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Student support during COVID-19

At Staffordshire University, we place students at the heart of everything we do, which is why we remain committed to providing support and services that enable you to enjoy the best possible experience while studying with us.

 

COVID-19 Support and Response Team

Here at Staffordshire University we are doing everything we can to support you through the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why we have established a dedicated team that is on hand to offer support 24/7.

Our COVID-19 Support and Response Team covers:

  • Oversight and ownership of Student Reporting Webform, COVID-19 emails and telephone enquiries
  • Rapid response, information gathering and tracing to determine potential risks to our community
  • Coordination of support for all students who are self-isolating, displaying symptoms or who have tested positive for coronavirus
  • Production of daily reports for Public Health England (PHE)
  • Production of resources and information
  • Ongoing development and review of the service

How do I contact the COVID-19 Support and Response team?

The team can be contacted via telephone on 01782 298 500 or via email by writing to covid-19@staffs.ac.uk.

What happens if I contact the COVID-19 response team?

If you reach out to our team, whether you test positive, begin to display symptoms or are required to self-isolate because you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive, you will receive support, information and guidance.

  • All students and households will be designated a key point of contact from one of the following areas: ResLife, Student Support and Wellbeing, Students’ Union
  • Contact will be made on average three to four times during a period of self-isolation through a combination of telephone calls, emails and individual or household meetings hosted via Microsoft Teams
  • Students will be provided with a self-isolation guide featuring information about expectation, access to resources, cleaning and hygiene, access to support and services, etc.
  • We have established a formal partnership with ASDA, which includes priority codes, a 24-hour delivery guarantee and, if necessary, mass delivery
  • Support is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Campus Security, our Out-of-Hours Wellbeing and Community Coordinator and a team of staff on-call ensuring continuity and a rapid response if required.

Student Hub

Although physically closed at present, our Student Hub team are still on hand to support you online and through our phonelines, which are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. Get in touch by emailing studenthub@staffs.ac.uk or calling 01782 294751. 

More information on The Student Hub

Students’ Union

The Students’ Union can provide you with free, confidential and impartial support to solve the problems that prevent you from studying in a stress-free environment.

Student Advice Team
Our Student Advice Team offers advice with academic issues, money management and housing help tailored to your personal circumstances – and if they can’t help you directly, they’ll know exactly who can.

Book an online appointment with an Advisor

Student Voice Team
Our Student Voice Team empowers you to improve the quality of your course and make a lasting difference to your University experience.

We hope that you're never frustrated with aspects of student life, but if you ever are there's always something we can help you to do.

Get in touch with the Student Voice Team at studentvoice@staffs.ac.uk

The Students’ Union is led by four students, like you, elected to represent your views, experiences and ideas to the University – your Elected Officer Team.

Speak to them about any feedback you have about life and studying at Staffordshire University

For further information about coronavirus and the Staffordshire University Students’ Union visit staffsunion.com/covid19 and anything else visit staffsunion.com.

See a walkthrough of the Students' Union building

Staffordshire University Student Support Fund

If you’re struggling financially and worried this might impact on your ability to continue with your studies, Staffordshire University has a fund that might be able to help you.

We recognise that many of our students are facing unforeseen difficulties because of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak and are pleased to announce that we are now able to extend this vital resource to all students who are experiencing hardship due to the direct and indirect impacts of COVID-19 – including international, distance learning, and postgraduate students.

 For further information and to apply, visit Staffordshire University’s Student Support Fund. If you require guidance or support in applying, please contact our team at support@staffs.ac.uk.

Student Loans Company (SLC)

The Student Loans Company (SLC) committed to making term-three tuition fee payments as scheduled, so current students will continue to receive maintenance payments in line with the previously scheduled dates.

Library information

From Monday 17 August 2020, the Thompson and Blackheath Lane Libraries will be open to current students and staff.  

We know that many of you are keen to return to campus and use the Libraries for study and access the physical resources. However, in order to ensure the safety of our students and staff, it is necessary for us all to follow government guidance on safe working and social distancing.

Heath Library Shewsbury

The Heath Library at Shrewsbury remains open with access to group study space, quiet study space and silent study space. Customer Services Library staff will be on hand to assist. Study Skills support is available remotely.

Staff and students using the Heath Library are advised to continue to follow the NHS guidelines of infection control and wearing a face covering as they enter the Library. The library space at Shewsbury is managed by SATH which means students do not need to book their visit to the Library in advance.

See our Library Opening Hours

See information on our Library study areas

Booking Your Visit

All students and staff visiting the Libraries (with the exception of Heath Library in Shewsbury)  must book their visit in advance. This means that in order to borrow, collect resources via the click and collect service or, use one of the limited number of study spaces you need to book your visit using the booking system. 

