Our doors may not be open, but we are still very much here for you. Here’s an update on how we’re working to support you.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Students' Association has been working hard to protect the interests and safety of our students and staff. This has included the closure of all our buildings, cancellation or postponement of all upcoming events, and a rapid shift to remote working.
Like many other charities, in order that we can continue to support, lobby on behalf of and provide services to students in the future, it has been necessary to make use of the UK Government's Job Retention Scheme in order to lessen the significant burden on the Association's finances, but means that a number of our staff now are on a period of leave. As such, we are undertaking a continual process of project prioritisation, recognising that some of the work we had planned to do will be delayed and in order to prioritise crucial services, such as the Advice Place.
Whilst our buildings have to remain closed for the foreseeable period in line with government advice, all our other student services remain available as far as possible remotely and there are points of contact in every team, although it may be that the individual you usually interact with is uncontactable, but alternative support is available.
Andrew Wilson, Beth Fellows, Rosheen Wallace, Stephanie Vallancey and Oona Miller
Your Sabbatical Officer Team
Where can I find information and support from the University?
The University are taking steps to reduce the impact of the Coronavirus on students. Details of these and FAQs can be found here.
How can I access support from the Advice Place?
The Advice Place office has now closed its physical service at Potterrow and King's Buildings House. You can still access advice and services via email, phone and on The Advice Place Facebook page.
They have also put together a Covid-19 Useful Information page. There you will find information relating to academics, accommodation, finances, as well as your health and wellbeing in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
I am in financial hardship, where can I get support?
If you are a student who is finding themselves in an uncertain financial position, the Advice Place can help you with applying to the University's Discretionary and Hardship Funding, as well as provide emergency short-term loans.
You can find this information here.
The University has created a new hardship fund for those who have incurred additional costs due to Covid-19. These funds can be used to cover any exceptional costs students may have incurred in relation to accommodation, subsistence, and travel. You can find more information and apply here.
Resources for Office Bearers
The Student Opportunies team have put together information and resources for Society Office Bearers. You can find that here.
Your Sabbatical Officers are representing the interests of students at key University meetings, ensuring that students are kept informed and that the University is aware of the issues that students are raising. If you have anything in particular you would like raised with the University please contact the Officers:
If you have any questions or need to get in touch with specific departments, please use the contact information below.
If you are joining any groups or considering offering help to those who are self-isolating, consider the following:
- Do not share your private information with others if you believe this puts you at risk.
- We advise students not to pay for groceries or other items in advance for others. Be sure to keep a receipt for any products purchased.
- We recommend you only participate within your local neighbourhood, in familiar spaces.
- If you are experiencing the known symptoms of the virus, or you have been in contact with someone who has, then do not leave your house to do this – follow NHS and University guidance.
- Follow the official NHS COVID-19 guidelines
Edinburgh Council have also published information and support for vulnerable and high risk people. You can access these resources here.
The COVID-19 Pandemic requires us to make significant changes to our ways of living and working for the good of all. Though we are apart, we are acting together. Despite this whole-community approach, for many of us this is likely to be a frightening and lonely time. We have produced the information below for everyone in our community; whether you are experiencing anxiety and worry about Coronavirus, are social distancing or self-isolating, it is important we are attentive to our mental health and wellbeing in the coming weeks and months.
Please note that during this period, many mental health services are running a reduced service to deal with pressures on capacity.
Click here for more information on how to take care of your mental health while social distancing and in self-isolation.
This is a difficult time for those most vulnerable in society, If you feel comfortable doing so, check in on those in your local community. The Volunteering Service shares useful guidance and advice on how you can support your community and keep safe at the same time over on their Coronavirus/Covid-19 and volunteering blog post.
You can download this postcard, post it through people’s doors and help out with essential tasks such as bringing them food and medicine. However, you must follow government guidelines including staying 6ft away from people out with your household and if possible, avoid too many trips to the supermarket or pharmacy.
You could also start a WhatsApp group with the people in your building and support where possible, or just use this as a way to stay connected. Read more about setting up a group chat with your neighbours in this blog.
You can also share what’s getting you through this time of uncertainty and isolation, your tips and advice may really help others. We’ve created the Edinburgh University Students’ Virtual Neighbourhood for this very reason.
Finally, you can support your community by following government guidelines throughout the lockdown period. Stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.
Why not take some of this time to focus on your education? Here’s some ideas for you:
Brush up on your study skills
If you still have assignments and exams coming up check out the advice on specific study skills topics, plus downloadable resources with useful study strategies here.
Start a book club with some pals
You can get tips for setting up here.
BSL (British Sign Language) introductory course
£25 for level one, receive a CPD certificate on completion, ideal for anyone interested in learning BSL. Find out more here.
Learn a new language or brush up your skills! (Available in the Android and IoS App store)
TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language)
The official certification lasts forever and can be used for paid work!
University of Edinburgh Short Online Courses (MOOCs)
MOOCs are free online short courses on a broad range of subjects. Click here to find out more.
Free online courses from other Universities
Click here to see over 450 free online Ivy League courses.