Latest updates for students

Update - 26/06/20 at 16:14

Dear student

I hope you are all well and finding time to enjoy some of this fine weather.

Today’s update is the last of our scheduled bulletins. Since we began on this journey together back in March, we have been determined to keep both colleagues and students up-to-date with developments.  While these regular bulletins will finish for the time being, keeping you posted on the latest developments as Government policy evolves and our plans develop over the coming weeks and months will remain a priority.  From here on, until the autumn updates will be provided as and when they are required.

Senedd Cymru
On Tuesday of this week, as part of my role as Vice-Chair of Universities Wales, I presented evidence to the Senedd’s Children, Young People and Education Committee on how the pandemic has affected the Higher Education sector in Wales over the past few months, and the work that is being done in anticipation of the new academic year. The session was broadcast live on Senedd.TV and can be viewed here.

Penweddig on Penglais
Earlier this week I shared with you the arrangements for Ysgol Penweddig who will be with us in the Hugh Owen building from Monday 29 June until Friday 17 July.

Between 8:00am and 5:00pm, Monday to Friday, the Hugh Owen building and its immediate area, including all external walking paths along and through/underneath the building, will become a school environment and off-limits for everyone except Penweddig staff and pupils. This also applies to the piazza in front of the Arts Centre.

Please respect the necessity for these areas to be used exclusively by Ysgol Penweddig during school hours. Your support and understanding on this matter is much appreciated.

Catering on campus
Please note that from Monday 29 June, Nosh Da will be offering a collections only service 9.00am – 3.00pm, Monday to Friday.  Orders must be placed via the Nosh Da app.

For staff and students who remain on campus over the summer, the shop/café Sguborfach (Fferm Penglais) will be open between 09.00am – 3.00pm, Monday to Friday, for a limited range of groceries, Starbucks coffee, sandwiches, snacks and confectionery. This is a cashless payment takeaway service only.

Helpline
Please remember that the coronavirus helpline continues on 01970 622483 and is available between 9:00am and 5:00pm, Monday to Friday. Questions can also be submitted by e-mail to coronavirus@aber.ac.uk.  

You can also check the coronavirus information webpage for the latest information and frequently asked questions.

Best wishes and stay safe,

Professor Elizabeth Treasure
Vice-Chancellor

Update - 19/06/20 at 17:05

Dear student

Please find the following update for your information.

Welsh Government review
First Minister Mark Drakeford has today announced the outcome of the latest Welsh Government review of its Covid-19 strategy.

The main messages are:

  • Stay local
  • Always observe social distancing
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • If you are meeting one other household, stay outdoors and stay local
  • Work from home if you can
  • Stay at home if you or anyone you live with has symptoms.

The announcement confirmed that all shops can open from Monday 22 June, schools will return on Monday 29 June and, based on the evidence, the need to stay local may be relaxed on Monday 6 July.

Details of the announcement will be available on Welsh Government’s Covid-19 website. Specific information relating to the changes that are effective from Monday 22 June are also available online.

Implication for us here at Aberystwyth University
The changes announced today do not change the way we currently work. The campus will remain closed to all but essential University staff. This includes the Arts Centre bookshop and gift shop, and the Students Union shop.

For staff and students who remain on campus, Nosh Da is providing a Starbucks coffee and groceries delivery services between 10:00am and 3:00pm (Download the Nosh Da Aber app for more details).

Sguborfach (Fferm Penglais) is also open between 10.00am – 3.00pm for Starbucks coffee, sandwiches, snacks and confectionery.  This is a cashless payment takeaway service only.

We continue to review our operations in light of changes to government guidance. Work is continuing on plans for the new academic year so that we can provide you, our students, with the best academic experience possible under these circumstances.

Limiting the spread of the virus remains a priority for us at the University, for the benefit of you, our students, staff and the wider community, and I thank you once more for your understanding and support in these matters.

Further information
Please remember that the dedicated coronavirus helpline is available on 01970 622483 between 9:00am and 5:00pm, Monday to Friday, should you have any questions, or you can e-mail coronavirus@aber.ac.uk.  

You can also check the coronavirus information webpage for the latest information and frequently asked questions.

Best wishes and stay safe,

Professor Elizabeth Treasure
Vice-Chancellor

Update - 12/06/20 at 15:11

Dear student

Many thanks for your continued support and understanding. Please note the following.

Communicating during Covid
Over the past three months we have been providing regular updates on changes to Government guidance and developments here at the University and as we work to implement social distancing measures to limit the spread of the virus and protect students, colleagues and the wider community.

The updates were daily initially and more recently, twice weekly. The evolving nature of the pandemic has meant a review of the need for such frequent messaging. One bulletin a week will be circulated between now and the end of June, with the next edition reflecting the anticipated review of the current lockdown arrangement by Welsh Government on Friday 19 June.

While this will mean less regular updates, we will work to keep you updated on developments as we work through the arrangement for the new academic year and accommodate changes in government policy as we progress through the summer.

All the bulletins issued to staff and students during the pandemic are available on the Coronavirus web page.

Catering on campus
Since the beginning of lockdown, colleagues have worked diligently within government guidance to continue to provide a catering service on campus.

As from this week, Nosh Da is providing a Starbucks coffee and groceries delivery services between 10:00am and 3:00pm. Download the Nosh Da Aber app for more details.

Sguborfach (Fferm Penglais) is also open between 10.00am – 3.00pm for Starbucks coffee, sandwiches, snacks and confectionery.  This service is cashless payment only, takeaway only, and social distancing measures are in place.

Coronavirus helpline
A regular feature of our bulletins has been the coronavirus helpline.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank the small dedicated team who have worked tirelessly since the beginning of lockdown, to answer questions from staff and students alike, 7 days a week.

The helpline continues on 01970 622483 and is available between 9:00am and 5:00pm, Monday to Friday. Questions can also be submitted by e-mail to coronavirus@aber.ac.uk.  

In the meantime, you can also check the coronavirus information webpage for the latest information and frequently asked questions.

Best wishes and stay safe,

Professor Elizabeth Treasure
Vice-Chancellor

Update - 05/06/20 at 18:01

Dear student

Many thanks for your continued support and understanding. Please note the following.

Accommodation
With the support of Dyfed Powys Police and Ceredigion County Council, the University has put in place measures that will allow belongings to be collected from University accommodation.

Those of you who still have possessions in University residences will have received an e-mail from the Accommodation Office this week asking you to arrange a date and time for their collection.

If you have already requested your slot, many thanks for your speedy response. If you haven’t, please follow the information provided online here. Please note that the booking system closes at 8:00am on Monday 8 June.

Should you have any questions regarding these arrangements, a number of FAQs have been developed and are available online here.

On the move
For some time work has been ongoing to plan for the relocation of some departments on the Penglais campus, and to move others out of the Old College as preparations get underway for its redevelopment. This work is being progressed by colleagues in Estates, Facilities and Residences.

Concurrently, as part of our preparations for the coming academic year, work is also ongoing to identify the necessary teaching space which will enable us to operate effectively as we apply social distancing measures.

Further information on these changes will be provided over the comings weeks, including details of where some of the services to students will be from the beginning of the new academic year.

Penweddig comes to Penglais
At the beginning of May we announced that we had offered space on the Penglais campus for Ceredigion County Council as part of contingency plans should pupils return to local schools before September.

This week’s announcement by Welsh Government Education Minister Kirsty Williams that schools in Wales will return at the end of June means that discussions with Ysgol Penweddig and the local authority are now progressing, with the finer detail as to how teaching space will be used being worked out.

Penweddig’s buildings currently form part of Ysbyty Enfys Aberystwyth, a temporary hospital facility which has been established to treat Coronavirus patients. We will keep you posted on developments and look forward to welcoming Penweddig pupils onto campus.

Keep in touch
As always, please check the coronavirus information webpage for the latest information and frequently asked questions.

If you have any other questions or queries, please email coronavirus@aber.ac.uk or contact the dedicated helpline on 01970 62 2483, which is open 9am-5pm every day.

Best wishes and stay safe,

Professor Elizabeth Treasure
Vice-Chancellor

Update - 02/06/20 at 18:07

Dear student

Thanks for taking time to read this latest update.

COVID-19 student survey

Yesterday we made an initial statement about the new academic year.  As you know, we are putting plans in place to bring students back to campus in September 2020, so that you can continue with your studies here with us in Aberystwyth.

We are committed to continuing to deliver the excellent student experience that you expect here at Aberystwyth which means as much in-person teaching as is safely possible, on a campus that has been carefully adapted with safety in mind. 

We take great pride in the quality of our academic provision here at Aberystwyth University. As with higher education across the UK and globally, the ongoing pandemic has meant that we have had to adapt to working in different ways since the lockdown.

Your ongoing feedback will be vital as we move forward.  We would like to hear from you about your academic experience to help inform us of what has worked well during the lockdown and where improvements can be made as we develop our plans for the future.

We would be grateful if you could to take 5 minutes to complete the following survey by  Tuesday 9th June 2020.

To complete the survey, go to https://aber.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/student-remote-teaching-survey-copy

Free webinars - Maintaining Positive Mental Health

Maintaining Positive Mental Health webinars are available to students and staff, free through the Charlie Wallor Memorial Trust (CWMT)

These short sessions include topics like: Mindfulness and staying present when the future is uncertain; managing the difficulties of working remotely in the current situation; managing stress in today’s world; being kind to yourself and adverse childhood experiences along with others.

You can access the webinars programme here: https://www.cwmt.org.uk/colleges-and-universities-webinars

Keep in touch

As always, please check the coronavirus information webpage for the latest information and frequently asked questions.

If you have any other questions or queries, please email coronavirus@aber.ac.uk or contact the dedicated helpline on 01970 62 2483, which is open 9am-5pm every day.

Best wishes

Professor Elizabeth Treasure
Vice-Chancellor

Update - 29/05/20 at 14:35

Dear student

Wales’ First Minister, Mark Drakeford, has today announced changes to lockdown arrangements for Wales.

