Coronavirus: How we’re supporting you

We know many of you may be feeling worried or stressed during these difficult and uncertain times, but we want you to know we’re here and doing all we can to support you.

Your health and wellbeing is our number one priority and is at the heart of every decision we make as we respond to coronavirus.

Whatever happens, teaching and support will continue, and you will still be able to complete your studies this year.

We’ve created this page to keep you updated about the on-going coronavirus situation and how it is affecting Bloomsbury Institute and you, our students.

Please keep an eye out for our regular updates and if you need any support or advice on your studies please do call us on 020 7078 8840.

Updates

Online teaching

2020-2021

The first semester of the next academic year 2020-21, will see all lectures, seminars and workshops take place online.

Following a consultation process and health and safety review, we recently decided to offer face-to-face seminars and workshops.

Unfortunately, Birkbeck, where we were planning to deliver face to-face sessions, will now not be reopening in September.

They are planning to fully reopen in Jan 2021, but as things stand face-to-face sessions won’t be possible in Semester 1. Workshops and seminars will therefore be delivered online.

Once you have re-enrolled you will be issued with your timetable for Semester 1.  From October onwards every student will be able to book a weekly virtual one to one session with a lecturer.

Your safety remains our top priority, and if Government advice changes in response to further outbreaks of coronavirus we may have to change these arrangements at short notice.

We will make a decision about Semester 2 teaching once you have returned to your studies in September.

Visiting 7 Bedford Square

Face-to-face support

From the 28 September, 7 Bedford Square will be open for face-to-face appointments, so if you’d like to meet with any member of staff, please email them to organise a suitable time.

Computer Room

As Birkbeck have decided to keep all of their buildings, including the Library, closed during Semester 1, we have set up a new Computer Room in 7 Bedford Square to help you access the resources you need for your studies.

The Computer Room will be open from 28 September, every weekday from 10am – 4pm, and to use it you’ll need to book an appointment at least one working day in advance by emailing estates.facilities@bil.ac.uk specifying the day/time you’d like to visit.

If you are coming into the building for any reason we will contact you with health and safety guidelines. Please read these carefully and follow them carefully to help keep everyone safe.

Student Loans Company (SLC)

2020-21 SLC funding

The SLC portal for 20-21 is still open, but please be aware that applications submitted now may not be approved in time for your course start date.

If you have applied but your funding is not yet approved, or you are yet to apply, you can still return to study with us as a self-funding student.  For more information on how to self-fund, please contact our Finance team on self-fund@bil.ac.uk.

Migrant Worker students

If you are funding your course via SLC and are a Migrant Worker, there are some changes to the new rules which may affect your funding across the next year.  We’ve outlined these for you below:

If you have previously met the criteria to qualify as a Migrant Worker, furlough will be considered employment and you may continue to qualify for support under this category. All Migrant Worker applications are assessed on a case by case basis, so please do make sure you send all relevant documentation to SLC as soon as you can.

If you have become involuntarily unemployed or are self-employed with no work, you should register with the relevant unemployment office (which is usually the Jobcentre / DWP) and you may continue to qualify as a Migrant Worker under the retention of work status rule.

If you currently do not meet the criteria to qualify as a Migrant Worker, you can apply for EU funding (tuition fee only) until you do meet the Migrant Worker criteria.  You can then apply if there are changes to your employment status.

If you’re unsure which of the above applies to you or if your funding is affected, please fill out our form and we’ll let you know what your next steps are. 

Contacting SLC

SLC are currently running a reduced service with fewer staff answering calls, meaning it may take longer to get through to them than normal. If you’re struggling, please give them a call back later on. Click here for more information about how to contact them.

SLC have also set up a dedicated Q&A page for students – please head to this page to keep updated.

If you have any questions at all, please contact our Finance team on slcfinance@bil.ac.uk.

Who to contact

If you’re a student and have any questions you can call our main number – 020 7078 8840 or video call us using our Virtual Reception.

You can still log issues through the Student Self-service Portal (SSP) and we will respond as quickly as we can. We recommend you use SSP if you need any hard copies of letters or anything related to your Student Card and we will post them to you.

If you’d like any support or need someone to talk to, the SEWS team and Disability Advisor are still available over the phone or by email. Click here for more information about how you can get emotional support from the SEWS team and a list of support and resources available elsewhere.

You can still contact your lecturer over the phone, email or by organising a virtual meeting if you need any study support.

If you’d like to meet any member of staff face-to-face you can now do so. Please organise directly with the member of staff a suitable time to meet.

Government advice

The Government update their advice on a regular basis. Please familiarise yourself with the latest advice here.

NHS advice 

The NHS website has more information about how to stop the spread of infection, the signs and symptoms of coronavirus and what to do if you think you have symptoms.

More support and advice