Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19
Teaching Arrangements for the 2020 Academic Year
University Events and Visits
Applications, Offers and Interviews
Returning to the College
About the Risk Assessment & Contingency Plan
1. When does the academic year start/has the start of term been delayed?
The academic year will start on 21st September 2020, and the College will be open.
2. What are the arrangements for Michaelmas (autumn) term, how will I be taught at the start of the coming academic year?
Term will start on Monday 21st September 2020 and our buildings will be open. We remain committed to delivering the high-quality, personalised education that is the hallmark of New College of the Humanities.
As you will be more than aware, we cannot predict with absolute certainty how things will be in September, so we have outlined below our current thinking around how we will approach the next academic year.
First, our intention is to conduct as much teaching in person as possible. We recognise that some students may not wish or be able to attend in person, due to travel restrictions, shielding, clinical vulnerability and/or anxiety. So, our faculty are currently preparing high-quality online resources for teaching and learning to ensure that we can provide you with an exceptional academic experience wherever you are.
Secondly, we currently anticipate that there will be some social distancing measures in place for part of the academic year, in which case it will not be possible to provide all of our teaching face-to-face. We are, therefore, preparing to adopt a hybrid model where some teaching can take place online while other teaching will remain in person.
Based on the current recommended 1m+ social distancing guidance and the number of students we expect to welcome on each degree programme this year, we anticipate that -with the exception of instances where a faculty staff member is shielding or unwell – we will be able to deliver the majority of undergraduate degree lectures, seminars and group tutorials in person in the College or its environs (Bloomsbury). One-one-tutorials, two-to-one tutorials, NCH Diploma and LAUNCH will take place remotely, online.
In all instances, we will be guided by the UK Government, Public Health England, the NHS, our partner Northeastern University, social distancing regulations, and sector best-practice at peer institutions in making decisions about how much teaching we can deliver face-to-face at any given time. We will keep you informed of these decisions.
Regardless of the delivery method, our students will continue to benefit from the high-quality and personalised approach that is the foundation of the College, this includes:
- High-quality lectures. We currently anticipate that the majority of our lectures will be delivered face-to-face in the College or surrounding area of Bloomsbury. If delivered online, synchronous lectures will be preceded by asynchronous material and activities delivered via our VLE, Canvas, to give you the opportunity to engage with the subject matter before you delve into further inquiry and application with your tutors and your peers.
- Small group seminars will be held face-to-face when possible and in compliance with social distancing and shielding constraints, where you’ll be guided and challenged in discussion with peers and experts in your field.
- One-to-one and two-to-one tutorials will be held online with your tutors and provide you with the opportunity to discuss and defend your essay or ideas with your tutor to hone your ideas and develop your critical thinking, argumentation and communications skills.
- LAUNCH (for undergraduate students) will be taught online.
- One-to-one careers counselling tailored to your aspirations will take place online.
- All students will have the opportunity to experience synchronous and asynchronous at the start of Michaelmas in preparation for the term ahead.
- We expect that Senate House Library will be open, observing social distancing and with a booking system in place.
- Student & Academic Services will be available for face-to-face support with social distancing measures in place.
- Opportunities to pursue your extracurricular interests, including the clubs and societies run by the NCH Student Union will be available subject to social distancing guidelines.
- Teaching may differ from the description in our prospectus; for example, visits to museums and galleries may not be possible for Art History students if the museums and galleries are not open to the public but the College will continue to monitor the availabilities of these opportunities and return to them as soon as it is safe to do so.
- Students will be provided with training on how to maximise the new online learning approaches and this will include training on the use or our new VLE (Canvas).
3. Exactly how much of my teaching will be delivered face-to-face in the College?
Based on the current recommended 1m+ social distancing guidance and the number of students we expect to welcome on each degree programme this year, we anticipate that (with the exception of instances where a faculty staff member is shielding or unwell or where the number of students exceeds the maximum capacity of any room in the College with social distancing, see list below) we will be able to deliver the majority of undergraduate and masters degree lectures, seminars and group tutorials in person in the College or its environs (Bloomsbury).
Undergraduate one-one-tutorials, two-to-one tutorials, NCH Diploma and LAUNCH will take place remotely, online.
