Information for New and Returning Students

This page is being regularly updated to reflect the latest advice from the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), World Health Organisation (WHO), Ministry of Health and other sources including local partners. We are monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and its impact, and doing all we can to make safe and reassure our staff and students.

New and Returning Students - overseas travel form

If I choose to study online only, or on campus, do I have to stick to this for the whole year, or can I change my mind? (Updated 24/09/2020)

You can change your mind at any time. How you choose to study will be up to you. As long as you meet the requirements for safely coming on to campus (see below) then you can pick and choose whether you come in when you have an opportunity, or study entirely online. This will be reviewed in January 2021, but is likely to remain the case for the rest of this academic 

Will I be able to study online for the whole year if I want to? (Updated 24/09/2020)

Currently the University is providing the option for all students to elect to study fully online until January 2021 if that is what they prefer and feel most comfortable with.

Your programme’s taught sessions and content are being made fully available online in addition to the on-campus sessions we are running, because we know that not everyone will either be able to or want to participate in on campus study.

If you prefer to be online, then you can do that until at least January 2021. After that it is likely that substantial elements of the programme will be delivered online, even if there is some requirement to come to campus.

We will be continually assessing the situation, in line with UAE Governmental regulations.  

When will campus reopen for students? (Updated 08/09/2020)

Campus will be opening shortly for students provided they have met all the requirements for returning safely (please see section below). However, no student will be permitted entry to campus before these conditions are met or unless they have arranged a prior appointment with a member of staff.

Ministry of Education requirements for coming back to campus (Updated 08/09/2020)

You will need to be tested and show a valid negative test result to be able to enter the building when first coming back to campus.

 If you are not planning, or are unable, to come to campus, you will not need to evidence a negative COVID-19 test but can instead study fully online until the situation changes. 

Testing can be done in any government approved testing facility, and we are hoping the MoE will provide us with an additional free session before the beginning of term (we will update as soon as we know).

In addition to this requirement, you will also need to:

  •  Download and maintain on your phone the Al Hosn App to help keep track of your COVID-19 status;
  •  Complete a declaration that, to the best of your knowledge, you have been free of COVID-19 for 14 days prior to coming onto campus;
  •  Complete a Travel Declaration that details whether you have travelled outside the UAE in the 14 days prior to coming onto campus;
  •  For Undergraduate students, completion of a parent agreement in relation to students following the social distancing measures on campus.

 Each of these measures are things that we will follow up further about with more specific guidance and instructions about what you need to do and when you need to do them by. Our aim is to try to work through the requirements in as straight forward a way as we can to make it as easy as possible for you as you start back with us on campus.

This is also a good opportunity to explain a little more about what we are able to do on campus, what will be online and how we aim to support your safety on campus, in line with the UAE Ministry of Education protocols.

University of Birmingham Dubai - Education update (Updated 08/09/2020)

In line with the updates about the University’s Bi-modal (on-campus and online) model of education for this academic year, for semester 1 as a minimum the following will apply:

  • Lectures will be recorded and posted online through Canvas;
  • Larger Tutorials will be online delivered in a live, synchronous way with fellow students from our Edgbaston campus on the same programme and modules;
  • Smaller group tutorials for your modules, and summative tutorials for your programme will be able to be scheduled to be on campus. However, if you are not in the UAE, are concerned about travelling to the UAE or are concerned about coming onto campus, we understand that and those sessions will be made available to students studying online. This will either be by joining the tutorial live, or having access to a recording of the tutorial after the session;
  • Individual Personal Tutorials will be 1-2-1 online with your Personal Tutor.

Your timetables are being finalised in line with the timetable for Edgbaston for the joint sessions and will be available very soon.

