International students in the UK have found themselves amidst the rush of travel restrictions, cancelled classes, online classes, and even visa issues. It is totally normal to be confused with regards to the current situation, however, the UK government is constantly working to ensure that everything is in order, and UK citizens, including international students, have somewhere to turn to. UK universities, too, are trying their best to keep their students safe and stop the pandemic from spreading.
During the last few months, the coronavirus pandemic has managed to make its rounds through the world, including the UK. Travel restrictions have been made, people are social distancing, universities have delayed their semesters or moved their classes online, and numerous companies have started working from home. Right now, it is essential to avoid the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) by putting safety measures into practice.
Here’s what UK universities can do for international students according to higher education experts at Studying-in-UK.org:
Disinfect University Areas
One of the coronavirus safety measures also includes cleaning or disinfecting frequently touched objects. There are plenty of frequently touched objects in university buildings and campuses. Although social distancing and online classes are now a thing, it is important to note that doorknobs, chairs, desks, and the likes must be disinfected to protect everyone, not only students, from possible transmission of COVID-19.
Follow Government Advice
The UK government is following the situation closely and constantly offering advice on what is to be done. Universities in the UK have, luckily, shown a willingness to follow government advice strictly and do what needs to be done in order to prevent the virus from spreading. This includes avoiding face-to-face classes and interaction among students.
Move Classes Online (Or Stop Them for the Time Being)
Universities all around the world are currently moving their classes online or delaying them. This also includes UK universities. The London School of Economics, King’s College London, Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Durham among many others announced that they will end face-to-face teaching and opt for online classes, including video lectures and seminars. Universities in the UK are also thinking about different methods to approach examinations. Students will be informed in due time from their institutions with regards to any update.
You can read more about online classes and examinations in the UK in our article here.
Provide Student Support Services
In the time where self-isolation and social distancing is key, communication is essential. Students should feel supported by their higher education institutions in a foreign country, therefore student services are a great help to anyone who wants to inquire information about possible issues as a result of coronavirus (Covid-19).
- International students are advised to contact their institution’s wellbeing support services or the student union for more general support regarding coronavirus.
- International students may also phone the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) and speak to the Student Advice Line on +442077889214 (1-4 pm UK time, Monday-Friday).
You may also contact the Department for Education (DfE) and reach the Government Helpline if you have any questions regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
Phone: 0800 046 8687 / Email: [email protected]
You can find more information for international students in the UK at the time of Covid-19 here.
Provide COVID-19 Information on Their Official Websites
Answered frequently asked questions (FAQs) on university websites are really helpful to students, staff, as well as concerned parents. If more information is online for the students to see, there will be less confusion among them. Many UK universities have already updated their FAQs or provided essential coronavirus information on their website, to help (international) students deal with the situation better.
Advise Students on How to Prevent the Spread of the Virus
Students, and any other UK citizen, should know how to protect themselves and others from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The UK government and the National Health Service (NHS) have been detailed enough sharing information on coronavirus safety measures. It is essential that every student knows what they are required to do, in order to prevent the transmission of the disease. From keeping proper hand hygiene (washing hands regularly and frequently) to self-isolating in case of symptoms, students must not lack the information.
Do not forget, if you think you might have the coronavirus, use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do next. Do not visit your GP surgery, pharmacy, or hospital. The NHS online service will ask you a few questions and tell you how to proceed.