2020/21 Academic Year
Latest information 20 October 2020.
Find out more about how ARU are keeping our campuses Covid secure.
We returned to to face-to-face tuition in mid-September, supported by online technologies, in line with Public Health England guidelines.
While studying on campus in the autumn 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:
Creating a COVID-19 Secure environment
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 7 September
- 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.
Choice and flexibility
- If you decide that you want to study online for the first trimester, simply follow the link in your email and complete the short form by the time and date specified. This will help us to plan classes on campus to meet social distancing requirements.
- If you plan to study on campus, you don’t need to complete the form.
- If you planned to study online but change your mind before teaching starts, that’s fine. Please do let us know by submitting your change in preference. This will help us to make sure we can maintain social distancing measures on campus.
- After teaching starts, there will be specific points at which you’ll be able to request a change in mode of delivery, subject to social distancing measures and approval by your Course Leader.
Frequently asked questions
Q: Is the January 2021 intake running?
A: Yes, the intake is still open for all students.
Q: I want to apply for January, is it possible?
A: We are still open to receive applications and our admissions team is hard at work ensuring we continue to process applications and support your application as normal. We will be in touch with you in due course with any further information that we feel will be helpful to you.
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 January 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 will be delivering all our programmes both online and blended face to face, giving you the choice how you would like to study. Students may have the option to change from online to face to face delivery, depending on timetabling.
Q: If I choose digital studies how long will this be for?
A: We will offer a digital option at least for the first trimester of studies, or 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 fourteen days on arrival. It is not yet confirmed if quarantine will be required for those travelling to the UK in September.
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 14 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, currently we are planning that 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 18 January, with welcome week starting 11 January. 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: If you have chosen to study trimester one digitally you will not be required to come onto campus at any point during that trimester. If you have opted for on campus delivery you will need to complete some elements of registration on campus. Welcome week activities will be available both on campus and digitally and whilst not mandatory are advised.
Q: When will the January 2021 timetable be released?
A: for students that have completed registration prior to 11 January, your timetable will be available in eVision on that date. If you complete registration after 11 January it may take up to 5 working days to receive your timetable.
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