Coronavirus

City has published updated advice for its students and staff on the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Latest information for students and staff

Last updated: 27 Oct 2021 9:37am

Student Surveys give you the opportunity to tell us about your experience and us the chance to act on your feedback.

We listen to your feedback

Listening to your views and opinions is vital to how we enhance student life and student satisfaction. With your help, we are working together to ensure that your time here is successful and rewarding.

The Student Surveys consist of Your Voice 1 and 2 for first and second year students, the National Student Survey (NSS) for final year students, the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) for Taught postgraduate students and the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) for research students.

Below are improvements we have made based on student feedback in order to enhance your student experience.

How your feedback has informed change throughout City

University

In 2020/21 we:

  • Continued to offer a combination of online and in-person teaching to provide a more flexible approach to studies.
  • Helped students with their online studies by producing new guidance and improving the accessibility of our digital content
  • Ran a City Summer Skills programme to help returning students meet other students and catch up on academic and career skills.
  • Looked at the way we offer one-to-one support and developed a new policy to show how we can support students.
  • Offered additional financial support through the Digital Inclusion Fund and new paid ambassador opportunities
  • Invested in Togetherall to offer all students 24/7 online mental health support.

Careers Service

In 2020/21 we:

  • Provided CityBuddy mentors and mentees with additional guidance, to help ensure that expectations were clear on both sides
  • Improved the process for students to begin volunteering. We moved our system to use single sign on to remove the requirement for students to create an account before they can register to volunteer
  • Changed how students receive support from Professional Mentoring. Students told us that they had a lot of contact with the team through the selection process, but that they would appreciate an opportunity to check in with them as their mentoring relationships continued. In response to this feedback, we provided monthly drop-in sessions so we could listen to students’ concerns and address any issues quickly and smoothly
  • Improved our support for students on the Micro-Placements Programme, including the refinement of a robust reasonable adjustments process and the creation of additional specialised support sessions to build confidence and capability on the scheme through mock assessment centre sessions and tech checks
  • Changed our scope of provision by offering Micro-Placements in a remote and hybrid capacity, allowing all students to participate, even if they were based internationally
  • Made Micro-Placements a credit bearing module based on student feedback submitted during the programme approvals process
  • Changed our marketing approach for our employer events programme based on student feedback by combining five separate printed guides into one online guide.

In 2019/20 we:

  • Secured more employers on campus from the Times Top 100 such as Savills, PwC, Allen & Overy, Barclays, IBM, HSBC and the Bank of England
  • Created much needed, paid virtual internships for 2020 graduates - part-funded by Santander
  • Set up VMock, to launch in January 2021, to provide online CV feedback which students can access 24/7
  • Designed a comprehensive induction Moodle, explaining our services and providing advice
  • Worked closely with Schools to ensure students could compete effectively for micro-placements and developed mechanisms to prepare students and increase their chances of success
  • Increased careers provision for students looking beyond traditional graduate careers with a series of webinars on topics specific to students from the School of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Developed increased support for graduates, introduced a series of webinars on common career topics and created a bespoke resources page
  • Organised a City Buddies live event, to run in January 2021, to go alongside the Moodle training resources so Buddies can meet other mentors
  • Created a Zoom Drop In for students on the Professional Mentoring Scheme, so mentees have a time where they can discuss their mentoring relationship.

Learning Enhancement and Development (LEaD)

In 2020/21 we:

