Dear Taught Programme Students,
In this week’s message I provide updates on:
- Plans for the return of students
- Revised term and semester dates for the 2021-22 academic year
- Post Study Work Visa (Graduate Route) for international students
- Information on testing for students in Newcastle
- Application for University of Sanctuary status
- Careers update
Plans for the return of students
The Government announced yesterday that current restrictions for higher education will now remain in place until at least Monday 8 March.
This means there will be no change to the current arrangements and you should continue your studies as advised by your academic unit.
For the majority of you, this will mean your course will continue to be taught online. Please remember to make use of the sources of support that are available most of which should be accessible to you regardless of your study location.
Revised term and semester dates for the 2021-22 academic year
For those of you who will be continuing your studies next year, please be aware that University Senate has approved changes to the term and semester dates for the 2021-22 academic year.
The 2021-22 academic year will now start a week earlier than previously planned, with teaching for most programmes commencing on 27 September 2021. There have been a number of other changes and I would encourage you to read our blog so that you know what they mean for you and your studies.
Post Study Work Visa (Graduate Route) for international students
If you are a final year international student and you would like to take advantage of the Graduate Route visa, a new post-study work route, please be aware that you must be in the UK in order to apply for this.
UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has confirmed that students currently studying by distance/blended learning may still be eligible to apply for the Graduate Route visa if they enter the UK by the following deadlines:
- Students who began programmes in September 2020 and will complete them in the summer of 2021, must enter the UK by the 6 April 2021.
- Students who began a one year Masters programme in January 2021, must enter the UK by 27 September 2021 to complete their final semester in the UK.
Students who are not due to complete programmes in 2021, but who have not been able to come to the UK in 2020-21 because of Covid-19, may still be eligible to apply for the Graduate Route visa in the UK on completion of their programme.
Information on testing for students in Newcastle
Remember - all students are expected to take two Rapid (LFD) Tests on arrival in Newcastle. The first one should be taken as soon as possible after arriving in the city and you can book those now. If you are arriving or returning to Newcastle from overseas, you should take your tests after you have completed your self-isolation (quarantine) period.
For all students, once you have completed your first two tests:
- If you are accessing campus facilities, you should continue to get tested regularly in line with current Government advice.
- Ideally, this means twice weekly testing whenever you are on campus.
- However, you should not attend campus specifically for a test. You should only book your tests on the days when you are already planning to be on campus, even if that is less frequently than twice a week.
Application for University of Sanctuary status
The University is working to support access to higher education for refugees and asylum-seekers from sanctuary backgrounds. We also recognise and support those working in our academic and professional teams who have lived experience in this context. To structure and inform this work, we have recently submitted our application to become a University of Sanctuary with input from a large number of colleagues and students. You can read more in this blog from our Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost, Professor Julie Sanders, about how our work to become a University of Sanctuary is helping to bring to life our commitment to creating and fostering more equitable societies.
The Careers Service are showcasing some exclusive opportunities for first year students. More information is available on the Careers Service’s Instagram channel (@nclcareers) where you can find out how you can get involved and how the Careers Service can support you.
For current students of all stages, including finalists, START UP is giving funding in grants of £500 - £3,000 to early-stage business opportunities. Applications are open to 4 February 2021. Learn more.
With best wishes,
Lucy Backhurst, Academic Registrar