We know that for our members, Covid-19 has brought a huge amount of questions up and that's why we've been hosting weekly Facebook Live events on our Facebook page. Where we can provide answers live, we are doing so and where we have to go away and get responses from UoG to your questions we're committed to doing that.

On this page, you'll find updated lists of questions from each Q&A session and the responses as we get them. You'll know by now but it's useful to remind everyone that the situation with Covid-19 changes so rapidly that it's hard to give an answer and that answer be true indefinately.

You should always check the most up-to-date guidance on MyGlos (especially if you're coming to this page some time after the "answers provided" date whcich is listed in each section)

We've provided answers as they were passed to us by University of Gloucestershire colleagues.

We'd like to say thank you to all of those who joined us online for these sessions - we hope they were useful. Quick links to each event are below:

Education Q&A

Welfare Q&A

There is a lot of information on this page so if you're searching for a specific question or answer that you asked on the Facebook Live event we suggest you use the Ctrl + F function on your keyboard (which you can also get to using the options part of your browser) and inputting a key word to help you find the right point.

Event took place, 26th March 14:00. Answers provided: 3rd April, 7:00

Link to the video

Q: What is the timeline for FAF payments? We understand this is being sped up but we believe it is important for students to remain informed of such timelines

A: We are assessing applications and processing payment of awards within 5 days of receipt of the application, provided all supporting evidence and personal statements are provided with the application. Awards will be processed on the first Wednesday after the award has been granted and payment received on the Friday, so there will be a maximum of 10 working days between an application being made and payment received. FAF guidelines have been updated and further details are available on MyGlos Help.

Check MyGlos for up-to-date information regularly

Q: What is the timeline for the discussion to be concluded on rent payments for students leaving UoG accommodation? 

A: The University understands how significant a matter the term 3 accommodation payment is for students in halls. Student Maintenance Loans remain on schedule to be paid by the SLC towards the end of April, and the payment liability date for halls is 5th May 2020. The University will make a decision on halls as soon as it can, and certainly in good time before the SLC maintenance loans are paid and the halls fees fall due.

Q: Will students in private accommodation be supported by UoG with paying rents if the government does not intervene here? 

A: Students in private rented accommodation have contracts directly with their landlords, any students unable to pay their rents already have the protections put in place by the Government for tenants. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-support-available-for-landlords-and-renters-reflecting-the-current-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak

Q: Deferred study will likely have to be taken up by students – what are their options and what costs will they incur if they do this? 

A: Please do talk to your Personal Tutor about the range of support we can provide before considering deferring your studies. The annual tuition fee covers the level of study, excluding the costs of any reassessments or retakes. If a student suspends part of their study and defers it into a following year, part of their tuition fee will be deferred into that year to cover the deferred study.

Q: Will there be any refund of the tuition fee as there has been a loss of experience, facilities and resources not caused by students?

A:The University has moved all teaching on-line; in addition, support for learning and assessment is being provided by module tutors and / or personal tutors. While this is a different learning experience to the one we originally planned, we will ensure you have the opportunity to achieve all the all learning outcomes you need to attain to pass your course. The University will ensure that students can progress and complete their studies as they otherwise would have done. The lifestyle restrictions imposed by the Government are a necessary step to stop spreading COVID 19, these restrictions have undoubtedly impacted on the ‘enjoyment of student life’, but as the University has transitioned to deliver an equivalent on-line academic experience there will be no refund of tuition fees.

Check MyGlos for up-to-date information regularly

Q: What should I do if my online content isn’t accessible or of a good quality? Some students are reporting that lecturers are refusing to upload recorded lectures and just putting up slides with minimal additional notes. This seems to be particularly concerning for students with disabilities 

A: In the first instance please talk to your module tutor and explain the difficulty you are experiencing and how this could be addressed.  Please be aware of the challenges that tutors are facing at this time and ensure your requests are reasonable.  PowerPoints with either a voiceover or a set of good set of notes are a reasonable request and these resources should be accessible via Moodle.

Q: Has the University explored the final grade calculation and if it could be weighted differently to support students who have been affected by Covid-19? 

