From 8 March universities can start to resume in-person teaching for students on practical courses and those who need to access to facilities and equipment on campus.

This process will be decided on by universities, but is likely to be staggered, and will depend on course structure.

All remaining students should continue their studies remotely and we will review options for the timing of the return of these students by the end of the Easter holidays, taking into account the latest set of data.

Universities and other higher education providers should inform students, with at least a week’s notice, whether their course will be returning to in-person teaching from 8 March or they should continue studying remotely.

Why can’t all courses return from 8 March?

As the Prime Minister has said, we want to ease restrictions in a way that means we can be confident we will not have to apply them again in the future.

Recent evidence from SAGE suggests that the risk of transmitting the virus through face-to-face teaching is low, however we must take steps to mitigate the risk of transmission elsewhere, including the mass movement of students.

That is why we are advising a staggered return to campuses for students who are currently studying remotely. This will help to reduce risk of transmission around the country.

These plans have been developed to help ensure that students on courses where in-person learning is crucial, can complete their qualifications as they planned.

Will I be entitled to a refund if my course is still online?

We have been clear that universities should maintain the quality and quantity of tuition, and ensure it is accessible to all students, regardless of their background. The Office for Students (OfS) is monitoring online teaching to ensure this is the case.

The OfS has published guidance on maintaining academic quality and standards. If students, staff, or members of the public feel universities are not meeting requirements and have concerns about the quality of teaching on offer, they can submit a notification to the OfS. A guide on how to do this can be found here.

If students in England and Wales have concerns about the tuition they are receiving they should first contact their provider. If their provider is unable to resolve the issue, they can then ask the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) to consider their complaint.

Whether or not an individual student is entitled to a refund of fees will depend on the specific contractual arrangements between them and their university.

I’m worried my grades or chances of graduating will be affected?

We understand that this a challenging time for students and we have prioritised education throughout the pandemic to ensure students can graduate and do not have to put their lives on hold.

Unlike A-levels and GCSEs, universities are autonomous on matters of assessment, and will make their own judgements about how best to ensure students’ achievements are reliably and fairly assessed.

We are clear that universities should adopt a fair approach to assessed grades that enables students to leave with qualifications that reflect their hard work and take into account the challenging circumstances of the past year. Universities will make their own judgements about how best to ensure this, including the decision of whether or not to adopt ‘no detriment’ policies.

We are working closely with the sector and universities to ensure that students will graduate this year with qualifications that employer’s value.

Will employers think my degree is worth less because much of it has been online?

The Government has prioritised education throughout the pandemic and worked with universities and the sector to ensure academic standards are maintained and students have the knowledge and skills they need to start their careers.

The Universities Minister meets regularly with professional bodies, senior higher education representatives and the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), to make sure students can safely and successfully graduate. QAA have provided support and guidance to providers and professional bodies throughout the pandemic.

At the roundtable on 24 February, universities and professional bodies committed to working together to ensure that graduates are able to catch-up, and to reassure students and employers that they can be confident in the quality of degrees awarded in 2020 and 2021.

Am I entitled to a refund for my term-time accommodation I’m not living in?

Accommodation providers are autonomous and responsible for setting their own fees or offering rent freezes.

We welcome that many universities and private accommodation providers have already offered rent rebates and other financial compensation, and encourage others to follow suit.

Providers have also been asked to review their accommodation policies to ensure they are fair, transparent and have the best interests of students at heart.

This has been an incredibly difficult time for students which is why we have made £70m of funding available this financial year for all students, including international students, in the greatest need, such as those struggling to cover accommodation costs. This is on top of an existing £256 million that universities can draw on to support those who need it the most. Students should get in touch with their universities if they are struggling.

How can I access support for my mental health?

We recognise the toll that the pandemic can take on students, and protecting their mental health and wellbeing continues to be a top priority.

Students struggling with their mental health should reach out their university or provider to access the support services on offer. They can also find support from Public Health England’s Every Mind Matters campaign and their local NHS trust, which now provide dedicated 24-hour support lines. Students can also get help from Student Space, an online platform launched specifically to help with the challenges of the pandemic, which offers resources, phone, text and online support.

The Universities Minister has convened a working group of representatives from the higher education and health sectors to specifically address metal health, and has urged vice chancellors to prioritise providing adequate, accessible wellbeing support.

Universities can access up to £256 million funding to use towards mental health support in 2020/21, and we have asked the Office for Students to allocate an additional £15 million towards student mental health to specifically address challenges associated with the transition from school/college to university. This is in addition to the £3 million provided to fund Student Space.

I am a medic and have already been on campus for this term, can I go home for Easter?

It is vital that we follow national guidance, and keep travel to an absolute minimum, in order to reduce the risk of transmission around the country. As such, we advise students not to return home for the Easter Break and to stay at their term time accommodation, where possible.

However, we do understand that some students will have been in term time accommodation for many months now, and there may certain situations where it is necessary for students to return home for the easter break. Where this is the case, we have put into place a travel exemption which means that students can travel home, and back to their term time accommodation once, during their Easter break.

In order to keep themselves, their families and local residents as safe as possible, students are advised to get tested before they leave campus (as offered by their provider) and make use of community testing services on offer to get a test before they return back to campus.

Will I be able to go home for Easter if I am a practical students, due to return to university from March 8?

We strongly advise students to stay at their term time accommodation over the Easter break, especially if they are returning to university from 8 March.

However, there are exemptions in place for those who must return for mental health and wellbeing reasons.

I’m a practical student due to return to university from March 8, what do I need to do?

We would strongly encourage you to test before you travel back to university, where community testing facilities are available. You can find more information on what testing facilities are available in your area here.

Once you have returned to university we recommend that you take another test. We have worked with providers to put in place asymptomatic testing arrangements for all students on arrival at university, and for those students who stayed on campus, to reduce and better manage outbreaks of coronavirus (COVID-19).

We are working with HE providers to offer:

  • two tests to all students eligible to attend their university or HE institution, upon their return
  • twice weekly asymptomatic testing to all students currently eligible to attend their university or HE institution.

Twice weekly testing will help to break chains of transmission, identify asymptomatic infections and help further ensure safety on campus to help enable a return to face-to-face teaching as soon as is possible.

Universities are strongly encouraged to make twice-weekly testing available for staff and to advise those staff that are required to be physically present at work in the university, to take part in the testing programme. Once students have returned to their term-time accommodation they must remain living there unless an exemption to the national restrictions on leaving home and gatherings applies.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page