Information for parents and guardians

We appreciate as parents or guardians, the safety and wellbeing of your child is your first concern. At Aston University we are working hard to ensure all students continue to receive a high-quality learning experience in a safe environment, following the latest Government rules and guidance. 

The health and wellbeing of our students, staff and the wider community is our top priority and at the heart of all our decision-making. We have a comprehensive range of measures in place on campus to control the spread of infection and to keep our community as safe as possible.

Aston Together

We’re proud of our Aston University community and how we look after each other. We have never needed each other more than we do today. Help us to help each other by being considerate to others and behaving appropriately at all times. By working together we can all help to make Aston a safer place.

Together we ask that you:

Be respectful

Show consideration towards other students, staff and visitors. Respect those whose personal circumstances differ from yours, and who may need to adopt different safety measures.

World Health Organisation

Be observant

Follow guidance on social distancing and health and safety measures, and adhere to signage and instructions around campus to maximise the safety of yourself and others who are sharing space with you.

Be kind

Be kind

Show empathy towards others and be supportive to those in need. Offer friendship, be inclusive, and speak out to a member of the Aston team if you think someone needs assistance.


End of term arrangements

The Government has asked all UK universities to roll-out and manage a student Covid-19 test and travel window from 3 to 9 December 2020. This is to ensure that all students who wish to travel home at the end of term are able to do so, while minimising any virus transmission risk to relatives and the general public. The Government have also asked that we suspend all on campus teaching sessions from 9th December.

Term will still formally end on the 19 December as planned. We will be running scheduled on-campus and online teaching up until the 9 December, following which all teaching will be delivered online up until the scheduled end of term. Students on programmes with planned compulsory on-campus attendance after 9 December are receiving further guidance from their Academic Colleges. These arrangements should ensure that all students can complete their studies for teaching period one.

Healthcare students currently on placement should plan to remain in their placement until the end of term and further guidance will be provided by their School of study and placement provider.

The Library, study spaces, the student Hub, and College receptions will remain open as planned for students who remain on campus or in the city.

Most university services and buildings will be closed from 22 December until 4 January as already planned. We are planning support measures for those students

See our current student FAQ page for further questions and answers about our end of term arrangements.

Provision of on-campus student COVID-19 testing

From Monday 30 November, in response to the NHS National Testing Programme, we will provide an on-campus Covid-19 testing facility to allow students who aren’t showing any symptoms (asymptomatic) to access tests on a voluntary basis. This is intended to enable students to make informed choices about travel plans around Christmas and New Year.

Why should students get a test?

  • To keep family, friends and the community safe – not all people display symptoms of Covid-19 and can be carrying the virus unknowingly
  • To help to break the chain of transmission and reduce the R rate
  • So that they can self-isolate if they test positive.

What will the test involve?

New, quicker tests (known as lateral flow antigen tests) will enable us to test more people, more quickly without the need for a laboratory. 

Students will be asked to take two tests three days apart to verify that they do not have the virus before making their journey home. Once they have tested negative on the second test, they will be given a letter from the University to confirm their status at that time, and they will then be advised to leave campus within 24 hours of the result.

In the event of a positive test, students should:

  • self-isolate for 10 days
  • book in for a further test at a national centre and wait for the laboratory-tested results to confirm this status.

If students do need to self-isolate they can contact our Student Services Team at thehub@aston.ac.uk or by calling 0121 204 4007 so that we can arrange the necessary support.

For further information about the testing see our current student FAQ web page.

Lockdown information

The University remains open during this lockdown period as the Government continues to prioritise education. Teaching will continue as planned with our blended-learning approach and current research activities, and the Library, study spaces and the Students’ Union building will also remain open for students. Many social distancing measures are already in place across campus to keep our community as safe as possible.

We are encouraging students to engage with their touchpoint sessions where they can, however if they are unable to attend, their College will work with them to ensure they have the information they need.

In line with Government guidance, travel in and out of the area remains permitted for work and education purposes, travel is not advised for other purposes and the government strongly encourages students to remain in their current accommodation and not return to their family home. The Government is working on plans for the movement of students at Christmas and for the start of the Spring term. We will provide an update on this as soon as we receive it.