This system is in operation at both the Thompson Library and Blackheath Lane Library. It does not operate at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital where different measures are in place (as outlined in our Heath Library Shrewbury section above).

You will be able to access the Libraries between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Friday There are two important rules you need to follow:

• Book your visit

• Bring your card

•  Bring a face covering*

*When navigating through the Library help protect yourself and others by wearing a face covering, once you have found your study space and settled in it is acceptable to remove it.

We look forward to seeing you and if you need advice and guidance, Library staff will be there to support you.

To find out the latest information about our library services and operations, please visit the library COVID-19 helpdesk or email libraryhelpdesk@staffs.ac.uk

Library COVID-19 Safety Measures

The University has been making the necessary adjustments to ensure a COVID-19 secure library environment for all staff and students when we reopen the library facilities on Monday 17 August 2020. 

We have been working closely with the University Estates team to ensure that the Libraries are a safe environment to work in and inspire your studies. We will continue to provide comfortable and flexible study spaces although we will be following the latest COVID-19 guidance to keep everybody safe.

We have implemented a one-way system around the library to ensure physical distancing. This means that you will still be able to browse and select physical learning resources from the library shelves includingbooks, journals, and DVDs. 

New Click & Collect Service

If you do not feel that you want to spend time in the Library, we understand, which is why we will be offering a new ‘Click and Collect’ service from Monday 17 August 2020. This service will be available to all staff and students across the University.

Through the ‘Click and Collect’ service you will be able to collect books from Thompson (College Road – Stoke-On-Trent) and Blackheath Lane (Centre of Excellence Stafford) Libraries.

From September 2020, books can also be collected at The Student Hub located in the Science Centre on Leek Road Campus in Stoke-on-Trent.

Access to electronic resources

Library and learning resources take a digital first approach to providing access to books and journals. This means a considerable amount, of books and journal articles, are available online.

All staff, students and postgraduate research students working and studying at Staffordshire University are entitled to access these resources. For those at a Staffordshire University partnership some restrictions may apply.

To access the library’s electronic resources, you will need a Staffordshire University IT account. 

More information on current resource and troubleshooting issues impacting library services

Accessing library resources not in stock*

Staff: Any requests for books and journals which are not on a reading list and not currently in stock should be sent to your subject librarian. You can also request copyright cleared chapters and articles from the digitisation service. Our subject librarian will also be able to assist you with sourcing material. More information on our digitisation service

Staff, students, and postgraduate research students: Free access to our document delivery service is available which may be able to obtain articles and books via the British Library. More information on our document delivery service

Reading Lists*

Staff: We recommend that all resources for students are made available via an online module reading list. The system the University currently uses is Keylinks. Staff can find out more about this service by contacting readinglists@staffs.ac.uk

Students: If you are unable to locate an online module reading list please speak to the module lead for your course.

*Please note these services are applicable to Staffordshire University staff and students only. Excludes partnership organisations. 

More information on our Library services

Academic Skills team support for new and returning students

Since the lockdown began, the Academic Skills team has moved its delivery completely online and has continued to support students preparing for exams and assignment hand ins.

In Autumn 2020, to ensure that our practices remain COVID-19 secure, most of our support will continue to be delivered online.

To help improve our online support to staff and students across the University, a new Library website is being created and will be unveiled in August 2020.

Book an Online Appointment
Appointments with all the Academic Skills Team are available online. More information can be found at how to book an online appointment.  

We are looking at how to create opportunities for face-to-face support should this be required in specific safe one to one circumstances using appropriate PPE but the bulk of our contact will be done via MS Teams or sometimes using Blackboard Collaborate and Zoom.  

Academic Skills Podcasts and Microsoft Sway Presentations
We are creating a suite of Podcasts and Sways to support Students in specialised subject disciplines. If you have specific support requirements then please contact your partner librarian and skills tutor directly or get in touch with the team via: academicskills@staffs.ac.uk 

Study Confidence Support
If you feel your study confidence has been knocked back, the Academic Skills team is now developing a series of support pages designed to help students when they return to study after the lockdown. If you would like to know more about these or be involved in their development, please contact Alison Pope via a.j.pope@staffs.ac.uk 

More information on the latest updates to Academic Skills Team support  

International students

Our International Student Support team continues to provide advice and guidance to all of our international students. They can be contacted by emailing iss@staffs.ac.uk. Further information on the latest guidance on student visas is available from the UK Government.

If you wish to speak to representatives from the UK Home Office’s Coronavirus Immigration Helpline, please call +44 (0)800 678 1767 (open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm – calls are free of charge if made from within the UK). The Home Office asks that customers check gov.uk before calling the helpline as this is the central source of information. If you remain concerned about your immigration status, you can also email CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk for further information.

