Advice and information – International applicants joining us in 2020

ADVICE AND INFORMATION – INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS/OFFER HOLDERS

Congratulations on receiving your offer to study at the University of Cumbria.  You are now one step closer to commencing your studies. 

And if you are still considering whether the UK and this university is right for you, please read on.  We want to reassure you that the health, wellbeing and personal safety of all our students and staff is our number one priority. 

We are ready and excited to welcome you in September and fully prepared to deliver high-quality education within a safe and engaging environment.

The quality of your learning experience is extremely important to us, which is why we just ranked 1st in the UK and 8th worldwide for quality education according to the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2020.

We understand that you need as much clarity as possible about what the current pandemic and our plans to continue operating through it might mean for you as an International applicant or offer holder at the University of Cumbria.  We are currently busy planning and preparing our campuses and teaching plans to ensure you have the opportunity to study safely and successfully in September. 

We hope you will find these updates and FAQs useful; we’ve tried to address as many of your questions and concerns as possible.

We thank you for your understanding and patience as we confirm our plans to provide the best possible experience for you, our international applicants.

 

FAQs for international applicants

Q) Is it safe to study in the UK?

A) We’re continuing to follow all official government requirements and advice from Public Health England. As lock-down restrictions are lifted and we begin to physically reopen our campuses, measures will be implemented to keep you safe.  This includes controlling the numbers of people on campus, planning activities to minimise the chances of contact and having an enhanced cleaning regime in place.  

Q) What date will my course start at University of Cumbria this September?

A) Teaching will commence on Monday 28 September 2020 for the majority of students. We will be in touch directly with any students who have different start dates. Induction starts on the 21 September and is an important part of your programme – please see the FAQ “When Should I Arrive in the UK” for more information.

The University of Cumbria is committed to providing both excellent teaching and a safe and enriching campus experience for new students starting with us this autumn.

Q) How will my teaching be delivered?

A) In common with almost all universities around the world, we have moved to offer more online teaching this year. We are investing in additional tech tools and other resources to enhance your online environment and we are confident that your experience will engage, challenge and support you as you progress in your studies.

Our courses will be delivered using a blended learning approach; i.e. a mixture of online learning with face-to-face sessions, as appropriate and where it is safe to do so, on campus.

All face-to-face learning activity will be managed to enable social distancing and to include other safety requirements for the protection of all our students and staff.

We will continue to comply with government requirements and the advice of Public Health England, and to take note of guidance from the Office for Students; we will review our approach should official advice on COVID-19 change.

Timetables will be adjusted in line with government advice to limit the number of students on campus at any one time.

We expect to have our timetables finalised by the end of August and will share more details with you then.

Further details of what to expect online and on-campus can be found here.

Q) When should I arrive in the UK?

Our induction and welcome week begins on Monday 21 September.  If you are required to quarantine (please see our Quarantine FAQ to find out more) we would strongly recommend that you plan to arrive by Sunday 6 September. Please complete the online Meet and Greet form that we will send to you once you have accepted your offer.

Further information on quarantine is provided below.

Q). What if there are delays in obtaining my visa?

A) Please let us know as soon as possible if you are experiencing delays in obtaining your visa and are unable to arrive by Monday 21 September 2020 for registration and induction. 

If you are required to quarantine we would strongly recommend that you plan to arrive by Sunday 6 September

Q) I am having difficulties booking my flight and may arrive later than planned. What should I do?

Please let us know as soon as possible if you are experiencing difficulties in booking your flight and will be unable to arrive by Monday 21 September 2020 for registration and/or by Sunday 6 September, if you are required to quarantine. You can use the online Meet and Greet form to let us know of your expected arrival date.

Q) I am travelling from one of the countries with ‘travel corridor’ exemption, what does that mean?

A) From 10 July 2020, you will NOT have to go into quarantine when you arrive in England, if you meet the criteria below:

  • are travelling or returning from one of the countries with travel corridor exemption; the list of exempted countries is here. Please be aware that this list is updated by the UK Government weekly and may change at very short notice.
  • have not been to or stopped in a country that’s not on the travel corridors exemption list in the previous 14 days

This applies to all travel to England only, by train, ferry, coach, air or any other route. 

Different regulations are in place for anyone travelling or returning to Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Q) I am travelling from a country that DOES NOT have travel corridor exemption, what does that mean?

A) Anyone currently entering the UK from a country that is not on the Travel Corridors Exemptions list will be required to ‘self-isolate’ for a period of 14 days from arrival in England. If you are a UK resident or visitor travelling to the UK you must provide your journey and contact details via on an online form no earlier than 48 hours before you travel to the UK. 