Students can socialise with the people they live with, either in on-campus or private accommodation, so long as they remain within their household bubble.  We have provided students with information about virtual and on-campus activities and our team is reaching out to students to provide support.

Testing, tracking and self-isolating

Aston has a team who is closely monitoring and managing the implications of the pandemic, working closely with Birmingham City Council, and acting on advice of Public Health England, Universities UK and the NHS. We will be updating this advice as new Government and Public Health England guidance emerges COVID-19 - here's how we're handling it.

We have been working with Birmingham City Council to provide testing facilities on our campus since August 2020. This means in the event of a student or colleague displaying symptoms, they can book their test on campus and would not need to travel a long distance to a testing centre when feeling unwell.

For students who are self-isolating, support is available through our Student Services Team members, who also check in with students on a regular basis to see if they need anything.

For students staying in Unite accommodation, information on how they are working to keep everyone safe can be found at the Unite Students website. Students staying in other shared accommodation need to follow the instructions as outlined by their accommodation provider. For further information on what to do when self-isolating is available at NHS self-isolation advice and we have also shared this easy to follow graphic with students.

                                                                                       isolate

Students staying on in Aston Student Village and the Old Fire Station can order a food parcel or a meal package through Aston Catering Team ‘Nourish’ (order online at the Nourish webpage).

We have made sure extra safety measures are in place including sanitisers at key points across campus; clear signage; one-way systems; following guidelines around social distancing in taught sessions; prioritisation of touch points for cleaning throughout the day and wearing face coverings on campus.

If your son or daughter tests positive for Covid-19 this needs to be reported to covid-19reporting@aston.ac.uk and our Health and Safety Team will provide information on what to do next.  Our Student Services Team will then automatically contact any student who tests positive, so that they can provide them with the right level of support. 

Teaching and learning

We are operating a blended approach to learning and teaching where students will study both online and on-campus, adhering to social distancing guidelines. 

We have continued to invest in staff development to enable our lecturers to design, deliver and assess online and on campus in an innovative and interactive way. Throughout the 2020/21 academic year we will be running all our large group sessions online. We will be running smaller group sessions in a combination of on-campus and online modes. We are concentrating our on-campus activities on clinical and lab work, where there are scientific professionally-oriented programmes, and small group sessions for our business and social sciences students. Students are encouraged to attend the small group sessions on campus wherever they can. For students on courses with compulsory attendance elements, their academic College has been in touch with them.

In addition, all students have access to, academic study skills and careers support, the Library, study space and computer facilities. Students are also able to borrow laptops from the Library should they need to. Live webinars, demonstrations and individual / group study take place online to minimise the number of people moving around campus.

Key information and resources are available through our virtual learning environment, Blackboard Collaborate. All online Library services and resources will remain accessible through the Library website. Our Learning Development Centre will continue to support students with their academic writing, study skills and mathematics via online channels and face-to-face.

Learner analytics

Students have access to our MyEngagement platform to keep track of their engagement with studies. The platform provides real-time feedback and tips on how they can maximise their engagement and achievement. Each student is also allocated a personal tutor who will check in with them if they don’t see any activity recorded. Students can talk to their Personal Tutors about any concerns that they have.

Support for students

Our student Services team is on hand to offer advice and support to students and there are a number of resources that students can access remotely and on campus. They can be contacted at thehub@aston.ac.uk or 0121 204 4007

Our Safezone app means students can request help in getting food or medication; if they are struggling with their mental health; if they are worried about someone else or if they have an emergency.

For any student struggling with their wellbeing or mental health, our qualified counsellors/ psychotherapy practitioners in our Counselling and Wellbeing Service are on hand. They can be contacted on 0121 204 4007 or at counselling@aston.ac.uk.

Our Enabling Team offers advice and support for students with disabilities, ongoing health conditions and learning differences. They can be contacted on 0121 204 4007 or at enablingteam@aston.ac.uk.

Student communications

We email our students frequently with information about the measures we've put in place and our coronavirus FAQ page provides the latest information which you may find useful.

If you have any concerns and would like to speak to a member of our Student Advice team they can be contacted at thehub@aston.ac.uk or on 0121 204 4007.  In an emergency our Campus Safety team can be contacted on 0121 204 4803 or via the Safezone app 24/7