How can International Student Support help me?

International student support is available to support you from the moment you have received your final offer to help you prepare not just for your visa application but also help you prepare to start your journey to Staffordshire University. We will ensure you have a range of pre-arrival information designed to help make your transition to University is as smooth as possible.   

We also plan a welcome programme for you to help you settle and orientate yourself within the local area. A number of social events including our One Staffs Cafe and trips to various parts of the UK will also take place.

If I have a question regarding a visa application what do I do?

The International Student Support team are trained immigration advisors who can help you if you have specific questions regarding your Tier 4 visa application or you are unsure what documents you need to submit or have a questions about the format of your financial documents.

You can contact the team either by email: isa@staffs.ac.uk or telephone +44 1782 294639

More information for International Students on what to expect when you arrive

Careers

Although currently physically closed, the Careers team is operating online to ensure you can still receive help and advice when you need it. 

The Digital Careers Studio: Looking for part-time work, securing a placement year, to interview tips and securing graduate roles, we have our team of friendly Career Coaches on hand Monday to Friday 10am to 6pm to support and guide you.

We are conducting our one to one appointments via Microsoft Teams currently to ensure everyone is safe and we can still offer you specific, tailored coaching. To set up a one to one Teams call with a Career Coach simply drop an email to careers@staffs.ac.uk, or call 01782 294991 and we will get you booked in at a time to suit you.  

Unibuddy:  Our new platform Unibuddy website is coming soon. Through the new website Students (both on and off campus) can message the service’s Peer Career Coaches. Students will be notified by email, text message, or via their favourite instant messaging app as soon as they receive a reply. Keep an eye out for more information coming soon. 

Online Resources: With an emphasis on searching, applying and preparing for a job in this digital environment, our range of online resources will help you to plan, find and apply for a graduate job or work experience. See our online resources.

Business Start-Up: Do you have a business idea? The Be inspired start-up scheme offers all the support, help and training you’ll need, including a business mentor, grant, networking opportunities and online workshops.

Mentoring: In the coming months we will be launching our Mentoring programme which will help to support students as they navigate work experience, design their future and prepare to enter the graduate marketplace. So keep your eyes peeled.

More information our Careers services available to students.

Support available from September 2020 

Will student support services will be available if the University is delivering blended or online learning?

All Support services, including financial, academic, wellbeing, disability and mental health needs will still be available if the University is delivering blend-ed or online learning.

When you arrive in September 2020 you can access our range of student support services we will be supporting students via 1-2-1 online support, telephone, text or email support; and for exceptional circumstances and emergencies face to face support. 

Please contact us for information through The Student Hub via email at studenthub@staffs.ac.uk. If you are on campus the Hub will be open in the Science Centre on our Leek Road Campus in Stoke-on-Trent. 

What student support services are available at the University?

Student Support Services are here to help students succeed, from Welcome through to Graduation. Our service provides individual student support and group workshops, respecting government guidelines while promoting student and staff safety.

Our current support offering includes:

  • The Student Hub – Where all student Information and Support can be accessed. For more information contact studenthub@staffs.ac.uk

  • Support and Guidance – helping students through a variety of information and processes including Exceptional Circumstances, Student Support Fund applications, Estranged Student and Care Leaver Support. For more information contact Support@staffs.ac.uk

  • International Student Support – supporting International students throughout their university experience with everything from welfare support to Tier 4 Visa information and advice. For more information contact ISA@staffs.ac.uk

  • Disability Support – Accessability support helping you with reasonable adjustments – contact us now to ensure everything is in place for September 2020 on Disability@staffs.ac.uk

  • Staffs Regional Access Centre – Providing DSA assessments for appropriate equipment to support you while studying at University. More information on Staffs Regional Access Centre

  • Student Wellbeing  – Supporting students with wellbeing, mental health, and Counselling needs. More information on student wellbeing

  • Chaplaincy – Supporting students of every and no faith with their spiritual needs. For more information contact M.Williams@staffs.ac.uk

  • Inclusion – Supporting students from every walk of life, culture, sexuality and lifestyle to find their place in the university. For more information contact StudentHub@staffs.ac.uk

  • Student Success – Creating the best Welcome for students to University. For more information contact StudentHub@staffs.ac.uk

  • Other resources available to Staffordshire University Students - Students that are studying with us can also access various FREE mental health and wellbeing resources and services including Togetherall (formerly Big White Wall), Student Space and Start To Success.

What if I arrive at the University and don’t know where to go for any support?

If you’re not sure where to get to get support or which student support service you might need, The Student Hub is the first point of contact for all student support and enquires.

You can contact us via email on studenthub@staffs.ac.uk or by telephone on 01782 294751. You can also visit the Student Hub in person. The Student Hub is located in the Science Centre on Leek Road Campus in Stoke-on-Trent.  

More information on our Student Support Services 

I was accessing counselling at school/college, can I continue with counselling here at University?    
Within the Student Wellbeing team we offer a variety of support options including counselling.  When you first contact us, we will discuss what support is available within our team, as well as from other services, and arrange appropriate support with you.

I am trans student - what support is there for me?
We have a Transgender Equality, Gender Identity, and Gender Re-assignment Policy that sets out how we can support you. You can have a student card in your preferred name and we can change your name on class lists and on your profile. Please contact the student hub for more information.

For an informal chat about support available contact Portia Bentley (Equality Co-ordinator) p.l.bentley@staffs.ac.uk

I am a student Parent - what support is there for me?
We appreciate that being a student parent can add extra stress to your time at University. For an informal chat about support available contact Portia Bentley (Equality Co-ordinator) p.l.bentley@staffs.ac.uk

The University also has its own nursery rated outstanding by OFSTED. The Nursery provides full day-care for children ages 0 to 5 and is available for students, staff and members of the local community. Full and part time sessions are available, so be sure to request a place as soon as you can. More information on the University nursery.

More information on support for student parents

I want to say my prayers, where can I do this?               
The University has its very own Chaplaincy offering student support. You don’t have to be religious to see the Chaplain.

We have prayer rooms located across our campuses in the following areas:

  • Stoke-on-Trent: Cadman, Mellor and Coalport
  • Stafford: Chaplaincy Rooms

Disability Support

What support is available to Disabled Students?
AccessAbility Services is a team of Disability Support Coordinators, Disability Administrators and Sessional Assessors. We will support and assist anyone with a disability, including specific learning difficulties, mental health needs and with physical and unseen disabilities.

We can advise on Disabled Student Allowances, accessibility issues and a wide range of support and adjustments to meet the individual needs of students. We also offer a diagnostic service for students who think they may have a specific learning difficulty.

If you have a support need please arrange to discuss this with one of our Disability Coordinators so we can help support you.

More information on Disability Support services at Staffordshire University.

How do I go about applying for funding for disability support at University?
Disabled Students Allowances (DSAs) payments help with essential, additional expenditure a disabled student incurs while studying a higher education course, because of their disability (which includes long-term health conditions, mental health conditions, or specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia.

To apply for disability support you will need to visit the Student Finance website for Disabled Students’ Allowances.

You can also contact our team on 01782 294977 or book an appointment with one of our Disability Coordinators please email disability@staffs.ac.uk

I had support at college/school for a specific learning difficulty but never had a diagnosis. Can I arrange a diagnostic assessment here?
Yes you can. Please contact our team for more information or to arrange a diagnostic assessment. You can contact our team on 01782 294977 or book an appointment with one of our Disability Coordinators via email disability@staffs.ac.uk

What is a DSA Study Needs Assessment?
A DSA Study Needs Assessment is an informal meeting with a specialist assessor to identify the support that can be recommended through the DSAs. The assessment usually takes around 1.5 - 2 hours and is paid for through the DSAs. 

The Assessor sets out all recommendations for DSAs support in a Needs Assessment Report and this is sent to Student Finance and to the student.  Eligibility for DSAs can only be determined by Student Finance and entitlement will be based on the recommendations of the specialist assessor.

Student Finance

Is it too late to apply for Student Finance?

No, it’s not too late to apply for Student Finance. There is still time for you to apply, but we advise you do this as soon as possible. If you need support, you can book an appointment to see a Student Guidance Advisor.

My Student Finance has not come through even though I have enrolled. I have spoken to Student Finance and they informed me it is because the University have not confirmed my enrolment. Why hasn’t the University confirmed my attendance? It is slowing down my payment coming through…       

There are two stages of enrolment, online enrolment and then a face to face enrolment. Once both stages are complete the University will send a notification to Student Finance.         

Please note when the University informs Student Finance that you have enrolled this does not mean your payment will automatically come through. When you register with Student Finance you will have been given payment dates. These are your payment dates. Student Finance will send a notification to your phone or an email to inform you of the dates your payment should be made.  

The University has no control over those payments and cannot speak to Student Finance on your behalf. However, our Students' Union can help with all Student Finance enquiries and may be able to speak with Student Finance on your behalf. 

More information on Students’ Union Student Finance support

Additional information

To learn more about the support available to Staffordshire University students, please visit our student services pages.

If you are a Staffordshire University student studying with one of our Collaborative Academic Partners, please contact the institution in question for information about local arrangements. 

This page was last updated on Thursday 8 October 2020 at 12.29pm. Please check back for the latest guidance.