Previous updates

Update: Monday 30 March

Graduation postponement

Sadly, GCU has had to postpone this summer’s graduation ceremonies and planned graduation ball, to a later date. We appreciate this will be really disappointing for many but, in the context of the coronavirus crisis, there is a clear need to prioritise the safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and all our families.

Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Pamela Gillies CBE, FRSE said: "It is with significant regret that the University has decided to postpone the upcoming summer graduation ceremonies due to take place at our Glasgow and London campuses.

"These celebrations are the highlight of our academic year and I know they mean as much to our students as they do to us. The COVID-19 outbreak does, however, give us no other option at the present time.

"This is deeply disappointing to us all, but keeping everyone safe is our main objective and I hope you will understand the reason behind this difficult decision.

"The lack of a graduation ceremony this year in no way impedes your ability to graduate and receive your degree parchment. Those eligible to graduate will do so in absentia this summer but you will have the option to participate in a future ceremony. Further information on this will be issued in due course.

"I thank you very much for your ongoing patience and understanding at this time."

Student President, Eilidh Fulton said: "The team and I have been involved in discussions with the University on graduations and the decision to postpone celebrations. Walking across the stage and wearing your graduation gown, for some of you, is a crucial part of rounding off your academic experience with us at GCU. We know how much this means to you and this is why you will be invited back to attend a graduation ceremony in the future. More details around the date of your rescheduled ceremony will be sent out to you in due course.

"We know that you have worked tirelessly over the past few years to complete your degree and we know this decision will bring a feeling of sadness to many of you. We hope you understand that we are trying to keep both our students and staff safe during this time and we feel postponing graduations is the only choice.”

The University is working through how best to manage the process of refunding those who have purchased tickets for the graduation ball. We will provide details as soon as possible but we aim to refund all affected students by the end of April.

An FAQ on the postponement of the graduation ceremonies is available in the Advice for Students section.

Update: Friday 27 March

Given the unprecedented situation we have all been working through in recent weeks it has been necessary to share a great deal of information with you on a daily basis.  Much of this has now been imparted.  Moving forward, there won't be a daily email, instead, we will send communications as and when further information needs to be shared.  

Additional Rest Days

In recognition of the effort that has gone into dealing with this extraordinary challenge in recent weeks, throughout which colleagues have responded brilliantly, Executive Board has decided to award two additional rest days to staff.  Friday 3rd and 17th April (10th is Good Friday) will be designated ‘Rest Days’ and normal University operations will shut down.  For those colleagues who, for operational reasons, are unable to take these two days, a separate arrangement will be agreed with your line manager.

As far as possible, staff will not be expected to log on to their computers, check emails or undertake University-related work on these days.  

Executive Board deeply appreciates the outstanding work that is being delivered.  We want to show support for everyone at this difficult time, and we believe that some additional time to switch off and relax is much needed. The University closure will also allow students the opportunity to take a break too. From all of us: thank you!

Cyber security

Now we are all working remotely it’s vital that we maintain our cyber security.  We have been advised of a number of online viruses via WhatsApp (Potential video names include ‘Martinelli’ and ‘Dance of the Pope’). Please do not open these or other messages from people you do not know. Police Scotland is also advising the public to be aware of any scams that may arise during the coronavirus crisis. They are asking people to be extra vigilant about any text messages and emails they might receive during this time.

Caledonian Court residents

For a new FAQ document for residents, please visit Advice for Students.

Update: Thursday 26 March

We hope that everyone is now beginning to settle into the new remote working pattern.  It has been a huge transition for us all and will no doubt take more time before we are all completely used to it. The University is monitoring and responding to developments as they happen and will continue to communicate with you as needed.

On Monday we will publish a look ahead to the Student Association's online engagement plan for the week.

Wonderful feedback

It's important in these difficult times that we acknowledge the amazing things that are being delivered by colleagues. We know not everything is working perfectly, but we really wanted to share some feedback received today from a 3rd-year student:

"The department, as a whole, have quite honestly left me speechless at their efficiency and the humongous effort they’ve put into keeping us all engaged, updated and calm...I cannot express to you what this has meant to me in such a scary and unprecedented time. 

“On a very practical level, the speed and accuracy of the rescheduling and restructuring of lectures/seminars will stay with me a lifetime. That alone has taught me how to behave and conduct myself in a time of uncertainty and confusion - every single GCU value has been demonstrated by the team, every single day, with resilience and grace. That way of working will come with me into any future roles I undertake from this day forward."

