Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Coronovirus (COVID-19) >

This Page has been Updated as at 17/3/20 with general public information relating to GSA's response to COVID-19. Students and staff should refer to Canvas and the student and staff intranets for regular updates.


Frequently Asked Questions (Issue 2: 17 March 2020)

 

Why have you taken the decision to close the campuses in Glasgow and Highlands and Islands to students?
Due to the continued spread of COVID-19 and in light of the UK Government’s transition from the ‘contain’ phase to the ‘delay’ phase of its response, access to the campuses will be closed from Tuesday 17 March at 6pm until further notice.

The health, safety and wellbeing of the GSA’s staff, students and their families is the School’s priority at all times. Of course we recognise that this is a rapidly changing situation and the GSA will monitor the best advice and information from the UK and Scottish Governments, the NHS and WHO, make decisions and communicate these accordingly. Please refer to the website at www.gsa.ac.uk/coronavirus, and the staff intranet or the student intranet for updates and if you have any questions you can email covid19info@gsa.ac.uk at any time.

 

Have you had any cases so far?
At present, there are no cases involving GSA staff or students.

The risk on campuses in Glasgow and the Highlands and Islands remains low. Our staff in China are following their host country guidance in addition to information provided by GSA and in Singapore, staff and students are following the guidance issued by the Singapore Government and SIT.

Students on exchange have been advised to follow guidance issued by their host institution and country alongside information issued by GSA, the UK and Scottish Government and NHS.

 

What do I do if I suspect I have Coronavirus?
It has been announced by the Scottish Government that as of 13 March anyone developing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, however mild, should self-isolate for seven days.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are recent onset of:

  • new continuous cough and/or
  • high temperature

If symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after seven days then people should be advised to phone their GP or NHS24 (111). Information for the public on COVID-19, including stay at home advice for people who are self-isolating, can be found on NHS Inform.

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Helpline
If you don't have symptoms and are looking for general information, a free helpline has been set up on 0800 028 2816. The helpline is open every day, 8.00am to 10.00pm.

 

Do the GSA’s absence procedures still apply?
Whether you are a member of staff or a student and you are unable to work through contracting Coronavirus COVID-19, self-isolating or have care responsibilities resulting from Coronavirus COVID-19 you should still follow the GSA’s absence procedures.

Staff: Should notify your line manager and the information will be logged on the ITrent system.  HR will be issuing information for staff and this will be available on the HR pages on the Staff Intranet.

Students who are unable to work due to the COVID-19 situation should still email Covid19absence@gsa.ac.uk to notify the GSA. Please ensure that you use your GSA email address and provide the following information:

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Student ID number
  • Programme of study

Please also identify in the communication whether you have been:

  • Confirmed with a case of COVID-19 (tested by NHS Scotland)
  • Suspected with a case of COVID-19 (untested by NHS Scotland)
  • Self-diagnosed self-isolation

You should ensure you keep the GSA up to date with your situation on a regular basis (i.e. at least weekly) via this email address.

 

How do I keep in touch with various departments whilst not on campus?
GSA Registry, IT Helpdesk, Finance Office, Student Support Services, the Library and School Admin teams remain accessible by email. 

Finance Office – fees@gsa.ac.uk
School Administration Teams – SchoolAdmin@gsa.ac.uk
Registry – registry@gsa.ac.uk
IT Helpdesk www.gsastudents.sysaidit.com / gsaitstudentdesk@gsa.ac.uk
Library – library@gsa.ac.uk / https://lib.gsa.ac.uk/2020/03/17/covid-19-closure/
Student Support - /life/student-support-services/

 

I have Library Books on loan/need resources but the Library is now not open to students.
There is no requirement to return any books to the Library for the period of the library closure. All loans will be extended for the duration of the School closure and all fees will be waived. 

An up to date resource for any Library enquiries which includes information on Library services, contact information and Canvas access is available now. https://lib.gsa.ac.uk/2020/03/17/covid-19-closure/

 

Events and Exhibitions
Events and exhibitions at GSA will be postponed until further notice and the decision has now been made to cancel the following large scale public events.

