If you have any questions you should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note the situation around COVID-19 is likely to continue to change this term and the information here may not always be fully up-to-date. Officer priorities will continue to be reviewed based on student feedback and other information. You can find updated information from the University at their coronavirus information page.
13 April 2021 - University Update: Return to Campus
The university has emailed all students today to confirm that the government has still not provided any guidance on when students should be allowed to return to in-person teaching. This means that the majority of courses will remain online-only for now.
There are however, certain specific courses with practical or practical-based programmes (including creative arts) which will be returning to in-person timetabled sessions from 19 April. You can see if your course is planning to return to in-person teaching by checking the university website here.
12 April 2021 - Bristol SU Officer Statement: Return to Campus
Today England has seen the next stage of lockdown restrictions easing, and yet students have still not been told officially by the government when they will be able to return to university campuses. We’re frustrated that once again the government has ignored university students and the difficulties they are facing.
We are urgently seeking clarity from the government on when students will be allowed to return to campus. We’re also seeking clarity from the university on what this means for the final term of teaching and assessment, and we’re expecting them to send details on this to students this week.
We’re continuing to work hard to support you during this period of uncertainty and will be continuing to focus on the following key areas for this academic year:
This year has not been what any of us expected. If your educational experience has been severely impacted this year then please join us in our campaign for Fee Justice Now. There are a number of actions you can take from writing to Hugh Brady to sharing the campaign on social media.
If you have been impacted financially by Covid-19 then you might be eligible for the university’s covid impact fund. This may help you to cover costs on rent, or additional costs associated with online teaching.
1 April 2021 - Easter Closure Dates
Bristol SU will be closed from 2 April - 6 April. Our staff will return to work on 7 April. If you need wellbeing support during this time, please make use of the University's wellbeing services. If you're looking for things to keep you busy over the break, take a look at Global Lounge's Spring Activities Library.
30 March 2021 - Bristol SU Roadmap
We have released our Bristol SU Roadmap for our planned return out of the national lockdown. All dates are subject to change according to government guidance, so please check back regularly for updates. Click here to see the roadmap.
19 March 2021 - Libraries
Subject to government and university guidelines, all libraries and study centres, will open from Monday 19 April. Find out more about opening times over the Easter break.
15 March 2021 - Update from the university on teaching plans from 19 April 2021
The university has today emailed all students to give an update on their plans for a possible return to teaching from 19 April 2021.
The university has laid out their plans for returning to blended learning, but is still awaiting further clarification from the government to confirm details.
Key updates you should know:
For any further information, please check your emails from the university, or visit the coronavirus webpage.
5 March 2021 - Extended Rent Rebates, On-Campus Testing, and Study Spaces
Students who usually live in halls – but are not currently in residence
Following long-lasting conversations between Bristol SU, our Bristol SU Officer Team, and The University, we are pleased that the university has agreed to extend the current rent rebate from 26 March to the end of the spring vacation – 16 April.
This extension applies to those students who are not currently in residence in halls, and who are already in receipt of the rebate. You don’t need to take any action to receive this, it will be applied automatically. You can find more information about the rent rebate on the University website. This is a significant win for students, and recognises the ongoing effect of the national lockdown on students’ ability to return to Bristol.
All other students currently living in Bristol.
Following the government’s announcement of the ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown, the university has been planning how to begin safely re-opening more of the campus. Any students living in halls of residences or coming to campus should get tested regularly – taking two tests each week. You can find out more about on-campus testing on the University website.
If you are living in halls, government guidance remains that you should stay where you are and not travel to other addresses (i.e move home). However, your SU officers have successfully secured an early tenancy release policy for students who are struggling living in university accommodation, which can help you exit your tenancy if you need to. Read more about the COVID rent release policy on the University website.
We know that students have been asking for more study spaces on campus, and David Ion your Undergraduate Education Officer has been urgently pushing the university to make more study space available for students.
We are pleased that the university has agreed to open all study spaces and music rooms in university residences from Monday 8 March (open every weekday until 8pm).
The following libraries are also open on campus:
Government regulations continue to require people to remain at home. The provision of study spaces and libraries is for students who are struggling to access education from their current address and to enable access to materials that are not otherwise accessible. Social distancing, wearing of masks and hand hygiene must be followed in these spaces.