The headline is that people from two different households will be able to meet outdoors from Monday 1 June.

However, they will need to stay in their local area – within five miles as a general rule - continue to maintain social distancing by staying two metres apart and good hand hygiene.

The key messages are:

  • stay local
  • maintain social distancing
  • observe strict hand hygiene

What does today’s announcement mean for us at Aberystwyth University?
The changes announced today will be reviewed over the coming days to ensure that we comply with the latest government guidance. An initial analysis suggests that they will not influence the way we currently operate.

We will update you with any changes in due course.

University accommodation
In yesterday’s bulletin I mentioned that those of you awaiting news of arrangements to come to pick up your belongings from University accommodation would receive an e-mail from the Accommodation Office today. We are considering these arrangements in view of today’s announcement and expect to be able to update you early next week.

In the meantime, please do not travel back to Aberystwyth to try to collect your possessions from University accommodation.

Testing for Covid-19
A note to remind you that members of the public can now apply for a home testing kit for Covid-19. To be eligible you must have at least one of the following symptoms: a new continuous cough, a fever, or loss of smell or taste. You will also need to take the test in the first 5 days of having symptoms. Further details, including how to apply, are available online here.

Thank you
Ceredigion currently has one of the lowest recorded rates of Covid-19 infection in the UK. Since the Coronavirus lockdown came into force, students, staff and the local community have all played their part in limiting the spread of the infection, and we would like to keep it this way.

We appreciate that this a difficult time for everyone. I know that everyone across the University is working hard to limit the spread of the virus and your cooperation and understanding in these matters are much appreciated.

Keep in touch
As always, please check the coronavirus information webpage for the latest information and frequently asked questions.

If you have any other questions or queries, please email coronavirus@aber.ac.uk or contact the dedicated helpline on 01970 62 2483, which is open 9am-5pm every day.

Best wishes

Professor Elizabeth Treasure
Vice-Chancellor

Update - 28/05/20 at 19:10

Dear student

Many thanks for your continued support and understanding during this ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. Please note the following.

Welsh Government announcement
We anticipate an announcement by Welsh Government tomorrow, Friday 29 May, following its latest review of the lockdown arrangements that are in place.

We will consider the implications for the University when information is released, but I would like to reiterate our plans to handle any significant changes in government guidance. 

The current lockdown guidance on staying at home and maintaining social distance remains in place for the time being. Please continue to observe these until they are changed by Welsh Government.

It is possible that government may decide not to continue with the current level of restrictions on public movements. Should this occur, we do not intend to re-open campus immediately. Our intention is to work within any new guidance set by government, and to take all appropriate steps to prepare campus prior to reopening to staff.

University accommodation
If you have been living in University accommodation and are waiting to hear about arrangements to pick you belongings, you should receive an e-mail from colleagues in the Accommodation Office tomorrow, Friday 29 May.

In the meantime, do not travel to Aber to collect your possessions until you have an agreed date and time from colleagues in the Accommodation Office.

Examination conventions
In April we published information about our approach to examinations and assessments in light of the Coronavirus pandemic. Further information and relevant FAQs are available online here.

As part of this work, the University’s Examination Conventions have now been  supplemented with a specific Covid-19 addendum - see item 4.15 Addendum to Examination Conventions and associated appendices (4.16-4.18). The addendum and appendices include detailed information explaining how the conventions will operate for this academic session and how borderline degree classifications will be reviewed.

Should you have specific questions about this information, please contact the Student Administration team in the Registry (ugfstaff@aber.ac.uk  for undergraduates, pgsstaff@aber.ac.uk  for postgraduates).

Update your personal details
Many thanks to all of you who have verified your personal details on your Student Record. If you haven’t already done so, please take a minute to check the information and make any updates as soon as possible.

September 2020
Last week I mentioned the work that is going on to plan for the beginning of the new academic year in September 2020. I am grateful to colleagues across the University for their contributions on this. The detailed planning work will continue over the summer, but our intention is to set out our overarching approach to the new academic year in a statement on Monday 1 June.

Testing for Covid-19
Members of the public can now apply for a home testing kit for Covid-19. To be eligible you must have at least one of the following symptoms: a new continuous cough, a fever, or loss of smell or taste. You will also need to take the test in the first 5 days of having symptoms. Further details, including how to apply, are available online here.

eMentoring
Looking for career insight and advice via an online mentoring platform from experienced Aberystwyth graduates? You can browse hundreds of mentor profiles and request:

  • careers advice
  • feedback on your CV and application forms
  • valuable insight into a specific career
  • and various other mentor services

To find out more visit eMentoring.

Refunds
A new portal to allow users to confirm refunds for AberCard Credit, Parking Permits and SportAber Membership is now live. You can login to https://studentadmin.aber.ac.uk/ to confirm your details and request the refund.

Please note that this needs to be completed before 31st July.

Keep in touch
As always, please check the coronavirus information webpage for the latest information and frequently asked questions.

If you have any other questions or queries, please email coronavirus@aber.ac.uk or contact the dedicated helpline on 01970 62 2483, which is open 9am-5pm every day.

Best wishes and stay safe,

Professor Elizabeth Treasure
Vice-Chancellor

Update - 22/05/20 at 18:33

Dear student

I hope this e-mail finds you well, as we reach another bank holiday weekend.

Many thanks for your continued support and understanding as we work together to limit the spread of the Coronavirus, it is much appreciated.

Please continue to observe the guidance from Welsh Government on staying at home and away from others.

A note to draw your attention to a recent update to the list of symptoms associated with the Coronavirus to include “loss or change to your sense of smell or taste”. You will find more information on the symptoms and what to look out for on the NHS 111 Wales website.

Graduation

I am pleased to report that the 2020 ceremonies will now take place in the summer of 2021.

Graduation week is the highlight of the year for the University and you will recall that the decision not to proceed with this year’s ceremonies was taken early on during the current lockdown.

Precise dates for 2021 have yet to be confirmed, but everyone at the University looks forward to welcoming those of you who are due to graduate this year back to Aber next year to join you as you celebrate your achievements.

Whilst this year’s physical celebrations might be on ice, we can confirm that those of you who are due to be graduating this summer will receive your final degree certificates and transcripts in mid-August. To facilitate this, please make sure your personal details, including home address, have been updated on your student record.

Mental Health

And finally, as Mental Health Awareness Week draws to a close, I would like to draw your attention to a practical online guide on living with worry and anxiety during the Covid-19 pandemic that has been published on the website Psychology Tools. The guide ‘Living with worry and anxiety amidst global uncertainty’ has been translated into Welsh by Aberystwyth University PhD student and one of the founders of www.meddwl.org, Manon Elin James and is available online here ‘Byw gyda gofid a gorbryder mewn cyfnod o ansicrwydd byd-eang’.

Keep in touch

As always, please check the coronavirus information webpage for the latest information and frequently asked questions.

If you have any other questions or queries, please email coronavirus@aber.ac.uk or contact the dedicated helpline on 01970 62 2483, which is open 9am-5pm every day.

Best wishes

Professor Elizabeth Treasure
Vice-Chancellor

Update - 19/05/20 at 17:38

Dear student

Lockdown continues in Wales

Many thanks for your continued support and understanding as we work together to limit the spread of the Coronavirus, it is much appreciated.

You will have read in previous updates of the work that is being done to plan ahead for the coming months and the new academic year. This includes detailed planning to allow many of you to return to collect your belongings from University accommodation, once restrictions are eased sufficiently.

Please do not travel to Aberystwyth to collect your belongings now.

The University will notify you when you can make arrangements to do this. When the time comes, strict measures will be in place to ensure your return is carefully managed for your own safety, that of staff and of the local community.

Students living in the private sector

Many students living in private sector accommodation will have been contacted by their landlord or letting agency as their tenancy agreement will soon come to an end.

Under the latest government guidance “Moving house is permitted, where there is a need to do so and the move cannot be postponed. A student may travel for the purpose of moving house from their term-time time accommodation to their usual home if they have a reason for doing so, including the ending of face-to-face teaching, or having reached the end of their lease”.

This means that if it is necessary for you to move out of your private accommodation and move your belongings elsewhere, you can do so, but you should take all possible steps to avoid the risk of spreading infection. In organising the move you should:

  • Plan any journeys carefully in order to avoid contact with others and observe social distancing guidance at all times.
  • Minimise how many people you travel with and avoid other people when moving in or out of properties.
  • Observe the restrictions on non-essential travel which are in place in Wales.

For the latest Welsh Government Covid-19 / Coronavirus advice and guidance click here.

Students in Wales can apply now for student finance

The Student Loans Company (SLC) is encouraging full time undergraduate students in Wales to apply for student finance as soon as possible to ensure their finances are in place for the new academic year.

Please visit www.studentfinancewales.co.uk for further information. SLC has produced the following guide and video to help with the process.

You can also contact one of our Student Money Advisers – student-adviser@aber.ac.uk for help and advice with your application.

Mental Health Awareness Week

This week is Mental Health Awareness week and the theme for this year is kindness. You can find out more including ideas on the Mental Health Awareness Week website.

Making sure that we look after our mental health and wellbeing – and being kind to ourselves as well as others – is more important than ever.

The Student Wellbeing Service is currently accessible by phone and email, or a practitioner can get back to you if you complete our online registration form:

Finals Festival

Theatre, Film and Television Studies final-year students are presenting the fruits of their creative labour online this week.  Their final year showcase on campus couldn’t go ahead in its usual format this year, so they have experimented with new approaches and ways of sharing their pieces by hosting the Finals Festival online. You can enjoy their original performances and short films through

Facebook (finalsfestaber)

  • Instagram (@finalsfestaber): 
  • Twitter (@finalfestaber): 

 The full schedule can be found on the Aberystwyth Arts Centre website.

Keep in touch

As always, please check the coronavirus information webpage for the latest information and frequently asked questions.

If you have any other questions or queries, please email coronavirus@aber.ac.uk or contact the dedicated helpline on 01970 62 2483, which is open 9am-5pm every day.

Best wishes

Professor Elizabeth Treasure
Vice-Chancellor

Update - 15/05/20 at 17:48

Dear student

Thanks for taking time to read this latest update.

Lockdown continues in Wales
Many thanks for your continued support and understanding as we work together to limit the spread of the Coronavirus, it is much appreciated.

Welsh Government First Minister, Mark Drakeford, has today announced a road map for lifting the current lockdown. It is important, however, to note that this does not change current government guidance for everyone living in Wales. Everyone should stay at home, and travel should only be local and for essential purposes.

You will have read in previous updates of the work that is being done to plan ahead for the coming months and the new academic year. This includes detailed planning to allow many of you to return to collect your belongings from University accommodation, once restrictions are eased sufficiently.

Do not travel to Aberystwyth to collect your belongings now.

The University will notify you when you can make arrangements to do this. When the time comes, strict measures will be in place to ensure your return is carefully managed for your own safety, that of staff and of the local community.

We will update you on developments in due course.

Assessments and exams
During what traditionally would be our exam period, I would like to draw your attention once more to the FAQs we have on Assessments, exams and academic matters, and in particular the sections on ‘Assessments and exams’ and ‘Deadlines’. We continually review the FAQs to make sure they are current and relevant for you and I would note two new questions in these sections relating to alternative assessments which you may be taking instead of examinations.

If you have a question that is not covered in the FAQs, please email coronavirus@aber.ac.uk or contact the dedicated helpline on 01970 62 2483.

Your student record and contact details
It's important that your student record accurately reflects what you are studying and at what stage you are in your academic career, as well as holding all your up to date contact information.

Please take time to check that your personal details, such as your name and address, held on your central record are correct.

Teams meetings
Our new ways of working continue to present challenges but I am grateful for the way everyone has adapted. Meeting on Teams has become a feature of the working day for many and I am sure we have all been finding our way and familiarising ourselves with the etiquette of this medium. Colleagues in IS have updated their section on hints and tips for ensuring meetings run smoothly which is available here. You can also find more about using Microsoft Teams here and a comprehensive list of FAQs here

Keep in touch
As always, please check the coronavirus information webpage for the latest information and frequently asked questions.

If you have any other questions or queries, please email coronavirus@aber.ac.uk or contact the dedicated helpline on 01970 62 2483, which is open 9am-5pm every day.

Best wishes

Professor Elizabeth Treasure
Vice-Chancellor

Update - 12/05/20 at 17:21

Dear students

Thanks for taking time to read this latest update.

Lockdown extended in Wales until 28 May

We would like to remind you that Government advice in Wales remains to ‘Stay at Home’ with lockdown measures extended to 28 May. This means you should:

  • only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if is not reasonably practicable to work from home).
  • travel only for essential purposes.
  • stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • wash your hands as soon as you get home
  • you can exercise outside of the home more than once a day, however you must stay locally and either exercise alone or with members of your own household.

AU library books and IT equipment

As you know Hugh Owen Library, the Physical Sciences Library and all computer rooms and learning centres (including the 24/7 ones) remain closed until further notice.

However, if you have left Aberystwyth (but will be returning when restrictions are lifted), you can keep hold of any library books you have until you come back, or until we have a mechanism to return books remotely.

If you are still in Aberystwyth and wish to return books, you can either drop off at the Old College book bin, or at Campus Reception. Please see the FAQ at https://faqs.aber.ac.uk/2958.

If any AU library books have been left in University accommodation, IS and the accommodations team will be working together to ensure that these are returned to the library – you don’t need to worry about these.

If you have IS equipment that you want to return, please contact IS by email is@aber.ac.uk to make the arrangements.

Keep in touch

As always, please check the coronavirus information webpage for the latest information and frequently asked questions.

If you have any other questions or queries, please email coronavirus@aber.ac.uk or contact the dedicated helpline on 01970 62 2483, which is open 9am-5pm every day.

In the meantime, please do continue to follow government guidelines about social distancing and staying at home.

Best wishes

Professor Elizabeth Treasure
Vice-Chancellor

Update - 10/05/20 at 20:57

Dear student

Last Friday afternoon (8 May) I wrote to you to confirm that Welsh Government had announced the continuation of Coronavirus lockdown in Wales for a further three weeks.

I would like to reiterate the content of this message (copied below) for the information of all our students, including those who live outside Wales. 

We would urge all our students to diligently observe government guidance, including the continued restrictions on non-essential travel in Wales.

Best wishes,

Elizabeth Treasure
Vice-Chancellor, Aberystwyth University

-----------------

Message sent on Friday 8 May:

Dear student

A brief note to update you on Coronavirus restrictions.

The First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, today announced the continuation of the lockdown and travel restrictions in Wales for a further three weeks, from Monday 11 May.

The announcement means that travel should only be undertaken when absolutely necessary.

If you are currently residing away from Aberystwyth, you should not return here to pick up any belongings you might have in University or private sector accommodation until travel restrictions are eased sufficiently.

Government guidance, available online here, notes that you should:

  • only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if is not reasonably practicable to work from home). This means that only essential travel should be undertaken
  • stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • wash your hands as soon as you get home

The Welsh Government’s announcement means that we do not expect to have to change the way the University is currently operating for the next three weeks at least.  Further to this announcement, it is expected that the Prime Minister’s announcement on Sunday evening will provide information regarding restrictions relevant to people in England. 

Today’s announcement underlined the risks of not respecting the restrictions that have been put in place and I thank everyone at the University, wherever you are currently residing, for playing your part in limiting the spread of this virus for the benefit of our communities.

Many thanks for your continued support and I wish you well for the remainder of this bank holiday weekend.

Elizabeth Treasure
Vice-Chancellor, Aberystwyth University

Update - 08/05/20 at 15:17

Dear student

A brief note to update you on Coronavirus restrictions.

The First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, today announced the continuation of the lockdown and travel restrictions in Wales for a further three weeks, from Monday 11 May.

The announcement means that travel should only be undertaken when absolutely necessary.

If you are currently residing away from Aberystwyth, you should not return here to pick up any belongings you might have in University or private sector accommodation until travel restrictions are eased sufficiently.

Government guidance, available online here, notes that you should:

  • only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if is not reasonably practicable to work from home). This means that only essential travel should be undertaken
  • stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • wash your hands as soon as you get home

The Welsh Government’s announcement means that we do not expect to have to change the way the University is currently operating for the next three weeks at least.  Further to this announcement, it is expected that the Prime Minister’s announcement on Sunday evening will provide information regarding restrictions relevant to people in England. 

Today’s announcement underlined the risks of not respecting the restrictions that have been put in place and I thank everyone at the University, wherever you are currently residing, for playing your part in limiting the spread of this virus for the benefit of our communities.

Many thanks for your continued support and I wish you well for the remainder of this bank holiday weekend.

Elizabeth Treasure
Vice-Chancellor, Aberystwyth University

Update - 07/05/20 at 18:33

Dear student

As we approach the bank holiday weekend, I would like to take this opportunity to share with you the following update concerning the current Coronavirus outbreak.

Government policy
We await details of both the UK Government’s and the Welsh Government’s review of the lockdown arrangements which are in place.  We will consider their implications for the University when information is released, but I would like to reiterate our plans to handle any significant changes in government guidance. 

As you will be aware, we have already indicated that it will not be necessary for you to return to campus for the remainder of this academic year. Lockdown restrictions also mean that travel is not currently permitted.

However it is possible that government may decide not to continue with the current level of restrictions on public movements. Restrictions could be relaxed in line with the expectations that the initial peak of infection has passed. Should this occur, we do not intend to re-open campus immediately. Our intention is to work within any new guidance set by government, and to take all appropriate steps to prepare campus adequately prior to reopening to staff.

In the meantime, it is important that we all continue to observe current Government Advice to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus in our community. I am grateful to you for all your efforts in this regard to date.

Returning to Aber to collect belongings
We are aware that some of you will want to return to Aberystwyth to collect belongings that have been left in University accommodation.

Please do not do so until you have received precise details from the Accommodation Office.

New FAQs have been published which address some questions you may have. For those of you who live in University accommodation, you should also have received an e-mail today from the Accommodation Office updating you on the work that is ongoing.

A system is being put in place that will enable you to collect your belongings in a way that is safe for you and your fellow students, University staff and the local community.

If you live in private sector accommodation and find yourself in a similar position, we would appeal very strongly to you to carefully consider your steps before returning to Aberystwyth, and urge you to take all possible precautions in order to avoid spreading the virus.

Keep in touch
As has been mentioned numerous times by now, please continue to observe relevant government restrictions diligently.  Should these restrictions be relaxed, I urge you to continue to act with integrity, responsibility and respect towards all fellow members of our community, in full understanding that this crisis is far from over. Also please stay in touch with friends, family and your fellow students and take care of yourselves.

As always, please check the coronavirus information webpage for the latest information and frequently asked questions. If you have any other questions or queries, please email coronavirus@aber.ac.uk or contact the dedicated helpline on 01970 62 2483, which is open 9am-5pm every day.

Many thanks, stay safe, and enjoy the bank holiday tomorrow.

Elizabeth Treasure
Vice-Chancellor, Aberystwyth University

Update - 05/05/20 at 17:01

Dear students

Thanks for taking time to read this latest update for students – please see new items for your information:

Collecting your belongings from University accommodation

Those of you who have been living in University accommodation this year will shortly receive an e-mail from the University Residences team with further information about collecting your belongings.

The most important thing to remember at this point is that you should not travel back to campus to collect belongings either now or if travel restrictions are eased.

Updating your Student Record and contact details

Please check that your personal details, such as your name and address, held on your Student Record are correct.

Weekly Bulletin

Don’t forget that the Weekly Bulletin is back and will be published tomorrow Wednesday 6 April. Items for inclusion need to be submitted by 5pm on the Monday of each week through the online submission system.

Keep in touch

As always, please check the coronavirus information webpage for the latest information and frequently asked questions.

If you have any other questions or queries, please email coronavirus@aber.ac.uk or contact the dedicated helpline on 01970 62 2483, which is open 9am-5pm every day.

In the meantime, please do continue to follow government guidelines about social distancing and staying at home.

Best wishes

Professor Elizabeth Treasure
Vice-Chancellor

 

Update - 01/05/20 at 17:26

Dear student,

I hope you are well and that the continuing circumstances are not taking too heavy a toll on you and those closest to you. Whether you are living here in Aberystwyth or elsewhere, please keep in touch with friends and fellow students and tutors at this tough time. I hope that you, like me, will find that maintaining contact with friends and colleagues has been a big help.

Today marks the end of the teaching year for the vast majority of you, and I would like to express my thanks to you all for your support and understanding during the past few weeks as your experience of university life has been changed in so many ways by the Coronavirus pandemic. I am also extremely grateful to our staff here at Aberystwyth who have worked so hard to introduce new ways of teaching and assessment as our usual methods of delivery were taken away from us. We are determined to ensure that your progression will not be adversely affected and that you can move forward to the best of your ability.

I would like to take this opportunity to update you about our latest work in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Beyond the initial priorities of providing for you, our current students, we are working hard to plan for the further implications for our University.

Planning for next year

I have asked colleagues to undertake some in-depth scenario planning with a view to preparing us for the next academic year. This will focus on how we offer teaching and assessment in the best possible ways, and how we can ensure that the student experience we offer here at Aberystwyth lives up to our exceptional record.

We are also looking at how we carry out the ground breaking research that informs so much of your learning experience with us. At the same time, we’re mapping out what next year could look like for our professional services departments, on-campus facilities and commercial services. This includes the wonderful facilities offered at the Sports Centre and the Arts Centre.

We will update you when things are clearer, but our preference is that we can welcome students back to Aber in September, for the beginning of the new academic year. In doing so, our intention is to continue to provide the academic impact on which we pride ourselves. We also want to continue to make the economic impact to our town and surrounding areas, while doing all we can to ensure that we act in the interests of our community, and take all necessary steps to avoid facilitating the spread of the virus.

While planning for the next academic year, we recognise that we can’t control what steps the Welsh Government or the UK Government put in place in response to this crisis. We will indeed continue to work within all relevant guidance and legislation and as a result we may not be able to achieve everything as we would wish. However, we are actively exploring any ways which enable us to meet our objectives for you, our staff and for our community. We will look creatively at how we provide the best possible university experience no matter what the controls over travel and social distancing are.

Potential changes in current restrictions

As you will be aware, we have already indicated that it will not be necessary for you to return to campus for the remainder of this academic year. Lockdown restrictions also mean that travel is not currently permitted. However it is possible that government may decide not to continue with the current level of restrictions on public movements. Restrictions could be relaxed in line with the expectations that the initial peak of infection has passed. Should this occur, we do not intend to re-open campus immediately. Our intention is to work within any new guidance set by government, and to take all appropriate steps to prepare campus adequately prior to reopening to staff. 

University accommodation

On a more immediate practical level we are aware that some of you will want to return to Aberystwyth to collect belongings that have been left in either University or private accommodation.

In such cases we would appeal very strongly to you to carefully consider your steps before returning to Aberystwyth to collect belongings. Ceredigion is an area which has been very fortunate not to have a high number of Covid-19 infections according to official figures. As such we would urge you to take all possible precautions in order to avoid spreading infection from other areas.

Colleagues in the University Accommodation Office will contact those of you living in University accommodation to set out how we intend to enable you to collect belongings. Even if restrictions are lifted, please do not travel to Aberystwyth to collect belongings before the necessary arrangements have been made through that team.

In the meantime I urge everyone to continue to observe relevant government restrictions diligently. Moreover, should such restrictions be relaxed in future, I urge you to continue to act with integrity, responsibility and respect towards all fellow members of our community, in full understanding that this crisis is far from over.

To finish this message where I started – please stay in touch with your colleagues, tutors, and fellow students and keep an eye out for key University messages as further information emerges from government.

Whatever your specific circumstance, I very much hope you stay safe during these difficult and trying times.

Best wishes,

Elizabeth Treasure,

Vice-Chancellor, Aberystwyth University

Update - 28/04/20 at 17:17

Dear students

Thanks for taking time to read this latest update for students – please see new items for your information:

AberSU celebrates

The AberSU Celebrates has become an important fixture of the University calendar. It marks the annual celebration of the commitments and accomplishments of our students and staff.

As we continue through this difficult time, I am delighted that the AberSU awards are still going ahead this week on our digital platforms. Join the celebrations on the SU website and Facebook page from 7.30pm for the:

  • Societies Awards

Tonight, Tuesday 28 April

  • Sports Awards

Wednesday 29 April

  • Staff and Students Awards

Thursday 30 April

Keep an eye on social media using the following hashtags:

Results from the Staff and Students awards will also be posted live on the night on the University’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. 

Your Student Record and contact details

It's important that your student record accurately reflects what you are studying and at what stage you are in your academic career, as well as holding all your up to date contact information.

Under current circumstances, this also includes a record of where you are and your current health status.

Please take time to check that your personal details, such as your name and address, held on your central record are correct.

Social Distancing

We would like to remind students (whether you’re staying in our accommodation or living elsewhere) to respect the Government guidelines about social distancing and restricted travel.

As the lockdown continues, there have been numerous reports, from within Ceredigion and beyond, about people who are relaxing their approach to this essential guidance. However, it is important that we all remember that the rules are there to help keep you, fellow students, University staff and everyone else in our communities as safe as possible.

Eisteddfod T

Although the Denbighshire Urdd Eisteddfod has been postponed until 2021, Eisteddfod T, a lively celebration of the talents of Wales’ youth, will take place on a slightly different, digital stage.

Competitors will participate by uploading videos, clips, and pictures of their performances and creations. The final rounds will be broadcast on specially scheduled programmes on S4C, online and BBC Radio Cymru. The list of competitions and instructions on how to compete can be seen on the S4C website s4c.cymru/urdd. 

We look forward to seeing members of Aelwyd Pantycelyn on the small screen very soon!

Keep in touch

As always, please check the coronavirus information webpage for the latest information and frequently asked questions.

If you have any other questions or queries, please email coronavirus@aber.ac.uk or contact the dedicated helpline on 01970 62 2483, which is open 9am-5pm every day.

In the meantime, please do continue to follow government guidelines about social distancing and staying at home.

Best wishes

Professor Elizabeth Treasure
Vice-Chancellor

 

Update - 24/04/20 at 17:34

Dear student

Please find below that latest University update on matters relating to the Covid-19 outbreak.

At the end of the first week back after the Easter break, I very much hope that the measures that have been put in place enable you to take full advantage of your learning experience. In the meantime, please keep in touch with your department and your tutors.

Latest Government Advice

For those of you who are still with us in Aberystwyth or living elsewhere in Wales, please note that the Welsh Government has today announced some revisions to the Coronavirus rules for Wales.

Essentially, this means that the core requirement for people not to leave the place where they live is changing to a requirement not to leave or remain away from that place.

This will help clarify that people who leave their home with a reasonable excuse – such as going out to shop for food, for healthcare or for work – cannot remain outside to do other things.

Further details about today’s announcement are available online here.

Protecting yourself from coronavirus cons

The Westminster Government has published a new web page that offers advice on how to protect yourself from fraud and cyber crime during this outbreak of coronavirus. You will find more information online here.

Weekly Bulletin

Avid followers of the Weekly Bulletin will have noticed that the services has been absent over the past month or so as colleagues in the Communications team have been focusing on Covid-19 related work.

The Weekly Bulletin returns next week and will be published on Wednesday 29 April. Items for inclusion need to be submitted by 5pm on Monday 27 April through the online submission system.

Keep in touch

As always, please check the coronavirus information webpage for the latest information and frequently asked questions.

If you have any other questions or queries, please email coronavirus@aber.ac.uk 

or contact the dedicated helpline on 01970 62 2483, which is open 9am-5pm every day.

In the meantime, please do continue to follow government guidelines about social distancing and staying at home.

With thanks and best wishes

Professor Elizabeth Treasure
Vice-Chancellor

Update - 21/04/20 at 17:00

Dear students

I hope you had a well-deserved break over the Easter vacation and that you are engaging in your learning on all of your modules for semester two.

Our academic and professional services staff are doing all they can to support you.

Please regularly check Blackboard for the latest course-specific teaching and learning updates.

Don’t forget, the Frequently Asked Questions page has up to date information about marks and results, special circumstances, resits, deadlines, dissertations and major projects, and much more.

IT and library help and support

If you need help and support for online learning or accessing learning resources, the Information Services Help Desk is available. Details of how to contact Information Services can be found here:  www.aber.ac.uk/en/is/help/contactus/

Support

Please keep in touch with your personal tutor during this difficult time. You can talk to them about your studies and they can help signpost you to help and advice if you are struggling with financial, health or other problems.

You can also access Student Support and Careers Services services on the following web pages www.aber.ac.uk/en/student-support/contact-us/.

The Students’ Union has a webpage dedicated to supporting Aber students during this time. They have also established a Covid-19 Peer Support group on Facebook and the Advice service is offering remote drop in sessions.

Keeping active and healthy

Online workouts and #FitTips are now available on our Sport Centre facebook page.

Keep in touch

As always, please check the coronavirus information webpage for the latest information and frequently asked questions.

If you have any other questions or queries, please email coronavirus@aber.ac.uk 

or contact the dedicated helpline on 01970 62 2483, which is open 9am-5pm every day.

In the meantime, please do continue to follow government guidelines about social distancing and staying at home.

With thanks and best wishes

Professor Elizabeth Treasure
Vice-Chancellor

 

Update - 16/04/20 at 19:26

Dear student 

I hope you’ve had a restful Easter. As we prepare to start the final two weeks of teaching for this academic year, please note the following:

Lockdown to continue

The Westminster Government has today announced that the current restrictions on movement will remain in place for a further three weeks at least. We ask that you continue to observe the official guidance in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

Wherever you are, please remember that you should not undertake any unnecessary journeys. Whether you are currently in Aberystwyth or staying elsewhere, please remain where you are and continue with your studies online.

Assignments, exams and academic matters

The Frequently Asked Questions page that deals with academic matters, exams and assignments has been updated. There you will find information about marks and results, special circumstances, resits, deadlines, dissertations and major projects, and much more. Please speak to your department to discuss how any alternative assessment measures affect you.

If you have any other questions that aren’t answered here, email coronavirus@aber.ac.uk  or contact the dedicated helpline on 01970 62 2483.

Hosting an online event?

It is important to say in touch, even when we’re staying in. With this in mind, the Students Union has developed a portal for Clubs and Societies, academic departments, local businesses and individual staff and students to share any virtual or online events they are coordinating. Adding events is simple and quick here. A full list of all events available to staff and students can be found here.

The Students Union has also established an online Covid-19 Support page which provides information on how to seek support, supporting others, keeping in touch and accessing food and supplies. They have also established a Covid-19 Peer Support group on Facebook.

Careers Advice

All the help and support provided by the Careers Service to you as a student will continue to be on offer to you after graduation for as long as you need it.  We offer a lifelong service to you so you can still get in touch whenever and wherever you are, for help with planning your career, progressing your plans, making applications, changing direction, and so much more.  Simply email careers@aber.ac.uk  as an easy first step to get in touch.

Dyfed Powys Police Advice & Support

These are challenging times, particularly for those who may be suffering domestic or other forms of abuse. In their online Advice & Support section Dyfed Powys Police provide advice on a broad range of issues, including cyber-bullying and discrimination. There is specific support for anyone who is suffering domestic abuse, including details of the Live Fear Free helpline and where to access free legal help quickly. There is also advice on what to do if you know someone who is suffering domestic abuse.

As always, we encourage you to continue to check our coronavirus information webpage for the latest information and frequently asked questions. If you have any other questions or queries, please email coronavirus@aber.ac.uk or contact the dedicated helpline on 01970 62 2483, which is open 9am-5pm every day.

Many thanks and stay safe,

Professor Colin McInnes
Pro Vice-Chancellor

Update - 09/04/20 at 17:39

Dear student 

Thanks for taking time to read this latest update to students.

As we approach Easter, the next scheduled bulletin will be circulated on Thursday 16 April.

Please see new items for your information below:

Lockdown continues in Wales

The Welsh Government has announced that the lockdown which is currently in place will not be lifted next week. The announcement by First Minister Mark Drakeford on Wednesday 8 April means that the ‘stay at home’ regulations remain in place for Easter week at least. You can find out more about what this means in practical terms on the Welsh Government’s website.

We appreciate that these restrictions, which will now be entering their fourth week, are making lives difficult for everyone and for many different reasons. However, we appreciate your support in observing all government guidelines and restrictions.  Individually and as a community, we can help limit the spread of Coronavirus and protect the NHS.

Student Accommodation

Those of you who have been living in University accommodation this year will have received an e-mail from the University Residences team asking you to confirm whether you still intend to live in halls after the 28th March. This follows our announcement that students no longer living in our residences will not be charged accommodation fees for the summer term.

If you have not done so already, please respond as soon as possible by completing the online form, a link to which is provided in the e-mail. The deadline is 12 noon (BST) on Wednesday, 15/04/2020.  If you do not respond by the deadline payment for the term will be taken.

You will find further information in the FAQ section; Students living in University residences.

Student Support

All Student Support services are now operating remotely and contact details can be found on the following web pages www.aber.ac.uk/en/student-support/contact-us/.

The Students’ Union also has a webpage dedicated to mental wellbeing during the Coronavirus outbreak.

If you or someone you know is feeling isolated or worried, remember that all students have free access to the Big White Wall, that offers a range of mental health and wellbeing resources and connections, where you can anonymously link into a safe space to talk, share and support others:

https://www.bigwhitewall.com/

Catering on campus over Easter
Nosh Da will continue to offer a limited hot food and groceries delivery service over the Easter period. To order, download the NoshDa App from the App Store or Google Play. Orders can also be placed online here.

And, from Wednesday 15th April Nosh Da will also be offering Starbucks Coffee deliveries alongside groceries from 10.00am - 2.30pm, together with our regular hot food menu between 3.00pm – 8.00pm.

Community support in Ceredigion

Ceredigion County Council have developed a resources webpage dedicated to providing details of local support groups that have been established during the Coronavirus outbreak. It also features information about Ceredigion Community Gateway which offers free impartial advice and guidance on a wide range of childcare and family support related issues. 

Easter holidays
Wherever you are, here in Aberystwyth or staying elsewhere, we hope you have a peaceful and healthy Easter period. 

Whether you spend the holidays with family or friends, or catching up on your studies — please continue to follow the Government advice and guidance and look after yourself and those around you.

As always, we encourage you to continue to check our coronavirus information webpage for the latest information and frequently asked questions. If you have any other questions or queries, please mail coronavirus@aber.ac.uk or contact the dedicated helpline 01970 62 2483, which is open 9am-5pm every day.

In the meantime, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your cooperation and understanding during this most difficult period.

Many thanks and stay safe,

Professor Elizabeth Treasure
Vice-Chancellor

Update - 07/04/20 at 17:50

Dear students

Thanks for taking time to read our biweekly updates to students – please see new items for your information below:

Assessment and Examination Changes

The last few weeks have been difficult and unsettling for everyone, and we are aware that many of you will be anxious about completing forthcoming assessments. We ask you to bear with your departments as they work through the full implications of the University’s approach in order to adapt under the current extraordinary circumstances. 

The principle of ‘no detriment’ is central to our changes to assessments and examinations: that students opting to re-sit who perform less well than the award offered, will still be able to accept the original award.

Following discussions with the Students’ Union and the agreement of the University Senate, we have published the principles and policy yesterday which will guide our approach to examinations and assessments in light of the Coronavirus, which can be read here.

After reading that document, some of you may have further questions, we have now published some answers to some frequently asked questions, which should hopefully provide further clarity. They can be read here.

After reading these, if you have any further questions, please contact your department in the first instance.  

However, if you specifically need to contact Registry, please use the following contact details: Undergraduates - ugfstaff@aber.ac.uk; Postgraduates - pgsstaff@aber.ac.uk or by telephone: 01970 62 2354 or 01970 62 2290.

We appreciate that individual students want clarity on their own personal circumstances as soon as possible. Departments will need time to decide what will replace invigilated examinations and some semester assessments for each course. 

We are grateful for your patience while we work through these necessary preparations. Details of how you will be affected will be communicated to you by your department as soon as possible.

Easter holidays

However you choose to spend your Easter holidays– whether it is to pause, spend time with family or catch up on your studies — please continue to follow the Government advice and guidance and look after yourself and those around you.

As always, we encourage you to carefully observe the social distancing rules and continue to check our coronavirus information webpage for the latest information and frequently asked questions. If you have any other questions or queries, please email coronavirus@aber.ac.uk or contact the dedicated helpline 01970 62 2483.

Best wishes

Professor Elizabeth Treasure
Vice-Chancellor

Update - 03/04/20 at 19:07

Dear student

Thanks for taking time to read this latest update for students – please see new items for your information below:


Examination and assessment changes
We are aware that many of you would like to know more about our assessment arrangements, in light of the decision not to hold campus-based examinations this summer. Colleagues are currently working through new arrangements and we expect to share further information about these early next week.

Student location and health status notification
A week ago we asked all students to notify us of their current location and health status. In the meantime, we have also asked personal tutors to contact as many students as possible to ensure this information is up to date.

If you haven’t completed the information as yet, we urge you to do so as soon as possible.

Please log into your student record and complete the online form under the Academic Record tab > Attendance Record.

The form can be completed on/off campus and from a mobile device if required.

We also need you to update the form if your circumstances change - for example if you decide to return home, or if you go into self-isolation. If you inform us that you are self-isolating with symptoms, we will contact you and your flatmates by e-mail to provide guidance.

For more information about the online form, please visit: https://faqs.aber.ac.uk/2934

Student volunteering

Aber Students’ Union have been approached by the Hywel Dda University Health Board who are keen to hear from anyone interested in volunteering for a range of roles at Bronglais General Hospital as part of their ongoing Coronavirus preparations. If this is something that is of interest to you, further details are available online.

Catering on campus
Nosh Da will continue to offer a limited hot food and groceries delivery service over the Easter period.  To order, download the NoshDa App from the App Store or Google Play.

We are aware that some of our international students may be experiencing difficulties downloading the app. If this is the case you can also order online here.

Feeling Isolated
If you or someone you know is feeling isolated or worried, remember that all students have free access to the Big White Wall, that offers a range of mental health and wellbeing resources and connections, where you can anonymously link into a safe space to talk, share and support others: https://www.bigwhitewall.com/

Also, the University’s Coronavirus helpline number is 01970 622483 and the opening hours are Monday – Sunday, 9am (10am on Wednesdays) - 10.00pm. 

If you are in crisis, further information about sources of help can be found on our website by clicking here.

NHS on campus
As a University we are supporting the NHS’ efforts to deal with the COVID19 outbreak and prepare for its effects locally.  We are working closely with the Hywel Dda University Health Board.  This collaboration involves the use and potential use of our sites to aid their efforts.  As part of this, the first group of NHS staff are being trained at our Medrus conference facilities, with up to 300 more expected there over the next three weeks.  Some of our accommodation blocks are now also being used to temporarily house NHS and emergency service workers.

Ongoing updates and questions
We will continue to provide e-mail updates to staff as required, and as the situation develops.  In the meantime, please remain in regular contact with your line manager and those that you line manage.

As always, we encourage you to continue to check our coronavirus information webpage for the latest information and frequently asked questions.  If you have any other questions or queries, please email coronavirus@aber.ac.uk or contact the dedicated helpline 01970 62 2483.

Many thanks.

Update - 31/03/20 at 17:43

Dear students

Here’s the latest information on developments and the University’s response to the Coronavirus crisis.

Police Powers

As you know, we have been raising awareness of the UK Government’s movement restrictions, and urging you to conform to them.  Following recent changes to the law, it’s important for you to remember that the police are now stopping people they see outside to check whether they are adhering to government guidelines.

The police also have new powers to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus, protect the NHS and save lives. From now on if the public do not comply with government advice to stay at home and avoid non-essential travel, the police can issue fines.

Feeling Isolated

If you or someone you know is feeling isolated or worried, remember that all students have free access to the Big White Wall, that offers a range of mental health and wellbeing resources and connections, where you can anonymously link into a safe space to talk, share and support others:

https://www.bigwhitewall.com/

Also, the University’s Coronavirus helpline number is 01970 622483 and the opening hours are Monday – Sunday, 9am (10am on Wednesdays) - 10.00pm. 

If you are in crisis, further information about sources of help can be found on our website by clicking here.

Social Distancing

We would like to remind students staying in our accommodation to respect the Government guidelines about social distancing. This helps to keep you, fellow students and university staff safe. You can read more about the guidelines on the Public Health Wales website.

Catering on campus

Nosh Da will continue to offer a limited hot food and groceries delivery service over the Easter period.  To order, download the NoshDa App from the App Store or Google Play. Tamed Da is closed.

Postgraduate research

We have published guidance regarding postgraduate research which can be found on our website here.

University Court

With regret, the University has decided to postpone the annual meeting of the Court, which was due to be held on Monday, 27 April 2020. The Court provides an annual public forum for communication and discussion of the University’s activities, and it includes several key stakeholders in its membership. All staff and current students are members of the Court, as are representatives of numerous local and national organisations. More information can be found here.

Ongoing updates

As required, and as the situation develops, we will continue to provide regular updates to all our students.

These updates may become less frequent from now on, but please c­ontinue to contact the dedicated helpline if you have any queries. Send an email to coronavirus@aber.ac.uk or telephone 01970 62 2483.

Your Department will keep in touch in respect of ongoing teaching and assessment.

Updated information and FAQs

As always, we encourage you to continue to check our Coronavirus information webpage for the latest information and frequently asked questions.

Please stay safe and well.

Professor Elizabeth Treasure
Vice-Chancellor

Update - 27/03/20 at 18:38

Dear students

Here’s the latest information on developments and the University’s response to the Coronavirus crisis.

Student location and health status notification

Could all students please take action in line with our request below.

We need ALL students to notify us of their current location, and their health status.  So please log into your student record and complete the online form under the Academic Record tab > Attendance Record.

The form can be completed on/off campus and from a mobile device if required.

We also need you to update the form if your circumstances change - for example if you decide to return home, or if you go into self-isolation. If you inform us that you are self-isolating with symptoms, we will contact you and your flatmates by e-mail to provide guidance.

For more information about the online form, please visit: https://faqs.aber.ac.uk/2934

Ongoing updates

We have been keen to update you daily over the past few weeks, given the pace of developments as the UK and Welsh governments respond to the Coronavirus outbreak. We will continue to update you regularly; however, we are moving away from these daily updates towards communications every few days or as new information becomes available.

Your Department will keep in touch in respect of ongoing teaching and assessment and please continue to use the helpline if you have any questions or queries. Please email coronavirus@aber.ac.uk or telephone 01970 62 2483.

Updated information and FAQs

As always, we encourage you to continue to check our coronavirus information webpage for the latest information and frequently asked questions.

Please stay safe and well.

Professor Elizabeth Treasure
Vice-Chancellor

Update - 26/3/20 at 18:31

Dear students

Here’s the latest information on developments and the University’s response to the Coronavirus crisis.

Restrictions on movements

We’re aware that a number of you have asked for clarification about the UK Government’s restrictions on movements.  Specifically, we’re being asked whether travel from University accommodation to homes elsewhere in the UK comes under the latest restrictions published by the UK Government earlier this week.

We have been awaiting further clarification on this issue and we will incorporate this into our communications to students, including our online FAQs once we receive it.

Accommodation fees

Yesterday we informed you that where students have left their University accommodation and do not intend to return for the remainder of the academic year, we’re able to end agreements early and not charge rent for the final term.

While we’re aware that you have further questions about the detail of this announcement, please rest assured that we will be writing to all relevant students as soon as possible.

Wellbeing Service daily ‘phone drop ins’

Our Wellbeing Service has opened up daily ‘phone drop ins’ for any student with heightened worry, concerns about the current situation. Please email studentwellbeing@aber.ac.uk or call 01970622087 to arrange a session with one of our practitioners.

Stay connected 

Whether you are still in University or private accommodation, AberSU has created a Facebook group AberSU Covid-19 Peer Support | Cefnogaeth Cymheiriaud to help keep you connected and supported.

Thank you

Finally, we would like to say a big thanks for the way you have adapted so quickly to such a profound change to the way you study and live your lives.

Thank you for playing your part and doing your bit. Please do all you can to stay safe and well.

Professor Elizabeth Treasure
Vice-Chancellor

Update - 25/3/20 at 19:42

Dear students

We appreciate your cooperation in observing the Government’s movement restrictions due to the Coronavirus outbreak.  We understand that these may prove difficult for many of us, and our priority right now is the safety and welfare of all our students and staff.  I would urge you to find further ways of maintaining regular contact with friends and colleagues during these tough times.

As a University, we are working through the implications of the crisis, and the government’s response to it.  We will continue to keep you updated as circumstances develop.

Student accommodation fees

This crisis has forced many students to leave campus and, as things stand, we understand that many of you will not intend to return for the remainder of the academic year.  As a result, we have taken the decision not to charge for accommodation after Easter, if you wish to bring your tenancy with us to an end.

We hope that this will help alleviate at least one of the concerns that students are currently dealing with.

We thank you for your patience as the technical detail around this decision have been finalised.  You will receive correspondence from the University which explains how you will be able to terminate your tenancy agreement with us for the final term of this year, should you so wish.

If you wish to remain in your Aberystwyth University accommodation for the remainder of the academic year, you are of course welcome to do so.  We will continue to provide accommodation services for students who wish to remain, in accordance with government restrictions.

Self-isolating

It is crucial that the University is notified as to where you are and whether you are self-isolating.  If you have not yet completed our online notification process, please do so asap. If you are living in University accommodation, please log into your student record (studentrecord.aber.ac.uk) and complete the online form under the Academic Record tab > Attendance Record.

Catering on campus
As of Thursday 26th March, we’re changing the only remaining catering provision on campus:

  • Tamed Da is closed.
  • We are extending our Nosh Da service.  Nosh Da offers hot food and groceries delivery service 12-8pm every day to students and staff.  To order, download the NoshDa App from the App Store or Google Play.

Beware of Covid-19 Scams

Fears of Covid-19 are being used by criminals and hackers to prey on members of the public. University staff and students are urged to remain vigilant towards emails and telephone calls.

Email scams may attempt to trick individuals into opening attachments or opening web sites that may compromise your personal data or University information, e.g. passwords, contacts, and bank details.

Some examples of scam correspondence include fake online resources about the virus, refunds, counterfeit goods, donations, and loans. Please refer to the FAQ on “How can I spot if an email I have received is genuine or not?” at https://faqs.aber.ac.uk/index.php?id=394.

Cyber Security

With many staff working from home, it is important that your computer is kept secure. Please refer to the guidance at: https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/is/regulations/security/

Frequently asked question
Many of you have been getting in touch by e-mail coronavirus@aber.ac.uk or the University helpline 01970 622483 with your questions and concerns about a broad range of matters relating to the Coronavirus and what it might mean to you. We continue to update the Frequently Asked Questions page which features sections on looking after your health, working from home, self-isolating, caring for dependents and financial concerns.

Today our FAQs will be providing tips and advice about how to maintain positive mental health whilst working from home, including keeping in touch digitally, establishing a routine and keeping active.

If you have a question or a concern, drop us a line on coronavirus@aber.ac.uk.

Best wishes and stay safe.

Professor Elizabeth Treasure
Vice-Chancellor

Update - 24/03/20 at 18:49

Dear student

Whilst the University’s operations continue, the majority of the campus has been closed following the announcement by the UK Government on Monday 23 March of wide ranging restrictions to people’s ability to move around. The only staff working on site are those designated for the delivery of essential services.

Please make every effort to respect the latest advice:

  • Stay in your accommodation and only go outside for food, health reasons or essential work
  • Stay 2 metres away from other people
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home


Also, do not congregate in groups inside or outside residences or off campus.

As has been said before, this is not only for your own welfare, but to show the wider community that we are contributing fully to collective efforts to slow the spread of infection.

We appreciate that these are exceptional circumstances and I would like to thank everyone for your patience and understanding in these matters.

Student accommodation
Our accommodation remains open for those of you who have decided to remain here with us in Aberystwyth. Note also that laundry rooms are also open. However, to comply with guidance on social distancing the Sgubor Lounge, Rosser Lounge and PJM Lounge are now closed.

Catering
The following catering outlets remain open and provide takeaway facilities only:

  • Tamed Da is open from 8:30am to 4.00pm, offering limited hot and cold food and Starbucks drinks.
  • Nosh Da offers a hot food delivery service from 4:00pm until 9pm. To order, call 01970621719 or download the NoshDa App from the App Store or Google Play.

Teaching and learning
The University’s teaching provision and many other services continue online and I am very grateful to everyone for your hard work and dedication in making this possible.

The effective closure of the Penglais campus means that library facilities are only available online for the time being. Further information on the services that are available to you can be found here.

You will also find information that relates specifically to the availability of online resources, including the extensive collections of electronic journals, databases and ebooks which available to you 24/7 on and off campus, here: Library Services and COVID-19.

Student Support

All Student Support services are now operating remotely and contact details can be found on the following web pages www.aber.ac.uk/en/student-support/contact-us/. The Students’ Union also has a webpage dedicated to mental wellbeing during the Coronavirus outbreak.

VPN
Whether you are on campus or elsewhere, if you are having trouble connecting to University systems, please contact the IS helpdesk on 01970 622400 or is@aber.ac.uk.

Frequently asked questions
We continue to update the FAQs web pages. If you have a question that isn’t answered in the FAQs, please e- mail coronavirus@aber.ac.uk. The University’s coronavirus helpline is also available and can be contacted on 01970 622483

Best wishes and stay safe.

Professor Elizabeth Treasure
Vice- Chancellor

 

Update - 23/03/20 at 21:50

Dear all

Tonight the UK Government has set out wide ranging restrictions on our ability to move around.  These restrictions are set out on the UK Government website and come into force immediately.

We will continue to work through the full implications of this for Aberystwyth University, but the Government is very clear tonight about the implications for us as individuals.

Please adhere to these restrictions carefully and diligently.

To confirm – while limited catering takeaway facilities will remain open, all other on-site facilities will not be open from tomorrow for at least 3 weeks.  This includes our libraries.

Please look after yourselves under these unfamiliar and challenging conditions.  Please stay in touch with each other and with your departments.  Please stay safe.

Professor Elizabeth Treasure
Vice- Chancellor

Update - 23/03/20 at 18:09

Dear student

Please stick to the advice

Over the weekend, the UK Government has given clear indications that it is advising all of us to fully observe its social distancing measures.

For those who have stayed on campus in particular, we would strongly urge you to ensure that you:

  • stay in your accommodation and avoid gatherings of students in residences as much as possible;
  • maintain the recommended 2 metres distance between individuals;
  • do not to congregate in groups inside or outside residences or off campus;

This is not only for your own welfare, but to show the wider community that we are contributing fully to our collective efforts to slow the spread of infection.  Government advice is clear that the NHS’ ability to cope with the Coronavirus crisis will depend on the public’s adherence to social distancing guidance.  Please play your part by sticking to the government guidelines and helping to reduce infection in our community.

 

Playing our part

Many campus facilities are now running at reduced capacity due to the circumstances we face.  Any measures we have implemented are done with social distancing measures in mind.  We will continue to keep you updated with developments.

Student Support

All Student Support services are now operating remotely and contact details can be found on the following web pages:

  1. aber.ac.uk/en/student-support/contact-us/. The Students’ Union also has awebpage dedicated to mental wellbeing during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Fees Desks

Fee desks are also up and running. 

To make a payment please go to https://epayments.aber.ac.uk/student/

For other fees related enquiries, please email fees@aber.ac.uk.

Library

Hugh Owen Library is open.  You need your Abercard to access via floor D (main entrance); floors E and F are currently unavailable. 

From today, and for the rest of this week, the library opening hours are 0830 until 2200.  We will announce Easter break opening hours separately.

While the library and IS helpdesk is open, in order to observe social distancing, we are only offering service via the email and phone.  Please contact 01970 622400 or is@aber.ac.uk

Marking and assessment

With regard to marking work we have put in place steps to recognise the unprecedented disruption to our normal working practices.

Wherever possible, staff will continue to assess and feedback to students within 15 working days. In line with our normal practice, where feedback is delayed, staff will make sure students are informed of a revised date by which they can expect to receive feedback. Where this is necessary we thank students for their patience.

VPN

Whether you are on campus or elsewhere, if you are having trouble connecting to University systems, please contact the IS helpdesk on 01970 622400 or is@aber.ac.uk

As we have emphasised previously, you have to be on campus to set up the VPN initially – and remember that all steps need to be completed for it to work.  Please refer to the relevant remote working section of our FAQs. 

And finally, remember that our dedicated Coronavirus web page continues to be updated. If your query is not covered by the FAQs please email coronavirus@aber.ac.uk where it will be passed to the relevant team to consider. You can also call our Coronavirus helpline on 01970 622483.

Many thanks and stay safe.

Update - 22/03/20 at 19:32

Dear staff and students

Following the UK government announcement this afternoon, all staff and students who can work or complete academic requirements from home should do so from tomorrow (Monday 23rd March).  Business critical staff will remain on campus.

Working from home where possible will enable those who have to be on campus to effectively observe social distancing guidance. 

We are asking anyone who has not yet been able to discuss this with their manager/tutor to do so as soon as possible. 

Individuals with relevant underlying conditions should isolate themselves for at least 12 weeks. Please check the UK Government website for a list of relevant conditions and act on your doctor’s advice.

Campus facilities

While Aberystwyth University campus is open, we are supporting social distancing and therefore there are reduced facilities available. Please be aware of the following changes which take effect from Monday 23rd March:

Registry service desks

Registry front desks are now closed, but please be aware that Registry services are still available online and over the telephone.  Please use the following contact details:

You can also contact your academic department by email and telephone as normal.

Library facilities

The Hugh Owen Library remains open to anyone with an AberCard.  Your card is needed to get access through the main doors.  Due to the extenuating circumstances, restrictions are in place:

  • The service desk is staffed but not providing a face to face service any more. Users can contact via is@aber.ac.uk or 2400.

The following facilities are accessible on level D (entrance floor):

  • study and computer spaces
  • printer/copiers
  • Vending and hot drinks machines
  • Levels E & F cannot currently be accessed.

We continue to monitor the situation to ensure that our arrangements remain consistent with government advice.

Our dedicated coronavirus webpage is updated continuously. If your query is not covered by the FAQs please email coronavirus@aber.ac.uk where it will be passed to the relevant team to consider.

Thank you for your understanding and ongoing patience.

Update - 20/03/20 at 15:17

Dear student

At the end of a very testing week for us all here at Aberystwyth University, I would like to start today’s update with a note of thanks. 

We face an unprecedented set of circumstances, and I would like to thank you all for your continued support and incredible commitment to our University and its community.  The potential effects of this crisis are only beginning to emerge, yet if we move forward with togetherness, team spirit and determination, I’m confident that we can minimise its negative effects.

Ever since the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak, we have focussed on maintaining the services that make this institution what it is, while heeding the public health advice designed to keep us as safe as possible.

However, we also recognise that our operations during this outbreak will need to be quite different as we embark on a period of uncertainty that is likely to last well into the summer months.

Graduation ceremonies

It is with a heavy heart that I can confirm today that we have postponed this year’s graduation ceremony plans. 

While those of you in your final year can of course graduate, under current circumstances we cannot be sure when we will be in a position to hold a celebration of your success. 

Once we know when it is likely to be safe and responsible to hold these events we will update you with our plans.  Graduation ceremonies provide unforgettable memories for everyone and I am determined to ensure that you do not lose out.

Sports Centre and Old College

The University remains open and continues with its arrangements to deliver lectures, seminars and tutorials online.

Unfortunately we have had to take the decision that we can no longer keep the University’s Sports Centre and Old College open.

The Sports Centre will close at 9:00pm this evening and will remain closed until further notice.  This is a step the team there have tried so hard to avoid, implementing social distancing within activities there and even moving some classes online. However, the practical challenges now mean that the centre itself cannot open until circumstances improve. For guidance on daily health and fitness tips, workouts and regular updates follow the Sports Centre on Facebook or Instagram @sportaber.

Similarly, Old College will also close from the end of today, Friday 20 March.  Again, the challenges of keeping the building open have become too great.  I would like to thank all of those based there for their patience and we will update them regarding ongoing plans to move into other premises as plans to redevelop Old College progress.

Our libraries (you’ll need your Aber card to get in), study spaces and computing facilities, remain open and operate in line with government advice on social distancing, as does TaMedDa.

Support

We appreciate that this is a difficult time for everyone and would like to remind you of the support that is available to you.

If you are worried about Coronavirus and your mental health, you can get support from Student Support Services; student-support@aber.ac.uk / 01970 621761.

The Students’ Union also has a webpage dedicated to mental wellbeing during the Coronavirus outbreak.

And remember, our dedicated Coronavirus web page continues to be updated. If your query is not covered by the FAQs please email coronavirus@aber.ac.uk where it will be passed to the relevant team to consider. You can also call our Coronavirus helpline on 01970 622483.

Many thanks and stay safe,

Professor Elizabeth Treasure
Vice-Chancellor

Update - 19/03/20 at 18:00

Dear student

Against the backdrop of the rapidly evolving Coronavirus outbreak, we are making every effort to provide you with the latest information and advice on what these developments mean for us.

We appreciate that this is a difficult time for you and we are constantly monitoring the situation and following the latest available and up-to-date advice.

School closures/Childcare
The announcement yesterday that all schools will be closed from tomorrow, Friday 20 March, has direct implications for those of you with children of school age. The latest information from Welsh Government is that schools are likely to remain closed until September. If you have childcare responsibilities that may affect your studies, please contact your personal tutor.

Campus
The University remains open. Lectures are available online and plans are being put in place to deliver seminars and tutorials online after the Easter break.

Many students have already returned home. For those of you who are still here in Aberystwyth and in University accommodation, all essential services will continue to be provided.

Our libraries, study spaces and computing facilities, remain open and operate in line with government advice on social distancing, as does TaMedDa. We will update you as soon as possible, should these arrangements change.

Examinations
Yesterday we informed you that all examinations on campus have been cancelled for this academic year. You will find the latest information on matters such as teaching arrangements and course work deadlines in the FAQ for Students page.

Support

We appreciate that this is a particularly difficult time for everyone.

If you are worried about Coronavirus and your mental health, you can access free online mental health and wellbeing support with Big White Wall, any time, any day.

This along with other information is available on the Students’ Union webpage dedicated to mental wellbeing during the Coronavirus outbreak.

The University’s Student Support Services are also there to provide advice and assistance – you can contact them directly by e-mail student-support@aber.ac.uk  or call 01970 621761. You can also visit the Student Welcome Centre during office hours.

Our dedicated Coronavirus web page is updated continuously. If your query is not covered by the FAQs please email coronavirus@aber.ac.uk where it will be passed to the relevant team to consider. You can also call our Coronavirus helpline on 01970 622483.

Many thanks for all your patience and understanding during this most difficult period.

