Newsletter sent on 29 January

Welcome to your latest student newsletter 

Almost all of us are away from campus at the moment, and normally that’s the glue that holds us together, the shared space that we can all enjoy. Wherever you are this weekend, do something for you and be nice to yourself if you can.  

On Wednesday, the government announced that due to the national public health data and pressure on NHS capacity, education restrictions (including those in Higher Education) will remain in place until 8 March at the earliest. Plans for students remain the same.  

If you’re in Leeds  

Visiting campus to study  

If you’re in Leeds, then the safest place to study is at home. If you haven’t got study space at home, or need books from the library, then you can book a space in the library, or Common Ground, if it’s absolutely necessary.   

Here’s six things to be aware of:   

  1. Testing – Take a free asymptomatic test twice a week and only use campus if you have a negative result. Even if you’ve had a positive test recently you are encouraged to take an asymptomatic test regardless, as this is a good indicator of high viral load, and therefore whether you’re still infectious.  

  1. Face covering - Keep your face covering on all the time please – even when you’re sitting at your desk. Although they can be uncomfortable at times, they are for the protection of everyone, and it’s really important they cover your mouth and nose – the virus lives in your nasal passages. If you are exempt from wearing a face covering, don’t forget to pick up an exemption card from the staff. You’ll see the staff checking the guidelines are followed, to ensure all students and staff are safe.   

  1. Safety in the library - Follow the signage in place and the one way systems – please don’t gather in doorways or corridors, and remember, sadly study groups aren’t allowed at the moment.  

  1. Getting books - You can’t access the bookshelves at the moment. Reserve your books using click and collect service and if you’ve got a car, free one hour parking is now available when you come and collect them. If you can’t get onto campus there is a click and send service too – the Library can post the books to you. 

New information about study support  

  1. Study Space – From Monday 1 February, additional study space will be available in Common Ground, in the Leeds University Union building. Book your study space in the library and Common Ground before you come. They are both set up to make sure you’re always 2m or more away from others. There is a lot of demand for limited space, so please only book if you’re sure you’re going to be coming in, and if you have to change your plans please remember to cancel your booking or the space will be wasted. If you’re using Common Ground, you’ll need turn up within the first hour of your spot. Sadly, there’s no group study or food and drink here.  On Monday,  you’ll also be able to book evening study sessions in the Edward Boyle Library.  Initially this will be Sunday - Thursday, 6:30 – midnight.

  2. Printing – If you should need any, upload your printing requirements at When asked for a code, enter SILPSFAB and your printing can be picked up free of charge at the Print and Copy Bureau on campus. This is currently running until Easter.  

Keeping our neighbourhood safe  

We all need to work together to keep each other – and our neighbours in the community – safe. Thank you to all of you who have looked out for vulnerable neighbours, got involved with local groups and helped those who have needed it. If you want to get involved with local community groups where you live (you don’t have to be in Leeds to do this), Facebook is often where you can find out about them.   

However, there has been some concerns around safety due to the behaviour of a small number of members of our community. Please do not organise or attend gatherings which break laws or Government social distancing guidelines.  

West Yorkshire Police are now taking a zero tolerance approach with the minority of people who continue to breach COVID-19 restrictions in our communities. Fines will be imposed for all and any breaches in restrictions. This includes the introduction of £800 fines for those hosting and attending a party with more than 15 people in attendance. There are University sanctions too.    

If you’re worried about behaviour in your neighbourhood, contact the Neighbourhood Helpline (via web, email or 0113 3431064), which is operated by the city’s universities, in partnership with the city council and police.  

Degree Classification  

We sent an email to you on Tuesday 26 January explaining about degree classification.   

  • For January, in response to the stricter government restrictions over the holiday period, we waived penalties on the submission of Semester 1 coursework for up to 7 days for all students.   

  • We have streamlined our mitigating circumstances process to make it easier to apply and will be sympathetic that you may not always be able to provide evidence of your situation.   

  • We will review marks at Assessment Boards to make sure that any disruptions to learning or assessment are considered in finalising module marks and you are treated fairly and equitably.  

Find out more, including frequently asked questions, and a video from the Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice Chancellor for Student Education.  

In University-allocated accommodation?  

If you live in University-allocated accommodation, you’ll have got your email from the accommodation team on Wednesday 13 January. It explained how to apply for a rent refund (credited to your residence account) for your residential accommodation charges covering the period from the start of the spring term on 11 January until 19 February.  

What happens next?   

  • We aim to process eligible rent credits as soon as possible  

  • When your residence account has been credited you will receive an updated statement  

  • If you have already paid your account in full, the Student Fees team will contact you to arrange a refund of any credit balance  

Still got questions? Read our frequently asked questions on accommodation. Can’t find your email? Get in touch with the accommodation team or call 0113 343 7777.  

Hardship fund  

The University is making a contribution of up to £2m to the student hardship fund, to supplement the £109,534 being made available by the Government for the current financial year. The fund is open to all of you, including those living in non-University of Leeds accommodation.   

Find out how to apply and eligibility details on the Leeds Hardship Fund page or from LUU help and support.  

Can you spot a liar, or do aerobics in drag?  

It may be a strange title for our what’s on section, but read on and find out more!  

If you made new year’s resolutions, and they’ve not really happened, don’t worry! Leeds University Union (LUU) have some great events on to join in with, wherever you are.   

With everything from drag aerobics to virtual yoga, to an Among Us tournament and how to become a lie detector (this looks amazing!) find out what’s on over the next couple of weeks.   

Leeds Sport have a great range of activities for people of all abilities, to promote health, fitness and well-being to support with our students and staff during the lockdown period.    

Have your say  

Did you travel to University of Leeds from outside of the UK in December 2020 or January 2021? We are dedicated to continuously improving our international arrival and orientation services and we can only do this with your help. Please complete this survey to provide feedback about your arrival experiences and our international arrival and orientation services.  If you complete the survey by 1 February 2021 you can enter a prize draw to win a £20 Love2Shop voucher.

Opportunities and roles  

Chat to us at PhD LIVE  

If you’re considering postgraduate research at Leeds, you’re likely to have questions about our research opportunities. Join us at PhD LIVE Virtual Study Fair, 15-16 February. Chat to us to find out about research opportunities, funding, the application process and more. Register today to secure your place.  

Monday 15 February 11am – 3.30pm 
Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine subjects 
Register now 

Tuesday 16 February 11am – 3.30pm 
Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences subjects 
Register now 

Could you work remotely for the University?  

Exclusive new roles are available via the Leeds Internship Programme with various projects aimed to make a difference to the student experience! Roles are paid, part-time and exclusive to Leeds students. Find out more on MyCareer  

Online courses  

The University is a world-leading institution for digital education, and here’s some new opportunities to further your learning.   

The courses developed in partnership with the Institute of Coding featured heavily in the most popular courses of the year list, specifically Computer Programming for Everyone, Learn to Code for the Web  and  Creating a Great User Experience for Mobile Apps.  

Find out more about your free access to FutureLearn Campus and Coursera for Campus  

Stay in touch and look after yourself  

Want to chat with other students? Join our Leeds community through the LUU Facebook group and our current students’ Facebook group.   

Remember, our support services are available, and should you need them, Togetherall and also Nightline are available, wherever you are in the world.