  • Implemented LinkedIn Learning for all students to provide self-paced online materials for the development of digital skills
  • Established Student Digital Community on MS Teams to provide students with a space to receive advice and support related to digital skills and using educational technologies
  • Established a captioning service to support academics with the correction of captions on pre-recorded media
  • Developed ‘cameras on/off tips and guidance’ for staff and students on turning their camera on during online teaching sessions while still maintaining privacy, following discussions with the Students’ Union
  • Completely redesigned the structure and contents of the Academic Skills section of the Student Academic Skills and Wellbeing Moodle course
  • Continued delivering open academic skills workshops as webinars
  • Changed the schedule of open academic skills webinars to reflect students’ needs in Term 1
  • Started providing numeracy support for students
  • Provided an integrated revision and exam strategies sessions following a request from groups of students
  • Started providing regular critical writing sessions in Radiography following a request from the student rep
  • Implemented a new online booking system for student appointments that made it easier for students to book remotely and quickly
  • Changed some of the MA Academic practice programmes modules to focus more on teaching and supporting students online to align with the work that current MAAP students were undertaking in their practice
  • Increased the focus on assessment approaches to support students who were delivering online teaching, learning and assessment.

In 2019/20 we:

  • Amended the blog assessment for EDM121 to be a reflective essay, so it was less restrictive
  • Began reviewing the online activity for each module for 2020/21 to take account of how forums are used and how often and to increase interactivity
  • Introduced a MS Teams site for each module for 2020/21 enabling easier meetings between students in groups.

Catering services (Sodexo)

In 2020/21 we:

  • Were closed due to the pandemic but were busy planning new areas which are now operational, in The City Law School building and at Finsbury square
  • Introduced “We’re serving Costa coffee”
  • Sourced the Twelve Pay app for introduction in 2021 enabling:
    • Fast and convenient pre-ordering
    • Contact-free ordering and virtual queuing
    • Cashless online Quick payments
    • Promotions and loyalty points
    • Notifications of promotions and discounts
    • Parent and Guardians Food Credit gifts.

In 2019/20 we:

  • Improved:
    • Baxters – installed air-conditioning, introduced hot food offers and more dietary ranges such as wheat and gluten free products
    • CRUSSH – introduced a healthy, balanced range with nutritional information available on all products
    • Courtyard – reviewed whole product range and through the produced insight unit, introduced items such as: baguettes, wraps, panini, sandwiches and healthy snack pots. Focused on value for money with low price points from £1.45
    • Bunhill Row – completed a full capital works programme over the summer, introducing casual dining with a street food offer. Fully refurbished the third-floor space and introduced an Aspretto coffee offer.
  • Changed:
    • Baxters – completed capital project over the summer to re-model the entire space and layout
    • CRUSSH – fully refurbished the location in line with insight gathered from the customer base and market trends
    • Courtyard – introduced a Starbucks coffee offer, including high street retail products. This was driven through insight gathered from the customer base
    • Coffee House – raised £15,000 for a social enterprise supporting people out of homelessness through Life Changing Coffee.
  • Introduced a disposable cup levy for all units, passing the benefit onto customers using their own cups when purchasing hot beverages
  • Reviewed disposable items used and replaced these with bio-degradable, recyclable, plant-based starch and compostable alternatives.
  • Introduced waste knot – using wonky fruit and vegetables in the salad bar and food production – to support farmers and the environment
  • Using the app Too Good to Go, offered ‘Magic boxes’ sold at a reduced price to reduce waste
  • Reviewed supplier delivery schedules to reduce the frequency of deliveries in support of Sodexo’s “Better Tomorrow Plan” aiming to reduce carbon footprint
  • Funded a health and wellbeing support session with Faisal Abdalla, who was named one of London’s top personal trainers. Faisal’s infectious energy ensured students left his session buzzing.
  • Created and developed menus to educate customers that their choice has an impact on the environment through SU-Eatable Life (www.thesra.org). Literature was given out to help customers understand and embrace changes in eating habits.

Exams

In 2020/21 we:

  • Extended the January exam period from two to three weeks to allow for better exam spacing
  • Changed how the August exam period is timetabled to be able to accommodate changes to the extenuating circumstances process
  • Facilitated remote exams in collaboration with Schools
  • Staggered remote exam start times within larger Schools, so more support could be offered for queries
  • Worked with Student Counselling, Mental Health and Accessibility Service to translate reasonable adjustments to remote exams.

Property and Facilities

In 2020/21 we:

  • Introduced better access control in the form of tap-in ID cards and CCTV systems across campus, with the aim for completion in November 2021
  • Updated campus maps for students ready for the start of the first term
  • Introduced a new environmental services contract for cleaning, window cleaning, waste management and feminine hygiene (with the latter seeing a marked increase in receptacles for female, disabled and gender-neutral toilets)
  • Delivered personalised timetables and attendance monitoring for all undergraduate programmes (with some SHS returning programmes omitted by request of the School)
  • Made full timetables available via MyTimetable for almost 11,000 students
  • Changed library level 6 student study space layout and included additional power outlets
  • Opened the new building for The City Law School
  • Created the Sadlers Students’ Union Common Room in Tait
  • Reconfigured and refurnished Optometry labs
  • Opened the new Finsbury Square Building for Bayes, with new floors of space to be added over the coming years
  • Upgraded the Test Cells for SMCSE
  • Created a space for the Violence and Society Centre in Rhind Building.

Students' Union

“It has been a challenging year for all of us, and so we would like to begin by thanking you all for your hard work and resilience and look forward to a fantastic year ahead. City Students’ Union has continued to fight for change and has continued to collaborate with the University to ensure the best outcomes for all students. The change has been driven by you, our students, who have come to us with your experiences, feedback and queries. Together, we have been able to create new student spaces on campus in preparation for the new academic year; call thousands of students during lockdowns to check in and offer some support; secure funding to deliver new initiatives that reduce the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) attainment gap such as our EDI reps; lobbied the University to successfully change the name of Cass Business School; and we have been able to develop new ways of engaging digitally with you, our members, who lead our every decision. Your leadership drives our work and we look forward to continuing our push for better, together.”

Shaima Dallali, Students' Union President

In 2020/21 we:

  • Solidified assessment mitigations for the academic year working closely with our VP Education and the University
  • Introduced new spaces for students on campus such as the Student Common Room in the Tait Building
  • Recognised the call to action from staff, students and the wider public and actively lobbied the University to change the name of Cass Business School, formerly named after Sir John Cass, a merchant who made much of his fortune from the slave trade. The School has now relaunched as Bayes Business School
  • Secured commitment from City to fund a scholarship programme for Black UK-domiciled undergraduate students at Bayes Business School. The new programme will offer ten undergraduate scholarships each year and five PHD scholarships
  • Secured funding to deliver new initiatives that reduce the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) attainment gap, such as EDI Rep focused on reviewing, commenting on and contributing to projects with City’s Race Equality Charter self-assessment team and Student Attainment Working Group
  • Reviewed our democratic structures to ensure they reflect the needs of our members and make it easy for you to make changes
  • Delivered 5,000 check in calls with students as part of a new wellbeing and insight project with feedback used to secure funding to help build a community at City
  • Recruited ten Student Community Research Assistants to investigate how to build and support communities of students at City with action plans to be delivered across 2021-2023
  • Secured a City-wide review into assessment and feedback following Union lobbying to standardise procedures as a result of negative feedback.

In 2019/20 we:

  • Introduced a no-detriment policy with the university to ensure students’ grades were not negatively affected by the pandemic
  • Supported and advised 461 students through our Union Advice service
  • Supported over £10,000 worth of student group activities
  • Doubled the amount of Welcome activities and brought society-led events into the programme for the first time ever
  • Built new platforms to engage with students studying remotely from home and as part of our global international student community
  • Created new online feedback measures such as the Big Ideas platform to ensure the voices and opinions of City students are at the heart of City Students’ Union
  • Achieved the ‘Good’ Green Impact Award.

Library Services

"Your feedback is instrumental in designing, delivering and developing your Library Service. We've made lots of improvements over the past two years, much of which has been as a direct result of student feedback. So please keep the feedback coming, it really does make a difference."