- Degree Show 2020
In light of the advice from the Scottish Government surrounding attendance at large-scale public events, Degree Show 2020 is being reviewed. Programme teams are looking at how final year students’ work can be assessed. Details specific to your programme and year will be issued by Schools on Canvas by the end of this week. The online showcase for Degree Show is still planned to continue and you should check your email and Canvas for further updates.

- Summer Graduation 2020
Graduation on Friday 19 June has been cancelled. More information will be issued about Graduation in due course.

- GSA Singapore Degree Show and Graduation
Currently, the GSA Singapore Degree Show is unaffected and Graduation is under review


Is there any decision regarding reimbursement for the disruption to assessment caused by the GSA's response to COVID-19?

No decision has been made on the reimbursement of tuition, residential or other fees.  Any decision will be made in line with the GSA's Fee's Policy and sector guidance.

What is the advice on personal international travel?
For both staff and students, the GSA is not responsible for you on personal trips but we all have a responsibility to help avoid the spread of coronavirus and to help minimise the disruption arising from it. 

We strongly recommend that you follow the advice and guidance found on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website at all times.  This includes advice on whether it is safe to travel to a particular country, advice on health and security, including advice on coronavirus, and advice on what to do when returning from a trip e.g. whether it is necessary to self-isolate for example.

If you decide to travel against FCO advice you should note that there may be restrictions imposed that may impact your return to the UK and include a requirement to self-isolate on your return to the UK or in-country.

For staff, given the evolving situation you can discuss with your line manager about cancelling or amending annual leave, even at short notice. Your leave should already be logged and approved on the ITrent system and should be amended on there.

 

Are there specific instructions for students living in GSA Halls?
GSA Halls remain open and operating as normal. All students whether in GSA Halls, private halls or private accommodation, should be following the basic health protection advice issued by the UK and Scottish Government and NHS.

If you are a student in GSA Halls and have been advised by the NHS to self-isolate, please contact accommodation@gsa.ac.uk  or call 

Margaret McDonald House – 07940106308
Blythswood House – 07940106314

If you are in private halls or private accommodation and if you are advised by the NHS to self-isolate you should notify the GSA in-line with the standard absence procedures.



Overseas Immersion Programme (Y3 Singapore Students)
This year’s Overseas Immersion Programme is currently under review. 

Please be assured that any amendments to the Overseas Immersion Programme will not affect the attainment of credits necessary to graduate with honours from your programme.

Further information will be communicated in due course. 

 

I am concerned about by the impact of Coronavirus on my immigration status.
helpline has been set up by the Home Office for international higher education staff and students if they have immigration queries related to coronavirus. The helpline can only speak to the visa holder or applicant about individual cases. If a third party wishes to speak on their behalf, they must have the visa holder’s permission.

 

I have a Tier 4 visa and am planning to return home what should I do?
Please note the following advice:

1.      If you are currently in the process of having your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)_ corrected and have not yet received your new BRP, you are advised NOT to travel until this has been issued. If you attempt to re-enter the UK on your old BRP you may be refused entry.

2.      If you have submitted a visa extension application and have not yet received your new visa, you are advised NOT to travel until your new visa has been issued. If you leave the UK before the extension is granted, your application will be automatically cancelled by UKVI.

3.      You must continue to engage with your course as agreed with your department. If you have queries relating to possible limitations on travelling between the UK and your home country, please check information from your home embassy and UK Government information.

 

I have a Tier 4 Visa and am remaining in Scotland – what happens now?
Specific advice will follow as to how you will be monitored by your Programme Team for UKVI purposes following 17 March 2020 when you no longer have access to studio. 

 

Will my assessment deadlines change?
Programme teams are looking at how students’ work can be assessed both for continuing and final year students. Details specific to your programme and year will be issued by Schools on Canvas by the end of this week. 

 

What will I have to submit for assessment?
The revised assessments will take into consideration the work you have already completed, and work that you have in progress. Programme teams are considering how lack of studio, library and workshop access will impact on your work, and how this will be reflected in the assessment requirements. The arrangements for assessment are currently being agreed and the details of these will be sent out shortly please refer to Canvas.