Based on the information we currently have, it may be necessary to deliver lectures online for the following first year courses in the 2020/21 academic year:
- Introduction to Economics
- Economic History
- Critical Reasoning (Diploma)
Based on the information we currently have, it may be necessary to deliver lectures online for the following second and third- year courses in the 2020/21 academic year:
- Criminal Law
- Law of the European Union
- Political Economy & Globalisation
- Science Literacy (Diploma)
- Applied Ethics (Diploma)
Please, remember that this is not a definitive list nor is it definite that these will be taught online, but it is our current assumption. We will keep this list updated as our plans progress.
4. When will the Michaelmas timetable be available to students?
Developing the timetable is a complex and iterative process with a wide range of dependencies to be considered before it is finalised. These include final 2020 intake numbers for each degree programme, elective course selections where available, shielding staff, and students wishing to study remotely. The information relating to these dependencies cannot be finalised until late August (or in some cases not until term starts).
As is the College’s usual practice, timetables for Michaelmas term will be published by the beginning of term.
5. How will the faculty teach us and comply with social distancing in the small rooms in 19 Bedford Square?
Teaching room capacities have been reduced to adhere to 1m+ social distancing. Floor markings will be placed to indicate chair locations. Classes that are too large to comply with the new room capacities or room availability will be conducted online.
6. Which rooms will be used for teaching?
With the exception of the Russell Room and G.02, all rooms within the College that have natural ventilation (a window) and sufficient space for face-to-face teaching within social distancing guidelines will be used for face-to-face teaching. All teaching rooms have been allocated a maximum capacity that allows for 1m+ social distancing.
The College has undertaken initiatives to increase the volume of teaching space at 19 Bedford Square. These include converting G.01, the Snug, the Courtyard room, the Master’s Office, the Study, and the JCR into teaching space.
7. Where will students be able to participate in their synchronous online teaching if they are in the College due to scheduled face-to-face teaching?
We are working to secure additional study space in the local area of Bloomsbury for our students.
8. Where will students be able to spend their breaks at the College?
Students will be expected to leave 19 Bedford Square once they have completed any classes held there, so that we can manage capacity in the building and ensure social distancing. Where possible there will be study space provided at CIEE, which is just five minutes walk away in Russell Square, in addition to the usual provisions at Senate House with social distancing measures in place. In addition, local cafes, park’s and other are public spaces are open.
9. Will I need to wear a face mask or face shield in the building?
Face coverings are now required upon entry to all of the College’s premises (applicable to the main campus and other hired spaces) and for the full period spent on-site.
Students will need to provide their own face coverings.
Face shields will be provided to staff in student-facing roles and will be mandatory.
A stock of emergency PPE will be kept onsite, including gloves and masks. These will be distributed by a member of staff.
10. What specific masks should be worn?
We are not specifying the specific type of face-covering to be worn. However, we will provide face shields to staff in student-facing roles, which will be mandatory. Should faculty wish to wear a mask in addition to the face shield when they are teaching, this is at their discretion.
11. Who will enforce the correct wearing of masks?
The requirement to wear face coverings will be written into the College’s policies. Responsibility for enforcement will be shared by all staff (academic and professional) as all employees have a duty of care responsibility for the health and safety of themselves and others under Section 7: Duties of employees in the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
12. What if a student or staff member has health reasons for not wearing a mask, e.g. mild asthma? How will this be dealt with, and by whom?
Students and staff who are unable to wear a face covering will not be permitted into the College’s buildings.
13. Can I choose whether to attend the College in person or online? What flexibility will there be for students who are unable to travel due to flight restrictions?
We hope that our students will travel to London where possible, as our current plan is to open the College’s buildings
If it is not possible, due to travel or other restrictions, or sheltering, clinical vulnerability, or severe anxiety, or severe financial impact, for you to join us in London by the beginning of Michaelmas term, we will provide teaching and content online to support you to achieve the same learning outcomes, until you are able to travel to London.
Returning students who wish to undertake their studies remotely during Michaelmas should complete this form.
14. What safety measures will be put in place during face-to-face activities to protect students and staff?
The health and wellbeing of our students and staff are of paramount importance to the College.