Professor Elizabeth Treasure
Vice-Chancellor

Update - 18/03/20 at 17:09

Dear student 

As I outlined in my message yesterday, the Coronavirus outbreak is moving quickly. We are doing our best to inform students and staff with as much information and guidance as possible, but I appreciate that this is a worrying time for us all. 

I promised to let you know of any developments and I can confirm we will not be running formal examinations on campus in May. 

Specific details for alternative arrangements are still being finalised and your department will be providing further guidance as soon as possible. Please bear with us as colleagues prepare this information. The mechanisms we are putting in place will mean that you are able to complete your course and graduate or progress on schedule.  

  • Please continue to engage in your learning and work on all of your other assessments for semester two.
  • Current assessments should be submitted online with all deadlines extended by 1 week for this term.  
  • All deadlines for term 3 (after Easter) remain the same. 
  • If you are unable to complete an assessment for semester 2 for whatever reason, youdo not need to fill in a special circumstances form. The exceptional circumstances mean we will give you an automatic resit opportunity and your mark will not be capped. 
  • All remaining MEQs will be cancelled for the rest of this semester.

Please check your university email account over the coming days for further updates. 

Although face-to-face teaching has a been suspended, it is important to stress that the University remains open and support services for academic and professional services continue to operate as normal. Should you need to contact a member of staff, please use contact them in the usual way, by phone or email. 

In the meantime, please continue to observe frequent handwashing and keeping work areas clean. 

Please keep checking our Coronavirus webpages and if you have a question that isn’t answered in the FAQs, please email coronavirus@aber.ac.uk.      

Best wishes 

Professor Elizabeth Treasure
Vice-Chancellor

Update - 17/03/20 at 16:39

Dear student 

Covid-19 / Coronavirus update, Tuesday 17 March 2020

We are writing as a follow-up to last night’s message to students.

Today we are taking additional steps to help reduce the risk of spread of coronavirus within our community and to ensure your health and safety. 

  • All face to face delivery of learning and teaching is suspended from the end of today. Staff and students should therefore not attend any classes (lectures, tutorials, laboratory classes, seminars, etc.) for the remainder of this academic year.
  • All relevant undergraduate and postgraduate taught teaching will be delivered via online platforms as announced from Monday 23 March.
  • Our academic departments will be in touch with students later this week with subject-specific information about the new teaching arrangements being put in place.
  • All current assessments should be submitted online with all deadlines extended by 1 week for this term.  All deadlines for term 3 remain the same.
  • Personal tutors will continue to be available in their advertised hours through electronic channels.
  • Research students should contact their supervisors for guidance on how to continue their studies through this period.

The University has recognised procedures for adopting alternative methods of assessments to examinations in extreme circumstances. We are reviewing every module to identify what form of assessment is possible and we will communicate the outcome by the end of this week. Please continue to look at your university email account over the coming days for updates. 

The mechanisms we are putting in place will mean that you do not have to be on campus to achieve learning outcomes to progress to the next year or to graduate. Therefore, please continue to submit your coursework and participate in learning activities.

Events on campus 

All events should now be postponed until the end of April including Visiting Days and Gwobrau Gwyl Dewi.  

Travel

All travel relating to your study must be approved by the Pro Vice-Chancellor in line with our Travel Policy. There should be no non-essential travel as previously announced

Campus life 

The University is not closing and other activities, including the provision of student support, will continue. Hugh Owen library and all food outlets are currently open. The Sports Centre is currently open but will decrease numbers in classes to carry out social distancing guidance.

Aberystwyth Arts Centre 

The Aberystwyth Arts Centre will close from this evening. All classes, exhibitions, events and performances will cease as of 6pm Tuesday 17 March 2020 for the foreseeable future. The decision regarding when to reopen will be kept under ongoing review.

The Box Office team are contacting all ticket holders to arrange refunds and advise of rescheduled dates, but please be patient as there are many hundreds of people to contact.  The website and social media will be updated regularly, so please keep checking for the latest information.

Student travel and return home 

All undergraduate and postgraduate taught students can travel home, if they wish to do so, but must ensure they continue to engage fully with their learning through the online delivery arrangements. 

We are aware that some students may remain in university accommodation and so these, along with our libraries, study spaces and computing facilities, will stay open and operate in line with government advice on social distancing. If you are leaving early, please make us aware by emailing your personal tutor.

We know that a number of students will still be in Aberystwyth, including international students who are unable to travel, are self-isolating or wish to remain in UK for the duration of their visas and period of study.  

We will do all we can to support you at this time, working closely with the Students’ Union. 

If you are worried about coronavirus and your mental health, all students at Aberystwyth University can access free online mental health and wellbeing support with Big White Wall, any time, any day. 

The University's Student Support Wellbeing Service can also offer support. Advice is also available from Mind the charity dedicated to better mental health. 

This is rapidly developing situation and so the University will continue to follow Government and Public Health Wales guidance.  

As and when there are further changes to our operations and activities, we will update you as soon as possible.  

Please keep checking our coronavirus web pages and monitor your University email account. 

If you have a question that isn’t answered in the FAQs, please  

Email coronavirus@aber.ac.uk. 

Best wishes and thank you for your understanding, 

Professor Elizabeth Treasure
Vice-Chancellor

Update - 16/03/20 at 20:44

Dear student

In response to the latest Government advice today (16/03/2020):

  • Please stay at home for 14 days if you, or anyone in your household, have a high temperature and/or a new continuous cough and speak to your department. Stay at home guidance for people with confirmed or possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection can be found here.
  • If you are pregnant, or with a chronic condition or over 70 years of age– the government has advised that you avoid all unnecessary social contact. For those who believe their interests are best met by returning home, please speak to your personal tutor and review the extensive information we have collated online including opportunities to view teaching materials online.
  • We continue to make plans to increase online delivery of lectures over the course of the week with a view to ensuring that all relevant teaching is delivered online from Monday 23rd March. 
  • The best defence to prevent the spread of coronavirus continues to be washing hands thoroughly and regularly.

There were also a number of other announcements this afternoon. We are currently working through these and will update staff and students as soon as possible.

Update - 16/03/20 at 13:25

Dear student

Covid-19 / Coronavirus update

I write to you all, staff and students of Aberystwyth University, about Coronavirus, as we face extraordinary and developing circumstances which are very concerning for us all.  Aberystwyth is in an area which currently has low levels of infection, however we cannot be complacent as the situation here could change very rapidly.  Our overwhelming priority is the safety of our students and staff.

We are carrying out careful scenario planning which will enable us to change our ways of operating should circumstances dictate.  Staff have already been asked to ensure that they can access the University’s systems online from home for example. This is a high priority for everyone as circumstances change daily and we need to be prepared. 

As part of this work, we are now taking new actions in line with our expectation of how the situation could develop.

Impact on University activities

I want to reassure you that while we are led by Government and Public Health advice, this issue is being constantly monitored and reviewed by colleagues at the highest level within our University in line with our own risk assessments.

However, we are proactively taking steps which will ensure that we are well prepared as and when circumstances change.

As such, during this week, we will increasingly migrate live teaching to online platforms.  This means that some lectures will take place via video-link only.  We intend to increase online delivery of lectures over the course of the week with a view to ensuring that all relevant teaching is delivered online from Monday 23rd March.  We see this as an important element of our preparations for the strong possibility that restrictions on gatherings could be put in place as the outbreak progresses.  You will be informed by your department if this affects any of your lectures.

Not all teaching can be delivered in this way.  We are investigating what other steps can be put in place in these cases, and will update you as and when we implement further actions.

We are also looking at how best to incorporate possible future restrictions into our planning for examinations.  This, as with many elements, is a challenge shared by the whole higher education sector, and discussions are ongoing.

If you or your department is arranging an event with internal or external attendees, please follow risk assessment procedures in order to decide whether additional actions are needed. 

As for general face to face contact across campus, we are advised by government not to take action to limit interaction at this time. We are following this advice and are reviewing it constantly.

Work related travel

Our approach has been to ensure that our decisions are led by the expert advice coming from government and relevant agencies.  This will continue of course, but I want to emphasise that our own risk assessments are also vital elements of our decision-making.  As such departments should continue to follow government advice and regularly review risk assessments.  Specific circumstances around individual events and planned trips have already resulted in changing plans, including postponement in some cases.  The Welsh government has outlined detailed advice regarding travel for students.  The current advice is that those planning travel should also check the latest information and advice available from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), and consider the implications for returning.

Our relevant teams are in contact with students and staff who are currently overseas, and in active discussions in some cases with those who wish to return. Similarly there are some students currently here in Aberystwyth who may be keen to return home as quickly as possible, as well as students who are concerned about the prospect of going home during the holidays.

For those who feel the need to travel home early, including international students, please speak to your personal tutor and review the extensive information we have collated online.  Any students who had planned to travel home for Easter but would prefer to stay in Aberystwyth can be accommodated. Our planning includes taking steps to ensure you can complete your education with us.

Hygiene

Our Health and Safety team is working with the Cleaning team to ensure that any necessary changes to our hygiene requirements are actioned.  This may result in you noticing some changes, but please be assured that any such examples will be in line with relevant advice.

In the meantime, I urge everyone to continue with frequent handwashing and efforts to keep our workplaces as clean as possible. As you will have seen in the media, this is seen as a particularly effective way of stemming the spread of infection.

Underlying health conditions

Some people may feel that their own medical or personal circumstances mean they should take additional steps to safeguard against infection.  If you feel this is relevant to you, please raise it with your line manager or tutor as soon as you can.  We are keen to help such individuals to take all necessary actions to reduce risks.

We are constantly monitoring this rapidly developing situation and will act promptly to reflect the latest official advice at the appropriate time, and to maintain ongoing activities as far as possible whilst at the same time doing our best to keep you safe.  I appreciate that this is causing a huge degree of concern and uncertainty for everyone, and I thank you for your continued help and support as we work through the challenges of this global crisis.

Please keep referring to our FAQs which are being reviewed daily.

Yours

Professor Elizabeth Treasure
Vice-Chancellor