 

How will my studies continue?
Canvas continues to be the primary source for accessing programme materials and information and where you will find announcements and updates from your teaching staff. Programme teams will be considering how students can be further supported online through content such as Planet e-Stream where appropriate. Please ensure when looking at Canvas content that you are checking regularly on a desktop/laptop as some content may not be immediately visible when viewing on a mobile or tablet.

 

If I have to go home, will there be academic penalties?
You should be able to keep in touch with your programme team and make any submissions online, or at a distance. You should however, ensure that you keep up to date with the information sent to you by email, GSA Student Intranet, Canvas and student eBulletin for updates on submissions and assessment requirements for this session.

 

I am self-isolating and could not retrieve my belongings from my studio before today's 6pm deadline. What do I do?
You should have ensured that you have retrieved any personal belongings or work that you may need for submission/assessment by 6pm on Tuesday 17 March. If you have been unable to make the deadline due to illness please contact your Programme Leader for guidance.

 

I am a PG research student, will my viva proceed?
As with other assessment processes, specific arrangements will be considered for vivas that are scheduled for over the next month. Please refer to Canvas and your Primary Supervisor for details.

 

I am an exchange student to GSA, what happens if I need/want to return to my home country?
If you are a student on exchange to GSA, and you wish to go home, or have been recalled by your Government or institution, details of how you can submit work for assessment will be detailed on Canvas. Please make sure that you regularly refer to GSA Student Intranet, Canvas and your GSA student email for updates on assessment and submission.

 

I am an Architecture student on a PPYO Placement. What should I do?
Students on PPYO should follow the advice of their employer about attending work and completing their practical training. You should continue to submit your completed PEDR Log Sheets through the MSA Admin Team as usual. Please also refer regularly to Canvas for updates.

 

What should we do about Media Studio equipment ? Should these items be returned by 6pm 17th March 2020?
Media Studio requires all hired equipment to be returned by 6pm 17 March 2020. If you cannot, because of self-isolation, return by this deadline, please contact the Media Studio directly.  

 

I am holding an offer or thinking about applying to the GSA’s Pre-Sessional English Programmes?
Our intention is that our summer pre-sessional English Programmes will run. We are currently looking at developing an online version that students can undertake if and when travel restrictions may be in place. Further information will be available in the near future.


Is this situation temporary or is the School closing for the remainder of the academic year?
The information posted to students is available on our website at www.gsa.ac.uk/coronavirus and on the staff and student intranets and these will be kept updated.

Currently the GSA has ceased all teaching, tutorials and crits and there is no access to studios, library and workshops.  It is currently unclear how long this will last, therefore staff are putting in place academic continuity plans which will cover assessments working on the basis that undergraduate students will not return to campus this academic year.  The position regarding Semester 3 for postgraduate taught students is at present unclear.

 

I have applied or am considering applying to GSA for full-time study – what should I do?
If you have applied or are intending to apply to the GSA to study from September 2020 continue to do so. The GSA remains open and all applications for entry 2020 are being processed as normal although there may be an impact on how quickly applications can be processed.

We are working through potential impacts around IELTS and UK Visas and further information will be issued once known.

Our intention is that we will be welcoming you as a new student to the GSA this autumn.

 

I am holding an offer or thinking about applying to the GSA’s Pre-sessional English Programmes what should I do?
Our intention is that our summer pre-sessional English Programmes will run. We are currently looking at developing an online version that students can undertake if and when travel restrictions may be in place. Further information will be available in the near future. 

 

Useful Links to Official Sources of Information
For the latest public information on Coronavirus visit: www.nhsinform.scot/coronavirus

The latest information on the situation in Scotland is being published by The Scottish Government at www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19

UK Government Information. Find out the number of cases and risk level in the UK, what to do if you’re a returning traveller, and what the government is doing about the virus at www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

UK Government Travel Advice is available at 
www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

 

How is GSA communicating?
We have in place clear channels of communication and you should keep up-to-date with the information published:

    • All-Staff or All-Student emails are calls to action
    • GSA e-bulletins are general information
    • GSA Staff Intranet - the core information resource and links
    • GSA Student Intranet – launching today (17/03/20) will feature Coronavirus information only at this stage and is only accessible by student IT email login
    • Canvas ­ for programme-specific information
    • GSA Website - general public information 
    • Social Media –general public information, links to GSA Media Centre, updates from the Creative Network follow us at:

 

 



Frequently Asked Questions (Issue 1: 12 March 2020)

Is the GSA Open?
Yes, the GSA is open and operating as normal although events and exhibitions are being postponed.  For information on these please visit the events pages on the GSA website and Canvas.

Should this situation change information will be posted on the GSA website, via our staff intranet, Canvas and via all-staff and all-student emails and e-bulletins.  Information will also be posted on our social media channels.

We understand that this situation is causing concern and therefore it is important that we all look out for one another, are mindful of how actions and words, however motivated, may be perceived by others and encourage everyone to refer to the information being issued by the GSA, the UK Government, the Scottish Government and the NHS.

Visitors and contractors on Campus
All visitors should report to the main reception in the Reid Building where they will be issued with a pass and be collected by the GSA member of staff or student (subject to prior approval) they are visiting. 

Contractors should report to the Estates or IT office as appropriate and follow the GSA’s guidance for contractors on campus which includes Health and Safety information.

Should I/my child leave the GSA to return home?
No. The GSA is open and operating as normal so we advise students to attend their scheduled studio, lectures, seminars and activities unless they are unwell.

Should students return from European or International exchange?
We are not recommending students return to the UK or their home country although some US based institutions have recalled students.

Any student who is concerned should speak with their Programme Leader, the Student Recruitment and International Office or staff in their host institution. 

Applying to GSA for full-time study – what should I do?
If you have applied or are intending to apply to the GSA to study from September 2020 continue to do so. The GSA remains open and all applications for entry 2020 are being processed as normal although there may be an impact on how quickly applications can be processed.

We are working through potential impacts around IELTS and UK Visas and further information will be issued once known.

Our intention is that we will be welcoming you as a new student to the GSA this Autumn.

Holding an offer or thinking about applying to the GSA’s Pre-sessional English Programmes?
Our intention is that our summer pre-sessional English Programmes will run. We are currently looking at developing an online version that students can undertake if and when travel restrictions may be in place. Further information will be available in the near future.

How is GSA preparing for an outbreak?
We are undertaking planning which focuses on COVID-19 preparedness and detailed business continuity including planning around admissions and enrolment, academic continuity including the use of on-line learning tools where appropriate should the campus be closed and how we will undertake assessments, the degree show and other events around our estate. 

Specific information will be issued to students on our plans as and when they are required. In the meantime, programmes of study will be operating as normal.

We are issuing regular communications to staff and students on precautions to prevent infection.

What is GSA doing to minimise the risk of infection?
We are following and encouraging everyone within the GSA’s community to follow to guidance issued by the NHS to reduce the overall and specific risks by taking appropriate infection control actions (e.g. strengthening guidance on hand washing, unnecessary contact such as hand shaking, and coughing), and focusing cleaning operations on frequently touched surfaces to reduce likelihood of transmission.

Sanitiser gel is available across the campus together with soap dispensers in toilets.  These are being kept filled and replenished as needed.

Basic health protection advice that everyone at GSA should follow includes:  

  • Washing hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds or using a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available; 
  • Covering the nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing and binning any tissues used; 
  • Regularly cleaning surfaces; 
  • Avoiding touching the eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands; 
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are unwell; 
  • Avoiding sharing food, drink and utensils. 
  • Avoid shaking hands.
  • Please also be aware that increased frequency of handwashing and use of sanitiser does dry the skin out, and it's very important to moisturise regularly to prevent cracking and opening the skin to other infections.

New UK and Scottish Government advice issued on 12 March states that new measures are being put in place which require individuals to

  • Stay at home for 7 days if you have, however mild, a new continuous cough or higher temperature.

GSA Travel
GSA has cancelled or postponed all GSA non-UK travel to minimise risk.  Staff and students should refer to the communications issued on 10 March 2020 available online.

-Staff Travel Update 10 March
-Student Travel and Exchange Update 10 March

What is the advice on personal international travel?
For both staff and students, the GSA is not responsible for you on personal trips but we all have a responsibility to help avoid the spread of coronavirus and to help minimise the disruption arising from it. 

