12 January: Accommodation, hardship fund, buildings and facilities, academic timetable, IT hardship fund and health and wellbeing support
We understand the latest national lockdown has been another disappointing setback and has brought lots more uncertainty and questions on a wide variety of issues. The university has been working hard to address these as quickly and as fairly as possible and we can now provide an update on some pressing concerns. We would encourage you to read the whole update carefully. It covers the following topics:
- Hardship fund
- Buildings and facilities on campus
- Consultation on Covid mitigations
- Where we are with no-detriment
- IT Hardship fund
- Health and wellbeing support
We would now like to confirm that students in DMU halls (Bede Hall, Waterway Gardens and New Wharf Halls) who are not able to come back on to campus will receive a 100% rebate while they are unable to use their accommodation during this period of national lockdown. This will apply from 11 January and we also commit to extending this rebate if the national restrictions are prolonged. Please see details on how to apply for this rebate and full eligibility criteria on DMU’s accommodation webpage.
The majority of DMU students live in accommodation owned and managed by external parties (ie, the contract is between the student and the private provider). We wanted to set a good example through the discount we have offered and we will now be writing to all private providers encouraging them to make similar provisions. But, please note, that we cannot force them to do so, given that the contract is between the student and private provider. Many private providers are starting to announce their own schemes. Universities UK, of which we are a member, is also lobbying for government intervention with private providers.
DMU will additionally be donating further monies to our student hardship fund at this time. This is so we can support all students with the greatest needs, including those in private accommodation who will be facing similar issues caused by the national lockdown, but who may not receive any rent support. We’re conscious that the current circumstances impact students differently, some will be more negatively affected than others financially, so we want to bring as much fairness to the current situation as possible.
Accommodation payments for DMU-owned halls are due on Thursday 21 January, but we’re looking to postpone this date in order to implement this rent rebate. We will confirm a revised date soon.
The DMU Support Fund reopened yesterday and is available for any student facing financial hardship. You can find out more information and what you may be eligible for, including support if you have been impacted by the ongoing Covid situation, by visiting this webpage. Financial support is accessible for Home, EU and International students.
Buildings and facilities on campus
For those students who have been able to return to campus this month, we have drawn up a full list of the buildings and services which are open on campus through the current restrictions – you can find that here, with full details and opening times. Importantly, the Kimberlin Library will remain open for students who have face-to-face on-campus teaching and for those who are staying in student accommodation. In line with Government guidelines, the library is open for studying and borrowing materials, on an essential access-only basis.
The QEII Leisure Centre and Beaumont Park have closed, along with the Campus Centre and the majority of the catering facilities. The Food Village will remain open for takeaway, along with Simply Fresh.
Consultation with students on Covid mitigations
We are consulting with all taught students about ways in which we can mitigate the impact of the lockdown on your learning. We are also consulting with students on specific practice-based programmes about ways in which we can facilitate your access to spaces once lockdown lifts. Please take a close look at your home screen on MyDMU for how to access these consultations.
We are aware of the requests to implement a ‘no detriment’ provision and we hear this. Our key priority throughout this pandemic has been to make sure that no student is disadvantaged through something beyond their control and we will work to create a solution to try to ensure this does not happen. We want to take the necessary time to get this right and so would ask for your continued patience and understanding while we do so.
IT Access Hardship scheme
With stricter national lockdown restrictions now in place, the majority of students will be unable to access campus to use crucial IT equipment and facilities. The Your DMU Future website offers lots of advice, resources and support to get the most from your university studies and the student experience within the blended or online-only model. This includes access to:
However, if you are unable to access any critical equipment needed for your studies, you can make application to the IT Access Hardship scheme which has now re-opened. Updated guidance and an application form can be accessed here. If you have any questions and queries about this process you can contact the ITMS Service Desk through email at email@example.com or by calling +44 (0)116 250 6050.
Health and wellbeing
We want to further remind you that we will continue to do all we can to protect and support your health and wellbeing during this difficult time. Here are some key support offerings you can access:
This update may not have answered all of your questions and concerns at this time, but DMU’s senior management team continues to meet regularly to work through outstanding issues on key matters related to your learning and teaching and wider student experience. In the meantime, we have updated our FAQs page so do check this out for answers to a wide variety of urgent questions.
Like every other university and indeed the rest of the country at this time, all of us in the DMU community are continuing to face difficult choices. We know that this situation may leave you feeling frustrated and disappointed at times. Our biggest priority has to be to protect the health and safety of our students and staff and to closely follow Government advice to stop the virus spreading.
However, we are just as committed to providing you with the best and fairest learning and teaching and student experience possible within the current restrictions.
We want to thank you again for your continued resilience and community spirit which we know will help us all navigate through and overcome these latest challenges brought on by the pandemic.
Please continue to look out for more university updates via email and on our social media channels. And, most importantly, stay safe and look after yourselves and your loved ones.
*The information provided in this update is for students studying a DMU programme that is being delivered at DMU. Students on programmes that are validated by DMU, but are delivered by academic partner institutions (such as DMUIC, Leicester College, etc.), should refer to their institution/college for confirmation of local arrangements.*
See previous updates:
6 January: The national lockdown: what it means for you