The online form you must complete before travelling to the UK, is the Public Health Passenger Locator Form; this form can be accessed here.

Once you have arrived at your accommodation you must not leave the place you are living for 14 days (known as “quarantine”). Full details are provided on the UK government website via this link.

We are continuing to monitor the situation, but if these quarantine measures are still in place when you arrive in the UK for the start of term, we will have plans ready to support your arrival. We are working closely with UK Government and sector bodies to ensure that we can support students during this period and make it a seamless part of our induction, education and life on campus. 

Q) I am an International (Non-EU or EEA) student but I am already in the UK, what does that mean in terms of quarantine?

A) Depending on when you arrived into the UK and which country you have travelled from, you may have already completed the required period of ‘self-isolation’.  If this is the case you would not need to undergo further quarantine when you arrive at your campus.  Please let us know your circumstances by completing our Meet and Greet information request, which will be sent to you once you have accepted your offer.

In addition, please do read the guidance about staying safe whilst travelling on public transport in England, which can be found below and here.

Q) I am an International (Non-EU or EEA) student already in the UK, but my visa is about to expire. What should I do?

A) The UK government updated their visa guidance on Thursday 28 May, to provide greater certainty for international higher education students and staff in the UK currently unable to return home due to COVID-19. This covers three main issues: visa extensions, in-country visa switching and distance learning.

No individual who is in the UK legally, but whose visa is due to expire, or has already expired, and who cannot leave because of travel restrictions related to COVID-19, will be regarded as an overstayer, or suffer any detriment in the future.

Visa nationals currently residing in the UK will be able to extend their leave until 31 July 2020, if their previous leave expired after 24 January and due to self-isolation or travel restrictions, leaving the UK was not possible.

It is important - if you have an issue with your visa expiring – that you contact the Home Office’s Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre.

Students should email CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk and provide;

  • Full name (include any middle names)
  • Date of birth (dd/mm/yyyy)
  • Nationality
  • Previous visa reference number
  • Reason you are unable to return to your home country

The Home Office will respond as soon as possible to confirm the request has been approved and your visa has been extended.

If you have any additional questions on this process, the Home Office have created a helpline to support those who may require an extension: 0800 678 1767.

If you have an upcoming visa expiry beyond 31 July 2020, and therefore don’t qualify for the above allowance, but still have questions regarding your immigration status, please contact us directly so we can advise accordingly.

Q) If I have to go into quarantine when I arrive, where will I stay?

If the compulsory quarantine measures (for all arrivals from your country) are still in place in September, the university will guarantee to provide you with accommodation, in our halls of residence, for the full period of your quarantine. 

If you do need to go into quarantine, we recommend that you plan to arrive in the UK and be on campus by Sunday 6 September 2020 in order to have finished your 14-day quarantine period before the start of induction and welcome week.

If you have chosen to live in university accommodation for the period of your studies, and if your quarantine period falls before the start of our accommodation contract (i.e. before 20.09.20) you will not be charged any rent between the start of your quarantine period and the start of your accommodation contract (20.09.20).

If your quarantine period starts on or after the beginning of your contract period (from 20.09.20) then your normal accommodation fees will apply.

If you have chosen not to live in university accommodation, the university will offer you a room in one of our halls, free of charge, for the 14 days of your quarantine. To book a room in halls for your quarantine period only please email lancasteraccom@cumbria.ac.uk. This applies to accommodation on all our campuses.

You need to ensure you have booked this with us at least one week before you are planning to arrive.

If you are travelling from one of the countries on the travel corridors exemption list you do not need to go into quarantine.

Q) I will not be living in university halls of residence or university accommodation. How will this affect my quarantine if I have to self-isolate?

If you have chosen not to live in university accommodation, the university will offer you a room in one of our halls, free of charge, for the 14 days of your quarantine.

To book a room in halls for your quarantine period only please email lancasteraccom@cumbria.ac.uk.

You need to ensure you have booked this with us at least one week before you are planning to arrive.

If you are travelling from one of the countries on the travel corridors exemption list you do not need to go into quarantine.

Q) What precautions should I take when travelling to the University of Cumbria?

A) All of our campuses are well connected by rail and road with the major UK airports, including the international airports at Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Please note: If you are planning to use public transport to travel to your University of Cumbria campus, it is now a legal requirement to wear a face covering (mask) whenever you are on public transport in England and Scotland.

Public transport includes trains, buses, trams, coaches, ferries, underground trains, and planes. The latest UK government guidance on using public transport can be found here: Staying Safe on Public Transport

You must not travel if you have symptoms of the Covid-19 illness or have been in contact with people who may be infected.