We strongly recommend that you follow the advice and guidance found on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website at all times.  This includes advice on whether it is safe to travel to a particular country, advice on health and security, including advice on coronavirus, and advice on what to do when returning from a trip e.g. whether it is necessary to self-isolate for example.

If you decide to travel against FCO advice you should note that there may be restrictions imposed that may impact your return to the UK and include a requirement to self-isolate on your return to the UK or in-country.

For staff, given the evolving situation you can discuss with your line manager about cancelling or amending annual leave, even at short notice. Your leave should already be logged and approved on the ITrent system and should be amended on there.

Are there specific instructions for students living in GSA Halls?
GSA Halls remain open and operating as normal. All students whether in GSA Halls, private halls or private accommodation, should be following the basic health protection advice issued by the UK and Scottish Government and NHS.

If you are a student in GSA Halls and have been advised by the NHS to self-isolate, please contact accommodation@gsa.ac.uk  or call 

Margaret McDonald House – 07940106308

Blythswood House – 07940106314

If you are in private halls or private accommodation and if you are advised by the NHS to self-isolate you should notify the GSA in-line with the standard absence procedures.

Have you had any cases so far?
At present, there are no cases involving GSA staff or students.

The risk on campuses in Glasgow and the Highlands and Islands remains low. Our staff in China are following their host country guidance in addition to information provided by GSA and in Singapore, staff and students are following the guidance issued by the Singapore Government and SIT.

Students on exchange have been advised to follow guidance issued by their host institution and country alongside information issued by GSA, the UK and Scottish Government and NHS.

Where can I find information on Coronavirus COVID-19
Information from the GSA to staff and students is being made available via:

  • Staff intranet
  • Canvas
  • Regular and ad-hoc staff and student e-bulletins
  • All staff and student emails

This information is based on UK and Scottish Government and NHS advice and have specific information and action for staff and students.

Staff and students on our overseas campuses or on exchange should refer to information provided by their host Government alongside information on the UK and Scottish Government or NHS websites.

For specific and general information on Coronavirus COVID-19 you should refer to the UK Government, Scottish Government or NHS websites.

What should I do if I suspect I have coronavirus?
You should follow the instructions issued by the NHS and call NHS24 on 111.

Essentially - If you have returned from an affected area in the last 14 days or been in close contact with a confirmed case: stay indoors and avoid contact with other people. 

Anyone can access NHS services, which includes NHS 24, GP surgeries, and A&E, for free but please do not go in to medical facilities as this could infect others and contact NHS24 on 111 in the first instance. 

People who are returning from category 1 risk areas listed on the HPS COVID-19 website should follow the available advice and self-isolate at home as required. 

Anyone who develops symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath during self-isolation should contact their GP or NHS24 on 111. 

People who have returned from category 2 areas also listed on the Health Protection Scotland website are advised to stay at home if they develop symptoms and contact their GP or NHS24 on 111. 

Notification of absence
Whether you are a member of staff or a student and you are absent through contracting Coronavirus COVID-19, self-isolating or have care responsibilities resulting from Coronavirus COVID-19 you should follow the GSA’s absence procedures.

Staff: Should notify your line manager and the information will be logged on the ITrent system.  HR will be issuing information for staff and this will be available on the HR pages on the Staff Intranet.

Students: Should contact their programme leader following the usual process for non-attendance.  Programme Leaders should refer this to the Head of School for appropriate action as this may have wider GSA impact.

I am concerned about by the impact of Coronavirus on my immigration status
helpline has been set up by the Home Office for international higher education staff and students if they have immigration queries related to coronavirus. The helpline can only speak to the visa holder or applicant about individual cases. If a third party wishes to speak on their behalf, they must have the visa holder’s permission.

Useful Links to Official Sources of Information
For the latest public information on Coronavirus visit: www.nhsinform.scot/coronavirus

The latest information on the situation in Scotland is being published by The Scottish Government at www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19

UK Government Information. Find out the number of cases and risk level in the UK, what to do if you’re a returning traveller, and what the government is doing about the virus at www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

UK Government Travel Advice is available at 
www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus