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Frequently asked questions

The 2020/21 College year

Lots of information is available in our Welcome section. This includes a comprehensive Return to Campus document – covering everything from where to eat through to how our one way systems are set out. You will also find campus maps, welcome videos and handy resources detailing the measures we have in place to keep students, staff and visitors safe.

There are a range of start dates, with the first full-time courses beginning on 7 September 2020. Every student has received direct contact confirming their course start date.

Induction is different this year, with more online activity to introduce students to life at NESCol. Online enrolment and induction began in August and every student has received links to access material. Please make sure you complete your enrolment and induction to ensure you have the best College experience. 

Timetables were published on MyNESCol on 31 August. Timetables show a mix of practical on-site classes, live online sessions as well as structured learning activities which give students flexibility in their schedule. Your mix will depend on the course you are on. There is a useful ‘Understanding your timetable’ guide in the Newsroom on MyNESCol.

School Links courses, offered to secondary pupils as part of their school curriculum and including Foundation Apprenticeships, will start from week commencing 7 September 2020. The College contacted pupils individually through their school prior to the summer break. If you have queries about the School Links arrangements please contact schools@nescol.ac.uk. It is anticipated School Links courses will be delivered online for the first term, with arrangements for access to College campuses and employer placements to be reviewed ahead of the second term. The course will be part of a pupil’s school timetable for the 2020/21 and we’re looking forward to welcoming our 2020/21 School Links students.

This will depend on the requirements of your course and any individual support needs.

Social distancing measures will reduce the number of people we can have on campus and the current guidance from the Scottish Government is that we should rely on remote learning where possible.

Timetables have been set to take into account this guidance, which is essential to keep the College community safe.

Access to facilities will be based on individual and group needs. For example, those studying practical courses are likely to spend some time on campus. However, this time will be limited.  

All courses will require remote learning and in many cases the majority of the first term will be based online. NESCol has been developing online learning platforms for a number of years and is working hard to build on the good work already done – we want every student to have the best possible experience, including in the virtual environment. 

The majority of NESCol students are enrolled in our Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) scheme, providing a laptop to use for College work. Even if you are not a BYOD student, we have equipment available to ensure everyone has equal access to online learning. If internet access is a problem, 4G dongles can be provided to ensure you can work online.  Students enrolling on non-advanced courses may be eligible to receive a device through their bursary, and funding applications should be made as soon as a conditional or full offer is received. 

Click here for an important update on BYOD for the 2020/21 session.

We know every individual’s circumstances are different. If you have particular difficulties working remotely, make contact with our student advice team or your academic tutor and we will work with you to find a solution. Our libraries are also available to book as study spaces.

Some NESCol courses, particularly those with practical elements, were not able to be completed due to closure of college buildings in March. We worked with the awarding bodies to progress your course as far as possible under the circumstances but there were certain parts which have had to be deferred. These are the elements which needed to be delivered face to face or in the workplace.

Plans are in place to enable you to complete your course, with the first groups of deferred students returning to campus as restrictions eased in August.

The intention is to get any outstanding work covered as soon as possible.

Access to college email and Blackboard has been kept open over the summer and until courses are  completed, so please check these for further information.

Discussions are ongoing and are based on the need to recognise the potential for disruption to learning. Everyone is determined to ensure that arrangements reflect the challenging situation we’re in and that students complete their courses and achieve the qualifications they have set out to.  

Your course funding will start from the start date for your course and continue as normal. We will ensure that the updated course dates are incorporated into funding arrangements – so you don’t need to do anything extra. Travel expenses will only be paid if the individual is required to travel to College as part of their course and study costs will be paid at the point students need them. We are always available to provide advice and support to any student with financial concerns.

We are following the latest Scottish Government guidance. NESCol will ensure everyone who requires transport is catered for. If you are registered for transport you will have received confirmation directly of the arrangements for your service. Further information and timetables can be found here.

 

We are looking at how we can continue to give students the chance to gain work experience where that is part of their course. We will work closely with our placement providers to agree when and how students can safely go out onto work placement in line with the appropriate guidance. 

The health, safety and wellbeing of students, staff and visitors remains our main priority. All of the plans for the phased reopening of the College have safety at their heart. The Scottish Government has planned how all sectors can begin to move on from lockdown and we are following this expert advice. The guidance is based upon the most up to date scientific information available, including the assessment of the risks surrounding COVID-19 and the risks associated with living in lockdown. The College will continue to follow the official guidance available to ensure the safety of our NESCol community.

