Coronavirus FAQs - Undergraduate
South Thames Colleges Group understands that prospective and continuing students are likely to have concerns around how coronavirus and related restrictions may affect your application to the College, and ability to study here. Please click on the below questions for responses to concerns you may have.
If you have a question that isn't below, please do contact us for further information/clarification.
Is STCG still accepting undergraduate applications for September 2020?
Yes, all colleges across South Thames Colleges Group continue to welcome applications for courses starting in September 2020 - both directly and via UCAS. The application process, entry requirements and start dates have not changed, however enrolment will be done differently this year. Offer-holders will receive information on this in due course. STCG will be entering Clearing and Clearing Plus, so if you intend to apply but haven't yet, there's still plenty of time.
How will my course be delivered in September?
It is anticipated that delivery for courses starting in September 2020 will be through a blended approach consisting of some face-to-face delivery and some online delivery. We will continue to be guided by the Department of Education and our university partner guidelines. Our class sizes are typically small which is beneficial in adhering to social distancing measures and keeping our students and staff safe. We aim to move to full face-to-face delivery as soon as Government guidelines allow us to do so safely.
What adjustments have been made on-site to keep me safe?
Our Facilities Teams have been working hard to create safe and supportive study environments to protect staff, students and visitors on all of our college sites. Adjustments to teaching and common areas in line with Government social distancing and safety guidance. This has included enhanced and more frequent cleaning schedules, one-way systems and physical distancing measures, hand sanitiser stations, reminder notices and clear signage in all buildings. As mentioned above, it is envisioned that most courses will initially return to a blended delivery model, meaning not all students will necessarily need to be on-site at the same time.
Will my course start date be delayed?
We intend to start the academic year as usual, with the term starting on Monday 7 September 2020 as planned, if government guidelines allow. Please bear in mind that individual courses will have their own later start dates, so you won't necessarily be required to attend College from this date.
Will I get a discount on my tuition fees?
From the very start of this crisis the focus of the College, the Office for Students (OfS) and the Department of Education has been to support students to complete their studies and be able to achieve their qualifications. While the College recognises that the experience has been different to what students may have expected, teaching staff have continued to deliver learning and support, and we are confident that students have not been disadvantaged. Student Finance England has maintained financial support at the same levels for students, and the universities minister Michelle Donelan has stated in public communications that "we [Department of Education] don't believe students will be entitled to reimbursement if the quality is there," and providing that "students are really getting the quality, and they're getting a course which is fit for purpose”, a discount on fees would not be available.
Can I defer my offer for 2020 to 2021 due to Covid-19 and how do I do it?
If you are considering deferring your place at the College, this is certainly an option for you, subject to you satisfying the conditions of your offer. We would advise that you also have a discussion with our Admissions or curriculum teams, who will be able to talk you through any concerns you might have. Please be aware that should you choose to enrol next year instead, any terms and conditions you may have agreed to this year may have changed.
Will there be residential accommodation available?
The college does not own or operate its own student accommodation. There are a number of local options that you may wish to explore, however please be aware that some providers may have taken the decision not to re-open immediately in September. Whether you choose to live locally or travel in, please be mindful of government guidance concerning residential accommodation and in particular public transport.
Will I be able to visit the campus or attend an Open Event?
At the moment, following government advice, we are unable to run any on-campus events. However, we are providing a range of online resources, including a Virtual Open Event, with subject videos to help applicants make informed decisions. Take a look at our virtual open event page for further information.
Should I apply for student finance even if I am unsure of my plans?
The UK Government’s website has the latest student loans advice surrounding issues relating to Covid-19.
Can I still apply for Student Finance for the 2020-21 academic year?
Yes, Student Finance England has warned that there may be delays to processing applications due to the impact of Covid-19, so it is important to apply as early as possible.