A: The University has published on MyGlos a comprehensive package of measures designed to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on students.  The four components are:

  • Alternative assessment briefs

  • A ‘No detriment’ policy

  • Replacing the current 7-day EC1 extension for assessment deadlines with a specific COVID-19 self-certified 14-day extension

  • Extensions for individual extenuating circumstances (EC2) above and beyond the standard assessment due dates

Q: What support is being put in place for those with caring responsibilities who are now taken away from study (e.g. students with children who are now at home due to school closures)?

A: Additional guidance on extensions that has been agreed with Student Services (Disability, HelpZone and Mental Health & Wellbeing teams), explicitly lists caring responsibilities as an example of extenuating circumstances that warrant an EC2, with no requirement for independent evidence.

Q: What should students do if they are asked to complete an assignment which requires an enhanced level of experience with technology, such as upload a video, when they are working remotely and require additional support?

A: A range of guides are available and students should contact their module tutor or LTI for further assistance.

Check MyGlos for up-to-date information regularly

Q: Students are seeking further clarification on their placements in Social Work – can student social workers continue to help people, or must they stay away? 

A: This is a regulatory issue and students with questions or concerns should contact the Social Work Academic Course Leader who will confirm the requirements of the Professional Body.

Q: Will lecturers be required to create assignment workshop materials and put these online? Students have told us that these are often focussed on assignment readiness and that these would be really useful to still have for some students 

A: Module tutors are acutely aware that students will need support for assessment activity and this will be provided but it is likely that different teaching teams will offer this support in different ways, e.g. via Microsoft Teams meetings, additional written guidance or online discussion forums.

Q: What happens when students are undertaking exams online and are usually given extra time and a reader? 

A: Students who require additional time (standard is 25% extra) are entitled to receive this and if they have any concerns that this may not be available to them they should contact the Disability team. If you are a student who would normally have a reader please confirm to your module tutor whether you have assistive software that could cover this function. If you do not have the appropriate assistive software, the module tutor will need to liaise with the Disability team and offer an alternative assessment.

Q: Does UoG have plans to put in place adjustments to the marking schemes for assignments? Lots of students are asking this as they have heard that other universities have done so

A: Yes, module tutors have reviewed all 1120 assessments due to be submitted prior to the end of July 2020.  They have considered the assessment criteria carefully and have amended any assessment criteria that are no longer achievable due to the COVID-19 situation.

Check MyGlos for up-to-date information regularly

Q: Will there be a specific complaints procedure for students unhappy with the quality of online provision? 

A: Our existing Student Complaints Procedure can be used for this purpose and a link to the Complaints Procedure Flowchart is here but before submitting a complaint please raise your concerns informally with the module tutor so that they have the opportunity to address the issue. Without evidence of an attempt to raise a concern informally with the person concerned it will not be possible to formally progress a complaint.

Q: Will there be a right for students to appeal their grades when marks are awarded if they feel their experience was negatively affected by teaching moving online and if so, will this be different to the usual academic appeals procedure?

A: No, this may be grounds for a student complaint (see above) but not an Academic Appeal.

Q: What should students do if the EC2 time period is not sufficient but has been granted without there being discussion of what would work for students on an individual basis? This is particularly pressing for those with caring responsibilities (such as students who are parents with children now at home due to school closures). 

A: If you require a longer extension please have a further conversation with HelpZone who understand the pressures students are facing.  Helpzone colleagues will be able to agree to further extensions without the need for independent evidence but please be aware that you will be required to answer questions to clarify the reasons for the request.

Q: Can there be further discussion on the introduction of an extension for student who are struggling to concentrate or adjust in light of Covid-19? At the moment tutors aren’t allowing this to be grounds 

A: We understand that some students are experiencing particular mental health and wellbeing challenges as a result of the COVID-19 situation and our existing arrangements for extenuating circumstances both recognise and address these particular challenges that some students are facing currently.

Check MyGlos for up-to-date information regularly

Q: Some tutors are suggesting they are not responsible for the moving of deadlines and that this sits centrally with the University, can this be clarified as to who has the power to change deadlines? 

A: Assessment deadlines have been delayed where this was necessary and individual arrangements for extenuating circumstances (CV-19, EC2, WA3) can all be used to further delay standardised submission dates if this is necessary for an individual student.

Q: There needs to be a hub on MyGlos (and MyGlos Help) on Covid-19 – currently there are still links to generic advice such as here: https://myhelp.glos.ac.uk/assessments/rules-and-regulations/Pages/what-happens-if-you-cant-finish-in-time.aspx specific advice is required for many at this point 

A: This has been addressed

Q: Students are requesting clarity surrounding the requirements for evidence for EC2 extensions

A: Students requesting an EC2 for COVID-19 related issues are not required to provide independent evidence.

Q: What happens when students don’t hear back from academics, is there a new ‘recommended reply time’ (instead of the usual 2 working days) in light of the current situation and who should students contact next if they don’t receive a reply?

A: Response times have not been changed but like students, many staff are currently facing significant personal challenges.  If you have not received a reply within 48 hours, please consider the following options:

  • If you have not received a response from your ACL, please contact your ASL

  • If you have not received a response from your Module tutor, please contact your ACL

  • If you have not received a response from your Personal Tutor, please contact the personal tutor designated to provide cover when your personal tutor is away.  If you do not know who this is please contact your senior tutor.

Q: Will notes from UoG Covid meetings be available to students? 

A: The outcomes of these meetings are published on the Coronavirus COVID-19 pages on MyGlos

Check MyGlos for up-to-date information regularly

Event took place, 1st April 14:00. Answers provided: 8th April, 16:00

Link to the video

Q: Can there be an example of how the results are calculated using the two different methods to help students understand the process?

A: Yes – we can work up some examples.

Q: If a student hasn’t completed 60 cats this year OR the 60 cats they have completed are split across multiple modules but not yet confirmed via an exam board - how will this be taken into consideration? 

A: If a student hasn’t met the requirements for an award this academic year, then they will have their award calculated at the point that they do meet the requirements.  If that is next academic year, we have been clear how the no-detriment variation to our regulations would apply to them.
If a student hasn’t met the requirements for an award to be calculated, they will continue to study for their intended award unless they are prevented from doing so due to a progression regulation.

Q: Can you cancel an EC2 extension that you have been given if you later find out having one means you won’t be able to graduate/progress?

A: In this case, the student would just submit when they are ready.  The extension provides a final submission deadline (due date), but a student can always submit early.

Q: If a student lives in a private rented house is there something that can be done about the rent for the remaining of the year if Covid-19 has meant they have vacated their house?

A: This is a matter between the student and their landlord, and their contract provides the terms of their tenancy.

Check MyGlos for up-to-date information regularly

Q: Can the university announce if they are moving Exam Board dates or not?

A: Final decisions on any adjustments to exam board dates are due to be made shortly.  As a minimum, we are expecting to push back the Module Boards of Examiners for semester two by two weeks.  We will also consider whether we can adjust the dates for Exam Boards for semester three.  As soon as we make decisions, we will publish the revised Assessment Calendars to students as well as staff.

Q: If I have an EC2 deadline that runs past the exam board date - does that mean I won’t graduate? If not, how will this affect me?

A: Yes, although we will be making a decision on adjustments to exam board dates soon.  Helpzones are always aware of the exam board dates, and the time needed for marking, and reflect that in the discussions they have with students who are applying for EC2.

Q: How are Top-Up students considered with the no-detriment policy – will this just consider their level 6 grades?

A: Yes – only level 6 credit can be used as the basis for an award calculation where that is the only credit awarded by the University.  In that case, only method one calculation can be used.  The no-detriment policy applies, but only method one calculation can be used.

Q: The Helpzone advisors seem to be following different rules? “They are forcing me to do (exam assessment) in January instead whereas someone else I know has just got a 3 hour extension, even though it's exactly the same reason why we need extensions”

A: All Assessment adjustments are made by Assessment Scrutiny panels.  The includes revised assessment briefs where possible.  The possibilities for module tutors varied across courses, and some are constrained by PRSBs.  Helpzones only approve extensions due to individual mitigating circumstances.

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