Coronavirus emergency assessment regulations/No Detriment Policy – what it mean for you [08/04/2020]

Over the past week, we have been working hard with the University to create a set of emergency regulations for assessments. You will have now received an email about what they mean for your year group, in practice, but we've also listed the main points below. We hope these will relieve some of your understandable concerns, but please do get in touch with us if you have any questions.

 

1) Your academic performance can only be improved. You cannot do worse than whatever your average mark was prior to the Coronavirus outbreak. Therefore, we encourage you to still try your best.

 

2) Each student’s overall mark will either be their semester one mark, or the mark for the entire academic year, depending on which is highest.

 

3) If you are graduating this year, borderline degree classifications will be lifted to the higher grade.

 

 

4) Students still have to complete and pass the modules required to progress or qualify. Therefore, you still need to complete your remaining assessments.

 

5) All students are still receiving Special Circumstances related to Covid-19. These have been retrospectively added to your records. This means you do not need to submit a Special Circumstance, through the Request Centre, unless it’s for a major IT issue. The University will then work with students, who have a major IT issue, to find a solution.

 

 

***********************************************************

 

 

University Covid-19 FAQ page [06/04/2020]
 

Undeb Bangor understands why many of you will have had questions and concerns about the current situation. We are aiming to keep you fully updated, and will release further information to you as soon as possible.

 

The University has updated its Student FAQ page, which also includes all the recent updates. We’d like to draw particular attention to the “What about Assessments and Examinations” and “Do I need to submit a special circumstances report” sections, as many of you have understandably had questions on these topics. You can find the FAQs here: https://www.bangor.ac.uk/governance-and-compliance/coronavirus-student.php.en


As mentioned, we’ve also been working closely with the University on a net set of emergency assessment regulations. These regulations will cover the current unusual circumstances, and also enable you to benefit from an assessment ‘safety net’. The regulations are currently being finalised, and we will update you on what these mean for you, in practice, by Wednesday (8th April).

**************************************************************

 

Assessment regulations [30/03/2020]

Undeb Bangor, and the University, fully understand that your studies have been disrupted, and that contact with staff has been affected, due to Covid-19.

As we are committed to ensuring you aren’t disadvantaged, we have been working with the University on a new set of assessment regulations that will cover these unprecedented circumstances. The regulations will provide students with an assessment ‘safety net’, but will also ensure that degrees still carry the same value as would be the case under normal circumstances.

The regulations are still being ratified, but please be reassured that the following principles are central to them:

  • Students should be able to graduate or progress from one stage of their degree programme to the next.
  • The usual academic rules will apply if there is no doubt about a student’s academic performance. This would include where a student has received all of their marks already, or if there are sufficient marks to make a judgement on the student’s overall performance.
  • We understand that students will be concerned that the situation prevents them from performing as well on an assessment as they usually would. Therefore, we have decided that where a student’s assessment performance falls below their usual standard, this will be taken into account when finalising module marks.
  • Where marks are missing, and adjustments are considered essential, there must be consistency and fairness in the application of this regulation. This is so that no student misses out.

 

To reflect the widespread impact, all students will be classified as having Covid-19-related ‘special circumstances’. This will be applied automatically so there will be no need to submit further Reports of Special Circumstances for these. However, if you are having Major IT Issues (e.g. no internet access at all or no computer access), please continue to report these via the Request Centre (Report of Special Circumstances) selecting IT problems (major) as the reason. A solution will then be found.

As ever, do get in touch if you have any questions.

 

*****************************************************************

 

Postgraduate Research funding [30/03/2020]

 

All Bangor University Postgraduate Researchers will have received an email last week about Bangor’s suspension of research activity.

We do realise though that there are still some unanswered questions, and this is particularly the case regarding Postgraduate Research funding.

We have added our signature to an open letter being addressed to UKRI, and the Research Councils, asking for more clarity on the future of Postgraduate Research funding. The letter is specifically asking for funding extensions for all postgraduate students (Masters/PhD), for as long as the crisis continues. It is also asking for a similar, coordinated approach to be taken by all the funding agencies.

