Response to COVID-19
As Cambridge continues to adapt to the challenges of Covid-19, and as we begin the process of welcoming back staff and students to onsite work and study, it has never been more important to look after ourselves and others.
The University and Colleges will do all they can to minimise risk to staff, students and visitors, and to make sure they are appropriately supported. But safety and wellbeing in these extraordinary times is ultimately the responsibility of us all. We must recognise that our behaviour has consequences – for the people immediately affected by it, for our collegiate community, and the local region, including vital public services such as the NHS and police.
Each of us has had, and will continue to have, different experiences of the pandemic. And for many, those experiences are challenging and stressful. We must be alert to this and respectful of people who may have particular vulnerabilities.
In summary, and to ensure that our people and community continue to thrive, each one of us has a responsibility to:
- Behave in a way that minimises the risk of infection
- Treat each other with dignity and respect
- Keep up to date with public health guidance and follow it at all times.
University Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpages
The University webpages contain up to date information and UK Government links relating to health, travel, visa and immigration matters, and staff working arrangements. These pages represent the central definitive resource for University information on COVID-19 – they are regularly updated with the University response to coronavirus.
Information for all current students about academic matters
For all questions about academic matters, please check the University coronavirus student webpages. Please also check your Faculty and Departmental websites, as well as with your Director of Studies or Postgraduate Supervisor.
Your Postgraduate Tutor or your Directors of Studies will also be able to give advice, if you cannot find the information you need on the University, Faculty or Departmental website.
Information for current students regarding residency and accommodation
The College and University have issued guidance for resident students from 4th July 2020 onwards; this information covers -
- Households in Cambridge
- Social distancing guidance in the College context
- Your commitment to minimizing transmission of COVID-19 in Cambridge
- College spaces and services
- Pastoral and wellbeing matters
There is further guidance for postgraduate research or other students who have been given permission to return to Cambridge, either under the University’s protocol for the return of postgraduate research students or through other specific Departmental arrangements, and who intend to take up College accommodation or to use College facilities in coming months. It relates to the current academic year (2019-20) only
Support for students with increased susceptibility to infectious diseases or with disabilities impacted by COVID-related social distancing measures
Coronavirus is likely to be around us for some time to come so the College is working flat out together with the University to be ready to welcome students for the coming academic year with a range of preventive health and infection control measures, implementing government guidance. The University already provides extensive information through the University’s coronavirus webpages and a major information and communications initiative will launch as we approach the coming academic year.
Detailed guidance is evolving alongside government advice and more detailed advice will be launched towards the start of the academic year.
The Increased Susceptibility pages of the University website outline the steps being taken to help those with increased susceptibility or a disability impacted by social distancing measures.
All current students and all offer holders will be contacted with a request for information and the College has a procedure in place to consider appropriate arrangements for study and residency that fits each student’s specific needs and accounts for possible changes in the need for shielding.
Testing information for students
In partnership with Addenbrooke’s Hospital the University is offering a PCR swab test to all undergraduate and postgraduate students currently in Cambridge who have symptoms of possible SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19), as well as their household contacts (anyone with whom you share a bathroom, toilet or kitchen).
The test involves a simple nose and throat swab and should take less than three minutes. It will tell you whether you are currently infected, helping you protect yourself, your friends and colleagues, and the wider Cambridge community.
Further information is available on the University Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health and wellbeing webpages.
Information for international students
For questions around travel, visas and immigration matters, please start with the University webpages for up to date information. All students should check their email accounts regularly for official information shared by the College, Department or Faculty, and the University.
Information for prospective undergraduates and offer holders
We fully understand that this is an anxious time for all our offer holders and prospective applicants. For information on how the University and colleges are managing Cambridge admissions, please see the Cambridge Admissions Office website. The University and our Admissions Office will continue to send up to date information as it becomes available; please check your emails regularly and ensure that we have the correct contact details for you.
Information for prospective postgraduates and offer holders
The University Graduate Admission’s team is working to support prospective postgraduates and minimise the impact the current situation may have on your admission. For information on how the University and colleges are managing Cambridge postgraduate admissions, please see the Graduate Admissions web pages.
Support for students
Welfare Support from the College
All current students have access to our Wellbeing Moodle site which is maintained by the College Welfare Team. Below is a list of who is available in College. All support is available to all students whether they are resident, non-resident in Cambridge, or away from Cambridge.
Tutors - your tutor remains available for help, advice, and pastoral support. Please contact them by email.
Nurse – available during Term Time for online or phone consultations.
College Counselling – a senior University Counselling Service counsellor is our College counsellor who offers UCS counselling for Magdalene students during Term Time.
Chaplain – Sarah is happy for all students to get in touch for a non-judgemental safe space to chat about anything on their mind.
Harassment Officers – Hugo and Pippa are confidential points of contact should you ever feel that you have been harassed or bullied in any sense.
Welfare Support from the University
The University also has extensive health and wellbeing information available and the University Counselling Service and the Disability Resource Centre continue to offer support remotely.
Information on College accommodation for all current and new students
Before you may access College accommodation you must make an application. You must not arrive in College if you have not received written confirmation and permission to return.
ALL STUDENTS WILL BE REQUIRED TO READ AND ACCEPT THE COLLEGE CODE OF CONDUCT BEFORE RETURNING TO COLLEGE.
Students should bring with them a supply of face coverings. Further information on the Code of Conduct, including the use of face coverings, will be sent in the next few weeks.
Arriving or returning to College Accommodation
Students taking exams in person
Students taking exams in person and needing to return to College accommodation early have been contacted separately. If you have not received information but think this applies to you, please contact the Academic Office via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Undergraduate students returning to College from overseas including those needing to quarantine
Undergraduate students returning to College from overseas including those needing to quarantine may return to College accommodation from 7 September 2020. You must apply to return using the Return to College Accommodation Application Form. You should not travel until we have confirmed we have a room available for you to quarantine in. We will send confirmation as soon as we can once we have received your application form. You are advised to book travel arrangements as soon as possible once you have received confirmation from us.
You must inform us if you need to quarantine in College accommodation. Please see the section below on quarantine.
Undergraduate students returning to College from the UK
Undergraduate students returning to College from the UK may return to College accommodation from 1 October 2020 (Michaelmas Term begins), you must return by 6 October (Full Term begins). In order to assist with planning, we ask that students apply to return using the Return to College Accommodation Application Form.
Pre-clinical Medics with early exams
Pre-clinical Medics with early exams may return to College accommodation from 13 September 2020. Please apply to return using the Return to College Accommodation Application Form. It is assumed that you will not need to quarantine. If this is not the case you must indicate this on your application form.
Undergraduates wishing to return earlier than the dates specified
Undergraduates wishing to return earlier than the dates specified must apply for permission separately. This applies, for example, to students wishing to attend sports pre-season training sessions or reasons other than travel, quarantine, early course start dates or exams in person. You are not guaranteed a room in College, you must not return to College until you have received confirmation from us in writing. To apply to return to College accommodation please apply using the Return to College Accommodation Application Form.
Clinical Vets and Medics (years 4, 5 & 6)
Clinical Vets and Medics (years 4, 5 & 6), due to differing course start dates, please apply to return to College accommodation using the Return to College Accommodation Application Form.
New postgraduate students
New postgraduate students requesting College accommodation have already been contacted by the Academic Office and submitted information regarding quarantine requirements. You will be contacted shortly by Susannah Roberts (Accommodation Coordinator) regarding any room allocation, expected arrival date and quarantine requirements, where applicable.
New postgraduate students needing to quarantine
New postgraduate students needing to quarantine will be permitted to arrive up to 16 days before their course start date (this is to allow for 14 days quarantine followed by 2 days familiarisation).
New postgraduate students who are not required to quarantine but with an early course start date
New postgraduate students who are not required to quarantine but with an early course start date will be permitted to arrive the weekend before their course start date.
New postgraduate students with normal course start dates from 1 October 2020
New postgraduate students with normal course start dates from 1 October 2020 may arrive from 26 September 2020.
Current postgraduate students seeking to return to College accommodation
Current postgraduate students seeking to return to College accommodation are required to seek permission from their Tutor, as previously advised. If you have a room in College and do not intend to return to College accommodation by 15 September 2020 (i.e. the end of the accommodation licence period 2019/20), you must make arrangements for your belongings to be cleared (and packed if necessary). For information on moving and packing belongings please contact Susannah Roberts (Accommodation Coordinator) rooms@email@example.com If you have completed your studies you must make arrangements for your belongings to be shipped or stored away from the College, please contact Susannah for more information.
Postgraduate student Rooms Ballot and room move
For eligible current postgraduate students, the MCR Rooms Ballot is due to take place shortly, if you are successful in gaining a room in the ballot you may move into your new room from 17 August, if you wish, providing the new room is unoccupied and cleaned ready for you. Please contact Susannah Roberts (Accommodation Coordinator) rooms@firstname.lastname@example.org after the ballot if you would like to move early. An early move will not alter your accommodation licence period for 2020/21. Susannah will contact students regarding their move date.
Current postgraduate students who are in College accommodation but not in a College room for the academic year 2020/21 are reminded that their accommodation licence expires 15 September 2020, you are required to vacate your room on or before that date.
Students arriving in College before 1 October will be charged only for the nights they are in College accommodation. The charge will be the lower of the allocated room or the student’s term time room rent rate, unless the student has requested a specific upgrade of room for this period.
From 1 October 2020 the usual billing arrangements will apply for Michaelmas Term 2020:
Undergraduates – charged for a set minimum period of 70 nights from 1 October. If the student arrives after 1 October, the set minimum period starts on the first night the student is in College accommodation.
Postgraduates – charged for 91 nights from 1 October. Arrivals after 1 October will be charged from the date of arrival to 31 December.
These billing arrangements may be modified should COVID-19 local or national requirements change.
You must not arrive in College without first having received written confirmation that we have a quarantine room available for you and the date we expect you to return. Those students needing to quarantine will be placed in either an en suite room or a house with other students who are starting their quarantine on the same day. Full details of expectations while you are quarantining will be supplied before you arrive. If you are placed in an en suite room, in general you will not have access to a kitchen or gyp. Food will be supplied by the College catering team and delivered to you (there is a modest charge for these meals). If you have a dietary, medical or religious requirement you must indicate this clearly on your application form, if you do not do so we are unlikely to be able to accommodate your requirement and you will be asked to quarantine elsewhere – at your own expense – and only return to College accommodation after your quarantine period.
Due to the number of students expected to quarantine you will have very little choice regarding the room you are allocated.
Whilst in quarantine rent will be charged at the lower of the quarantine room or your allocated/balloted term time room.
Safety in College and COVID-19
All students will be required to attend (online) a safety induction which will outline new measures and a reminder of fire safety.
Zoning of households
In order to minimise the chances of infection, student accommodation has been divided into zones or households. This doesn’t affect smaller houses however, larger houses or staircases have been divided so that each student room has been allocated a kitchen/gyp and bathroom (if their room isn’t en suite). Each student will be advised on their allocated facilities and are expected to keep to these allocations.
Self-isolation and household isolation
Full details and further information will be supplied prior to your return/arrival to College accommodation. As a general principle, should a student become ill, have symptoms of coronavirus or has been in contact with someone who has tested positive and the student starts to have symptoms, the student and household will be required to isolate. In cases where the student has been in contact with someone who has tested positive but the student has not developed symptoms, the student will be required to self-isolate but the household is not required to do so.
Arrival in College
A number of procedures have changed, students should not assume that they can arrive ad-hoc. Students will receive further information about when and how they may arrive in College and what to do on arrival. Parking may be allocated and restricted. There will be a number of room key and CamCard pick-up points. Parents/travel companions will be asked to limit the amount of time they spend in College accommodation. No overnight guests are permitted and no guest rooms will be available. If belongings have been left in storage, students should not expect to collect their belongings as soon as they arrive.
Information for Magdalene College staff
The College continues to support the wellbeing of our staff. If you have any queries, please speak to your Head of Department or Hannah Milward (HR Manager). We encourage staff members to read the University’s guides to wellbeing and, if relevant, to home working.
Further information is available via the Staff intranet MagNet.
With the easing of lockdown restrictions, the College is identifying ways more people can return to work and study at College. The safety of Staff, Students and Fellows is paramount so the College will comply with all relevant legislation and guidance. Work is underway to adapt aspects of the physical environment and working practices to ensure Staff are safe to work and students are safe to return to live and study in College.
Each Department has conducted a risk assessment and where necessary have adapted their protocols to work safely. These assessments and return to work guidance have been shared with all staff members.
In order to allow for more people to be in College – in the shared facilities, for instance - detailed risk assessments are being produced, in accordance with the latest government advice, to consider how we can move forward in a safe manner. The College continues to work on these assessments for shared facilities and accommodation and these will be published when they have been finalised.
A Code of Conduct is being prepared which all members of College will be required to adhere to; this will cover measures such as face coverings, the use of shared rooms and facilities and social distancing.