The Scottish Government has outlined four phases for moving from lockdown, with lower restrictions and a move towards near normal activities growing with each phase. We are currently in Phase 3 and following the appropriate guidance. Phase 4 was originally estimated at some point over the remainder of the calendar year – but all timings are subject to change, based on the scientific evidence.

The College is following Scottish Government guidance on arrangements for Test and Protect. This guidance doesn’t currently require routine College-based testing as part of our reopening activities, but if this guidance changes then testing will be put in place as needed.

We are here to help with any queries you have. In the first instance please contact studentadvice@nescol.ac.uk or, for student funding queries, studentfunding@nescol.ac.uk . Live chat is available via www.nescol.ac.uk from Monday to Thursday 9am – 4.30pm and until 3.30pm on  a Friday.

College Update March 2020

General questions

NESCol is following advice provided by Health Protection Scotland, the NHS and the Scottish Government. As the situation is constantly evolving, any updates will be shared on our website, on our social media, on My NESCol (our student intranet) and on COLIN (our staff intranet). We will also share important updates with staff, students and employers via email.

All NESCol sites are closed from Friday 20th March to staff and all students. Security personnel will remain on duty throughout.

Updates will be provided on our website, on our social media, on My NESCol (our student intranet) and on COLIN (our staff intranet). We will also share important updates with staff, students and employers via email.

Current students

Online resources will be used to minimise any disruption to your learning. Check for updates and advice from your lecturers, academic tutor and others via your college email, Blackboard and My NESCol.

The Student Advice Centre is offering an online service. You can contact them via email: studentadvice@nescol.ac.uk or through online chat which will be available on the website Monday-Friday 9am-2pm.

Online support resources, particularly in relation to mental health and wellbeing, can continue to be accessed through My NESCol.

A limited number of devices were made available on a loan basis to those who are not enrolled on a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) course prior to the closure of College facilities.

Students who do not have internet access are advised to contact their academic tutor to allow individual circumstances to be considered. If you’re not sure how to contact your academic tutor, please email: studentadvice@nescol.ac.uk.

Responsibilities in relation to safeguarding are not affected. Contact in relation to a safeguarding issue can be made through Academic Tutors. If you’re not sure how to contact your academic tutor, email: studentadvice@nescol.ac.uk.

You should not be disadvantaged or suffer financial stress due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Funds, with the exception of travel expenses, will continue to be paid. If your circumstances change and you are now facing financial hardship, for example your existing employment ceases, you should notify the team at studentfunding@nescol.ac.uk at the earliest opportunity to explore options for financial assistance.

More information specifically for those at college and university in Scotland can be found here: www.studentinformation.gov.scot

As part of the College’s role in mitigating against the further spread of Coronavirus, any work placements related to NESCol studies have been suspended.

We’re contacting current part-time students to give them advice. We will also contact those who have booked a place on a part-time course due to start soon.

Useful contacts

The new Scottish Government Student Information Scotland website will, therefore be used as the main conduit, to provide up to date information to students across both Further and Higher Education (FE & HE). Although in its public beta ‘test’ phase, the site has the resilience to support and quickly react to this ever changing situation.

Applicants

Yes. Applications for courses are still open as usual and you can apply as you normally would have done through the course pages on our website. Applications are being processed remotely during the temporary closure of our campuses and centres.

Courses

Our team of student advisers are on-hand to help with any application queries or questions. You can reach them at studentadvice@nescol.ac.uk, or via the live chat on our website from 9am-2pm Monday-Friday.

If you are not sure which level to apply for (NC Level 5, NC Level 6, HNC, HND etc), please contact studentadvice@nescol.ac.uk for assistance or use the online chat system (available on our website Monday-Friday 9am-2pm).

Don’t worry if you haven’t yet had results from subjects you were sitting at school this year, please apply for the level that matches your predicted grades – we can adjust the level at a later date so you start on the level that suits you best.

Face-to-face interviews will not be taking place. If an interview is essential, these will be completed online or by telephone.

We have contacted applicants directly to advise what they need to do.

As long as you have received an email to confirm your application, you are in our system! Remember to check your junk mail too – just in case an email from us has ended up there. We will be in touch with you – however you can also contact us via email:
studentadvice@nescol.ac.uk or through online chat which will be available on the website Monday-Friday 9am-2pm.

The type of funding you may be entitled to will depend upon the level of course you are studying.

Full-time Funding

The Student Advice Centre is offering an online service. You can contact them via email: studentadvice@nescol.ac.uk or through online chat which will be available on the website Monday-Friday 9am-2pm.

Staff

Information for staff will be provided via email and on COLIN. If you have difficulties accessing either, contact the helpdesk: helpdesk@nescol.ac.uk.