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Information for Current Students

Despite the challenges presented by the ongoing restrictions, we will continue to make it possible for you to engage in your programme of study in the most meaningful and effective ways.

The Student Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) reflects progress in introducing new arrangements and support as part of Belfast Met’s continuing response to the COVID-19 crisis and, in particular, arrangements that have been put in place following the requirement to close our sites completely.

We are committed to continuing to support to our students, through remote, online and a range of other learning modes, where possible and appropriate.

Your feedback over recent months has helped us to refine our online provision further as we prepare for the incoming year.

Check these pages regularly for updates as you prepare to continue your studies with us.

As we re-imagine College life alongside this pandemic, you can look forward to vibrant, inspiring and productive time, and we look forward to welcoming you back to Belfast Metropolitan College.

View the latest guidance for students here.


Latest Update: 14 October 2020

Calling all students

This morning the Northern Ireland Executive announced the restrictions that will be applied across Northern Ireland in response to the rising numbers of positive Covid-19 cases. 


I want to confirm what this will mean for Belfast Met:

  • For four weeks, from Monday 19 October until Monday 16 November 2020, some classes will move to remote learning while some will remain face to face. You will be informed by your Coordinator/tutor how your course will be delivered
  • Scheduled exams will proceed as planned, unless you are informed otherwise
  • Classes will continue to follow their timetable, in so far as possible
  • There will be no classes during the Hallowe’en mid-term break: Monday 2 November – Friday 6 November
  • College libraries will remain open for the duration. Please note that opening times will be reduced during the mid-term break – see table below for details. Computers in libraries will be available to those requiring access for online learning, subject to demand.
  • This Friday, 16 October will be classed as a study day. Classes will not run and you are not required to attend campus
Your course coordinator/tutor will contact you with further details.

Keep safe.
Louise Warde Hunter, Belfast Met Principal and Chief Executive 


College Library Opening Times

Campus

Week beg 19 Oct

Week beg 26 Oct

Week beg 2 Nov (1/2 term)

Week beg 9 Nov

TQ

Normal opening hours except Tues close at 5pm

Normal opening hours

Half term opening hours

9.30am to 4.00pm

Normal opening hours

MF

Normal opening hours except Tues close at 5pm

Normal opening hours

Half term opening hours

9.30am to 4.00pm

Normal opening hours

CR

Normal opening hours

Normal opening hours

Closed


Normal opening hours



Who is my main point of contact?

Your first and main point of contact is your Personal Tutor / Advisor of Studies.

You should already be in regular contact with them about your continued studies. If this is not the case, please contact them immediately using their normal College email address, CANVAS, or other methods as agreed.

If you are unable to contact your Personal Tutor / Advisor of Studies, or have a problem with your studies which cannot be resolved through them, you should contact your School admin office. Please state your name and provide your student ID, name of course and a brief outline of your concern. The team will make contact with the relevant department or staff member for you.

View Key Contact information here


How do I contact my School admin office?

There are five Schools in Belfast Met and each School covers a particular area of the curriculum.

In most cases your main point of contact will be your Personal Tutor / Advisor of Studies.

You can find full College contact information here.


How do I log in from home?

Select 'Log in' at the top right of the webpage banner. For Students accessing Canvas they select 'Log in' under Student.

Further instructions can be accessed here.


Are you still accepting applications for the 2020/2021 academic year?

Applications for some classes remain open including those commencing January 2021.

Apply Now


Can I still access Student Wellbeing?

The Student Wellbeing Service will continue to support our students’ health and wellbeing via electronic means (email/phone/Skype/Zoom) and where appropriate will ensure referral to external specialist services.


How can I access Library resources?

Students will still be able to access library resources online. E books, journals and other electronic databases can be accessed as normal using Canvas.

If you need any help accessing resources from home, please email library[AT]belfastmet[DOT]ac[DOT]uk


Can I still access Careers/Employability services?

Yes, service will be maintained electronically using the careers[AT]belfastmet[DOT]ac[DOT]uk email address, Skype and Canvas as communication platforms.


How will I access Inclusive learning?

The Inclusive Learning team remains available to provide support to students over email or SKYPE. General queries should be sent to cild[AT]belfastmet[DOT]ac[DOT]uk

If you are supported by a Learning Support Officer then please email them directly.


Can I contact the Students’ Union while sites are closed?

The Students Union team continues to work remotely, to get in touch please contact - studentsunion[AT]belfastmet[DOT]ac[DOT]uk


What support are you providing students to help them cope?