If you need financial support during this time, please consider applying for the COVID Impact Fund. It is designed to support students with any costs incurred because of the pandemic – for example, the cost of Wifi boosters or laptops for online learning, and can support you to pay for things like rent and food if you have lost earnings. Find out more about the Coronavirus Impact Fund on the University website.
Please remember, if you need wellbeing support during this time you can contact the university Wellbeing Access Service.
23 February 2021 – Government Update on ‘Roadmap’ out of Lockdown
Yesterday (22 February) Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out his ‘roadmap’ for how England will leave the current national lockdown. The University of Bristol has emailed all students this morning to provide an update on what this means for universities, and for the rest of the academic year at Bristol. Read more about the roadmap on the University website.
If you are struggling financially as a result of coronavirus, you can apply to the Covid Impact Fund – this can help support you manage loss of earnings, and provide support for extra costs related to online learning.
The key government updates to know are:
The current national lockdown restrictions remain in place until 8 March.
The University of Bristol will continue with online teaching for all students (apart from those programmes where some blended teaching is already taking place) for the remainder of this term in line with Government restrictions and local PHE advice.
The university is considering a limited return to in-person activity/teaching from 8 March for any additional courses that specifically require in-person teaching in line with government guidance (ie. programmes for students who are studying practical or practice-based subjects and require specialist equipment and facilities). If you are a student on one of these courses, your school will be in contact with you to confirm details by Friday 26 February.
It is expected that blended learning will not restart for the majority of programmes until after the spring vacation (from 19 April onwards). This is subject to further Government and local PHE guidance and restrictions and will likely see a staggered return for programmes.
The university is working hard to confirm details of when other facilities can re-open, including sports facilities, catering, study spaces, and libraries. In line with government guidance, it may be that these are able to open at the start of the summer term. The university will keep students up to date with a timetable for this as soon as government guidance allows.
It is important that all students continue to follow guidance to limit the spread of coronavirus.
Stay at home – you must only leave your house for exercise, or to get food or medical supplies. If you are at home away from Bristol you should stay there - if you are already in Bristol, you should stay here and not travel.
Wash your hands regularly – and for at least 20 seconds.
Wear your facemask whenever you’re out of the house, but particularly when on campus, in shops, or in crowded areas.
Maintain 2 metre social distancing from others outside of your household at all times.
The rules apply to all of us. It makes absolutely no difference if you’ve had already COVID-19 or think you might have: the virus can still be transmitted to others.
2 February 2021 - Meeting with Thangam Debbonaire
Last Friday, Student Living Officer Ruth met with Thangam Debonnaire MP, the Bristol Rent Strike and the Young Labour Student Representatives to discuss the issues students in the private rental sector and halls were facing.
Some of the commitments that she made to us were to:
We will continue to push for the fair treatment of all student renters, be that in halls or in the private sector.
28 January 2021 - Body worn cameras
Body worn cameras have been introduced to protect students and staff and create a safer community. Body worn cameras may be worn by security staff on patrol from 29 January. Read more about body worn cameras.
15 January 2021 - Bristol SU Officer Statement: Assessment Mitigations
You'll receive an update today from the university on academic mitigations for assessments this year. This announcement has followed three days of talks with the university and we are pleased to see them implement some of the measures we have been calling for since late November. We hope that the mitigations agreed go some way to reassure you in the assessments that you are about to take.
However, there are some areas where we've not yet been able to reach an agreement, and the measures announced today do not constitute a finished safety net that fully mitigates the impact of Covid on everybody's qualifications. You'll notice there's currently no no-detriment policy, our calls for which have been rejected. We will continue to negotiate with the university to put in place the blanket measures that are needed to recognise the impact of the pandemic on all students.
We're proud of what we've managed to win for students so far, but we know the current mitigations do not go far enough and will continue to fight for more comprehensive support for the summer assessment period. We are pleased that the university will continue to meet with us to discuss what these further measures will look like.
There will be an Education Network Forum following exams where you'll be able to give us feedback on the January assessment period and organise with us for more comprehensive measures for the summer. This is open to all students and we really encourage you to attend to let us know what you think and help us lobby the university to do more to support students in their studies.
David Ion (Undergraduate Education Officer) and Leah Martindale (Postgraduate Education Officer)
12 January 2021 - Rent Rebates for Students Living in University-Owned Halls
Students living in halls who are not currently in residence and are unable to return to University-owned accommodation as a result of Government guidance will receive an 100% rent rebate for the period 1 February – 26 March, providing your course has not resumed blended learning.