We currently plan to implement an extensive programme of safety measures upon the reopening of the College’s buildings at the start of the academic year. These include but may not be limited to:
- Staggering start and finish times allowing more face-to-face teaching sessions
- Significantly reducing the number of staff and students on campus at any one time
- Strictly observing recommended social distancing guidelines wherever possible
- Increased cleaning protocols
- Working with our Landlord and Camden Council to provide more cycle storage
- Ensuring there are sufficient additional sanitiser stations
- Carefully signposted walking routes around the buildings
We will continue to make adaptations based on the College’s ongoing monitoring of the development of the virus and in consideration of a range of factors including guidance from the UK government, Public Health England, the NHS, and our partner, Northeastern University, along with our key objective to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our students, staff and the wider community. You will find more detailed information in the Buildings section of this Q&A below.
15. What kind of support will be available to me at the College?
Our full range of student support services will be in place, ranging from mental health services, pastoral, wellbeing, and disability support, while observing social distancing guidelines.
We are planning to run Freshers’ Week and welcome back sessions for returning students with the appropriate health and safety measures in place, with as much activity in person as possible. It is likely that some induction sessions may need to take place online.
16. What will it be like to live and study in London in the coming academic year?
London will be open but with some notable differences. Shops, cafes, restaurants, bars, hotels, and cinemas are open, subject to the prevailing social distancing guidance. Public transport is running with social distancing measures in place. In many cases, students can walk to the College and will be living and studying in the central area of London. Travel within the UK is possible, as is travel to some European countries.
17. I am thinking of applying to NCH and wanted to attend an event (open day, taster sessions etc.), are these events still running?
Yes. For the time being, we will be hosting all scheduled events virtually. To view the events currently running, please see here.
18. Are you still conducting interviews?
We are still interviewing applicants to our masters degree programmes online.
We are now in the Clearing period for undergraduate applications, during which we will not interview new undergraduate applicants.
19. What are you basing your offers on? Predicted grades?
Our offer will be based on your interview performance, consideration of your academic performance to date and your personal statement.
20. I no longer want to go to the university I applied to through UCAS, can I switch and join?
21. You require certain documents for admissions but I am not able to obtain them, what can I do?
Please speak to a member of our admissions team and they will be able to assist you. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
22. If I have any questions regarding my application or offer, what is the best way to contact the College?
You can contact our friendly recruitment and admissions team via email on email@example.com. They will typically respond Monday to Friday between 9:00 am and 5.00 pm BST.
23. Is the College still accepting applications from international students?
Yes, we continue to accept applications from students around the world who require a visa to study in the UK.
If you require a visa to study in the UK and wish to start your degree in September 2020, we encourage you to apply as soon as possible to allow time for your application to be processed and for your Tier 4 student visa to be processed and issued before you need to travel to London.
The very latest date you can submit an application is Friday 21 August 2020, however please note that this may not allow sufficient time for students from certain countries to complete the visa application process.
24. Will the coronavirus pandemic impact my application?
Our Admissions Team continues to process all applications within our usual timescales, and interview dates are available in the coming weeks.
We process all of our applications as soon as possible. Any delays that might arise may be for one of the following reasons: a delay in receiving your academic reference from your academic referee if your are a direct applicant, if we require further information from you in order to further supplement your application, or if you are looking to transfer into the second year and we need to cross-credit your modules in order to see if you are eligible for transfer. In these circumstances, one of our Admissions Team will be in contact with you to ensure that everything is in hand and to answer any queries you may have.
25. Are you still going to have Clearing? Or can I apply now?
We are accepting direct applications and would encourage anyone who is considering studying at NCH to apply now so that they know the outcome of their application in a few week’s time.
26. What is the deadline to accept my offer? (Undergraduate)
The deadline to sign your offer letter and accept your place to study with us is the decision deadline in your UCAS Track. This decision deadline is also the date you must reply to your offers via UCAS. If you do not respond by the deadline date, you will decline all offers you have received by default. For most students, this will be on Thursday 18 June, but we would encourage you to login to your UCAS Track to see your official deadline date.
If you applied to the College directly, the date for most is 18 June 2020, but you should refer to your official offer letter for the exact date if you applied post-15 January 2020.
27. What is the deadline for meeting the conditions of my offer?
All conditions specified in your offer of admission must be met by 31 August 2020. This applies to offers for entry in September 2020 and deferred entry in September 2021.
28. My grades may be affected by either missing courses or being taught by distance learning. What account will you take of this?
