepting your offer to study with us you will receive an email from ARU asking you to choose your preferred study mode for the first trimester. If we don’t hear from you we will assume you are opting for on campus studies.
Q: My school/university is closed and I am worried that I will not be able to meet the academic conditions on my offer. What should I do?
A: In many countries, individual schools or universities may have closed or teaching may be restricted. If you are affected, we strongly encourage you to take advantage of any opportunity of any online provision available from your institution or exam board to ensure you are as well prepared as possible when your school or university reopens. We will monitor the situation and update offer holders as we know more.
Q: My local IELTS testing centre is closed and I am worried I will not be able to meet the English conditions on my offer. Do I have any other options?
A: We are aware that there has been a great deal of disruption to IELTS in several countries and you should keep up to date with developments and updates offered by your test provider in your local area.
Please remember we do accept a variety of English qualifications, you can find a full list of recognized qualifications. If you didn’t find your English qualification on the list, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will advise you further.
We will continue to monitor the situation to identify how we can support you further to help you achieve your English conditions.
Q: Is my nearest UK Visa office open for applications?
A: You can find the latest updates with regards to VAC status in your country by visiting these links (please note that you will need to check both links for your country status).
Q: What if I can’t get my visa in time for enrolment?
A: We know that there will be a delay with visa processing in some countries and so we have made some adjustments for those unable to start their semester on time in the UK:
• Classes will start online (including enrolment and orientation activities) so you can keep on top of your studies until you are able to travel.
• As long as you enrol (online or on-campus) by the agreed final enrolment date, you can then travel to the UK at a time that suits you, once you have your visa and are able to make flight arrangements.
• Our optional insurance policy, Navinsure, has been enhanced to allow a claim to be made in the event of some types of visa refusal. Full terms apply and available within offer packs.
Q: If I have to study online, will I still qualify for the Graduate Route?
A: Yes. International students present in the UK before 6 April 2021 will still be eligible for the two year Graduate Route, even if you begin your course online before travelling to the UK in person.
Q: Will I need to go into quarantine when I arrive in the UK?
A: To keep the number of transmissions in the UK as low as possible, and to protect UK residents and international students in the UK, international arrivals (except those exempt) are currently required to self-isolate in their accommodation for ten days on arrival.
If it is confirmed, we will support all students on arrival to the UK and are busy outlining suitable options. Once you have accepted your offer, we will provide information based on the latest government guidelines.
Q: What if I need to quarantine, but I also need to collect my BRP within 10 days of arrival in the UK?
A: This year you will be permitted to collect your BRP once you have completed the mandatory 10 days of quarantine, if that applies.
Q: What happens if I become ill in the UK
A: All governments across the UK are adhering closely to the most up to date scientific advice and guidance, which is available publicly online. As we plan for the September/October intake, government regulations are at the core of the living and study environments we provide for our students.
However, if you feel ill or become worried about your health, the National Health Service (NHS) is available to both domestic and international students. International students will always be able to access treatment that clinicians consider immediately necessary or urgent, at no upfront cost. No charges apply to testing for coronavirus, and as an international student in the UK, you will also be able to access specific COVID-19 advice through a new COVID-19 online service.
Q: Will I need to wear a face mask on campus?
A: Yes, face coverings will need to be warn in all public spaces on campus, like corridors, library, office space, but not in lecture rooms. However, students are welcome to wear face coverings in lecture rooms at their own discretion.
Q: When do classes start?
A: Teaching begins on 27 September, with welcome week starting 13 September. Students, once they accept their offer of a place, will receive further details about registration and welcome week.
Q: Do I have to come to campus for Welcome Week or Registration?
A: No, given the latest government guidance no face to face delivery or events will be scheduled. Welcome week activities digitally and whilst not mandatory are advised.
Q: What equipment do I need to enable me to study online.
A: Please see our technical requirements for online study page for details.
Q: Do you recommend any insurance for travel to the UK for studies?
A: We do not recommend any specific insurance, but do offer Navinsure, a specialised education insurance policy through Endsleigh.
Introducing our first student insurance policy that allows for a claim in relation to a UK student route visa refusal. Providing increased peace of mind for families and minimising financial risk during these uncertain times.
- A claim can be made if a visa refusal is received under no fault of the applicant*
- Increased protection for those beginning their studies online
- The ability to ‘pause’ a policy if a student needs to return home temporarily**
What does the policy cost?
£350 for a 14-month period
Where can I find policy details?
Please refer to the summary of cover for full information.
How do I purchase the policy?
If you wish to proceed and purchase this policy, you should indicate this in the relevant section of your acceptance form (in your letter of offer). Once you have paid your fee, you will be provided with full policy documentation to read and store safely for future reference.
If you have already accepted your offer and indicated that you would like to opt in to the insurance, you will receive an email from us directly. You will be asked if you want to proceed with the purchase based on the enhanced policy information.
When is payment due?
To avoid additional bank transaction fees, we recommend that you pay the Navinsure fee along with your course fee deposit. Even if you pay after the 1st August, the policy start date will remain fixed.
When will the policy start?
The policy coverage will commence on specific dates linked to your chosen intake. The start date of the policy is earlier than the intake date – this allows important aspects of pre-departure to be
included within the policy.
- For students joining us in September/October: 1st August 2020
- For students joining us in January/February: 1st January 2021