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17th March, 2020

Coronavirus Update – 17th March

A message from the Principal to staff and students.

Dear Staff and Students,

This is a difficult and anxious time for everyone. As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak there are concerns for the health and safety of our students, colleagues, friends and family. I would like to assure you that the health and wellbeing of our staff and students and the wider society remains our  top priority.  In a rapidly changing situation staff across the College having been working very hard to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.  We will continue to comply with official guidance, provided by the Public Health Agency and Foreign and Commonwealth Office websites.

In order to prioritise the health and wellbeing of our staff and students we have taken the following decisions:

Remote study

We will cease all face-to-face academic activity effective from tomorrow. From Wednesday 18th March, onwards we will engage with the students remotely. This action is in-line with the local universities.

Social Distancing

In accordance with public health guidance, we now advise staff and students to try, where possible, to maintain a reasonable physical distance from others. This also means that students should NOT be on campus until further advised.

Placements

It also means there is no requirement to continue with placements and obviously all visits will cease.  We will contact host organisations directly but if you are in touch with individual teachers or staff you can help us contact schools/organisations by letting them know.  You may wish to return to school or placement tomorrow to collect personal belongings or return items but please only do so if the organisation is happy and it is considered safe for you to do so, considering your own health and those around you.

No disadvantage at the point of assessment

Assessments may need to be adjusted in the light of these and other changes. We are taking steps to ensure that students whose studies may be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are not disadvantaged at the point of assessment.

International Student Community

We have already advised international students to make arrangements to return home because of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak. The International Office will provide students with the necessary support and guidance.

Our primary focus has always, and indeed will always be, the health and wellbeing of our staff, students and our wider College community.  We are constantly monitoring and implementing all current government advice and would urge you personally to check the PHA website regularly for updates https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/news/covid-19-coronavirus. Following government advice to help keep each other safe is critical.

We would like to remind you that Student Support is available during this time and can be contacted by email at studentsupport@stran.ac.uk or by phoning 028 9038 4510 / 028 9038 4401.  Also counselling services are available, should you require them, free of charge, through our partner organisation ‘Inspire Students’; ‘Inspire Students’ can be contacted 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, all year round on 0800 389 5362, or by email at stranmillisstudents@inspirewellbeing.org

We are aware that is a very stressful time for us all and we would ask you to be sensitive to the impact that this situation may be having on the mental health and wellbeing of others, including friends and family.  This article from the World Health Organisation may be helpful.  If there is anything at all we can do to help or support you at this difficult and challenging time please do not hesitate to ask.

Please note further guidance and updates will be issued to staff and students. I would like to take this opportunity to once again thank staff and students for their cooperation at this difficult time. As a College community we need to remain calm and vigilant and continue to support each other as we move into these uncharted waters. We all have an important role to play in order to minimise the impact of the virus.

With thanks and best wishes,

Dr Anne Heaslett
Professor Anne Heaslett
Principal
Stranmillis University College

For all the latest information please visit the Public Health Agency, Gov.uk and/or Foreign and Commonwealth Office websites (click links below).

 


Coronavirus Update – 4th March
Stranmillis University College is Open

The latest BBC news coverage reports that one of the persons who has been confirmed as having the Covid-19 virus is a Queen’s University Belfast student; the details for the other recently confirmed case are currently unknown.  The same news story, on the BBC website, reports: “The university (QUB) remains open and is operating as normal,” a spokeswoman said. “The university will continue to closely monitor the situation.”

Like Queen’s, Stranmillis University College remains open and we will continue to closely monitor the situation.  Staff and students at the College will be kept appraised of any developments.

For all the latest information please visit the Public Health Agency, Gov.uk and/or Foreign and Commonwealth Office websites (click links below).

 



Coronavirus Update – 2nd March
Key public health advice for returning travellers: Position at 26 February 2020

Anyone who has travelled to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days, and who is experiencing cough or fever or shortness of breath should stay indoors and self-isolate and contact their GP who will arrange testing or if a medical emergency, call 999 and inform call handler about their recent travel, even if symptoms are mild.

If any individual has returned from the following specific areas since February 19, they are being advised to call the dedicated Covid-19 helpline on 0300 200 7885 and stay indoors and avoid contact with other people even if they do not have symptoms:

  • Iran
  • Specific lockdown areas in Northern Italy as designated by the Government of Italy
  • Special care zones in South Korea as designated by the Government of the Republic of South Korea
  • Hubei province (returned in the past 14 days)

If any individual has returned from the areas listed below since February 19th and develops symptoms, however mild, they should stay indoors at home and avoid contact with other people immediately and self-isolate and contact their GP who will arrange testing or if a medical emergency, call 999 and inform call handler about their recent travel. They do not need to follow this advice if they have no symptoms.

  • Northern Italy (defined by a line above, and not including, Pisa, Florence and Rimini),
  • Vietnam
  • Cambodia
  • Laos
  • Myanmar

Coronavirus Update – 27th February
Symptoms and Advice

Common symptoms of the Coronavirus include fever, coughing, tightness of the chest and shortness of breath.

A coronavirus infection should be treated in the same way as any cold would:

  • Get plenty of rest,
  • Drink fluids,
  • Take over-the-counter medicine for a sore throat and fever.

However, if symptoms were to get worse, or not go away, then further medical advice should be sought.

There are number of things that can be done to help prevent the spread of any virus for example:

  • washing your hands, regularly, and thoroughly using soap and water or an alcohol based hand detergent (sanitisers are available at the entrances to all College buildings, including the Halls complex),
  • covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough,
  • avoid sharing food, drink and utensils, and
  • regularly cleaning surfaces with disinfectant.

 

Reasons to study at Stranmillis

Student Satisfaction

Student Satisfaction

Ranked No.1 for satisfaction in Northern Ireland.

Work-based placements

Work-based placements

100% of our undergraduate students undertake an extensive programme of work-based placements.

study abroad

study abroad

32% of our students enjoy a study abroad experience.

student success

student success

We are proud to have a 95% student success rate.


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