For details of how to receive this rebate, please check your emails and visit the accommodation portal >> https://www.bristol.ac.uk/accommodation/coronavirus/rent-rebate/
Bristol SU Student Living Officer Ruth Day said:
“We’re really pleased that the university have agreed to a rent rebate for students living in halls. This is one of the top priorities I took to the university when lockdown was announced and what students have been asking for. It’s great that the university has listened and acted quickly. We’ll be continuing to work with the University to ensure that students remaining in halls through lockdown get the financial support they need. We’ll also continue to work with JCRs and students striking with Bristol, Cut the Rent on the additional measures that they’d like to see put in place.”
5 January 2021 - Bristol SU Officer Statement: New National Lockdown
We hope that you are safe and well wherever you are currently. As your officer team we are now back at work with the rest of the Bristol SU team following the winter break and are looking for the best ways to support you throughout the new national lockdown.
We’ve been living with the reality of COVID-19 for a significant amount of time now but know that the national lockdown announced last night will bring new challenges for many of you.
It is important in this time that we recognise our shared responsibility to each other and take the necessary precautions to ensure that we are keeping ourselves and those most vulnerable safe by following Government guidance to stay at home, unless for specific purposes.
We know how varied the student experience is and we will continue to work closely with the university to make sure you are getting the support you need, and that the student voice is heard in decisions being made. Just some of the things we’ll be looking at as a matter of urgency include:
The university will be providing detailed information on plans for this term as soon as possible. In the meantime, if you have any questions you can contact the Student Information Service at email@example.com
We’re conscious that the current situation is likely to affect your wellbeing so would encourage you to reach out to wellbeing access for support if you need it.
We will share more information on our plans for this term shortly via email, social media and our coronavirus webpage so you can stay updated with the work we’re doing to support you. You can contact us via email to let us know what is concerning you.
In love and solidarity,
The Bristol SU Officer Team
4 December 2020 - Rent Rebates for Students in Halls
Following continued pressure and lobbying from Bristol SU and Bristol, Cut the Rent, Bristol has now led the way following the government announcement about staggered returns in the new year.
We’re really pleased about the announcement from the university yesterday on rent rebates, and to see our demands and those of the rent strikers acknowledged. We’ve managed to win:
* A 30% rent rebate for 7 weeks over the Winter period.
* Extra financial support for students on bursaries and Care Leavers and Estranged Students
This is on top of our previous wins of:
* 10 day rent rebate for the end of the Winter term
* Compassionate case-by-case contract no-penalty release policy
We still think there’s more the university can do and we’ll be continuing to work closely with them and the rent strikers to make sure that students are getting the best deal.
1 December 2020 - Bristol SU Officer Statement: January Assessment Mitigations
We call on the University of Bristol to introduce more academic mitigations for January exams.
The University’s planned policy for Extenuating Circumstances (ECs) during the January assessment period do not go far enough to protect students. We are asking for the University to take urgent action to change this, and ensure students aren’t left to fail through no fault of their own.
Students are currently facing unprecedented challenges that are having a huge impact on their education. Thousands in our community have faced serious illness in their family, infection with a potentially deadly or life-changing virus, self-isolation, halls lockdowns and more.
In any normal year, a student experiencing these things would be seen as suffering exceptional extenuating circumstances, and it would be natural to assume mitigations were needed. It is also an unfortunate reality that every year there are students facing difficult circumstances that slip through the net because they do not understand how complex processes work, or do not realise mitigations are possible. With so many students affected this year it is obvious to us that, without action from the University, a tragic number of students will fall through the cracks.
Last Summer the University rose to this challenge. While many in the Russell Group dithered, Bristol launched its no detriment and safety net policy, giving thousands of students a fair shot at their degree despite the circumstances. Where the Government's approach to A-levels and GSCEs failed, Bristol University triumphed, finding a route to fairness and security for its students. It was a testament to the hard work, dedication and ingenuity of staff at all levels of the institution that Bristol found a way through. We are not asking for the reinstatement of this policy, but some blanket mitigations are necessary to mitigate the impact Covid has had on all our studies this year.
We understand the University is now facing substantial Government pressure to avoid “grade inflation” and the perception that it is sacrificing its academic standards. We know it is a tricky balance to ensure fairness while guaranteeing the quality of degrees, and so we are not asking for the full safety net of last summer. But we also know, and think many colleagues at the University will agree, that the current plans do not do enough to protect students and risk devastating outcomes for those who, for whatever reason, fail to gain ECs.
We have been asking the university to change its approach to academic mitigations for some time now and are disappointed that these calls have been ignored. We are therefore publicly asking the University to urgently consider the following Academic Mitigations:
We have written to course reps and encouraged them to reach out to their Heads of School, asking them to push for a reconsideration of the current policy.
You can also add your voice to ours by signing this petition.
We hope that the university will listen to our calls and introduce measures to ensure that no student falls through the cracks.
Your Bristol SU Officer Team
2 November 2020 - Bristol SU Officer Statement: National Lockdown
The government's decision to allow universities to continue all on-campus teaching during a national lockdown is indicative of their lack of clear leadership during this pandemic.
It seems wrong on both an educational and public health level to continue on-campus teaching during a lockdown.
We therefore call on the University to show the leadership themselves and move all non-essential in-person teaching online for the rest of TB1.
With in-person teaching moving online, the university should also:
This position is informed by weeks of consultation with students and staff in which it became increasingly clear that in some areas, in-person teaching has not met the high expectations set by seminars under normal circumstances. Plans that we were working with the university on before the lockdown was announced, such as giving autonomy to lecturers to move their teaching online, will not be enough in response to a national lockdown, and more decisive action is now needed.
We also recognise that TB1 has not turned out the way it was sold to students over summer, and the SU will be lobbying for tuition fee reductions on a local and national level, especially for international students.
Your Bristol SU officers will continue to work hard to hear your concerns and work with the university to deliver important support and changes during and beyond this lockdown. If you would like to offer feedback, request help or speak to someone about what this means for you, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Bristol SU Officer Team
21 October 2020 - Rent Strike Solidarity
Bristol Cut the Rent has called for a rent strike for students living in university halls of residence. This is based on frustrations around having to pay full rent given the disruption to their student experience caused by Covid, the fact that a number of students are having to pay for rooms which they are no longer living in, and dissatisfaction with the support they have been received when individual flats have been going into isolation.
We fully support the rights of our students to self-organise and raise their frustrations to the University in this highly important area, and we stand in solidarity with them. The Officer Team have been actively lobbying for the university to offer rent refunds to those in lockdown for weeks, and fully support students in their demands. As an SU, we have active policy to support halls rent strikes, and this is what we will be doing by providing them with advice and highlighting their demands to the university in the spaces that we are in, alongside the halls lockdown demands that we have already released.
If you are living in halls you can sign the pledge to withhold rent and must cancel your payment to the University by 23rd October. You can sign up here: tinyurl.com/lockdownstrike.
If you would like to find out more, you can check out the NUS guide to rent strikes or email our Student Living Officer, Ruth, at email@example.com.
14 October 2020 - Update on On-Campus Teaching and Study Spaces
With the support of course and faculty reps, your Undergraduate Education Officer David has been collecting a list of courses students have highlighted as having particularly low on-campus hours. He has used that feedback to lobby the PVC Education who is:
We realise, however, that those who were originally timetabled low levels of in-person teaching will still be missing out on the full blended experience over the next few weeks before increases can be arranged, and this will factor in to any discussion regarding tuition fees.
We will keep reviewing our priorities based on student feedback and other information.
Study spaces is the other issue Leah (Postgraduate Education Officer) and David (Undergraduate Education Officer) are working extremely hard on. So far they have/are working on:
There are a number of other things we’re looking working with course and faculty reps on including improving the online browsing ability so you don’t have to use library time to browse shelves, improving the laptop borrowing system, teaching online study skills.
5 October 2020 - Officer Update on Creating a Safe Campus and Study Spaces
We’ve been lobbying the university on a range of asks, which were developed closely with teaching staff at the UCU, to help ensure a safe return to campus. Some of our successes so far include:
We are continuing to work with the university on:
We’re also lobbying to safely increase study space capacity for TB1. Some of what we're currently pushing for includes:
29 May 2020 - Bristol SU Officer Statement: New Academic Year
The University have now announced their plans for next term which include delaying the start of the Autumn term until 5 October for undergraduate students and 19 October for postgraduate students. Teaching will take place through a ‘blended learning’ model and social distancing measures will be in place across campus. You can read the university’s full statement and the details here >> bristol.ac.uk/coronavirus
We know that in recent weeks there has been a growing anxiety about what next academic year looks like which has increased as other universities have made their plans public.
