Covid-19 Update 2020

Following the Prime Minister's announcement on Monday 23rd March, Leeds Arts University closed its buildings until further notice. We are now delivering teaching and support online, and staff are working from home. Support for students is available through Student Welfare, Academic Support, English Language Support and Careers. 

Our priority is the health and wellbeing of our students, staff and visitors and we continue to follow Government advice, delivered through the Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England, in order to make decisions about how we operate during this difficult time. 

We have introduced measures to ensure students are able to continue with their studies and are able to progress to the next year or to finish their qualification without being dependent on physical access to the buildings following the Covid-19 lockdown. This situation is fluid and we are monitoring and following the advice from the Government very carefully and giving regular updates to students.

We are doing everything possible to protect the academic quality and integrity of our awards, we are continuing to run our Boards of Examiners and to engage with our external examiners and all of our quality processes continue remotely.

We have increased and extended the scope of our Hardship Fund to assist students during this period.

We will email regular updates to students, staff and applicants.

 

Information

Are you delivering online teaching for students?

Following the Prime Minister's announcement on Monday 23rd March, Leeds Arts University closed its buildings until further notice. We are now delivering teaching and support online, and staff are working from home. Support for students is available through Student Welfare, Academic Support, English Language Support and Careers.

What are your teaching and support arrangements?

We appreciate that most students will have limited access to resources at home, which is why the modules have already been changed to ensure students are able to create work remotely for the remainder of this academic year. Your tutors will guide you through this and they will be flexible and open to the ways in which you want to direct your creativity. We have considered this carefully to ensure that students’ grades will not be disadvantaged by access to resources, equipment or facilities.

Teaching methods, support, materials and approaches have all been adjusted so that all students are able to achieve their outcomes and be able to progress to the next year or to complete their qualifications. We appreciate that students will have different access to facilities and equipment which is why the work that will be assessed will be different to previous years. This has been very carefully thought through to make sure differential access does not affect grades, you will not suffer academically because of these changes.

We have deployed a variety of online technologies to ensure we can continue to support our global community. Changes vary and are specific to what is practical in the context of each module and course and includes lecture materials supported with resources . The methods may include screen/audio capture, Google Hangouts and Skype. Tutorials, both course related and pastoral, continue to be delivered. The visiting professionals enhancement also continues to be delivered to courses but has now also moved online.

Support is available through Student Welfare, Academic Support, English Language Support and Careers which includes resources, group sessions and 1:1 appointments online.

Students have been given access to software and a range of electronic ebooks, journals, magazines, image databases and moving image streaming across a range of subject areas. Students are also able to access courses on software skills through LinkedIn Learning.

The workshop and resources staff are also available to give advice and tutorials online, as are the IT support staff.

Information and guidance documents are all held in one place for students so they are able to access support in all areas as they need it.

What are your submission arrangements?

We have created the infrastructure for all submissions to be digital and thus submitted online. We have deployed a variety of technologies to enable all our students to submit assessment remotely.

Whilst we do not have a no detriment policy, the changes and steps we have put in place seek to ensure that no individual student is disadvantaged. We have done this by amending requirements to meet learning outcomes, establishing Force Majeure Academic Regulations including giving an additional two week global extension for submissions and additional resit opportunities. Extenuating circumstances over and above the global 14 day extension period can be applied for if additional unforeseen circumstances occur which prevent you from completing work.

We have taken the decision to keep the waiver of assessment under review. Should any assessment waivers be decided we will communicate this to students in good time.

We have put in place measures for all students to progress or complete their degree according to the usual academic calendar even with extenuating circumstances. Although the work that will be assessed may be different to previous years, the grading will be consistent and students will not suffer academically because of these changes.

Marks are given in the context of quality of engagement, clarity of concept, depth of research and relevance of approach in the circumstances we are in, not the standard of equipment or facilities used. Course outcomes make this clear and your tutors are expert in assessing achievement against the outcomes. Many of the universities which are implementing a no detriment policy run examinations which are very difficult to carry out in lockdown and very difficult to authenticate. Our tutors can identify your work through the contact they have with you and their observation of its development. It is for each University to decide how they are securing their academic standards.

We are confident are students will demonstrate resilience and versatility, working together to show how truly creative our community can be in difficult circumstances.

How are you supporting students without IT equipment or internet access?

We understand that some students may not have adequate access to either IT equipment or internet connections that would enable them to engage with their studies remotely. We also know that access to additional IT equipment is extremely difficult to organise given the interruption to production and supply as a result of Covid-19.

We have already provided students who have requested help in this category with equipment. 

What measures did you put in place to protect against the spread of the virus?

Following the Prime Minister's announcement on Monday 23rd March, Leeds Arts University has closed its buildings until further notice. We are now delivering teaching and support online, and staff are working from home. Support for students is available through Student Welfare, Academic Support, English Language Support and Careers. 

Throughout the Covid-19 outbreak we introduced precautionary measures to help safeguard our staff, students and visitors:

  • We had regular steering group meetings in the University to ensure we are dealing with any risks proportionately and that any changes we make are in line with Government advice;
  • We put processes in place for Non-UK based students who have to return home early due to travel restrictions;
  • We provided a dedicated staff and student intranet pages (Portal and E-Studio) for communications, advice and guidance to all staff and students;
  • All international and UK trips have been postponed and the University is reimbursing students;
  • We introduced additional cleaning measures which cover communal areas as well as some of the equipment being used;
  • We displayed government information and advice posters around the University. Hand washing is the most effective way to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses so we are asking everyone to follow the guidance on this;
  • Online teaching is now in place and staff are working from home.

Are you advising UK or international students to return home?

We have put processes in place for Non-UK based students who have to return home early due to travel restrictions.

Will students be refunded the rent for their accommodation?

Leeds Arts University students have tenancy agreements with a wide range of private accommodation providers who are solely responsible for making decisions regarding student rent and tenancies. All of our students in student accommodation have direct contracts with their accommodation landlords. We do not own or manage any student accommodation or receive income for accommodation from any providers.

All of these landlords from the very large ones to the very small private landlords with just a few properties are taking their own decisions on how to best manage this unprecedented situation depending on their own circumstances. Some of them have decided to waive the final instalment for students who choose to leave their properties and others have taken different decisions even within their own properties.

We have many students who have contracts with many different landlords and it is not possible for us to pay for accommodation when we have no income from this either now or in the future, this would not be manageable for all of our students and our priority is protecting teaching and learning support and services for students.

For those students who are struggling because of the impact of the coronavirus on their situation, we have increased the hardship fund to help ensure that we provide support to those who are most in need. Though still limited, these funds will be prioritised to those students with greatest need and applications will be assessed on case by case basis.

Will you be cancelling course open days?

Following current advice from the UK Government all our physical open days this term have been cancelled. We will be replacing them with online open days where possible. If you have signed up for an open day we will be contacting you by email with the new online open day date.

If you would like to find out about our courses you can sign up for an online open day here.

If you plan to apply for September 2021 entry then we will hopefully be able to host open days in autumn 2020.

Will you be cancelling student recruitment interviews?

Given the Government’s advice to only travel if it is essential to do so, all interviews and auditions have been cancelled. If you apply to one of our courses, our Admissions team will get in touch with you regarding alternative arrangements. If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact us at admissions@leeds-art.ac.uk.

Will the end of year shows take place this year?

Due to the Government stopping public gatherings, we have looked at different ways to ensure final year students’ creativity is celebrated. We will be celebrating our final year students’ work with a digital end of year show, supported by a printed publication. We will ensure our students’ creative talent is showcased to the creative industries and arts community through all the channels that are possible and will invest substantially in this.  We are also working with our Students’ Union to support students and we have agreed that subject to the outbreak of the virus and Government guidance, we will look at the possibilities with them of a public exhibition at an external venue nearer the graduation date for students and courses who want this.

Will graduation take place this year?

The graduation has been postponed and the new dates are 7th and 8th December and will take place in the Royal Armouries. We are regularly updating graduating students via email and will keep the graduation website page updated.