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Advice for parents and guardians

We’re working hard to make sure students receive a consistent and high-quality learning experience while keeping them safe during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

We appreciate parents or guardians might have questions about the current situation and we've tried to answer them or signpost to the relevant information that can be accessed by students in our student intranet.

07/01/2021 - We have made the decision to defer the start of in-person teaching for most programmes and to move teaching online (with the exception of health-related and practical-based programmes where on-campus activity is required to meet programme learning outcomes) until 22 February 2021 in the first instance. Please note this does not affect the return of postgraduate research students. For more information please read the latest message from Professor Colin Riordan, Vice-Chancellor. Our students have received a message from Claire Morgan, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education and Students.

Students must self-isolate if they:

  • have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or are waiting for a test result
  • have received a positive or inconclusive result from the Cardiff University Screening Service
  • have received a positive result from an NHS coronavirus (COVID-19) test
  • have been identified as a close contact of someone with coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • live with someone who has coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or has received a positive or inconclusive test result from the Cardiff University Screening Service or the NHS.

There is more information for students about what they should do when they self-isolate on the student intranet.

All students have full access to the National Health Service (NHS) and will be treated for coronavirus (COVID-19) if required.

Keeping the University informed

Students can quickly tell us about any coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, test results or the need to self-isolate by logging in to SIMS Online.

Supporting students who are isolating

Students can get in touch with us through Student Connect if they need support while self-isolating. They can access Student Connect by:

  • asking the chatbot questions 24/7 when they see the blue and white chat button on the bottom right hand corner of the student intranet.
  • email: studentconnect@cardiff.ac.uk
  • phone: +44 (0)29 2251 8888.

First year students can also contact their peer mentor in their Academic School who may be able to help them find the right people to talk to in their School.

We understand that self-isolation can be difficult and stressful. We have a range of support available to help students look after their emotional, mental and physical health while at University.

Students living in Cardiff University Halls of Residence can access a range of support through the Residence Life Team.

Students living in private accommodation will be contacted by the Wellbeing Team.

Getting hold of food and essential items during self-isolation

It is important if students are self-isolating that they do not leave their house, flat or room if possible.

Most UK supermarkets will deliver food and other items either for free or for a low fee. Students can set up an account to get deliveries using the various supermarket apps (for example Asda, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsburys, Tesco). These services can be busy so students will need to plan orders in advance.

Cardiff also has a wide range of takeaway food delivery options that can be ordered using apps such as Just Eat, Deliveroo and Uber Eats.

Welsh Government have advised that delivery drivers should leave items outside for collection. The delivery driver should not come into student households.

Receiving deliveries at University accommodation

Students can still order takeaway and supermarket deliveries to their accommodation but they should tell delivery drivers to leave items outside for collection.

Ideally students should arrange for a friend from a flat that is not self-isolating to collect the delivery on their behalf and bring it to the students' flat entrance. If this is not possible students may leave their room to collect the delivery. In either case they should make sure they maintain two-metres social distance, wear a face covering and wash their hands before and after collecting their delivery.

University food delivery service

Students living in University residences can use our grocery delivery service for basic groceries, healthcare, meat, fruit and vegetables. They can also order meals, drinks and snacks for delivery to their University residence.

  • The Marketplace: place orders by 13:00 for next day delivery to University residences. Items available include essential toiletries, fresh fruit, meat, dry goods like pasta, chilled products, milk, bread, eggs and more.
  • Click and Deliver: available Monday to Friday, between 15:00 and 21:00 for meals including main courses with vegetables and potatoes, burgers, burritos, drinks and snacks.

To place an order with The Marketplace or Click and Deliver, students will need to set up an account.

If students require urgent items that aren't available from these services, they should contact their Residences Team. If we are unable to assist, we will advise or re-direct them for further support.

Access to accommodation services for students who are self-isolating

Our residence teams are here to support students who are self-isolating in University accommodation. They have provided guidance to students on the student intranet about how they can access accommodation services such as laundry, housekeeping, maintenance, IT support and rubbish and recycling whilst they are self-isolating.

Students won't be able to access laundry facilities whilst they are self-isolating, however the University has arranged and will pay for a COVID-19 safe laundry service for students in self-isolation in University accommodation. Each student will receive one 3kg wash during their period of self-isolation. More information about the COVID-19 safe laundry service can be found on the student intranet.

We know this is a worrying time for our students. We have a dedicated Student Support and Wellbeing Team to help them make the most of student life.

We recognise that this new academic year will be different and that we all need to support each other. We’re recruiting more frontline counselling and wellbeing staff to help our students as we get used to different ways of working, teaching and learning.

Students can get in touch with us through Student Connect if they need support. They can access Student Connect by:

  • asking the chatbot questions 24/7 when they see the blue and white chat button on the bottom right hand corner of the student intranet.
  • email: studentconnect@cardiff.ac.uk
  • phone: +44 (0)29 2251 8888.

Students can find out more about the support services available on the student intranet.

The start of in-person teaching for most programmes has been deferred, and teaching will move online (with the exception of health-related and practical-based programmes where on-campus activity is required to meet programme learning outcomes) until 22 February.

Our campus, including our residences, libraries, study spaces and other buildings, remains open and safe should students wish to return to Cardiff. Students can still access education and support services.

Our position will be reviewed regularly and we will update students on next steps.

Please note this does not affect the return of postgraduate research students.

It's important that students stay in touch with their School for the most up-to-date information about their course.

Study skills support

Our study skills resources and support services can help students with their learning and overcome any difficulties they may be experiencing with their studies.

There is more information about the study support service on the student intranet.

  • We have taken the decision that as a University, we will maintain the two-metre social distancing requirement on campus until at least January 2021.
  • All staff, students and visitors are required to wear face coverings (with exemptions). Students receive two reusable face coverings on arrival in Cardiff.
  • Our buildings have clearly signposted one-way walking routes, additional handwashing facilities, and high touch points such as door handles are cleaned regularly.
  • Schematic diagrams are available for all our buildings to show entrance and exit points, walking routes, unisex toilets and hand sanitising stations.
  • A notification system has been introduced so that all students and staff can quickly report any coronavirus-like symptoms and supports the Welsh Government’s ‘Test, Trace, Protect’ programme.
  • To maximise space and be mindful of everyone's health and wellbeing, we continue to minimise the number of people on campus. This means that most non-teaching staff continue to work from home.

These measures have been approved by Public Health Wales allowing us to continue to provide in-person teaching as part of a blended learning provision, supported by some online elements.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Screening Service

We are offering an ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) Screening Service to all our campus-based students and staff who are asymptomatic. Asymptomatic means you show no signs or symptoms of the virus.

There is more information for students about the Screening Service on the student intranet.

Daily cases of coronavirus (COVID-19)

We publish new confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) among Cardiff University staff and students on a daily basis (Monday to Friday).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) regulations from 20 December 2020

From Sunday 20 December Wales is under new national alert level four restrictions.

This does not change students' access to education or support services and we will continue our blended learning approach. Returning to Cardiff to continue with their studies is considered a reasonable excuse to travel. Students can still attend on-campus teaching or a placement during this period.

Welsh Government are asking everyone to:

  • follow social distancing rules with people you don’t live with or who aren’t in your support bubble
  • wear a face covering  (if you are able to) in all  indoor public places
  • stay at home
  • do not create an extended household (single adults or single parents may join with one other household to form an exclusive support bubble)
  • meet only the people you live with or your support bubble indoors, outdoors or in private gardens
  • limit the times you leave your home, and the distance you travel
  • do not travel locally or internationally without reasonable excuse (universities remain open and education is one of the reasons for which people are permitted to travel)
  • work from home if you can
  • wash your hands regularly and follow other advice on hygiene
  • self-isolate if you show symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Read the Welsh Government guidance about alert level 4. You can also read the latest Welsh Government information about coronavirus (COVID-19).

Parents and guardians can read information from the Welsh government about helping students to return home safely for Christmas.

Teaching and learning

We will continue to provide a combination of in person teaching and blended learning on our COVID-19 secure campuses.

Whilst there are incidents of COVID-19 in the student population, evidence shows this is taking place outside the teaching and learning environment. Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases amongst staff remain low.

Education will remain one of the reasons for which people are permitted to travel from England into Wales, or from Wales into England.

We have developed a remote study policy to make sure students can continue with their studies online if they are unable to join us on campus.

The option to study remotely was previously available until 31 January 2021 (earlier for some programmes). We have now extended this, so students can apply to study remotely for longer. The duration of the extension will depend upon the start date of their programme:

Programme start dateRemote study extended until
Before 28 September 202018 July 2021
28 September 202020 June 2021
During October/November 202025 July 2021
During January 202122 August 2021

Please note: some programmes are not able to provide remote study, and others that were able to provide remote study for semester one will not be able to do so for semester two due to scheduled learning that requires on-campus attendance.

Students can check their eligibility and how to apply for remote study on the student intranet.

Interruption to study

If a student does not want to apply for remote study then they can request to interrupt their studies.

If granted by their Academic School, they can stop their studies and restart next academic year. There are some restrictions and various implications so before applying students considering an interruption should speak to their Personal Tutor, Supervisor or Head of School.

There are also implications for accommodation and tuition fees so they should contact the Money Advice Team in Student Support and Wellbeing for more information. Independent advice is also available from the Students’ Union Advice Team.

There is more information for students about interruption of study on the student intranet.

Withdrawal from study

If a student wishes to withdraw and leave completely they should discuss this first with their Personal Tutor, Supervisor or Head of School.

They should also contact the Money Advice Team to understand the financial implications. Independent advice is available from the Students’ Union Advice Team.

We can release students from their Residences Agreement in the event of their request to switch to remote study being approved.

If their application is approved, they should advise their Residences Team, vacate their room and return their key to their Residences reception to be released.

There is more information about how to apply for remote study on the student intranet.

Residence fees

We have been open and transparent with our students about our plan to deliver blended learning from the start of this academic year.

Students who have applied to live in University residences for 2020/21 have done so based on the appropriate residences period for them. Any student wishing to withdraw from their Residences Agreement would usually be considered in the event of a withdrawal from University or an interruption of study. However, we always consider and review requests to terminate an agreement on a case-by-case basis.    

We do recognise that we are living in unprecedented times. That’s why the situation remains under constant review. If the University has to change to a different form of learning or in the unlikely event that we had to close a University residence in line with Welsh Government advice then there is a clause in the terms and conditions which would enable the University to reconsider our approach.

This includes terminating Residence Agreements and not charging or refunding fees from the point of termination.

On 13 January 2021, Claire Morgan, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education and Students, announced that we will be offering a rent rebate for students in our residences who have not returned to their accommodation.

Students can find out more information about leaving residences early on the student intranet.

Residence support

Our Residence Life Team are dedicated to enhancing our students' experience. They help to create a community within residences where students feel a sense of belonging and inclusion.

Residence Life Coordinators and student Residence Life Assistants work in partnership with Student Support and Wellbeing, Residences Management and the Students’ Union.

The team encourages students to share their experiences and to access quality support services to help them make the most of their time with us.

There is more information about the Residences Life Team on the student intranet.

Our Money Advice Team can assist and advise students who are experiencing financial hardship or have concerns about money during self-isolation. If students have run out of money, emergency funding may be available to support.

Students should still receive student finance payments as normal, but should inform the University of any absence from their studies using SIMS Online. Short absences from their course (eg 14 days) should not normally affect their support from their student finance provider.

If students need to be absent from their course for longer than 14 days, or if they have concerns about their funding situation then they should contact Student Connect and ask to speak to a Student Funding Adviser.

Students can access Student Connect by:

  • asking the chatbot questions 24/7 when they see the blue and white chat button on the bottom right hand corner of the student intranet.
  • email: studentconnect@cardiff.ac.uk
  • phone: +44 (0)29 2251 8888.

Financial support during self-isolation

Students should still receive their student finance payments as normal, but they should inform their Academic School of any absence.  

Short absences from courses (eg 14 days) should not normally affect their financial support.  

