Coronavirus (COVID-19) information
We know this is an extremely worrying time for you. Discover Uni is working with its UK partners and with universities and colleges to ensure you have the information and guidance you need. This is a fast-developing situation and our aim is to keep you as up to date as possible. Further information will be added as it becomes available so keep checking back.
This page focuses on information about higher education.
If you are a current student, your university or college should be your first port of call with queries about your course, accommodation, or immigration status.
Application deadlines for universities and colleges in England, Wales and Northern Ireland:
18 June: UCAS reply deadline for offers received on or before 4 June (not Extra choices)
20 July: UCAS reply deadline for offers received on or before 13 July (including Extra choices)
6 July: Clearing 2020 opens through UCAS
Application deadlines for universities and colleges in Scotland:
30 June: application deadline for places at a university or college
6 July: Clearing 2020 opens through UCAS
Care leavers and estranged students
If you are care-experienced, or estranged from your family, you may be feeling anxious about coronavirus (COVID-19). Things can feel quite overwhelming, especially if you do not have any family around to talk to.
You can get information, advice and support from the designated link person at your university. If you are a care leaver you can talk to your PA or Leaving Care Worker. Each local authority has different types of support for care leavers, so it is worth talking to them directly.
If you have any questions around the impact of coronavirus on the care you are receiving, or want some personal advice, or just need to talk to someone, you can contact:
Become Charity on 0800 023 2033 or to to [email protected] .
If you live in Scotland, you can contact Who Cares Scotland on 0141 226 4441 or [email protected] .
If you are estranged from your family you can visit www.standalone.org.uk for advice and guidance.
If you are a student with disabilities and you need advice, you can call the Disabled Students Helpline on 0330 995 0414. The opening hours are 11am – 1pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Alternatively, you can email them at: [email protected]
International applicants and students
International applicants – Prospective Students
For information on changes to English language tests, visas and where to get advice and support visit the British Council Study UK website: study-uk.britishcouncil.org
Information about changes to assessment arrangements and availability of results for international qualifications is also available at ucas.com
If you have applied via UCAS and there are any other significant changes that will affect you, or your application, UCAS will email you using the email address on your application – you can update it in Track.
More information on applying to university can be found on the UCAS website: ucas.com/coronavirus
International Students – Current Students
Visa nationals who cannot return home due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be able to extend their visa.
The extension will apply to anyone whose leave expired after the 24 January and who cannot leave the country because of travel restrictions or self-isolation. This will last until 31 May but will be kept under regular review in case further extensions are needed.
A dedicated COVID-19 immigration team has been set up within UKVI to make the process as straightforward as possible. Anyone in this situation just needs to contact this team, via this email address [email protected], to let them know their visa has expired and they will be issued with an extension.
To help those who want to apply for visas to stay in the UK long-term, the Home Office is also temporarily expanding the in-country switching provisions. This will mean people can apply to switch routes, such as from Tier 4 (student) to Tier 2 (General Worker), whilst remaining in the UK. UKVI will continue to process applications as quickly as possible, however some applications may take longer than usual due to COVID-19 related operational pressures.
Frequently asked questions
What do I need to do if my visa is expiring soon and I can’t leave the UK?
The Home Office have now released updated guidance for visa holders who cannot return home due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Please read the full statement on the gov.uk webpage . If your visa expires between 24 January 2020 and 31 May 2020 and you cannot leave the UK due to either travel restrictions or self-isolation, you must contact the Coronavirus Immigration Team to update your immigration record (contact information can be found on the link above). You will need to provide:
- Your full name (including any middle names)
- Date of birth (dd/mm/yyyy)
- Your previous visa reference number – this is your BRP number found in the top right corner of your BRP card, or if you do no have a BRP, the number on the top right corner of your visa in your passport
- Why you can’t go back to your country, for example if the border has closed
We recommend that you contact the Coronavirus Immigration Team as soon as possible with the above information.
What do I need to do if I’m on placement but can’t go to work?
If you cannot attend your placement due to the evolving situation with COVID-19, contact your university or college to inform them, and make sure you also keep your employer informed.
What do I do about my belongings in my accommodation?
If you will be leaving the UK for a period of time and are not sure when you will be returning, you will need to check with the accommodation team on campus what you will need to do with regards to your belongings. If you are renting privately and will be leaving the UK for a period of time and are not sure when you will be returning, you will need to check with your landlord what you will need to do with regards to your belongings.
What should I do if I’m self-isolating?
Mature students - access to HE
QAA (Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education) have been working closely with the Department for Education, Ofqual and other organisations to produce a clear, fair and consistent approach to assessment for the award of the Access to HE Diploma.
Students who planned to complete their Access to HE course by 31 July 2020
If you’re due to complete your Access to HE studies by 31 July this year, you will now receive calculated grades for all remaining assessments with submission dates after 20 March 2020.
QAA are working to provide you with information about exactly how your grades will be calculated as quickly as possible. Further information and updates will be published here here
Students who plan to complete their Access to HE course after 31 July 2020
If you are scheduled to continue your studies after 31 July 2020, you will be supported to complete your studies through changes to the delivery of teaching and assessment of your course.
QAA will continue to provide updates for all Access to HE students on the section of the Access to HE website and will share the latest information with Access Validating Agencies, course providers and higher education providers.
You can also read the FAQs on the QAA website
If you need help or further support, please speak to your course providers.
Tips for studying at home
With most students now unable to attend school, college or university for their learning, here are some tips to help you learn successfully at home.
- Try to stick to your normal routine as much as the current situation allows. Get up at your normal time, get dressed, and ensure you eat regular meals. ‘Timetable’ your day: ensure you take regular breaks and walk around, but try to study for 45 minutes to an hour at a time.
- Set up study groups with your friends and those on your course. You can also set up social groups and meetings. Apps such as Zoom, Houseparty and Netflixparty are good for group video chats and virtual meetings.
- Try some online learning: your school, college or uni may have online lessons or lectures set up, and there are loads of courses available through platforms such as www.futurelearn.com where universities and colleges offer free online courses, including preparation for university. Local colleges also have a number of different online, free courses. Check out your local college website for more details.
- Exercise: you can exercise outside once a day, as long as you stay at least 2m away from others. This could be a cycle, a run or a walk. You can exercise in your home, and there are a number of online groups offering free workouts.
- Be aware of your mental wellbeing: it is easy to feel isolated and lonely, so ensure you take time to contact friends or family for a chat, to share experiences and to try to laugh. https://youngminds.org.uk/blog/looking-after-your-mental-health-while-self-isolating
Office for Students - Coronavirus information for students FAQs: - Questions and Answers
For mental health support and guidance, see Student Minds - https://www.studentminds.org.uk/ .
Scottish Government Student Information website https://www.studentinformation.gov.scot/
Universities Wales https://www.uniswales.ac.uk/
Office for Students- Corona virus information for students – https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/for-students/student-guide-to-coronavirus/
Welsh Government guidance for educational settings: https://gov.wales/guidance-educational-settings-about-covid-19
Welsh Government guidance for Higher Education and student support is available here: https://gov.wales/higher-education-and-student-support-coronavirus
For other information about coronavirus, for example about the precautions you should be taking, and what to do if you think you may have coronavirus, please read the guidance from Public Health England, Public Health Wales and guidance from the government.