On the 20th and 30th March 2020, offer holders who had applied prior to these dates were sent emails regarding how we have decided to approach this unprecedented situation. If you have not received this email please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you received an offer to study at the College after 30th March 2020, the current disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been taken into consideration in your offer requirements, which you will find in your offer letter.
29. What is the deadline to accept my offer? (Postgraduate)
Your offer letter provides a specific date by which you should respond. If you are still considering your options, please contact our Admissions Team on email@example.com to discuss the possibility of extending your offer deadline.
30. My undergraduate degree results have been affected by COVID-19, will you take this into account?
If you have not met the conditions of your offer or are unable to provide evidence of your final degree classification, please contact our Admissions Team on firstname.lastname@example.org.
31. Can I defer my entry to September 2021?
The College will facilitate deferral requests wherever possible. To request a deferral, please send an email to email@example.com stating your request to defer, along with a brief outline of the reasons you would like to defer.
32. Is there a deadline for requesting a deferral?
This year, we will consider your deferral request up to 31st August 2020. To request a deferral, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org stating your request to defer, along with a brief outline of the reasons you would like to defer.
If you wish to defer, we ask you to contact us and make your request as soon as possible so that we can offer your place for this year to another student.
33. Do I still need to meet the conditions of my offer if I choose to defer entry to September 2021?
Yes, you must meet all conditions specified in your offer of admissions by 31st August 2020. To request a deferral, please send an email to email@example.com stating your request to defer, along with a brief outline of the reasons you would like to defer.
If you wish to defer, we ask you to contact us and make your request as soon as possible so that we can offer your place for this year to another student.
34. Can I defer my entry to September 2021 if I have accepted an unconditional offer?
Yes. This year, we will consider requests to defer unconditional offers to 2021 entry. To request a deferral, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org stating your request to defer, along with a brief outline of the reasons you would like to defer.
If you do wish to defer, we ask you to contact us and make your request as soon as possible so that we can offer your place for this year to another student.
35. I am holding an offer for entry in September 2021, but would now like to start my degree in September 2020? Is this possible?
In certain circumstances, it may be possible to bring forward your year of entry.
Please email your request to amend your year of entry to email@example.com with a brief outline of your reasons for requesting an amended entry year.
However, please note that, due to capacity restrictions, we may not be able to confirm the change immediately and we may add you to a waitlist for entry to your chosen programme this year.
36. I was made an offer for 2020 entry in the 2019 admissions cycle, and would now like to defer entry to 2021. Can I do this?
No. We can only defer your place by a maximum of one year. After this, you will be required to submit a new application.
37. Currently the UK Government is imposing a 14-day quarantine for people arriving in the UK. Will there be any support from the College during the quarantine?
The government is satisfied that it is now safe to ease these measures in England and has introduced travel corridor exemptions for some countries and territories.
You may not have to self-isolate when you arrive in England, if you are travelling from one of the countries or territories listed here. That is because these countries or territories are:
- covered by the travel corridor exemption
- within the common travel area (Ireland, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man)
- British overseas territories
You will need to self-isolate if you visited or made a transit stop in a country that is not on the list in the 14 days before you arrive in England.
38. I need to take an English language test as part of my entry requirements but the test centres are closed. What should I do?
We are aware that some English Language test centres are closed due to COVID-19. However, in locations where it is permitted and safe, English language test centres are opening up again.
Due to UK government regulations, we can only accept one of the following tests:
- an IELTS for UKVI (Academic) test from a UKVI approved centre with a score of 7.0 (including 6.5 in each component) or
- the LanguageCert International ESOL SELT C1 Expert with Pass (25/50) in all four skills or
- the Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic UKVI with a score of 69 overall (including a minimum of 62 in each component).
You can find IELTS test centres in your country here.
For information about LanguageCert, please check here.
For information about Pearson, please check here.
39. I need to apply for a visa but the visa centres are closed. What should I do?
The earliest you can make your visa application is three months prior to the course start date. This means that you can start your visa application process in June as our courses usually start in September. Please note that NCH aims to start issuing the CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) letters for Tier 4 visa purposes from June 2020.
Some UK Visa Application Centres (VACs) are resuming services where local restrictions allow. Services will reopen in phases.
To support customers accessing their documents, a limited number of VACs are opening for passport return only, before resuming wider services where local restrictions allow.
