We’re still here to help and support you. This is a worrying and anxious time for everyone and we know you have many questions and concerns. We continue to offer a full range of advice services for our students. Read on to find out more...
Is the University open as normal during the 2020/21 academic year?
The public health situation is constantly evolving and the University continues to adapt teaching arrangements to reflect the latest guidance.
All lectures, seminars and tutorials will be delivered online until at least 5th March 2021, with only a small number of exceptions.
The only teaching activity that will continue to be delivered in-person and on-campus is as follows:
- Practical teaching (e.g. lab sessions, clinical skills etc.) that is essential and unavoidable and cannot be deferred to a later date.
- Teaching that is essential for professional accreditation and/or student progression reasons and which cannot be delivered online or deferred to a later date.
Please check for the latest updates and find out more here.
- What support is currently available from Advice SU?
Advice SU is continuing to offer a full advice service to Queen’s students. For the time being this will be primarily via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and where appropriate by phone or online meetings. At the moment there is no drop-in available – we will offer a drop-in facility again as soon as it is safe to do so.
- How can I contact Advice SU?
Please email us on email@example.com and we’ll get back to you as quickly as possible. We are not currently in a position to offer drop-in sessions for students so we’re asking students not to come to Advice SU in person as we won’t be able to see you.
- How long will it take to receive a response to my request for advice?
Although we’re experiencing a high demand for advice, our team of professional advisers is working hard to ensure your query is dealt with as quickly as possible – this will normally be within a few working days and during working hours.
- I’ve been asked to attend a meeting with Queen’s. Can someone from Advice SU accompany me?
Meetings with the University are mainly being held remotely at the moment. Advice SU has accompanied students to these online meetings and will continue to do so – please get in touch if you’d like some support with attending any form of meeting at Queen’s – firstname.lastname@example.org
What support can I access if I am experiencing financial difficulties?
- Welfare Benefits
Only certain students, who meet specific eligibility criteria, may apply for social security benefits, such as Universal Credit.
However, if you are facing an extreme, exceptional or crisis situation which presents a significant risk to the health, safety or wellbeing of you and/or your immediate family as a consequence of the Covid-19 crisis you may apply to the Department for Communities Discretionary Support scheme. This scheme is only available to those who are normally resident and have the right to reside in Northern Ireland.
We would advise you to contact us for advice before applying for any social security benefits.
- University Discretionary Funds
Students who are enrolled at Queen's and who experience financial hardship may apply to the Support or Hardship Funds using an online application*, available by logging into your Qsis Student Account at https://qsis.qub.ac.uk/
For help completing the online application please click here
You will be asked to provide bank statements and other supporting documentation. Please ensure that statements for ALL bank accounts held are submitted. All supporting documentation requested during the online application process should be emailed to email@example.com.
*There may be a small number of students who cannot access the application through QSIS because, for example, they are on a leave of absence / Erasmus year. These students should email firstname.lastname@example.org to establish whether they are eligible to apply. If so, a paper form may be issued.
Advice SU has partnered with local foodbanks which can provide practical support if you're struggling to afford food. Get in touch with us as soon as you realise you're in need.
Please email us on email@example.com for further information on any of the above.
- How can I find a part time job?
Queen’s University operates a Student Jobshop, details of which are available here. The Student Jobshop is part of Careers, Employability and Skills and its purpose is to help students find fairly paid part-time, temporary work whilst they are studying at Queens University, Belfast. The Student Jobshop is located in the Student Guidance Centre and can be contacted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Will I get my student loan regardless of whether classes are held online or on campus?
Student Finance NI have confirmed that, regardless of whether teaching takes place on campus or remotely, as long as you are otherwise eligible; are registered to be studying during the 2020/21 academic year and are not suspended or withdrawn from your course you will be eligible to apply for a Maintenance Loan.
The Maintenance Loan is paid at different rates for those who live at home and those who live away from home. You should complete the application accurately and if your living arrangements change during the year, you should let Student Finance know. If you complete your application incorrectly and receive a higher amount than you are due, you will be expected to make repayments to the Student Loans Company whenever you have finished your studies and are earning over the threshold for repayments.
- Will I be entitled to more student finance if my household income has fallen as a result of Covid-19?
Funding entitlement for 2020/21 will initially be based on household income for the 2018/19 tax year. If household income has fallen by more than 5% since then, you can complete a Current Year Income Assessment Form with details of estimated 2020/21 income and a new income assessment may be carried out, with funding entitlement based on the lower income. At the end of the year, you will be required to provide evidence of household income for the year ended 5/04/2021 so that your support can be finalised. Please note that if the estimates provided are not accurate it could result in an overpayment of funding which would need to be repaid to the Student Loans Company.
Note that this information applies to students who are funded by Student Finance NI. If you are funded by another body, you should contact them directly.
- I’ve read on the Queen’s website about emergency loans. Can I apply for one of these?
The rules around emergency loans are very strict. They are only available if statutory funding is late or delayed. They are not an advance on scheduled future funding. If you meet the criteria, contact us on email@example.com and we will advise further.
Can I borrow a laptop from the University?
Following the suspension of the University's existing laptop borrowing service, Queen's University's Widening Participation Unit have introduced a long-term laptop loan scheme to enable and support students who may be unable to access the relevant equipment to study online due to financial hardship, digital exclusion, or circumstances specifically related to COVID-19.
To be considered for the laptop loan scheme you must normally be enrolled as a Home (NI) undergraduate student, registered on your first full-time degree course, at Queen’s University Belfast in 2020/2021 and unable to access appropriate IT equipment for your studies.
Priority will be given to students in receipt of a Full Maintenance Grant (verified by the NI Student Loan Company), and a home postcode classified as being in a disadvantaged neighbourhood by Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (MDM Q1). If demand for laptops exceeds supply, further criteria may be applied.
More information is available here.
- My mental health is being impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. What can I do?
At these unprecedented times, it is important to look after your mental and physical health.
The Student Wellbeing Service can be contacted here. There is also useful information on the Minding Your Head website. If you are in crisis or despair, you can contact Lifeline on 0808 808 8000 or the Samaritans on 116123.
- Where can I find more information?
The University’s updated COVID-19 FAQs are available here - or you can contact your School, or email Advice SU on firstname.lastname@example.org