Improving online resources

We will continue to add and update the guidance and resources you need as it becomes available. Today, updated FAQs on Assessments for students and staff, as part of the wider Remote Learning FAQ documents, have been published on the GCU website.  The updates provide helpful information to students regarding their assessments, extensions, deadlines, dissertations, assessment feedback and results.

There is also an updated link to the FAQs on Fees and Finance for students and staff.  Students and tutors should liaise with their Module Leaders and managers respectively if they have further questions or issues. 

 

Keeping a focus on teaching and learning

The University made very rapid progress to online provision over the past couple of weeks, with the clear intention of supporting you to continue learning. We recognise that individual circumstances may make this more challenging and we're thinking about how we can continue to support staff and students through these challenging times.  You already know that we have cancelled formal exams for years 1 and 2, introducing alternative assessments where possible.  We continue to liaise with all other universities in Scotland where a similar approach has been adopted, with very few exceptions. 

Once we are in a position to reopen our campuses, we will all want to get back on our feet as quickly as possible. In the meantime, keeping your learning going, as much as you can, will really help you when that transition happens.

Caledonian Court

We've asked all Caledonian Court residents to confirm if they are still on campus, or have safely returned ‘home’.  Thank you to those who have already replied.  For the few that haven't, we would urge you to contact us so we know where you are, that you are well, and provide support for you if needed.  We would like to offer remaining Caledonian Court residents access to a dedicated support team who will keep in touch with you through this period.  So please do get in touch!

Support with Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a cloud-based communication and collaboration tool that should now be available to all GCU staff. The platform enables staff to work more cohesively whilst working remotely. To help you get started, join the IT Training and Development Team for a series of half-hour webinars in which they will guide you through the fundamentals of using MS Teams. Find out more.

Update: Wednesday 25 March

With the first day of widespread ‘lockdown’ now behind us, we hope that it is not proving too difficult or stressful for everyone and that those who made a late dash to return home to their family reached their destination safely. It is possible that the Government position on travel home will change. Please keep an eye out for this.

As you saw at the end of yesterday’s email, there is now a substantial and growing range of resources available to help with your remote working, learning and teaching. These will continue to be updated and supplemented and an augmented Executive Board continue to meet daily to keep abreast of developments.

We would like to thank everyone for their incredible work to date in putting together the various resources at such short notice and in such difficult circumstances, and to all those who are working hard to make remote learning and teaching a positive experience.

Accommodation fees

The current lockdown situation has generated understandable concerns around finance for many people. In light of this, the Executive Board took the important decision, that was communicated yesterday, about releasing all Caledonian Court residents from their rental agreement with the University with effect from 24th March. We were bowled over by the brilliant response from students to this decision. It's a great example of the University and the Student Association working in partnership to help students.

As you will have noted from this morning’s email to All Staff regarding payslips, payroll is operating as usual though we would reiterate the request for patience at this time if you have queries as response times may be longer than normal.

New Financial FAQs, to help students and staff, are now online to provide information and clarity covering fees, support and who to contact if you have any funding questions, which we hope are helpful.

Practice Placements for Student Nurses, AHPs and Healthcare Scientists

The situation with regard to all healthcare student placements remains fluid. Where we have specific details for individual disciplines at certain points of their programme we have contacted cohorts directly. As the situation develops and we have more information from regulatory bodies, Scottish and/or Westminster governments and practice providers, we will ensure that this information is cascaded through programme leaders. In the meantime, the same advice applies to students (i.e. to continue to engage with their learning whether in placement or in the, now virtual, classroom).

Early entry to the register for Student Nurses, AHPs, Healthcare Scientists, Social workers and Psychologists

Final year students in some areas may be invited to join the professional register early, and then to enter the workforce. We are in close contact with the relevant professional bodies and will communicate directly to the students as we receive further information.

Keeping healthy

It’s vital that we all stay healthy and look after our own and others’ wellbeing through this period of self-isolation. We are extremely fortunate to have a great deal of expertise within the University to help us with this. Publication of Caledonian Connected will resume this Friday and going forward we will feature the work of GCU colleagues who are contributing in different ways to managing the pandemic and its impact.