The reopening of VAC locations remains subject to local circumstances. For updates to the status of VACs, including opening times in your country, check with:
- TLS contact if you are in Europe, Africa and parts of the Middle East
- VFS global for all other countries
We are hoping that the Visa Application Centre will start operating as normal as soon as the situation around COVID-19 improves.
For any further information please feel free to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
40. I need a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK. In light of COVID 19 have there been changes to the application process of which I should be aware?
For the latest information on visas applications please contact our Visa & Immigration Team via email on email@example.com.
41. I am an international student and need a Tier 4 Visa to study in the UK. When will I receive my CAS?
The College will contact all those students who have accepted their offer and provide them with a Tier 4 documents checklist and guide. You’ll need to send us the scanned copies of all the documents listed in the checklist and completed forms.
Once we receive all your documents, we will then issue you with a draft CAS statement which includes all the information we intend to share with the UKVI. We will ask you to review this draft before we send it off to make sure that all the information we have is correct. Once you have confirmed that all of the information is correct, we can then transmit the information to the UKVI and issue you with your CAS statement and number.
You will then need this CAS number to apply for your visa. Please note that you will need your CAS statement plus your original documents when you apply for your visa.
42. Will the two-year post-study work visa be in effect next year? (Graduate Immigration Route)
The UK Government has announced the creation of a new immigration route which will enable international students to remain in the UK for two years after they have completed their studies.
The Graduate Route will be available to international students who have successfully completed a degree at undergraduate level or above at a Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance and who have a valid Tier 4 visa at the time of application.
The new route will be launched in the summer of 2021, meaning that any eligible student who graduates in the summer of 2021 or after will be able to apply for the route. This includes students who have already started their programme and therefore includes students starting in the 2020/21 academic year.
This new graduation immigration route has not become a law and likely to be included in the set of new immigration rules the government is planning to publish later this year.
Further information about the new graduate immigration route can be found here.
43. If I decide to withdraw my application, will I get a refund on my overseas bond of £4,000?
Yes, due to the circumstances of COVID-19, the College will refund overseas bonds to students who decide not to take up their offer and not to defer their offer to 2021/22.
44. I am required to pay an overseas bond of £4,000. If I make a payment, will this be refunded if I am unable to travel due to restrictions in September?
In the event that you are not able to travel, for example, due to travel restrictions, and you choose not to commence your studies remotely, we will of course refund your overseas bond.
45. Where can I find the latest information about accommodation?
Please see our accommodation FAQs for further information.
46. Will the College’s accommodation be safe to live in? What safety measures will be in place?
Please see our accommodation FAQs for further information.
47. Should I commit to booking accommodation now, if I am not sure whether I will be able to travel to London?
If you plan to live in students halls, our accommodation partners understand the unprecedented situation in which we all find ourselves, and are offering flexibility should circumstances mean that you are unable to travel to London.
Mannequin House will generally refund deposits if you cancel due to the following reasons:
- Failure to receive grades
- Failure to obtain VISA
- Studying in an alternative City
You can find the full cancellation policy for Mannequin House here.
For the 2020/21 academic year starting this September, Mannequin House is offering a flexible start date in line with when the College reopens its doors.
This means that if the College has to postpone the start of your 2020/21 year, Mannequin House will amend the start of your tenancy without any penalties or additional costs.
For the 2020/21 academic year starting this September, Scape is offering a flexible start date in line with when the College reopens its doors.
This means that if the College has to postpone the start of your 2020/21 year, Scape will amend the start of your tenancy without any penalties or additional costs.
How does it work?
- No need to contact Scape. Book your room as normal for the 2020/21 academic year starting in September
- We will contact Scape if there are any changes to our start date
- Scape will agree a new start date for your tenancy in line with when the College’s academic year begins. You’ll only pay when your new tenancy starts!
Anyone looking to stay with Scape for the academic year starting September 2020 is eligible. Those who have already booked a room with Scape are also eligible.
International Student House
You can cancel your place at ISH prior to August 1st at no extra cost. If you cancel after August 1st, your deposit will not be returned, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Please note that this might change as current circumstances evolve.
48. How will surfaces in the College be kept clean?
Enhanced routine cleaning protocols will be delivered in accordance with the UK Government and Public Health England guidance. These enhanced protocols will include additional daytime cleaning and periodic cleaning of classrooms between classes and high touch point areas, including equipment.
