AHZ Associates understands that overseas students studying everything from art & design to an accounting course in UK universities and colleges in 2020 are bound to have questions about how the coronavirus pandemic might affect them. The good news is that the UK government has issued advice and information relating to Chinese and other nationals.
Students will also be reassured to know that the UK government states that they know that in exceptional situations such as the current coronavirus outbreak some students may not be able to undertake their studies in line with the terms of their visas.
“The Home Office recognises the current situation is exceptional and will not take any compliance action against students or employees who are unable to attend their studies/work due to the coronavirus outbreak, or against sponsors which authorize absences and continue to sponsor students or employees despite absences for this reason. The Home Office will keep this under review, especially if the length of absences mean a potential repeat of the period of studies become necessary.”
If student’s have other immigration questions then a free coronavirus immigration helpline has been set up to help on 08006781767 (9am-5pm Mon-Fri) or email. The Department for Education (DfE) has also set up a helpline for questions about COVID-19 in relation to education. Students and staff can call 0800 046 8687 or email 8am-6pm Mon-Fri).
So, what else can students expect to change at their UK higher education settings over the next few months? It is almost inevitable that colleges and universities will move to offer more online working. Your own education staff will be able to tell you more about that and support you in your online studies. The best advice is to keep on checking advice and information on your own institution’s website and to stay in close contact with your academic team.
Finally, any students living in shared accommodation including halls of residence should let staff know immediately if you feel unwell or if you are concerned about the health of someone you are living with and ask for further guidance as to what to do.
Check regular coronavirus updates issued by the UK government and Public Health England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and stay safe.