Office of the Principal

 

Covid-19 update: National lockdown and continuation of online teaching

 

Dear student

Recently, the UK Government announced a new period of national lockdown issuing new Government guidance and putting ICON College under tier 4 restrictions instructing all higher education students not to return to campus. At ICON College we want to ensure your continued safety and in this respect your studies will continue purely online until further notice. As you are probably already aware the College has considerable experience of delivering courses online and many of you have experienced our online learning methods and tools.

We will continue to make every effort to ensure your studies will be of the best quality we can provide with as minimal disruption as possible to your learning and assessment. Please be assured we monitor the pandemic situation on a daily basis through our recently established COVID 19 Advisory and Action Group (C19AAG). This team will work to keep all staff and students fully briefed with the latest information and will deal with all matters relating to COVID and provide advice on: a) any changes to programme delivery, b) facilities availability and c) mass test and trace

The College also has a COVID Plan, in liaising with the Director of Public Health, Tower Hamlets and has undertaken a COVID Risk Assessment, which will be monitored and evaluated regularly by the C19AAG in order to keep everyone and the environment safe and secure. At the same time, we have entered into a partnership with Falmouth University and the College will soon hope to offer a range of undergraduate programmes thus sharing best practice with our new partner as we manage your education and safety during the pandemic.

As Principal, I am passionately committed to ensuring you get the highest quality educational experience possible and this includes when the College is in lockdown. There is no clear path, as yet, to end lockdown and it may be that restrictions become even tougher. We all know the vaccination programme is going to play a major part in relieving all of us from the grip of this awful pandemic. Rest assured, that as soon as Government announces an easing of restrictions, we will take steps to move towards blended learning thus enabling a safe and planned return to the College. Your safety is paramount to both myself, and the team (Vice-Principal [Academic] and Vice-Principal [External Affairs]). Be assured that we will never compromise your safety and will work tirelessly to enable you to return to a safe environment as and when the time comes.

Learning and Teaching

Learning and teaching continues online and this is expected to continue until at least mid February at the earliest when we anticipate the UK Government are due to review the situation. We cannot guess what the outcome will be but we have contingency plans in the event of an easing of restrictions and are ready to move to blended learning (some online; some in-class) when we are certain the College is fully equipped with test and trace equipment as well as the expertise to do the testing. We continue to liaise with the HEI Test and Trace team set up by the UK Government to provide us with equipment. HE COVID Planning have produced a user friendly ‘best practice’ toolkit which aims to de-mystify testing and provide insight into the successes and challenges of testing. It will help staff and students gain better understanding thereby helping to improve delivery of testing and increase student uptake. HE Mass Testing – Best Practice Toolkit.

Student Consumer Rights

The College wishes to ensure your continued rights as a consumer and is keen to ensure every student is aware of their rights under the Consumer Act 2015. The College has produced an easy to follow document that provides you with important information on your consumer rights. You can readily access the Student Protection Plan and important information on Student Consumer Law on the website. The College is keen to follow government advice in the ways to support and keep students safe. Please find a copy of the regulatory letter from OfS: Regulation during the current phase of the coronavirus pandemic. As a result of the government regulations above we are taking the following actions. Firstly, we have reviewed our compliance with consumer and will be providing assurance to our board of Governance of ongoing compliance. Also this webpage will be amended regularly as Government and Office for Students regulatory advice changes. In this respect we will ensure students are fully up to date with all regulations. The Office for Students has confirmed that it is soon to reissue and update their general regulatory guidance. This will be attached to this webpage as soon as it is available.

Campus Facilities

At present, we are not allowing any student to physically access our campus facilities (including the library) in person. We are keen to minimise the number of people on campus. Once again, we await Government guidance and we will continue to provide updates as further guidance is provided.

Student support

Student support services continue to be available through the Student Welfare Officer (Nasir Uddin) by telephoning or emailing the College • Monday to Friday, 9am – 6pm, 020 7377 2800 or nas@iconcollege.ac.uk

Keeping everyone informed

As this situation and government advice changes, we will keep you fully updated by email and through text alerts on your mobile phone as well as our website. For routine enquiries about the college’s response to the pandemic, please contact the College on 020 7377 2800. You can also email Professor Alan Jones (Chair of the C19AAG) at alan@iconcollege.ac.uk for the current state of play regarding the pandemic as it applies to the College. Please continue to follow Government guidelines. We are keen to get students back to the campus as soon as it is safe to do so.

Stay alert and stay safe!

Professor Nurun Nabi,
MBA (Henley at Oxon), PhD (Lond), Cert. in SBM (Harvard), FInstLM, MPDSE
Principal: ICON College of Technology and Management