End of Semester 1 and start of Semester 2 arrangements

Accommodation

Accommodation fees

In line with Oxford Brookes’ policy, the University recently emailed (11 January 2021) all students in University-owned accommodation.

This emailed confirmed that for eligible students not living in their University-managed accommodation* during the current lockdown period, a 50% reduction will be applied to rent.

For eligible students, this will be retrospectively applied from Tuesday 5 January, when the national lockdown was introduced. This 50% reduction on rent will continue until students return to their room or the national lockdown ends, whichever is soonest.

Students in University-managed accommodation should read their emails for further information on this rent reduction and the £300 rent refund announced on 16 December 2020.

The University is unable to enforce a refund for third-party halls or private rental properties and this therefore only applies to students in University-managed accommodation. Students not in University-managed accommodation should contact their accommodation management company, landlord or letting agency directly with any questions or concerns they may have.

We appreciate that money concerns are very real for many students during these difficult times. If you find yourself in financial difficulty as a result of the current pandemic, please see the Financial Aid webpages for information about what support may be available.

* In addition to Brookes Lettings Properties, the Halls of Residence this refund credit applies to are: Cheney Student Village, Clive Booth Student Village, Paul Kent, Crescent, Friar Court, Harcourt Hill and N Block, Lady Spencer, Warneford and Westminster.  

Returning to accommodation

Wherever possible, you should remain at your vacation accommodation and should not travel to access your university facilities until the resumption of your face-to-face teaching.

You should avoid returning to university to collect any of your belongings which your may have left at your university accommodation over the winter break. However, you can travel back to collect any medical equipment or items required for online learning if it is essential.

Semester 2 arrangements

With the announcement of a national lockdown in England, universities have been asked to deliver online teaching for the majority of students until mid-February at the earliest. 

However, there are a number of previously announced exceptions to this and these specific courses will commence face-to-face learning as planned. Programme Teams will be in touch with students on these courses to confirm arrangements. Students on these courses should book and take two rapid Covid tests, three days apart, upon arrival or self-isolate for ten days before commencing face to face study.

Your health and safety is our highest priority and we will ensure that all face-to-face teaching continues to be delivered in a Covid-secure, on-campus environment. 

Research students will receive further information shortly. Students studying at partner colleges should follow guidance from their college.

When should students return to their university / term-time accommodation?

Office for Students guidance states that wherever possible, students should not return to their term-time accommodation until their face-to-face teaching begins. This will help minimise the risk of transmission across the country and make it easier for students to get tested quickly when they do return to university. 

However, students may return to university earlier if they do not have access to appropriate alternative accommodation, facilities or studying space, or if they decide it is better for their mental health and wellbeing.

Students returning to/arriving at university accommodation should book and take two rapid Covid tests, three days apart, upon arrival or self-isolate for ten days before commencing face to face study.

See also Returning to accommodation for information about collecting medical equipment or essential items for online learning. 

Our facilities on campus

We can confirm that our libraries, social and study spaces, IT facilities, labs and a selection of catering outlets are open. However, you should only utilise campus resources when you have to, in order to reduce footfall on campus. 

The Brookes Union Advice service is currently closed due to staff sickness until 1 February.

You can find out about accessing online help and resources from the Library on its webpage.

Students should access support services - such as Student Central, Careers, and the IT Service Desk - online through email or online meeting software such as Google Meet or Zoom, where applicable.

Wellbeing services will remain predominantly online as they have throughout Semester 1. Please visit the Wellbeing website for information on how to access these services.

In line with the national lockdown, Brookes Sport indoor facilities are now closed for everything but educational delivery. 


Quarantine and Covid test arrangements for international students

Students who are travelling or returning to the UK from a country which is not on the exemption (travel corridor) list will need to self-isolate after arrival. This may mean that they need to return to their student accommodation earlier than most other students. If this is the case for you, please see this page for information and contacts.

From 18 January, new Covid test requirements apply to anyone travelling into the UK. This International Student Advice Team webpage explains what you need to know about the test requirements and travelling to the UK.


Test to return: rapid Covid testing for returning students

All students without Covid symptoms will be strongly encouraged to undertake two rapid Covid tests after arriving back at University. This will be an important way of preventing further outbreaks amongst the student community in the New Year and avoiding large numbers of students isolating.

Students returning to Oxford Brookes from a Tier 3 (‘very high’) area may also need to take a rapid (Lateral Flow) test prior to travelling back to University. The availability of these tests will be determined by the Local Authority where you live - please check your local council’s website for details. If you aren’t able to get a test, you may return to University as planned, however you should follow social distancing rules, reduce where possible your social contacts and book a rapid Covid test as soon as possible.

Testing centres will reopen from 7 January to enable returning students to take two rapid Covid-19 tests. Booking is now open via the test booking website.

If you have any questions or concerns about our Semester 2 plans, please email covid-19@brookes.ac.uk