Update: Tuesday 24 March

With the directive from the UK Prime Minister and Scotland’s First Minister last night for us all to self-isolate by staying in our homes for all but essential reasons, the intensity of our country’s response to the coronavirus has been stepped up. As you will know, these temporary measures are aimed at curbing the spread of the virus which will benefit us all. Our move to remote learning is largely unaffected by this latest development, although we appreciate it will affect everyone in a variety of different ways. The University fully recognises the importance of ensuring the safety of all our students and staff and their families.  We will do everything we can to help you through this extremely challenging period.   

Caledonian Court update 

Following the Government’s announcement yesterday, we have decided to release all residents with effect from 24th March to the end of their rental agreement with the University.  For students with an outstanding balance up to this date, this will be collected across April and May in the normal manner. However, where a refund is due, the University will process this as quickly as possible. Please be reassured that if needed, you may continue to stay in residence.   

A separate email was issued this morning to all students who are resident in Caledonian Court providing guidance and useful contact information.   

Please note there will be a limited number of security staff on-site at any one time and our ability to provide face-to-face support to students is reduced because of yesterday’s announcement.  The following links may be useful if emergency medical and dental care is needed. The usual telephone and email connections remain resourced and Caledonian Court students should make use of this service should they need to do so.

For all students who make a decision at this very last moment to travel back to be with family, we believe that the government’s view is that travelling home if you are well enough and it is safe to do so, and preferably avoid public transport, would reasonably be considered ‘essential’.  Whatever you decide, we urge you to check the government’s latest advice on travel and to follow it carefully.    

For the latest University updates on the coronavirus and for further advice and guidance, please visit the GCU website. You can also contact the Student Helpline on 0141 331 3103 or by emailing:  coronavirushelpline@gcu.ac.uk. This helpline is available from 9am to 5pm, seven days a week. 

Support for Student Nurses 

For student nurses, there are some specific and unique factors that influence how the university and they as individual practitioners need to respond to the crisis.

To help those on placement we have uploaded a new FAQ dedicated to student nurses this morning to provide some initial guidance.  

  • First-year student nurses (including pre-registration MSc) will receive direct communication from the head of nursing later today outlining the next steps with regard to practice placements.
  • Second-year student nurses are currently not on placement and should continue to engage with their programme.
  • Third-year student nurse received information recently from the Chief Nursing Officer and we will update when more detail is available.
  • Fourth-year student nurses, who are registrants should continue with their programme

Student AHPs: The University is expecting further guidance from the Chief Allied Health Professions Officer and once we have this it will be circulated directly to students within these disciplines.

Maintaining our mental, emotional and physical health and wellbeing 

Now more than ever, it is really important that we all dedicate time to mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. We are extremely fortunate to have a wealth of expertise within the University to help us at this extremely stressful time when the vast majority of us are now confined to our homes.  Please visit the Health and Wellbeing section of the GCU website to find out more. We will also be highlighting a variety of health and wellbeing articles and podcasts in the coming days and weeks.

Update: Monday 23 March

We hope you all had a good weekend, despite the changing and challenging environment we are now living in.  The magnitude of the current situation and the implications it has for all of us, students and staff alike, will no doubt continue to become clearer in the days ahead and we will all need to respond accordingly.  We do recognise that many of you will be feeling anxious and will have additional challenges at home.  As stated last week, the University will do everything it possibly can to support you through these incredible times.

Our ongoing response 

Senior managers will continue to meet daily to provide guidance to students and staff so there are clear pathways for remote learning, teaching and other University activities.  Guidance will be updated as needed. GCU will also be taking part in a sector-wide group for further and higher education bodies convened by the Scottish Government to help us coordinate our work and plans fairly and consistently across the sector.

Addressing students’ concerns 

We would like to thank students for their various communications to the University over the last week, both through the Student Helpline and other channels. We understand that this is a very difficult time as you manage both the changes to your studies and the impact the coronavirus may have had on your personal circumstances.

We are currently working on a range of solutions to address concerns that have been raised such as assessment generally, submission dates, alternative assessments, dissertations and extensions.  Tomorrow, we aim to provide further communication on this, including a frequently asked questions document.  Our intention is very much to be fair to students, provide flexibility and ensure that the solutions we put in place are consistent across the sector.  Be assured that we are aware that individual students’ circumstances and the implications for different courses will vary widely.

In the meantime, we would strongly urge all students to please continue to engage as fully with your studies as you possibly can.

