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UCL Faculty of Laws coronavirus update

Last updated: Thursday 29 September 2020

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We are aware that many of our community are understandably anxious about the ongoing virus and about what is likely to happen over the coming weeks and months. UCL and the Faculty are working very hard on a range of measures to mitigate against the crisis, and to respond as best as possible.

UCL is in regular contact with Public Health England and it is our policy to follow their advice, together with guidance from the NHS and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. We are also supporting UCL staff and students who are abroad in affected areas. 

This page will be regularly kept up to date with any new announcements relating to this crisis as they become available. 

 

Plans for September 2020

We understand that current, and incoming students, will be thinking about what will happen in the new academic year and what plans UCL and Faculty of Laws is making in preparation. Please be reassured that we have been working very hard (and will continue to work very hard) to offer a high-quality, flexible educational offering next academic year. 

We can confirm that UCL’s campus, including Bentham House (home of UCL Faculty of Laws), will be open to welcome students to London from the start of term in September 2020 with enhanced safety measures. We will, of course, be operating subject to public health law and guidance in place at the time.

In Term One, new and returning UCL students have the option of studying on campus or wherever they are based around the world. As the situation is constantly evolving, students may need to change their mind so we'll remain flexible. This means, for example, that if students can't arrive on campus for the start of term, they can join us later. Similarly, if students come onto campus but then decide or need to return home, they can do so with no impact on their studies.

Students that are on campus will be able to engage in the in-person activities we are planning in the Faculty. Some of the learning goals will still be achieved through online learning, such as online lectures and seminars, since social distancing rules are placing, and are expected to continue placing significant limitations on the use of our estate. Of course, being in London is also part of a wider process of being at university, exploring UCL (including but not limited to our active Students’ Union and the Faculty’s student-run Law Societies), and living in London. 

For students that intend to join us in London in Term 1 but arrival on UCL campus is delayed by travel restrictions or for other reasons, they can still participate in our academic community and start their education with us online, connecting with tutors and fellow students. As and when students arrive in London in Term 1, they would then be able also to engage in the in-person activities that we are planning in the Faculty.

We appreciate that some current and incoming students may be unable or unwilling to be in London in Term 1. In that case, we will ensure that their education can be conducted wholly online during Term 1 and that they can connect with their tutors and fellow students during that time. Our libraries, which will be open, also offer a huge range of electronic resources to support students in your studies whilst off campus. 

If you are an international student coming to London we recommend that you read the pre-arrival information on the UCL website, in addition to the main UCL Coronavirus website.

 

Being on campus

At UCL, your health and wellbeing are paramount. Our priority at all times is to make sure our campus is as safe as possible, minimise the risk to everyone onsite, and follow UK official guidance. 

We are taking advice from UCL’s world-leading researchers to minimise the risks to your health and safety. We are risk assessing all of our buildings and are putting a range of measures in place to make sure our campus is as safe including introducing one-way systems on campus, introducing social distancing measures in line with UK Government advice, asking people to wear face coverings, and providing handwashing and hand sanitising facilities.

When travelling to campus, try to avoid putting yourself at unnecessary risk and seek to travel by the safest means available to you. Please consider walking or cycling to campus if you can. For further information on safe travel visit the UCL website.

 

Face coverings

UCL’s face coverings policy has been updated to highlight the importance of wearing face coverings as part of a range of safety measures to ensure that staff and students are as safe as possible on campus:

  • All staff, students and visitors are expected to wear face coverings, if they can, when on campus, both inside buildings and when moving around UCL's outdoor spaces;
  • Face coverings must be worn if you are within 2 metres of someone else;
  • Most people should use their own face covering. UCL will provide face coverings where a risk assessment recommends it, and we will provide coverings with clear panels to teaching staff and student facing services;
  • If you are not able to wear a face covering, please use the Government's exemption badge, an exemption card from TFL or a Sunflower lanyard.

For more information about face coverings, please visit the Keeping Safe on Campus webpages.

If individuals have concerns, they should contact their department, line manager, Workplace Health or Student Support and WellbeingVisit the UCL website for further information.

Bentham House

Bentham House, home of UCL Laws, is now open to staff and students at reduced capacity. If you are a member of staff or student at UCL Laws please ensure you read all email updates relating to the reopening of the building.

Upon arriving at Bentham House you will be required to use hand sanitiser at the reception desk. This will be provided by the Faculty. All users of the building should equip themselves with a mask, tissues and personal hand sanitiser prior to your arrival. Should you fail to wear a mask, security staff may challenge your entry onto the premises.

Sterilisation points are located at the following locations:

  • Ground floor reception
  • Tea making points (outside Keeton Room, end of corridors on floors 1-4 of Old Bentham.
  • 2nd, 3rd and 4th floor bridges
  • Print/Photocopy Rooms
  • Shared office space
  • Teaching Rooms

The current UCL guidance prohibits any visitors attending Bentham House. This will be updated in accordance to changing guidance by central UCL.

Staff and student meetings will continue to be held remotely, either online or by telephone. Staff contact details can be found in the People section of this website.  

Events

The UCL Laws event programme reflects the diversity of teaching and research offered by the Faculty, with a regular selection of lively seminars, lectures debates and conferences throughout the year.

Many UCL Laws events are now being held online due to Government social distancing advice. For the full programme and registration information visit the UCL Laws Events schedule.

If you have booked a place at an upcoming UCL Laws event you should now have received an email from our organising team confirming the postponement or moving of the event online. If you have any further questions please do contact them – laws-events@ucl.ac.uk. Any further updates to our events schedule will be posted on the Events section of the UCL Laws website and Faculty Twitter account.

Unfortunately, the cancellation of events also includes all UCL Graduations that were scheduled to take place in June, July and September 2020. All UCL students and alumni affected will have received email confirmation of this and if you have any questions please contact ceremonies@ucl.ac.uk

If you feel unwell

The most up to date guidance for staff and students on what to do if you have symptoms or have tested positive for Coronavirus is available on the UCL website.

 

Contacting UCL Laws 

All UCL Faculty of Laws staff have been working from home since mid-March 2020. Some staff have now returned to Bentham House.

There is now a student facing desk in operation for both Undergraduates and Postgraduates from 10am-4pm weekdays in Bentham House. There will be some Facilities and IT support available by appointment only.

During Term 1 the following teams will continue to work remotely: Research, HR, Finance, Events and Communications. Members of staff within these teams should be contacted by email in the first instance.

All staff will be contactable via their UCL email addresses which can be found on the People section of the UCL Laws website. Phone lines and voicemails may not be monitored at this time so we strongly advise contacting staff members solely via email. 
 

If you are a current student with questions or concerns we advise contacting the relevant programme teams:

Current students:

LLB (undergraduate) – Email: ug-law@ucl.ac.uk
LLM (Masters) – Email: llm-law@ucl.ac.uk
PhD/MPhil – Email: phd-law@ucl.ac.uk

Prospective students:

You should always quote your UCL Application ID number in any correspondence relating to your application. Unfortunately, the UCL Laws teaching and programme teams do not accept drop-in visitors.

LLB (undergraduate) – Email: laws-admissions@ucl.ac.uk
LLM (Masters) - Email: llm-admissions@ucl.ac.uk
PhD/MPhil – Email: phd-law@ucl.ac.uk

Further information

Further advice for UCL staff and students is available on the UCL website, it is regularly updated with the latest information.

Our thoughts are with all of the UCL Laws community and their loved ones during this difficult and worrying time, may they all stay well and healthy.

Professor Piet Eeckhout
Dean of UCL Faculty of Laws