If students need to be absent from their course for longer than 14 days, or if they have concerns about their funding situation, they can contact Student Connect and ask to speak to a Student Funding Adviser.

Tuition fees for 2020/21

While we know students may find it disappointing, in line with other UK universities, tuition fees are still required to be paid in full for the academic year and will be collected as normal.

We are very aware that for some students the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic may be the cause of financial difficulty. There are a number of ways Cardiff University can assist should our students require financial support at this time.

Options may include:

  • Agreeing a more manageable repayment plan. If you feel you would benefit from this option, please complete the tuition fee instalment request form.
  • Applying a temporary hold on the outstanding value of your fees for a short period of time until your situation becomes clearer.

Welsh Government has said, where delivery like this is taking place, students should expect to pay fees for this education as normal but that whether or not an individual student is entitled to a refund of fees will depend on the specific contractual arrangements between them and their provider, and the particular experience that they have on their course.

No matter how our courses are delivered, the important thing is that students are supported to achieve the required learning outcomes for their course of study. We will also provide careers advice and support for mental health and wellbeing online and in-person in the new academic year.

Everyone in our University community is asked to adhere to our coronavirus (COVID-19) community commitment, which makes clear the expectations and the behaviours we ask all our staff and students to adopt.

We expect all our students to follow the new restrictions and wider guidance from Public Health Wales to help keep our community safe. The community commitment contains escalation measures where these expectations are not met.

We have a dedicated email and telephone number for students who are concerned about the behaviour of others.

A team of staff will follow up on all reports. Where issues arise, and a student fails to adhere to the rules, South Wales Police will issue Acceptable Behaviour Contracts.

Where students repeatedly offend, we will work with the Police to determine the most appropriate course of action. This can involve increasing levels of fixed penalty notices (rising to £1,920) as well as action under the University’s student conduct procedures, through which students can be suspended or, for serious offences, excluded.

When to return to campus

If students left Cardiff for some or all of the Christmas and New Year break, they should plan to return to Cardiff (or the location of their placement) just before their in-person teaching resumes.

While some in-person teaching is taking place in January (predominantly in health-related or practical-based programmes), most students are not expected back in Cardiff until early February. This gives us time to continue working with the Welsh Government and others to keep our phased returns and plans for testing under review and revise them if necessary. Students' wishes, mental health and future aspirations will all be part of our decision-making.

For research students, we have no plans at present to change access to campus facilities - our campus remains safe, supported by the measures we have been developing since March of last year.

The Welsh Government have asked that students do not return to term-time accommodation before 11 January unless necessary for their studies or to access facilities such as libraries.

Level 4 restrictions affecting Cardiff and Wales

Wales is currently under national alert level four restrictions. These came into place on Sunday 20 December 2020.

This does not change access to education or support services and we will continue our blended learning approach. Returning to Cardiff to continue with studies is considered a reasonable excuse to travel. Students can still attend on-campus teaching or a placement during this period.

Students travelling from abroad

Students who may have travelled overseas during the Christmas recess will need to check what guidance they need to follow on their return.

They will need to:

Booking a COVID-19 test when students return to campus

We're strongly advising all students without coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms to book an appointment for a COVID-19 test with our Screening Service as close as possible to their return date. Getting tested when they return to campus helps to keep everyone safe.

Please note while Welsh Government guidance refers to ‘lateral flow’ tests this does not apply to our students as Cardiff University has its own in-house screening service.

Students can find out more about getting tested and how to book tests on the student intranet.

Laying low

Students waiting for their test results are asked to 'lay low' during this period and minimise contact with others. They can still attend on-campus teaching or a placement. If they test positive they will need to follow the guidance on self-isolation. If their result is negative they should continue to follow the guidance set out in the level 4 restrictions affecting Cardiff and Wales.

Contact us

If you are a parent or guardian of a current student and still have questions about coronavirus (COVID-19), our Student Connect team are available to take your call from Monday to Friday between 09:00 and 16:30.

Please note we will not be able to discuss matters regarding a specific student.

Advice for parents and guardians

Please select Option 1 for COVID-19 related queries.

  • Telephone+44 (0)29 2251 8888