Safety Measures on campus (Updated 08/09/2020)

We have spent time preparing campus for your return, with the relevant social distancing and safety protocols in place. Below is a summary of the range of measures that are being taken to help make the start to the year as safe as it can be:

  •  Temperature checks on entry are in place. A temperature of over 37.5 will mean that entry to campus will not be possible and protocols to support people are in place;
  • We are installing a sanitising gate at the front entrance to campus to help sanitise bags, shoes and clothing on entering campus to help keep each other safe;
  • Face masks must be worn at all times while on campus;
  • Only teaching staff while teaching can remove them to teach, so they can be seen, but must be wearing a visor instead;
  • Hand sanitising stations are throughout the building;
  • Hand washing is required whenever relevant;
  • Distancing of 1.5m in classrooms and 2m outside classrooms is in place;
  • Campus has been divided into 3 zones to support separation into subject clusters to minimise widespread contact and any risk of infection transmission;
  • Each zone has access to both classrooms and a breakout area to support students in that zone;
  • The Kitchen facilities and the Students’ Association Lounge will be closed for use;
  • The Student Services desk and Library service will be operating with very strict measures in place for in person services and the limited physical book borrowing service we are allowed to offer.

Welcome 2020 (Updated 08/09/2020)

Welcome is going to be a little different this year. COVID-19 means that the start of the academic year is likely to involve social distancing, and many of the usual activities we hold during our Welcome just aren’t going to be possible at the moment. The safety of our community will remain our top priority.  Whether it is our Welcome activities for new and returning students or our teaching activity we will provide the best experience we can, whilst adhering to the regulations and safety guidelines in place at the time.

 New students, who are able and who would like to, will have the opportunity to come on to campus for a day to meet their tutors, learn about their programme and to meet each other in a safe, socially distanced way.

 All our students, whether new or returning, will have access to a huge range of activities, competitions and information online in order to help them settle in to life at UoB and make the best start possible.

All the information you need will be available through our Welcome website.

How will I access learning this year? (Updated 08/09/2020)

From the start of the 2020-21 academic year and subject to KHDA and the Ministry of Education’s approval, the University is planning to introduce a ‘Bi-modal’ system of teaching. Bi-modal learning means that our programmes will able to be delivered either on campus, online or a blend of both. This means that we are in a great position to ensure you can access your education throughout the year even if more strict restrictions relating to COVID-19 are re-imposed.

Our teaching will be delivered through a combination of in-person teaching and learning on our Dubai campus, and online activities using the various platforms and resources we have available. The exact nature of this combination will depend on the requirements of each academic programme, what the situation with COVID-19 allows and the approval of our regulators.

Our priority is that you can start your education and join our community as safely and seamlessly as possible.

We know it is important for our new students to make friends and interact with each other, your academic team and our support staff in order to feel at home on campus and settle into university life. Our plan is to do as much on campus with you as we can, providing we think we can do that safely. The safety of our community will remain our top priority.  Whether it is our Welcome activities for new and returning students or our teaching activity we will provide the best experience we can, whilst adhering to the regulations and safety guidelines in place at the time.

What is the situation with flights and returning to the UAE (Updated 08/09/2020)

The situation with flights to and from UAE remains highly dynamic and fluid, with changes occurring faster than we can reasonably keep up.

At present, all incoming and outgoing passengers will need a valid Covid-19 test from an approved tester, but this will vary from country to country. Your airline should be able to give you up to date information regarding this.

We would advise to check Emirates News Agency for direct official updates, as well The National,  Gulf News and the Khaleej Times, who all have specific Coronavirus pages with alerts for people to sign up to that are sent directly to your email.

We will also continue to send you important updates via email on a regular basis.

What if I get sick? (Updated 08/09/2020)

Incidents of Covid-19 remain relatively controlled in the UAE, which has one of the highest testing rates anywhere in the world. 

Medical advice is still that symptoms can range from sore throat, fever, general feeling of fatigue and achy muscles, dry cough and, in more severe instances, difficulty breathing (pneumonia).

If you are feeling unwell, please –

  • Stay at home;
  • Seek medical advice immediately;
  • Get tested
  • Let us know as soon as you can

 We will do all we can to support you, especially if you are an international student living here independently. Your health and wellbeing is the most important thing to us.