Home / Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

College update 3 June: 2020/21 academic year

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

Induction will be different this year, with more online activity to introduce students to life at NESCol. Induction is expected to begin in August and every student will receive direct contact confirming their induction schedule. 

Course start dates, induction plans and timetables will all sent to all students directly using the contact details we hold for you. We’re still finalising plans, so timetables will follow once we have everything in place for the start of term. 

The start date of School Links courses are not yet confirmed but it is likely that these will be some of the first groups to start at NESCol. Arrangements will align as closely as possible to the beginning of the school year. 

Planning is taking place across the College to ensure the best experience in challenging circumstances, taking into account the restrictions all schools, colleges and universities will face. 

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 expect to rely on remote learning where possible. We are in the process of considering which groups will need access to facilities on our campuses and how this will be managed. 

Those studying practical courses – for example those based in kitchens, workshops, salons and labs – are likely to spend some time on campus. However, this time will be limited.  

All courses will have an element of 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. 

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. 

As you would expect, the national discussions with the SQA and other awarding bodies have been focused on students who have been studying this year (2019-20). Discussions are now focusing on students studying with us next year (2020-21) and are based on the need for further changes to recognise the disrupted 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 new 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.

Travel arrangements for those who will be required to attend campus are part of the plans we are making. With social distancing measures in place, there will be reduced capacity on public transport and college bus services – but we are making plans to ensure everyone who requires transport is catered for. Further details will follow.

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. Phase 1 began on 29 May, with Phase 2 expected to follow over the summer and Phase 3 in August 2020. Phase 4 is 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.

Current guidance confirms those groups that should follow the shielding requirements. This will also be supplemented for those that are required to self-isolate under the Test and Protect strategy. The College is fully supporting this guidance and will expect that any student who meets the official criteria will follow the shielding / isolation guidance – including not coming onto campus or accessing College buildings.

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 Friday between 9am and 2pm. 

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.