Weekly Union Update (20/04/2020)

Dear Members


Today, it’s the start of term three and next week is the start of your new online assessments. If you’ve also read the University’s guidance on exams this year, you’ll know that you have the option to sit your assessments in April/May or take them in August without having to submit an Extenuating Circumstance form.


We understand that this has been a difficult time for all students and staff at Brunel, and so we want to support you as much as possible with these assessments. If you have any questions, then you should enquire with your department as soon as possible. If you’d like support with Academic enquiries with our independent ARC team then you can put in an enquiry with our team here.


No Detriment Policy


Brunel has also given more information about it’s safety net or no-detriment policy which aims to support students with their academic studies during this time. This university has said the following...


“We have a policy in place which is designed to be fair to all students, including those students on programmes accredited by professional bodies and applies irrespective of how many assessment credits (and with what weighting) they have accumulated so far this academic year.”


You can find more information on this on the University’s webpage here.


Financial Hardship


If you are facing a sudden financial impact, then we can support you during this time either with emergency funding from the Union or help you access funding from the University. We do this for those students who are most in need, throughout the year. You can apply for University Hardship Funding by clicking here and through our Union Hardship Funding by clicking here. 


You can also now apply for specific financial support from our Covid-19 Crisis Crowdfunder (see below) with this link here.


Covid-19 Crowdfunder


Since last week, we’ve also been working with the University’s crowdfunding team to raise money for students facing extreme financial hardship during this time - At the time of writing, we’ve raised slightly less than £5,000 of a total aim of £15,000. Some of the supporters have left some of the following messages: 


“This is the hardest time to be at university. It should be the best of times, as it was for most of us. Keep your heads up and know that things will get better.”


“I hope the students at Brunel can benefit from this donation and all their friends and families stay safe. Study hard and build a brighter future.”


If you’d like to donate or promote the scheme, then you can find it here


Laptops for Students


We’ve been speaking to the University for the last few weeks about support for the 1,500 students who are still on campus, especially for those who do not have laptops. Last week, the University announced that it has started a scheme for students who are…


  • Undertaking assessments in April/May

  • Live on Brunel campus

  • Do not have access to a computer


If you fall into this criteria, then we’d encourage you to contact computing-support@brunel.ac.uk


Distribution Centre


The Distribution Centre has now reopened. You can collect your post on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9am-3pm.


We understand that there has been some disruption to the distribution service during the Easter break. We are in conversations with the distribution centre to make sure that the receiving and distribution of post and parcels this term will be as near normal as possible. As soon as we have more clarity on the service, we will publish them here.

Staff Furlough


Finally, last week, The Union has taken the decision to use the government’s Job Retention Scheme and placed a number of our staff members on furlough. Furloughing effectively means putting jobs on hold temporarily which allows the Union to continue employing and paying staff during these exceptional times. This will follow from today, the 20th of April, until the 31st of May. This decision will help to keep our Union financially sustainable during this time. 


Key services will continue, including our Advice Service, our Stay Healthy At Home Campaign and our Union Democracy. We’ll also be using this time to plan for the next Academic Year.


How To Contact Staff



We’d like to thank you for your support at this time, and encourage you to continue to check the University’s support page. We really want to make sure that you, as our members, are well prepared and positive about your assessments during this unprecedented time.