The Department for Learner Success is continuing to provide a range of support services for our students. This includes the student counselling and wellbeing services.

The curriculum heads of department have emailed students and provided them with the following:

Student Support

Below are key contact numbers you may wish to put in your phone:
Lifeline: 24/7 Crisis intervention, support and advice line 0808 808 8000
Inspire Wellbeing: 24/7 Student Counselling service provision 0808 800 0032

The on-campus Student Counselling drop in service has been suspended until further notice. However, all student counselling will continue to be provided via Skype and telephone calls.

If you are in need of student counselling services please do not hesitate to contact them 24/7 on 0808 800 0032.

If you have any queries about your course please contact your tutor.

You might also like to check out the UK mental health charity, MIND. They have produced a short guide to managing stress, which you can access here.


How do I contact Student Funding?

The Student Funding team continues to work remotely, for funding advice and guidance please contact - studentfunding[AT]belfastmet[DOT]ac[DOT]uk


What will happen to my student finance?

Further Education Grants - The Education Authority (EA) where possible, will aim to pay Further Education grants 3rd instalment directly to the student’s bank account during the second week in April.

Childcare Grant - For those in receipt of a Further Education Childcare Grant, the Education Authority will continue to pay the childcare provider where the student continues to study remotely.

FE Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA) – payments will continue as normal unless advised otherwise by the Student Loan Company (SLC). For further information check with the Student Loans Company on [email protected]

Training for Success – payments will continue as normal unless advised otherwise by the Department for the Economy (DfE).

Access to Learning Fund – payments will continue as normal unless advised otherwise by Department for Economy.


I am a student and I’ve already paid an exam fee. Will it be refunded?

We are waiting to hear back from the Department for the Economy and will update you as soon as they clarify the position. .


My course has been cancelled. Will I get a refund?

If your course of study has been cancelled, please contact accountsreceivable[AT]belfastmet[DOT]ac[DOT]uk and we will be in touch regarding possible course refunds.


I pay tuition fees via a direct debit payment plan. Should I cancel arrangements?

No, delivery will continue remotely.


I have had my account suspended (e.g. outstanding tuition fees), will I still be expected to pay?

Yes.


I am on an Assured Skills Academy. Will I continue to get my allowance?

The Department for the Economy (DfE) has agreed that the payment of the Assured Skills training allowance will continue to be paid to participants of academies, even if the underlying activity does not occur.


Will there be any PEAS (Pre Entry Advice Sessions)?

All on-site PEAs have been cancelled until further notice. Applicants will continue to be notified that their applications are being processed and that the College will be in touch regarding next steps but course information will be made available to applicants.

Will my attendance be marked if I am studying from home?

Yes, your tutor will make a record of engagement on a weekly basis.


How do I access my course online?

We are committed to ensuring that you will be able to continue with your studies during this period with as little disruption as possible.

For most courses this will mean accessing course materials etc via Canvas.

We are engaging directly with those students who do not have access to a digital device or the internet. If you are in this position and have not yet contacted us to let us know, then please do so as soon as possible so that we can look at other forms of delivery. You will find at list of relevant contact details at the beginning of these Frequently Asked Questions.

It is important that you keep in regular contact with your Personal Tutor / Advisor of Studies.


I need help accessing College IT Systems (e.g. email or Canvas). What can I do?

For technical issues, please contact the ITServiceDesk[AT]belfastmet[DOT]ac[DOT]uk

The Service Desk phone number (028 9026 5111) will also work for calls but it is always best to email, if possible.


How are you keeping students updated?

We will continue to issue updates via as many communications channels as possible. You should check these on a regular basis. The channels we will use to communicate with our students are: Canvas, the Student App, All Student emails, social media and our website.

Do I have to wear a face covering (face mask) in College?

We want all of our students to feel safe on campus. In light of the most recent guidance to the FE Colleges all staff, students and visitors will be asked to wear a face covering whilst in the College corridors and other communal spaces. Reusable face masks will be made available.


Where can I find the latest information about COVID-19 (coronavirus)?

It is vital that each of us keeps up to date and compliant with the latest government and Public Health Agency (PHA) advice and guidance.

See below for a range of sources.
Public Health Agency
GOV.UK
NHS
The World Health Organization

Department of Health NI – APP: The Department of Health Northern Ireland has launched a new Covid-19 NI information app. To download the Covid-19 NI app - search for Covid-19 NI on the Apple app store and Covid-19 NI on Google Play.