Please see answers to frequently asked questions below 

What is the current situation in the UK?

All universities are working hard to welcome international students and have action procedures in place to keep students, staff and local communities safe. 

The UK government has introduced three local Covid-19 alert levels in England to manage outbreaks of Covid-19. Visit the website below for more information:

Please note that the detailed advice may differ between the four nations of the UK, and there may be additional localised restrictions in place. Visit the below websites for the latest information: 

The Scottish government has also published guidance on how current restrictions on social gatherings affect students

Please contact your university for the latest information and support. 

How are universities adapting to Covid-19?

UK universities continue to deliver a high quality academic experience and we know many institutions have worked to ensure courses are fit for purpose to help students achieve their academic goals.

Many universities are delivering some in-person teaching this autumn term. They will blend face-to-face with online technology and tools to enhance student education. Some courses may be delivered fully online. 

There will be online lectures for students on campus and those working remotely. Where safe to do so, face-to-face lectures, practical sessions and tutorials in small groups will take place adhering to social distancing measures and through creating ‘bubbles’ to bring groups together. Timing of teaching is also being carefully considered to make the maximum use of teaching days, with flexible timetabling to avoid having too many students on campus at the same time.

These measures will be regularly reviewed in line with current and local guidance, to ensure teaching is delivered in a safe environment.

There are some exciting and innovative examples of high-quality online learning being delivered by institutions across the UK. If you have any questions about your course, please contact your university directly.

What is ‘blended learning’?

Large audience teaching, such as lectures, will be delivered online to ensure the safety of students and staff. This may be supported by online discussions. Courses that involve practical teaching sessions will be delivered in a safe way with physical distancing and personal protective equipment provided where appropriate. 

Most institutions aim to hold face-to-face study in small groups that will be made safer through the creation of ‘bubbles’. This means the same group of students will be taught together in the autumn term. This mix of formats is called 'blended learning’.

The UK government has confirmed that it will allow Tier 4 sponsors to sponsor international students for blended learning for the 2020-21 academic year - see guidance here. 

For more information, check with your university.

How are universities supporting international students during this period?

Many UK universities are going above and beyond to ensure that students’ physical and mental health and wellbeing are prioritised. 

Universities have implemented a number of Covid-19 services for international students, such as airport pick up services, support through any self-isolation period and food packages. Universities are also offering increased mental health support during the pandemic, with many putting initiatives in place which support students in keeping active and that help them to socialise safely. This includes online activities that facilitate students meeting others during periods when they are required to self-isolate, or for those who are unable to travel to the UK just yet.

Contact your university for more information on the support available to you. 

Lots of local food supermarkets offer online delivery services. You can also order food online from local take-away restaurants to be delivered to your accommodation. Please see the links below for more information:

Take-away services: 

 

What measures has the UK government implemented to ensure health and safety of students?

The UK government and universities continue to monitor the health situation closely and will follow the latest scientific advice.

The UK government has provided guidance to universities on how to operate safely, and universities have taken a range of measures for campuses and accommodation to be Covid-secure. This includes increases in cleaning, ventilation, handwashing facilities, social distancing, advice on rules of contact and social mixing, and a reduction in ‘fresher’s week’ activities. The UK government also requires that universities support students in the event they are expected to isolate. 

All UK universities are required to have outbreak management plans. In the event of a local outbreak of Covid-19, universities will work with local public health officials to consider moving to other modes of teaching that reduce face-to-face contact. 

The UK government has also supported the creation of a programme of mental health support for students, Student Space, for students in England and Wales. Whether it’s your mental health, your studies, money, housing or relationships, there are resources and support available to you on the Student Space website.

What should I do if I think I have coronavirus?

Seek prompt medical attention if your illness or the illness in any household members is worsening.

If it's not an emergency, contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For any emergency conditions, if you need to call an ambulance, dial 999 and inform the call handler or operator if you or your relative have coronavirus symptoms as well as any emergency conditions.

When to get a Covid-19 test

Get a test as soon as possible if you have any symptoms of coronavirus.

The symptoms are:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. 

The test needs to be done in the first eight days of having symptoms.

You do not need to get a test if you have no symptoms or if you have different symptoms. Find out more on the NHS website

Tell people you've been in close contact with that you have symptoms. 

You may want to tell people you've been in close contact with in the past 48 hours that you might have coronavirus.

Are there steps or precautions in place to ensure the safety of international students?

UK universities are going above and beyond to ensure that students’ physical and mental health and wellbeing are prioritised. 

There will be online lectures for students on campus and those working remotely. Where safe to do so, face-to-face lectures, practical sessions and tutorials in small groups will take place adhering to social distancing measures. Timing of teaching is also being carefully considered to make the maximum use of teaching days, with flexible timetabling to avoid having too many students on campus at the same time. These measures will be regularly reviewed in line with current and local guidance to ensure that teaching is delivered in a safe environment, and that student safety remains a top priority. 

The UK government has provided guidance to universities on how to operate safely, and universities have taken a range of measures for campuses and accommodation to be Covid-secure. This includes increases in cleaning, ventilation, handwashing facilities, social distancing, advice on rules of contact and social mixing, and a reduction in ‘fresher’s week’ activities. The UK government also requires that universities support students in the event they are expected to isolate. 

Contact your chosen university for information on what measures they are taking to ensure the safety of international students.

Is there financial support provided to existing international students?

Many universities and colleges have student hardship funds, and some may have specific funds for international and EU students. 

Some universities and colleges are providing financial assistance to existing students who are ineligible for public funding, such as international students, particularly in cases where they have lost their part-time jobs as a result Covid-19. 

Any student who is experiencing financial difficulty as a result of Covid-19 should talk to their university directly, and in some cases, contact your accommodation provider.

Will there be any concessions for students struggling to get a student visa for 2020 study?

The UK government has announced concessions for students who have, or will be applying for, student visas, in light of Covid-19.  It has confirmed that new international students starting their degrees in the 2020-21 academic year will be able to begin their studies through distance learning and remain eligible for their student visa. This is provided that you transition to face-to-face learning as soon as circumstances allow it. View the updated guidance on the GOV.UK website.

What’s the outlook for graduate employability for international students?

UK graduates are among the most employable in the world (QS Graduate Employability Rankings). 83 per cent of international graduates credit their UK degree for helping them get a job (International Graduate Outcomes, UUKI). So, by gaining a prestigious UK education, you’ll be respected by employers and academics from all over the world.

The global economic impact of Covid-19 is not yet known. Across the world, many countries are adapting and responding to the crisis by finding new ways of delivering services and managing our everyday lives. This will inevitably impact on the jobs market, creating opportunities in new industries and making others obsolete.

Will the Graduate Route be affected by students studying online?

The new Graduate Route will enable you to work, or look for work in the UK, at any skill level for two years (three for PhD graduates) after graduation. 

Students beginning their studies in 2020 will be able to benefit from this new Route, even if they begin their degree through distance learning. As long as you arrive in the UK before 6 April 2021, you will be eligible to apply for the Graduate Route. View the updated guidance on the GOV.UK website.

This is part of the UK government’s concessions to students who have, or will be applying for, student visas, in light of Covid-19. View the updated guidance and for more information on the Graduate Route, visit our page on post-study work opportunities

How does the UK leaving the European Union affect students from the EU?

Please visit our ‘EU student advice’ page for the latest information. 

Could IELTS Indicator be used as a substitute for IELTS during this period?

Students may be able to take the IELTS Indicator, an online test taken at home and marked by IELTS examiners. 

This is available in some countries for a limited time while IELTS testing is suspended. However, every university has different requirements, so you should check with your university for the latest advice on how you can provide suitable evidence of your English proficiency.

Should I still travel to the UK to start my course for the 2020-21 academic year?

There may be a number of reasons that you are unable to travel to the UK just yet. If this is the case, contact your university and they will be able to support your learning and wellbeing online. 

In advance of travelling to the UK, please note that the UK government has introduced some measures at the UK border. All international arrivals must currently:

  • supply your contact and accommodation information 
  • self-isolate in your accommodation for 14 days (unless you are travelling from an exempt country or territory) 

Visit the GOV.UK website for more information. We know how daunting moving to another country can be, and we want to reassure you that universities are working hard to ensure that you are welcomed and supported on arrival, and throughout your time at university. 

Will I be able to return home for the holidays?

It is wise to keep in mind that global travel restrictions are subject to change at short notice. 

  • New Covid-19 restrictions (including those related to self isolation) could come into place in the UK or in your home country, which may affect international travel and your ability to return to the UK easily. You can prepare for this by alerting your university to your upcoming holiday plans whether you plan to remain in the UK, or if you have plans to travel abroad.
  • If you choose to stay in your university accommodation over holiday periods, you can be reassured that universities will continue to make sure you are well looked after.

You should contact your university if you have any specific questions about the support that will be available.

Should students still be looking at studying overseas?

The UK is open and we’re welcoming applications for the 2020-21 academic year and beyond. All UK universities are working hard to follow government guidance and ensure students’ safety on arrival in the UK, and throughout their time at university. 

With one of the best healthcare systems in the world, globally respected policing and low crime rates, studying in the UK is exceptionally safe and secure. At a time of economic uncertainty and change, studying is a great option to use the time effectively and prepare for more stable times. You can develop your skills and knowledge, and make yourself more employable.

Many UK universities are going above and beyond to ensure that students’ physical and mental health and wellbeing are prioritised, so you will be well looked after in the UK.