Hannah Breslin – LCC Placements Manager.
A recent UAL-wide Task and Finish Group, which focussed on exchanges and placement students, has produced new guidance regarding student placement activity. Below is a quick summary of this guidance so that you can find out, at a glance, how best to respond to student queries.
My students have the option to do an assessed work placement as part of one of their units – can they still do this?
Units that include short-term placements will continue to operate at UAL. Planned short-term placements may take place where students can engage safely with work in the current circumstances. Compliance with current UK restrictions related to Covid-19 is necessary for any student continuing in a UK placement; it is expected that this will mean working from home using online platforms and/or similar communication means, which reduce the risk of virus transmission.
Adjustments to the placement agreement will be required to check and confirm safe working arrangements. UAL may instruct a student that a placement must end as national health advice changes.
Where planned short-term placements can no longer take place, perhaps because remote working is not an option, all placement units at LCC have an alternative project work brief. Students should be supported to take up these other options in the unit brief as it is considered these can be completed safely, through distance learning.
Can a student studying on a Tier 4 visa complete a work placement remotely?
Tier 4 students can undertake a work placement remotely. To demonstrate that an existing or new placement is valid, and to confirm the change to remote working arrangements, all students adapting their placement activity to remote working must provide email confirmation from their placement provider that the provider agrees to this. The email from the provider should outline examples of the type of work students will be doing in the context of remote working. Tier 4 students must, additionally, confirm to their tutor in writing (by email) that they will continue to work on their academic work and aim to submit to published deadlines.
As before, staff must advise Tier 4 students that they are not allowed to be self-employed, work on a freelance basis, sell goods or services (including through websites or applications) or set-up/run any sort of business.
A student has come to me with concerns that I’m unable to answer – what services are available to support them?
UAL’s Student Advice Service can advise on matters such as fees, funding , immigration and visas.
UAL’s Counselling, Health Advice & Chaplaincy team and the Arts SU Advice Service is also available for students to access.
If a student finds themselves in a difficult financial situation because paid employment has ended, or for other Covid-19 related circumstances, students can consider applying for UAL’s Hardship fund. If a student is concerned about financial hardship please direct them to information on the UAL Hardship Fund via UAL’s Student Advice Service .
The University Hardship Fund Application Form is available here. Queries about the fund and/or completed application forms should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with the email subject line ‘UAL Hardship Funds application’ (plus the student’s UAL ID number).
Any placement student who is unable to leave the country they are undertaking their work placement in should contact Mark Crawley, Dean of Students at email@example.com, if they have not already done so.
How is placement learning being supported going forward, as the situation continues to evolve?
A cross-UAL Placement & Exchange Review Group will be established. The Review Group will ensure that adjustments to placement and exchange units are fair, equitable and will not disadvantage students. Arrangements will safeguard students and enable them to effectively progress with their studies wherever possible.
For more information, including details regarding how DPS placement activity and Erasmus-funded placements are affected by the current crisis, please read the guidance in full. The Placement and Exchange Guidance document can be read here.
Please note this is designed as guidance documents for staff and, at the time of writing, communications for students are currently being produced.