Resources to support staff

There is a growing bank of resources available on the GCU website which are being updated regularly to help staff including FAQs and planned webinars.  Please visit the GCU website to keep abreast of these together with the Health and Wellbeing pages.

Coinciding with the start of remote teaching today, Blackboard Ally is now live on GCULearn. This tool helps staff ensure we are meeting digital accessibility standards. Staff training sessions are taking place all this week. Ally includes a range of helpful features. For staff, it provides an accessibility score for online documents and, for students, it can convert common file types to alternative formats with no extra effort required.

FAQ for student nurses

The NMC is currently creating an emergency register for nurses and the Chief Nursing Officer has sent a letter to students today. A dedicated FAQs for student nurses will be provided at the earliest possible opportunity. 

IT Helpdesk

As you can imagine, the IT Helpdesk is dealing with a large number of calls from both students and staff.  We would ask everyone to please be courteous and patient in all your interactions with the Helpdesk as they manage the increased demand and do their best to resolve issues.

On-campus

The Learning Café space continues to be open for essential IT access for those students who don't have alternative IT arrangements, but the catering outlet itself is now closed.  We are keeping this facility under review and acknowledge that it may need to close should government guidelines require. 

Please keep in touch

The days and weeks ahead will no doubt continue to present many challenges and opportunities.  As we all start to work remotely please do keep in touch with your fellow students, tutors and colleagues on an ongoing basis. 

Students with questions, issues or concerns should continue to contact the Student Helpline (coronavirushelpline@gcu.ac.uk or call +44 141 331 3130  / 9am to 5pm, 7 days a week) and staff should liaise with their managers during standard working hours. Thank you.

Update: Friday 20 March

As this incredible working week draws to a close we would like to renew our sincere thanks and deep appreciation for the outstanding work that students and staff have done to help us move to our new remote learning model so quickly. 

No doubt there will be further challenges to be addressed but if we continue to work together with a strong team spirit then we will overcome them. There is also no doubt that opportunities will arise to improve many of the ways we have been working to date.

SQA announcement - Next steps

Following the Deputy First Minister's announcement that the 2020 exam diet cannot go ahead, the Authority is working on the development of an alternative certification model. Until we know more about the approach that will be taken and the associated timeline, we won't know about the impact this will have on the University Admissions process. We appreciate this is affecting many people, both students and staff, and we will provide you with further updates on this when we know more.

Providing the information you need

The FAQs that have been produced and shared on this website will continue to be reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis as new questions and solutions arise. If you have any unanswered questions, please contact your tutor or manager in the first instance.

A new FAQ document for nursing placements is currently being developed which we aim to provide early next week.

Security on campus

Further to yesterday’s message that staff working on campus must report to the Security Office when they arrive, please also report to Security when you are leaving so they can maintain an accurate record of who is on campus.

Student Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS)

SAAS is keen to work with Universities to alleviate some of the concerns Scottish students may have, as this situation continues to unfold. 

The new Scottish Government Student Information Scotland website will be used as the main conduit, to provide up to date information to students across both Further and Higher Education (FE & HE).   

We have been asked to share the above link to the new website, to both promote the site and to direct Scottish students to get up to date information, as this situation develops.

Health advice reminder

It still remains extremely important to follow the latest health advice to reduce the spread of the coronavirus but also to keep yourself and others as safe as possible. Visit NHS Inform and remember to:

  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Avoid direct hand contact with your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with disposable tissues and dispose of them in the bin
  • Avoid direct contact with people that have a respiratory illness and avoid using their personal items such as mobile phones
  • The government has also advised that it is important for us all to avoid restaurants, cafes and pubs so we can reduce the spread of the virus as much possible.

It’s the weekend…

As strange as this week has been for all of us, we hope you and your loved ones keep well and have some time to relax and recover over the weekend.  Please do keep visiting our Health and Wellbeing section for some great tips and advice on how to keep you and others safe.  And for those celebrating Mothers’ Day - even if that can only be online or a wave through a window - have a wonderful Sunday.

Update: Thursday 19 March

Thank you all so much for your fantastic cooperation, patience and hard work over the last few days in helping the University to rapidly transition to the new remote working pattern.   

Taking a moment to reflect, what we have achieved so far is extraordinary, although we also recognise there is still much more to be done to have us all operating more smoothly in the weeks ahead.  

We also recognise that the imminent closure of schools will have a big impact and make the current transition to remote working much more challenging for many families. We will work through this together and appreciate there will be a need for flexible working in many cases.  Please speak to your manager in order to discuss arrangements during this period. 

Following this afternoon’s news that the SQA’s has decided to cancel exams and are working through the implications of this for students and teachers. We will provide you with a further update at the earliest opportunity.
 

Notification of Training webinars 

Training webinars are being set up for staff to help them deliver remote learning for their students.  Email notifications on these will be sent out as sessions are scheduled and may be sent out in addition to the daily email updates.  

Security & campus update  

Any member of staff who needs to be on campus for essential reasons must notify Security on arrival.  This will enable us to know who is on campus at any given time and is in line with our lone working policy. 

The George Moore restaurant and staff social space will close at 3pm and 4pm respectively today.    The Learning Café space will remain open but only for students who have no other access to IT.  We would ask everyone to respect this and not use this space for any other purpose. The cafe itself within this space will only be open until Friday this week.  Thereafter it will close.  

London 

GCU London students who have no other access to IT facilities can access these in the campus library. Again, Security need to have a clear understanding of who is in the building and must be advised on arrival. 

International students

All international students have been contacted individually by the VISA team to understand their personal situation and to confirm their tier 4 status will not be affected either by returning home early or by the move from face-to-face teaching to online learning. 

Over the weekend 

So that we can at least try to bring some sense of normality to the way we are all operating, after we have issued our daily update tomorrow (Friday 20th), our daily updates will thereafter resume on Monday 23rd. Naturally if something extremely urgent changes over the course of the weekend, we will make an exception.  

Students with any questions should continue to contact the Student Helpline at coronavirushelpline@gcu.ac.uk or call +44 141 331 3130 (9am to 5pm, 7 days a week). Staff should continue to raise questions or issues with their manager during standard working hours. 

Additional wellbeing advice 

In addition to the wellbeing online resources highlighted above, students with any related questions or concerns can contact the Student Wellbeing Service at studentwellbeing@gcu.ac.uk (9am to 5pm, Mon-Fri).  Staff members can contact the Staff Wellbeing Service at staffwellbeing@gcu.ac.uk (9am to 7pm, Mon-Fri) or can access our Health and Wellbeing pages

Thank you

Thank you all again for your ongoing cooperation, patience and support as we continue to move through this challenging and evolving situation.  It is greatly appreciated. 

Update: Wednesday 18 March
Today, we are sharing key documents that will help support and guide students and staff to continue their learning and teaching remotely.
 
There are links below to the new documents and we will update and add to these as needed in the coming days. We will also convert them into a more user-friendly format on the website and will provide you with links at the earliest possible opportunity. We will also update the FAQ on an ongoing basis as further questions and issues arise.
 

If students have further questions or issues they would like to raise, please contact the Student Helpline (coronavirushelpline@gcu.ac.uk / +44 141 331 3130). We plan to extend the operating times of this service so it is open 7 days a week, from 9am to 5pm starting from tomorrow. If staff have further questions, please raise them with your managers.

We would really like to thank staff and students for the huge amount of excellent work they have put into developing these resources at such short notice and in difficult circumstances. It is greatly appreciated.

Other resources and support available 
 
There is also a range of other resources and support available online to help students and staff through this transition and difficult time.  
 
Email signatures for staff / Description of current status 
 
For those using out-of-office hours notifications on your emails, we need to provide a consistent message regarding the university still working and operating as far as possible, even though largely off campus.  Please see the suggestion below for guidance.  If you need to add additional information about contact or working processes please feel free to do so. 
 
“The current situation in relation to coronavirus means the University has now largely moved to staff and students working online remotely. I will be available via email during my normal operating hours as usual. Please bear with us as we get used to our new working practices.” 
 
Moving forward 
 
This remains a fast moving situation and government and health advice continues to be updated daily. We are responding to these changes as quickly as possible and would ask for your ongoing support and patience as we all work through these very challenging times.  
Please keep in touch with your tutors and line managers, visit the website and intranet for the latest information and raise any questions you have through the channels mentioned above.  We will also continue to provide you with daily email updates. 
Update: Tuesday 17 March

We hugely value the support and patience of students and staff at this time, and recognise the huge amount of work everyone is doing to help us manage the transition to remote learning and working. 

You may be finding this a difficult and anxious time. We want to reassure you that we are doing everything possible, as quickly as possible, to manage the changes to our studying and working practices in a safe, fair and sensible way.  

We will continue to provide you with daily emails to keep you informed of the current situation and what it means for you. Please see below:

Moving to home working more quickly

In line with the UK government’s advice, we are advising that anyone who can work from home, who is already equipped with the right technology and enabled with the necessary capabilities to practically deliver in a new way, should now do so. If you believe you can do this, you should agree with your line manager that this is the case.  

For people who don’t yet have the capability, training or equipment to work from home, and assuming your role can be carried out remotely, you should work with your managers to ensure you are in a position to move to home working at the earliest possible opportunity.

As recognised in the advice from the UK government, some staff will not be able to work from home and they should continue to attend work on campus. Managers are being asked to establish appropriate arrangements to ensure necessary social distancing. If you have any questions about this, please discuss them with your manager.

We are paying particular attention to the support we must provide to vulnerable, disabled, care experienced and international students. We also have some functions that cannot be delivered remotely and will have some functions, such as payroll, which we simply must deliver. All of this will mean that a small number of staff will continue to work on campus. 

Keep in touch

We understand that some people may feel anxious about home working, especially if they have limited activities they can do, but you remain a valuable member of staff and we ask you to please ‘keep in touch’ with your manager and, wherever possible, your colleagues.

International students

For international students who stay with us at our Glasgow campus and cannot return home, as well as care experienced students who remain on campus, we will continue to support you throughout. For those international students on Caledonian Court who may have to self-isolate, we are putting together food parcels and emergency supplies.

For students who are already at home overseas, you should not return to Glasgow for the time being. Further advice will be provided in due course.

On campus

The Sir Alex Ferguson Library will be closed from 5pm on March 17. Many resources will continue to be available online. To provide some space for the limited number of students who need to access IT, the Learning Café will remain open from 9am to 5pm, Monday-Friday. In London, students who need to access IT will be able to use the PCs in the library during standard office hours (9am to 5pm, Monday- Friday).​

Please note: With further meetings and government briefings this afternoon we may send a further email today if needed.

Update: Monday 16 March

Update from Executive Board and Student President for Staff and Students: Monday 16 March 16:00

Thank you to all the staff who are on campus today and to students for their understanding and patience as we prepare for the move to online learning from Monday 23rd March. 

Our strategy to dramatically reduce the number of people on campus in order to minimise risk within our university community has worked very well. The Government advice is clear: people can still go about their daily lives as long as they show no symptoms, however mild.  In minimising the number of people on campus we are going beyond ministerial guidance in order to better ensure the well-being of staff and students and to prepare for the important next phase: online learning. 

Moving to online learning

Our core focus this week is to replace face-to-face with online learning.  We have developed a plan for the week to complete the preparations for online teaching and learning wherever possible. We are making good progress with the enhancements and we will provide progress reports throughout the coming week.

We recognise and acknowledge that for some staff and students this is a significant change. Additional support for staff and students is being implemented and further details on who to contact for further advice and guidance will be available in the next few days. 

Changes to assessments

We have made a decision to cancel exams for levels 1 and 2.  Modules that would have been assessed through an exam will now be assessed pass / fail on the basis of continuous assessment data or alternative assessment. 

For levels 3, 4 and Masters there will be alternative assessment arrangements which will take into account the guidance being provided by professional bodies where appropriate. The details of any alternative assessment will be communicated through Blackboard and associated submission dates will be advised at the same time.

For research VIVAs arrangements will be made for these either to be postponed or, where appropriate, to be completed using an appropriate online method (Skype / Zoom etc.) 

Students should be reassured that the University is taking a supportive stance on progression, with flexible application of the regulations in these exceptional circumstances as approved by Senate.

Catch up support

We recognise and understand that for a variety of reasons, students may find it difficult to maintain their study online, e.g. difficulty with IT access; illness; caring responsibilities etc.  We want to reassure all students that we will do everything we can to support you and, where it is not possible for you to engage we will be understanding and seek to offer a catch up phase as and when you resume your studies. 

Provision of additional support

We recognise that these unprecedented times may mean students feeling stressed, anxious or lonely.  The student helpline is available and we are working with the Students Association to build a plan to support students. 

Equally staff looking for support should contact to staff mailbox communication in FAQs or their line manager.  Guidance and support for academic staff who are moving to online teaching, learning and assessment will be issued by Academic Development

What is open on campus at present?

Most buildings are open, though predominantly the only people on campus are staff. For the avoidance of doubt the ARC building will be closed from 10pm on Monday 16th March until further notice. Although we are not allowing members of the public to access our library, student access to the library is being maintained for the time being.  We have provided access to specialist labs to students who need them. This is being limited and therefore you should discuss with your personal tutor if you require access to these facilities   For undergraduate students this will end this week.  For postgraduate students, arrangements are being reviewed on a case-by-case basis through the schools and in consultation with PVC research.

Travel arrangements

The University has made a decision that staff should not to travel on University-related business beyond Scotland, to the rest of the UK, for the foreseeable future, unless it is deemed business critical. 

Can International students leave to travel home?

Yes, if it is safe to do so and the home country is accessible.  International students who cannot travel are welcome to stay at Caledonian Court.

Other university operations

Appropriate cleaning programmes are in place to ensure that where functions are continuing on campus, when a deep cleaning regimen may be required, there are appropriate plans in place to initiate quickly.

Plans are underway to ensure that we can still deliver core operations, including payroll and emergency payments.  We are very mindful that a number of functions cannot be delivered off campus and we are working with each directorate and individual staff members to understand how they will operate. 

We very much appreciate the tremendous good will that staff have offered in finding solutions to help the operation keep running and we are grateful to the number of people who have declared as being willing and able to undertake other duties to help the University at this time.  As ever, your support, ongoing endeavours and patience are truly appreciated. 

Working from home

For those colleagues whose line managers have determined that they can work from home from next week, we are enhancing and making available the guidance for senior managers on how to support staff.  If staff have any questions about working from home please refer to the FAQs.  We want to be sure we have your up to date contact details and so managers will be asked to check this over this week. 

While the campus is open this week, we are keeping this under review as the situation evolves.  We may have to change this decision as we progress through the week and in line with advice from both the Scottish and Westminster Governments and Health Protection Scotland.  Some staff will continue to need to be on campus to carry out essential duties.  

Previous updates

Advice for students on placement: Sunday 15 March 15:00

Students should attend their placement tomorrow (Monday, March 16), unless you have been informed otherwise by your placement provider or Academic School.

We are in regular contact with all placement providers and will update you if the situation changes.

As is normal practice, you should avoid attending your placement if you are unwell. Please use the normal absence reporting procedures for your Academic School.

As per Government guidance, if you show any symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), you should self-isolate (stay at home) for at least seven days.

If symptoms worsen during home isolation or you are no better after seven days, you are advised to phone your GP or NHS24 on 111.

As a reminder, the University will cease face-to-face teaching from tomorrow, March 16, for the foreseeable future. We plan to commence on-line education from Monday, March 23.  More information and guidance on this will be available soon.

 

Campus nursery update: Saturday 14 March 2020 12:30

The campus nursery will remain open w/c 16 March, although this will be kept under review should the situation change.

 

Sir Alex Ferguson update: Saturday 14 March 2020 10:30

The Sir Alex Ferguson Library will remain open w/c 16 March, although this will be kept under review should the situation change.

 

Student face-to-face teaching update: Friday 13 March 2020 19:09

In line with the developing situation regarding coronavirus and in recognition of decision making across the sector, the University will cease face-to-face teaching from Monday 16 March 2020 for the foreseeable future. We plan to commence on-line education from Monday 23 March. We are therefore advising students not to come onto campus as of Monday 16 March.

Next week our academic and professional services staff will work together to ensure the adequate delivery of learning, assessment and student services over the coming weeks. Unless unwell, or with other reason to self-isolate, staff are expected to follow their normal work pattern until further notice.

This afternoon we have been advised that one of our students is currently self-isolating because, whilst untested, they have been advised they are likely to have coronavirus. This is the appropriate response. We understand this development will cause concern amongst our students, staff and the wider community. It is however entirely expected given the rapidly evolving nature of the pandemic.

Staff members with any questions or concerns can contact the staff well-being service at staffwellbeing@gcu.ac.uk from which we will collate questions and provide responses early next week.

Students with any questions please contact the coronavirus helpline : +44 141 331 3130 (Monday - Friday, 10am-4pm) or email coronavirushelpline@gcu.ac.uk

As our plans develop we will, of course, continue to keep in touch with you,

Professor Pamela Gillies,
Principal & Vice-Chancellor

Eilidh Fulton,
President, Student Association