Read the letter here.


*******************************************************************

 

Forthcoming assessments/emergency measures [28/03/2020]

 

Undeb Bangor completely understands why many of you will be concerned about not performing as well as you might have usually done in the forthcoming assessments, due to the University having to move to online teaching. We also acknowledge that this is a very stressful time for everyone, and that this may be impacting on your ability to study.

 

We want to reassure you that Undeb Bangor are currently working with the University in drafting emergency measures around assessments, grades and the running of Exam Boards, to compensate for these unprecedented times. There is a meeting taking place on Monday morning, following which the emergency measures will be agreed. We are working closely with the University to make sure your results will not be unduly affected.

 

If you remain here in Bangor, you can still use computer rooms CR1 and CR2, in the New Arts Building. Please do make sure that you respect the need to social distance if you do use these facilities.

 

We will be in touch with further reassurance and information early next week.

 

 

**********************************************************************

 

Exam timetables [27/03/2020]

An email has just been sent to students with the University’s new online exam timetable.

In terms of how these will work, Blackboard will release all centrally-organised exams at 9am on the day of the exam. Students will then have a 24 hour period in which to complete the exam. We have extended the timeframe, to account for students who may have other responsibilities, such as childcare, and to assist students who have PLSPs.

If you are unable to complete an online exam due to IT issues, please notify the Request Centre (first sit/alternative arrangements) or, if you are unable to access the Request Centre, you can call 01248 388400 during weekdays between 10am 12pm, or between 2pm and 4pm, so that staff can help you.

Please get in touch if you’re unsure about any of this information.

 

**********************************************************************

 

Requesting extensions/special circumstances [26/03/2020]

We've had a lot of questions regarding special circumstances and requesting extensions for assignments. Please see below:

- Anyone requesting an extension to an assignment through the Request Centre will automatically get a 14 day extension.

- There are three different reasons in which students can request extensions, in relation to Coronavirus: IT issues; students who are ill/are self-isolating because they have symptoms; general stress and anxiety because of the situation.

There will be a further email going out today about exams/assessments, so please keep an eye out for that. We do understand though that it is a very stressful time.

As ever, do please get in touch with any questions.

 

 

**************************************************************

 

Halls of Residence fees [25/03/2020]

Over the past few days, we have been working with the University Executive regarding decisions that are being made in relation to the Coronavirus situation. We have raised with them what we have seen to be the number one concern over recent days – Halls of Residence fees.

 

We’re therefore pleased to announce that the following decision has been made: students who wish to be released from their Halls contract will receive a refund on a proportion of their Halls’ rent. This is because we recognise that although students are able to remain in Halls, many will choose to leave their Bangor accommodation and return home. Undeb Bangor does not want to see any student disadvantaged for making this decision.

 

Student who notify the Halls Office by the end of this week will be released from their contract at the end of this term (4 April 2020), and will not be required to pay Halls fees beyond that date. To do this, please email cancelmyroom@bangor.ac.uk before 5pm on Friday 27th March, and please provide your name, room number and your ‘500’ student number.

 

With regards to travelling back home, the University has received assurance from the UK Government that making a single journey to a UK home address would be considered ‘’essential travel’’.

 

Also, if any student is unable to return home and therefore may need to stay in halls beyond their contract date (into the summer), then they will be able to apply to the Hardship Fund to support additional costs associated with staying in Bangor beyond their original expected date. This will particularly apply to some international students.

 

You will have received an email which includes an FAQ page. Please do remember that this doesn’t mean you have to leave Halls of Residence – it is entirely up to you.

 

Please do keep getting in touch with us if you have any further questions or concerns.

 

 

**************************************************************

 

Postgraduate Researchers [25/03/2020]

If you are a PGR student (PhD, MRes, MPhil), then you should have by now received an email about Bangor University’s research activity.

 

Given the risk of infection from Coronavirus, restrictions on travel and access to materials, the University is suspending the data collection aspects of all ‘routine’ research activity. This decision is consistent with other universities, and will be enforced initially until the end of April, when it will be reviewed.

 

There may be the occasional exception to this decision, and we’d encourage you to continue meeting with your supervisor to discuss your project. Indeed, using online platforms, meetings should continue where possible. This includes lab meetings, Annual Research Reviews, and Viva voce examinations.

 

Where possible, the University will seek to provide extensions for projects. However, there is currently a lack of clarity on the question of funded extensions. More information will be provided when it is available from the relevant agencies.

 

Please look at the email for further detailed information.

 

******************************************************************

 

Online Teaching [25/03/2020]

We are now into the third day of online teaching. Over the past week, Undeb Bangor have been working closely with the University to ensure that online teaching is working as smoothly as possible, and to make sure that you know how to feedback on it. We are also making sure that you know who to contact, should there be any teething problems.

 

You will have just received an email reiterating some main points about how all this is going to work. You’ll see from it that, by now, your Blackboard pages for each module should include information about how your assessments have been adapted to suit the current situation, besides general information about how you can successfully complete the module.

 

The email also includes information about who you should contact to report any potential issues. This includes IT issues, and issues related to online content or module information. There is also information about placements – a decision has been made to cancel all summer placements, unless they can be carried out remotely, such as online or by phone. You will hear more specific information about this from your School.

 

In line with government advice, all libraries will now be closed. If you are unable to access hard-copy material for assessments, please contact your Module Organiser for advice on on-line resources. 

 

Finally, there is information about how your pastoral support will continue, and we would like to emphasise that you can still contact Student Services, or your Personal Tutor, for support.

 

Please do contact your course rep, or Undeb Bangor directly, should you have any general feedback you would like to raise.

 

******************************************************************************

 

Graduation Ceremonies [23/03/2020]

 

You will have just received an email regarding this summer’s graduation ceremonies.

It won’t be a surprise to hear that graduation ceremonies, which were due to be held in July, are now being postponed. Although this is disappointing, we wanted to give you confirmation on this as soon as possible, so that students can plan ahead.

Given current uncertainties, a decision has not yet been made as to when the ceremonies will be rescheduled to. Information will be released about this as soon as we know when they can be held.

We’ve received a lot of questions about what this means. Please be reassured that it does not impact upon the University awarding degrees. Transcripts and degree certificates will be available as normal, as we know how important this will be to students who are graduating.

Please do check your email for further details about this.

 

************************************************************************************

 

Social Distancing [22/03/2020]

 

You will have received an email today by the University reminding you of the importance of social distancing. This advice comes from t/he NHS and Public Health.

Please try to avoid social gatherings. Public venues, such as pubs and leisure centres, are currently closed as infections spread easily in confined spaces where there are lots of people. Please stay at home as much as possible.

Please also avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of Coronavirus, which can include a high temperature and a new persistent cough.

Further information will become available this week, as we continue to be involved in University decision-making in relation to the current situation. Please remember to keep an eye on your emails.

 

 

******************************************************************************************

 

 

Coronavirus update - specific questions [18/03/2020]

 

We are working through all the questions that have been sent through to us, and we will be providing answers as soon as we have them.

As you can imagine, there are lots of decisions to be made based on these questions, so please bear with us whilst we work with the University to provide you with accurate information. We will be putting together a report based on these questions next week, so that they're collated in one location.

Please remember that we are still here to represent and support you throughout this difficult process.

 

Mark Barrow

Undeb Bangor President

 

*********************************************************************************************

 

Undeb Bangor Closure of Premises [17/03/2020]

 

Due to recent Coronavirus (Covid-19) developments, we have made the decision to close our Students’ Union premises, for the time being. This will take effect from 5pm on Thursday.

We will be making alternative arrangements to continue to deliver our services, with our staff and Sabbatical officers working from home.

Usual club, societies and volunteering sessions will be ended immediately as a result of the closure of our premises and other University premises. However, we will maintain online communication links remotely with our student members and groups. If you have any questions or concerns about our opportunities activities, please contact the relevant coordinator or Opportunities@undebbangor.com.

We will still be able to provide our academic advice service, and our full representation support, including course reps. If you have any questions, concerns or feedback you’d like to raise around academic or representation issues, please contact studentvoice@undebbangor.com.  

Sabbatical Officers will still be available to contact via e-mail and their social media. We understand it is a difficult time for everyone, but please remember that Undeb Bangor will remain available to support you.

 

Mark Barrow

Undeb Bangor President

 

***********************************************************************************

 

**Coronavirus update: services closing [17/03/2020]**

 

Our President met with the University Executive this morning, and decisions have been made about closing certain services.

Please note that Canolfan Brailsford (including the gym), and sports facilities at Treborth, Normal Site and St Mary's will close from 5pm on Friday 20th March.

A number of catering outlets will start to close over the coming days, but Teras Restaurant and Cafe will remain open at the moment.

Please remember that the University remains open, and you can still access key resources, such as the libraries and labs.

We will be posting further updates this afternoon.

 

 

****************************************************************************************************************************

 

**Coronavirus (Covid-19) update: your questions answered [16/03/2020]**

You will have just received a further email clarifying some points that students have raised with Undeb Bangor, and the University, with regards to online teaching commencing from next Monday, 23rd March. This links to the news that teaching has been suspended for the entirety of this week.

Online Teaching – As a minimum each module will have materials available on Blackboard and Panopto recordings. Additional activities / materials will be added as required depending on the subject area.

School Distance Learning Champions - each School will have a designated Distance Learning Champion, who will be your main School contact in relation to distance learning (online) provision. You will also be able to feedback to Undeb Bangor about the online teaching.

Assessments/examinations - End of year assessments will be conducted through alternative means, where possible and will not take place in May. We hope to have information on these available by 23rd March.

Students wishing to return home - There is no expectation for students to return home. If you do decide to go home, please can you let the University know. It is important to know who is still at University and who isn't. Details on who to contact are in the email.

Graduation – Further information about when Graduation will take place will be available by the end of the week.

Please look at the email for further information. We’re aware that further questions will come up, and that there will still be some uncertainty, but we will ensure to keep you updated.

 

 

**********************************************************************************************

 

 

**Coronavirus (COVID-19) update [15/03/2020]**

You will have just received an email from the Univeristy following a decision that has been made this afternoon. Mark our President was consulted by the University Executive in making this decision.

The decision has been made to postpone all teaching from tomorrow, and online teaching will commence from Monday 23rd March. Next week will be used for lecturers to prepare online content.

A further email will go out tomorrow with further details about how online teaching is going to work. For students on placements, School-specific information will be sent out tomorrow.

Online teaching will continue until the end of this semester. Staff will still be in work, so you can meet with personal tutors etc. Access to resources, such as the library, will continue.

It is up to individuals whether to go back home or not. Undeb Bangor club and society sessions can continue, providing they don't involve bringing people in from outside of Bangor University, or involve leaving the immediate area.

Details about assessments and graduation will become available as soon as possible.

Please get in touch if you have questions, and you can get in touch with your School as normal.

 

 

********************************************************************************************

 

 

*****Previous statement [14/03/2020]*****

As you will have seen from the University e-mail about Coronavirus (Covid-19) sent out on Thursday afternoon (12th of March), the University is continuing to closely monitor the pandemic of Coronavirus (Covid-19) and is acting on the advice of the UK authorities, including Public Health Wales. Undeb Bangor’s priority is the health and welfare of our student members.

You will have seen from the e-mail that the University Executive has made the decision that all students and staff should NOT travel within the UK on university business unless it’s absolutely necessary. This will be in place until we hear otherwise, and is in addition to the decision that staff and students should NOT travel overseas on university business.

This includes all travel arranged for Students’ Union activities outside of the immediate area of Bangor, and as a result all travel scheduled should be checked with the Students’ Union.

Also, the University has made the decision to postpone all conferences and events. In addition, meetings involving visitors TO University premises should be rescheduled.  Due to this decision, we have unfortunately had to postpone our major forthcoming events. This includes Varsity, Socs Fest and our Award Dinners.

We encourage students to continue to check the Bangor University FAQs page, and emails, for updated information.