As your officer team, we want to make sure you have the best experience possible at university next year but are aware that this will look different to usual on a ‘socially-distant’ campus.
We’ve gathered a lot of feedback from current students and presented this to the university, as well as hosting a forum specifically focused on what a socially-distant September could look like. We’ve continued to represent your views and have made sure the university are including student voices in this important decision.
We’re pleased to see that some of what we have advocated for has been included in the university’s plan, including giving students the time to adjust through an induction period and highlighting the value of community.
There are still details to be worked out and we’re continuing to lobby to make sure students get the best deal, and are able to access the financial and wellbeing support they need as well as the technology and equipment required for learning in this way. We know that in some cases minority students have been particularly impacted and are making sure the university put reasonable adjustments in place. We’re also pushing to make sure that relevant representatives such as JCRs, academic reps and chairs of networks are involved in conversations with the university to work out the details of these plans.
The university community is important and we’re working to make sure that the importance of your social experience is acknowledged by the university, including support for clubs and societies. We’re excited about Welcome Week 2020 and the opportunity to do things differently. We’re still working out the details, but will be keeping you updated throughout the summer.
We want you to be confident that you are still getting value for money from your university degree and have asked the university for greater transparency on how your fees are being spent. You can see further details of what we have asked the university to prioritise here >> https://www.bristolsu.org.uk/articles/officer-update-on-long-term-asks
As a team we are continuing to represent and support you, and want to make sure you can continue to shape what your next year will look like. You can submit feedback at bristolsu.org.uk/covid19feedback or contact us directly.
We’ll be continuing to communicate with you regularly via email and social media to keep you updated with the work we’re doing to support you.
Bristol SU Officer Team
Many SU services will continue to run online so please try and contact us via email in the first instance. Instead of dropping into the office or calling us, general enquiries should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and a member of our team will respond.
The Richmond Building is currently closed due to the national coronavirus lockdown unless you have a coronavirus test booked in The Anson Rooms. The Richmond Building will re-open on 19 April for reception, study spaces, and prayer-room bookings. For more information take a look at our Roadmap out of lockdown.
The SU reception desk is currently closed due to the national coronavirus lockdown. You can contact the reception team on email@example.com. It will re-open on 19 April 2021.
If you are coming to The Anson Rooms for a coronavirus test, please be aware there are a number of changes in place to help make the spaces safe for students and staff:
The music practice rooms and band practice rooms are currently closed.
The Balloon Bar is currently closed due to the national coronavirus lockdown. Check back here for further updates.
Orders for The Basket should be placed online >> https://bristolsushop.com. Click and Collect is currently unavailable due to the national coronavirus lockdown. Click and Collect services will resume every Thursday 10am-4pm from 22 April 2021 onwards.
The Bristol SU Lettings office is now closed. Only urgent appointments (eg key exchange) will be able to take place. Normal appointments will be bookable from 17 May 2021.
The Bristol SU Living Room is currently closed but will re-open from the 19 April 2021. It will then close on 10 June 2021 for planned extension works, and re-open on 10 September 2021.
The bike shed outside of the Richmond Building should not be used for overnight or longterm storage and you must take bikes home with you if you are leaving for Easter.
All Bristol SU events will be taking place online. You can keep up to date with all digital events taking place on our What's On pages.
We have recently released our Roadmap out of lockdown which lists the key dates that student groups can start to meet in-person again. These dates are subject to change depending on government guidance. Student group leaders will continue to receive updates from Bristol SU on what is possible and how their group can continue to run.
Guidance for student group committee members is available online and will continue to be updated regularly.
Intramural sport is now beginning to return. You can find information about league re-start dates on the Intramural webpage.
Self Isolation Guidance and Support
Government guidance states that anyone showing possible symptoms of Coronavirus, such as a cough, fever, or loss or change to your sense of taste and smell should isolate for ten days.
If you need to self-isolate the university has committed to supporting you every step of the way. You can read their self-isolation guidance for students which will be updated in line with local and national guidance.
Wellbeing whilst self-isolating
Self-isolating may also affect your wellbeing. For some help on managing your wellbeing while self-isolating, read through this guidance from Mind.
Some top tips include: