Supporting our students during COVID-19 – resources for parents, guardians and carers
This pandemic has brought new challenges for our students as many have moved away from home for the first time, and we know it’s also a very worrying time for parents and guardians. Together we want to do as much as we can to support your family member, and we have created this page to try to provide some reassurance to you. It is also intended to provide links to valuable resources to support student welfare during this time by covering three main areas: updates and information, your contact points and resources to support your loved one.
Resources for parents, carers and guardians
Updates and information
The transition to University life can be challenging for some in usual circumstances, but due to the pandemic, very common concerns around making friends, adapting to budgeting and managing finances, and searching to find a house for the second year are compounded by getting used to changing local restrictions and a reduced social-circle. We’re doing all we can to support our students at this time, and have pulled together these resources to support you in getting to grips with what is available for your relative who is beginning their journey with us in Birmingham.
Keeping in touch
We need to remind you that due to Data Protection, we are unable to provide any specific information on individual students without the student's written consent. We know this is a big change when compared to your family member’s time in school education and it can be challenging to hear this. We will continue to communicate regularly to provide the most up-to-date guidance and information on this page.
In addition, we think it’s important to acknowledge that University is about more than just an education. It’s a chance for our students to grow and develop – both inside and outside of our lecture halls and libraries. Due to this, we always ask for parent, guardian and carer support in helping to encourage their family member’s independence by asking them to contact the University directly if there are services or support that they need, if possible. We know this year is exceptionally challenging though and individual circumstances can vary, so would like to ensure you know that our door is open and if you have a question you need to ask on behalf of your relative please do get in touch.
You can find the relevant team and contact us with any queries or questions. You can also connect with other parents, guardians and carers of University of Birmingham students in our Facebook group.
Following Government guidance
We would also like to assure you that we are following Government guidance with decisions we make, and are doing everything we can to ensure a COVID-secure environment for teaching and learning. As well as working with what is here and now, we also know that we need to look ahead at upcoming challenges to support our students and their families.
As you may be aware, the latest Government announcement advised that: “remaining students will be advised to return to in-person teaching alongside Step 3 of the Roadmap, when restrictions on social contact will be eased further and the majority of indoor settings can reopen. This will take place no earlier than 17 May, following a further review of the data against the four tests.” We are extremely disappointed by this decision given that many other areas of society are opening up and feel this decision is not in the best interests of students. It also fails to reflect the hard work of colleagues who have ensured that campus remains a safe environment.
What this means is that only those students on practical or practice-based courses, including creative subjects, who need access to specialist facilities and equipment can resume in-person teaching and learning from Monday 19 April. Students who have been notified previously by their school or course team that they can resume bimodal teaching and access specialist facilities can do so, as was the case before the Easter vacation period, and for these students there is no change. In addition, some further groups of students on these programmes may now be invited to return to campus where we have sufficient capacity. We encourage our students to check their email regularly for any updates and messages from their School / course.
Student updates, resources and support, contact points
This section contains some information that may be useful for you to share with your family member so they know what support is available.
- We send regular e-mail updates to our students that you are able to view as we know it can be reassuring for you to know what is being shared with your relative
- Coronavirus updates
We have many resources on our website to support students, and we also partner with charities and external organisations to enhance our support package. Some of the resources are listed below. This is intended to be a place to begin but it is important to note that it does not include everything.
Coronavirus – practical information
- Keeping COVID safe – this page contains information on the 'test and trace' process, the reporting form, ways to stop the spread, our Community Conduct Commitment for Students, and the University’s COVID-19 data.
- Self-isolation – We provide support to all students who are self-isolating due to a positive test or proximity to someone with COVID-19. There is specific support for students in University or Partner accommodation, including food parcels, wellbeing phone calls and support in ordering supplies. In addition to this, Colleges are providing wellbeing support for students in terms of keeping up with their studies if they are well enough to, and make arrangements for those who are not.
- Coronavirus updates
- National lockdown (January 2021)
- National lockdown (January 2021) - FAQs for students
To provide further reassurance there is an NHS community testing site on campus so our students can arrange tests if needed, and we also process test results on site via our academic laboratories. In addition, we are undertaking a wide range of research to help combat COVID-19.
Mental health and physical wellbeing
Study support and campus opening
Living / accommodation
For those living in University accommodation:
External community support:
We hope this information is helpful and please contact us on the contact points listed above if you need any further information. We also extend a warm thank you to you for the crucial role you are playing in supporting your relative as they begin, or re-start, their University journey with us.