The UK government has published the essential health and safety requirements that apply to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) used in the UK, and clear guidance on appropriate PPE, which is consistent with World Health Organization guidance for protecting from COVID-19.

Further information on this, and staying safe outside your home can be found on the UK government website: Staying Safe Outside Your Home

Q) What kind of accommodation can you offer me at University of Cumbria?

A) At University of Cumbria we view living in halls as an integral part of your overall student experience. 

With rooms from as little as £10 per night, we have some of the most inexpensive student accommodation in the whole of the northwest, giving you an affordable way to access a holistic student experience. The University of Cumbria offers a range of student accommodation, including en-suite or standard rooms, with catering or self-catering options. Whether you are coming to study for an entire academic year or a single semester, we will guarantee you accommodation in our halls of residences.  

The University of Cumbria website provides information about the halls on each of our campuses www.cumbria.ac.uk/studentlife/accommodation including details about fees, the facilities within each hall and a checklist of items to bring.

If you are a Tier 4 student, you must confirm in advance, where you intend to live while studying in the UK. We strongly recommend that you live in accommodation at or on your study campus.

If you choose to live in private rented accommodation, you must not live more than one hour away from your campus.

Once you have accepted your offer of your study place you will receive an email from our admissions team with information about the accommodation application process.

Please use this information to let us know your preferred places to live.

Please complete the application form; ensuring you choose the correct contractual length e.g. single semester or full term.

Once your application for accommodation is received, we will allocate a room to you and you will be emailed a contract and an accommodation handbook. You must sign and return the contract by post or email within seven days of receiving it.

Further information and downloadable pdfs can be found here: https://www.cumbria.ac.uk/student-life/accommodation/accommodation-documents/

Q) How do I pay for my accommodation?

A) Payment of accommodation fees is required in full prior to arrival. Please note, if paying by BACS transfer, please use your full name and student number as a reference.

PaytoStudy is an easy to use online payment process, which offers a secure, fast and affordable way to make your international payments to University of Cumbria. PaytoStudy allows you to make your international payments while receiving competitive foreign exchange rates.

To register please visit:

https://cumbria.paytostudy.com/ 

More information can be found also:

https://www.cumbria.ac.uk/study/international/fees-and-finance/ 

Q) Can I choose who I live with?

A) With a number of different room types on campus, our dedicated accommodation team are committed to helping you find accommodation that best suit your needs, budget and lifestyle.

For our international students, we would encourage you to live with our home (UK-based) residential students. However, if your preference is to live together mainly with other international students, this can also be arranged.

Q) What should I bring with me to my halls of residence?

A) Prior to arrival at your allocated hall of residence, the accommodation team will send out useful documents and checklists to ensure you have everything you need before leaving home.

Bedding and kitchen utensils are not provided in halls and would need to be bought in advance online, or once you arrive in the UK.

We operate a partnership with Uni Kit Out, the largest provider of student bedding and kitchen packs that can be ordered and delivered direct to your halls of residence, making your transition to halls easy and stress free.

You can receive 10% off everything using code CUMBRIA10 on all orders. Please visit https://www.unikitout.com/  for further information and orders*

*Please note you will need to have your halls of residence post code for your order, this can be found on our website under our ‘Contact us’ Page https://www.cumbria.ac.uk/student-life/accommodation/contact-us/ 

Q) Will I receive a reduction in my tuition fees if I am not going to be on-campus the whole time?

A) We intend to provide as full and engaging a student experience as possible.  However, we have effectively frozen our international tuition fees for the academic year 2020/21 in view of the pandemic and the impact this might be having.

Undergraduate Fees

Standard international fees remain at £10,500 p.a. for most undergraduate courses except:

  • Health Pre-registration courses - £15,500 p.a.
  • BA (Hons) Social Work - £15,500 p.a.
  • BA or BSc. Integrated Foundation Year - £7,750 (for Year 0 only)

Postgraduate Taught Fees

Standard international fees remain at £10,500 p.a. for most postgraduate taught courses except:

  • MBA - £12,000 p.a.
  • Health Pre-registration courses - £15,500 p.a.

Postgraduate Research Fees

International PGR fees range from £13,600 to £19,600 depending on your area of research

Further details on our current International fees can be found on the individual course pages as well as International Fees and Finance.

Q) Will I be entitled to free NHS treatment if I get sick?

NHS treatment for anyone who contracts Coronavirus (COVID-19) is free of charge for everyone.

If you have paid the immigration health surcharge and your immigration permission has not expired, you continue to be entitled to free NHS treatment for other illnesses and conditions.

If you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), you can use it to receive free NHS treatment, at least until 31 December 2020.

If you are, or will be, living in our student halls of residence and you start to feel unwell, please contact staff at your accommodation (contact details can be found here Accommodation - Contact Us) to inform them that you are unwell and use this link to the NHS COVID-19 site to guide you on to the next steps.

To contact accommodation staff by email please use these addresses:

Ambleside Campus: amblesideaccom@cumbria.ac.uk

Carlisle Campus: carlisleacccom@cumbria.ac.uk

Lancaster Campus: lancasteraccom@cumbria.ac.uk

Q) As well as IELTS, which other alternative English Language Tests does the University of Cumbria accept?

A)  If you are studying a degree level undergraduate (Bachelor’s) or postgraduate (Master’s) course, we accept a range of robust English language qualifications equivalent to IELTS. These will be assessed in your application, but include the following:

  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE)
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)
  • (University of Cumbria) Password English Test
  • NCUK English Test
  • Pearson PTE
  • UK A/AS Level in English language
  • UK GCSE or O Level in English Language (but not iGCSE)
  • Pre-sessional course undertaken at an endorsed partner institution in the UK and overseas e.g. INTO or KAPLAN
  • HKASL A level Use of English
  • HKDSE (Core subject English language) - post 2007
  • HKCEE (syllabus B, prior to 2007)
  • Malaysian SPM 1119 (at least level 6)
  • WAEC (for Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone)
  • Cameroon GCE Ordinary Level
  • Malawi School Certificate of Education
  • South Africa National Senior Certificate

(If your qualification is not shown in the list please contact internationaladmisisons@cumbria.ac.uk to check whether your qualification is one we will accept)

       Depending on where you studied, your high school qualification may be considered.

       Research Students

If you have applied for a Research study programme, you are required to meet the stated English Language criteria. The only exception to this requirement is for students educated to UK degree level standard in the medium of English in the UK or in a majority English speaking country within the two years immediately preceding your proposed course start date.

       In the event of the closure of the recognised and approved test centre

Q) How can I book onto a (University of Cumbria) Password English Language Test (Password)?

These are secure tests, which are all run and invigilated online.  You can book your test by clicking here to create an email with the correct title completed.

 

If the link above does not work correctly in your email app, please send an email to international@cumbria.ac.uk with the email title as "Booking onto the UoC Password English Language Test (for Sept. 2020 intake)".

Q) How can I better prepare for my studies at the University of Cumbria?

Our award-winning and free, online MOOC “Headstart to University has been especially developed to help students from diverse backgrounds and different countries prepare for university studies in the UK. 

Please use this link to access a short webinar, which shows you how to create your free Blackboard account and work through the course, in readiness for your arrival into the UK and your new student life.

There’s no better time than the present to get the full benefit of this preparation. 

Further information about how we can support your study once you arrive at the University of Cumbria can be found here.

Q) What happens at induction and welcome week?

This year’s induction and welcome week starts on Monday 21 September. We are planning a number of safe and socially distanced activities to help you settle into your new life, meet your flatmates and classmates and get acquainted with your surroundings.

If you are travelling from a country not on the travel corridors exemption list, and in order to make sure you do not miss out on our induction and welcome week, we would strongly recommend that you plan to arrive at your campus by Sunday 6 September, so that you can complete your quarantine period before the beginning of Welcome Week

If this is not possible for you, please let us know as soon as you can. We will work with you to support your quarantine period and your engagement with the Induction activities. Please contact international@cumbria.ac.uk.

Further information, updates and links

More questions for the University of Cumbria?

If you have any questions or queries about your safety and wellbeing that have not been answered, please email internationalstudentsupport@cumbria.ac.uk

If your query is regarding your application and offer please email: internationaladmissions@cumbria.ac.uk

For any other information, guidance or support (not covered above) or if you have additional questions, please email:

international@cumbria.ac.uk

N.B. For the latest information and updates please regularly check our Covid-19 page https://www.cumbria.ac.uk/coronavirus/international-applicants-joining-us-in-2020/

You should also consult these official sources of information:

1.    UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs): Covid-19 Support for International Students

2.    Universities UK: FAQs for International Students

3.    Latest UK government advice on Coronavirus: Gov.uk/coronavirus

4.    Latest UK Home Office advice for visa applicants: UK Visas and Immigration

5.    Latest UK government travel advice: Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice

6.    Latest UK government travel advice for Education: Travel Advice for Education Settings

 

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