Studying at university may be a little different this year, but we'll do everything we can to give you the best experience possible. You'll notice some adaptations to campuses and classrooms, but our tutors and student services are still here to support you.
As the health and wellbeing of our students and staff is our absolute priority, we wanted to outline just some of the measures we've introduced on campus. We'll continually review the situation as the situation changes.
This page contains information about:
National restrictions are in place from 5 November-2 December.
During this time you can continue to attend university and to travel to campus. We will be keeping our campuses open, and will continue to teach and carry out research in a COVID-secure way.
Our student support services are still available and if you're already living in University accommodation, you can continue to do so.
We will continue to follow guidance from the Department for Education and local public health authorities, and update you if anything changes.
We understand that coming onto campus during lockdown might not be possible for everyone. Therefore, if you wish to do so, or your circumstances do not allow you to join us on campus, you'll be able to complete Trimesters 1 and 2 (September-December 2020; January-May 2021) online.
The Government has issued guidance for university students about travelling home safely for Christmas.
If you wish to travel home, you're asked to do so between 3-9 December – that is, the days immediately following the end of the current national restrictions.
Before you travel, you have the opportunity to be tested.
At ARU, we’re committed to the ongoing safety and wellbeing of our students and staff and as such, our COVID-19 infection rate has remained low.
As part of a Government pilot scheme to reduce the spread of the virus, we can confirm we will be offering students who are not showing symptoms the opportunity to get tested for the virus, to make sure you don't have COVID-19 before travelling over the festive break.
We’re working with NHS Test and Trace to set up two asymptomatic testing sites on our Cambridge and Chelmsford campuses. These will open on 2 December. Asymptomatic tests, or Lateral Flow tests, are aimed at people without COVID symptoms and can produce results more quickly than the current PCR tests used across the NHS to test those with symptoms.
We will be prioritising students who live in Hall, and intend to travel home for the Christmas holiday, and those who are travelling over the break to see loved ones who are at risk or extremely vulnerable.
Our Centres are being set up and will run in accordance with detailed government guidance, and the tests will be administered by clinical staff.
Anyone who tests negative is advised to return home as soon as possible, ideally within 24 hours. Any students who test positive for the virus will need to take a confirmatory PCR test through usual channels and self-isolate for ten days; you will also be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to identify your close contacts. Close contacts of those testing positive will also hear from NHS Test and Trace, asking them to stay at home for 14 days to prevent them from unknowingly spreading the virus. As you would expect, we will continue to support all students who need to self-isolate.
The testing centre is a designated facility for our University and is not open to members of the public, unlike the existing community testing site also hosted on the Chelmsford campus for people who are displaying COVID-19 symptoms.
The safety of our community has been, and always will be, our top priority. It is up to each of us to take responsibility for our own safety and the safety of our community, and to play our part in helping to stop the spread of COVID-19. This is why we're encouraging as many of our students to take these tests if possible, and to only travel once you have received a negative test result.
Travelling outside the UK?
Every country has implemented their own entry requirements which may include having a COVID-19 test before you travel, a test on arrival or perhaps entering quarantine. We highly recommend you visit the UK Government website and search by country for the latest information on coronavirus, entry requirements and any travel warnings. You can also contact your embassy in the UK if you need further clarification. Do check the guidance regularly as countries introduce new measures such as new quarantine rules and border restrictions at very short notice.
If you need to take a COVID-19 test before travelling, please note that each country is very specific about the type of COVID -19 test they will accept – do check carefully before booking. The test the UK Government has asked universities to administer on campus at the beginning of December is unfortunately not considered acceptable for travel overseas. If you need a specific test, you can pay for a private test with most results available in two to three days.
When returning to the UK you will need to follow any self-isolation (quarantine) requirements that are in place at that time. We recommend you check the UK Government website regularly and our FAQs for the latest guidance.
If you can't travel at this time because you've tested positive for COVID-19 or are self-isolating, you'll be able to travel after 9 December. We'll be here to support you while you self-isolate.
To make this possible, universities have been asked to move all learning online from 9 December. At ARU, we'll be moving all learning online from the end of Friday 4 December, until the end of term.
If you're a healthcare student on placement, you're considered an essential worker and should remain in your placement until the end of the planned placement. You can then travel home for the holidays, if you're not self-isolating and you follow the public health guidance. Our campuses will remain open from 7-18 December to provide support for students remaining on or near campus.
Our campuses will close for the holiday period at the end of Friday 18 December, but we'll continue to provide support for students remaining in ARU accommodation throughout the holiday period.
Our campuses will reopen on Monday 4 January, and we will continue to offer you the choice of On-campus or Online only learning for Trimester 2 (January-May 2021), subject to any additional Government restrictions that may be in place at that time.
We've worked hard to create Covid-secure campuses and manage the risk of coronavirus transmission.
In Chelmsford, we will make necessary changes to our arrangements and guidance to reflect the new restrictions detailed above.
Currently we have introduced the following measure on all campuses:
Over the summer, we also made changes to the details we all use to access systems at ARU, so you can use the most up-to-date technology. These changes apply to all students, including postgraduate researchers, and will allow you to collaborate more easily with staff and other students. Stay up to date with these changes on our Student News blog.
We're committed to providing a supportive and inclusive environment for you to study in. You'll be able to access campus as required and you’ll be taught in smaller groups, ensuring excellent support.
We understand that everyone’s circumstances are different due to the pandemic. And so you can choose how you prefer to study for Trimesters 1 and 2 (September-December 2020; January-May 2021). There's a choice of online only, or campus teaching supported by online technologies.
You'll have the chance to change your preference at set times in the year.
You'll notice a few changes from September 2020 so we can be sure we're following social distancing guidelines:
We know how important it is that you receive excellent study support. You'll be able to access:
It's never been more important to have some fun, relax and enjoy a bit of 'normality' in our lives. And so:
For new students and others living in University accommodation, our accommodation team has put a number of social distancing measures in place.
In the event of a national or national lockdown we will continue to follow the National Institute for Health Protection guidance and ask all students to remain in their current accommodation.
If you choose to study online for Trimesters 1 or 2 (September-December 2020; January-May 2021) and have a tenancy agreement, your agreement will continue.
If you live in ARU accommodation and want to be released from a tenancy agreement please contact our Residential Service Team.
If you live in a nomination hall (CB1, The Railyard, Sedley Court, the YMCA), please contact the staff in your accommodation.
Visit Student News for full details of all these changes.