All cleaning will be conducted in compliance with government guidance on Cleaning in a non-healthcare setting found here.
Anti-bacterial wipes will be provided in each office space for staff to wipe their work equipment regularly.
49. What measures is the College taking to promote better hand hygiene in its buildings?
Wall-mounted hand sanitising units (automated where possible) have been installed, with one at the main entrance, and a minimum of one per floor. They are positioned along all circulation routes. Soap dispensers (automated, where possible) are installed in every tea point and toilet. Signage will be put in place to remind everyone of their obligation to wash their hands to prevent the spread of the virus.
50. How will the College manage social distancing within 19 Bedford Square?
Restricting access to the premises
- A new front door management process will assist with monitoring and enforcement of safe practices.
- Attendance at the premises will include a registration process, for example, class registration where there is a cap for face-to-face teaching and the agreed members of staff onsite.
- No unscheduled visitors, students or staff will be permitted entry.
Managing the circulation of people in the building
- Where possible, the College will implement separate points of exit and entrance. For example, at 19 Bedford Square, the main entrance will continue to be used as the entrance while the front basement fire escape will be used as the exit.
- All persons attending the site will be provided with specific guidance to take the necessary precautions when using the staircases in the premises as occasional close contact may be unavoidable. This will be in a written format at the bottom, mid, and top of each staircase.
- Face-to-face teaching will be scheduled for optimal flow management; for example, staggered start and end times.
- Signage will be displayed to reinforce social distancing and circulation routes.
- Teaching room capacities have been reduced to adhere to social distancing. Floor markings will be placed to indicate chair locations.
- Unused and unallocated furniture, marketing collateral, equipment and other items have been removed and stored to create extra space.
- Social space will be appropriately restricted.
- Students should not remain onsite for longer than is reasonably necessary to complete the tasks or learning for that day to avoid unnecessary interaction with others.
- Teapoints and toilets are single occupancy only and will be cleaned regularly throughout the day.
- Tea points will only be available for drinking facilities, and all other equipment will be removed.
- Staff meetings will continue to take place virtually. Where face-to-face is essential, social distancing restrictions will apply.
- All persons on site must take necessary precautions to avoid close contact. Physical contact is not permitted (hugs, handshakes, etc.) save for Health and Safety reasons.
51. How will the College manage ventilation and the flow of air around the building?
Windows will be opened (with restrictors in place) in all rooms to provide ventilation and fresh air. In addition, while the use of air conditioning and heating will be kept to a minimum and only if required, the recommended servicing of systems will be undertaken such as disinfectant fumigation.
52. How will the College handle deliveries and contractor visits to prevent contamination?
Contractors (e.g. window flower servicing, Konica engineer, electrical reader) will attend by prior arrangement only. No impromptu visits will be permitted for anyone. Contractors who are scheduled to work onsite must adhere to College policy on PPE, and the completion of a COVID-19 disclosure form will be required before entry.
Delivery drivers will not be permitted access to the premises, and deliveries will not be accepted at the main entrance. Delivery drivers will be directed to an alternative entrance/exit for safe leaving. Facilities will take all deliveries. During this period, we discourage students and staff from receiving personal deliveries at the College to support our efforts to maintain a safe and healthy environment for our community.
53. Can the College have a one-way system similar to those introduced by peer institutions?
Where possible, the College will implement separate points of exit and entrance and instruct everybody to stay to the right of the corridor or stairs that they use to manage the flow. For example, at 19 Bedford Square, the main entrance will continue to be used as the entrance while the front basement fire escape will be used as the exit.
54. Will there be common areas available in the College?
No. To maintain social distancing, there will be no social areas within the College. However, we anticipate that we will be able to provide independent study space for students locally.
55. Can I use the kitchens and bathrooms in the College?
Yes. However, the kitchens will be single occupancy and will only be available for drinking facilities, and all other equipment will be removed. All kitchens and bathrooms will be cleaned regularly throughout each day.
56. How will staff and students know what is required to ensure social distancing at the College?
The new policy arrangements will be communicated to all staff and students via the usual communications channels.
Returning and incoming students will be reminded of the 14 days self-isolation requirement for those travelling into the UK from relevant countries.
Before staff and students return to the premises, compulsory Return to Premises Induction Training will be conducted for all staff and students, to ensure that they understand the new ways of working.
All persons who come to the College will be provided with specific guidance on the necessary precautions when using the staircases in the premises as occasional close contact may be unavoidable. This will be in a written format at the bottom, mid, and top of each staircase.
57. What will happen if somebody on campus develops COVID-19 symptoms?
The affected individual will need to report any symptoms or feeling unwell to a member of staff, who will discreetly send the person home. They should then follow government guidance and stay at home, as well as self-isolate for 7 days.
Any person who has been in close contact with the affected individual will be made aware of the situation, however, the College will not disclose who has been affected. Those who have been in close contact will also be required to self isolate for 7 days.
The College will ensure any affected areas are restricted and adequately disinfected in line with government guidance on Cleaning in a non-healthcare setting.
The College reserves the right to close the campus for up to 72 hours if it is deemed a substantial transmission risk.
58. What will happen in the case of an accident or emergency?
The College will not ask staff and students to adhere to our COVID-19 policy in the event of an emergency, and all are advised to follow the existing procedures we have in place. Once the emergency is over the COVID-19 policy will come back into effect.
59. Who will return to the College and when?
We are taking a three-phased approach to staff and students returning to College as follows:
During Phase One (June and July 2020) a maximum of 5% of professional staff will be allowed on-site at any given time. Primarily these will be Facilities and contractors, who will be working in the College one day per week to prepare for the coming academic year. No students or faculty will be returning to the College during this phase.
Phase Two will take place in August when the College will increase the presence of professional staff up to 15%; this will comprise mostly staff in student support roles so that they can continue to prepare for the coming academic year. There will be limited faculty in the College and no students.
Phase Three runs for the duration of Michaelmas, during which the College plans to increase the presence to a maximum of 30% of the workforce and student body in 19 Bedford Square at any one time, subject to timetable confirmation. Faculty who have teaching commitments inside the College, student-facing professional staff and senior management will be prioritised for working within the College’s premises.
60. How can the College commit to only 30% of staff and student body being in the College's premises at any given time, and which staff members will have priority and on what grounds?
There are several ways in which the College will manage the capacity of staff and students in the building, including:
Reducing the total number of staff using the building: The first of these is only having staff in the building who need to be physically present. As such, the majority of professional staff whose work does not necessitate face-to-face contact with students will continue to work from home for the duration of Michaelmas. So, the Admissions, Apprenticeships, Careers, Finance, Marketing and Recruitment teams will usually work from home for the duration of Michaelmas. As a result, the proportion of professional staff working in the College will reduce to fewer than 30%.
Reducing the number of staff using the building at any one time: Student-facing professional staff may work in a rota in the College and have staggered start and end times.
Managing access to the building: Attendance to premises will be managed by a registration process to ensure adherence to the cap. Students will not be allowed to remain onsite for longer than is reasonably necessary to complete their tasks or learning for that day and to avoid unnecessary interaction with others.
Using additional external spaces for teaching: The College intends to conduct some Michaelmas NCH teaching in some of the areas at CIEE, which were initially contracted for N.U.in teaching.
61. How will I travel to the College?
All staff and students are required to adhere to UK Government advice on travel, which can be found here. Remember, face coverings are mandatory when using public transport. Staff are encouraged to walk or cycle to work, wherever possible.
62. I would like to cycle to the College but I don't know where to park it.
The College is exploring solutions for additional bike storage in the campus vicinity with the local council and landlord.
63. I live too far away from the College to walk or cycle, and I am nervous about using public transport, what should I do?
The College has considered public transport with our timetabling requirements and we have made every effort to try to allow staff and students to avoid peak times where possible.
64. What information and advice has the College considered in its planning?
The College is continually monitoring the development of the COVID-19 pandemic. We consider a range of factors in our planning and the decisions we make relating to it. These include – but are not limited to – guidance from the UK government, Public Health England and the NHS, Northeastern University, and best-practice among peer institutions in the UK, including those in the local area, combined with logistical requirements and operational continuity.
65. How will any changes to the plan be communicated?
We will communicate any changes through the College’s usual communications channels, including email, CruNCH, NCHLondon.ac.uk, and in the case of urgent messages, via SMS. With that in mind, we remind staff to ensure that PeopleHR has their correct mobile phone number, and to check their NCH email regularly.