Louise Doolan, Director of Library Services

In 2020/21 we:

  • Implemented a hybrid access model to Bloomberg, Eikon and Morningstar upon campus re-opening after lockdown
  • Re-opened the library spaces on a phased basis post lockdown, while maintaining staff and student safety, and keeping this under constant review
  • Implemented automatic renewals of loaned items during lockdown, with no overdue charges being issued
  • Extended our online chat service to evenings and weekends
  • Subscribed to several new online resources including: Sage Campus, OverDrive, STATdx and extensive e-book packages including over 8,000 Equality Diversity & Inclusion titles
  • Updated and extended our fiction collections across all libraries, now additionally augmented by our online fiction collections via the new resource, OverDrive
  • Continued to expand our electronic and print collections using student-led selection models
  • Improved booking forms for appointments and workshops
  • Provided one-to-one specialist subject and research support through MS Teams, continued to offer online office hours and expanded our workshop programme
  • Purchased additional e-books to support remote study and the move to online assessments
  • Created an online library induction Moodle module, highlighting key essentials for students which they can access year-round
  • Created online virtual tours of library spaces.

In 2019/20 we:

  • Developed CityLibrary Search and our A-Z database lists to make it easier to discover our collections
  • Implemented remote access to Bloomberg, Eikon and Morningstar in response to lockdown, followed by a hybrid access model upon campus re-opening
  • Worked with a Corporate Partner to install high-end AV equipment at Bunhill Row, displaying live market data and news
  • Subscribed to several new online resources, including: Sage Business Cases; Oxford Scholarship Online Literature; War State & Society; OUP Handbooks of Music; History of Feminism; IEEE 3 MIT & 3 Wiley e-books collections; Cambridge CORE e-textbooks; and the JSTOR e-book collection (around 48,000 titles)
  • Purchased additional content from the Daily Mail Historical Archive, Financial Times Historical Archive, Independent Archive, and the Telegraph Historical Archive
  • Reviewed and updated all our online content, including Library guides, ‘Ask Us’ and Library web content to ensure all online content is accessible to all users
  • Supported students by creating a ‘temporary access to online resources’ Library guide that links to a wealth of resources that publishers made available freely due to COVID-19
  • Continued to expand our electronic and print collections using student-led selection models, providing access to over 80,000 e-books
  • Launched ‘Liberating CityLibrary’ – a patron-led purchasing scheme introduced to increase the range of books in the library written by people from a BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) background, books by and about LGBTQI+ people and titles which recognise overlapping identities and experiences such as gender, class, sexuality and disability
  • In response to Covid-19 we managed library loans in an agile and flexible way – loan periods were extended and students were given regular email updates advising them of the ongoing situation and any further changes. Upon re-opening of the campus, regular student communications were maintained and a ‘returning to campus’ guide was produced in response to student queries around visiting and borrowing
  • Improved booking forms for appointments and workshops
  • Provided additional library services by opening the Northampton Square Library over the festive closure period
  • Introduced a system status management service in March 2020 – this gives library users a clear and concise overview of service provision, highlighting any disruption to services, spaces or resources and expected resolution
  • Provided one-to-one specialist subject and research support via MS Teams or phone and introduced online office hours and workshops
  • Extended our Online Chat hours, now running 09:00 – 17:00 and introduced a chat feedback tool for students to provide real-time feedback on the service
  • Purchased additional e-books to support remote study and the move to online assessments
  • Library Services were awarded the CSE Standard in October 2019. Following the first 12-month review in October 2020, Library Services have now achieved a Compliance Plus rating for 15 of the elements assessed under the standard, demonstrating how the service has responded further to student feedback.

Information Technology

“Feedback received from students continues to reaffirm the importance placed on ensuring the reliability and availability of the services IT provide to support learning and teaching. Our investment in these areas has remained a central contributor to the student experience in 2020/21, with ongoing remote learning. We have maintained our high satisfaction rating through the provision of services as outlined below.”

Claire Priestley, Director of Information Technology

In 2020/21, in partnership with Schools and other Professional Services, we:

  • Re-established our campus-based support services, opening our face-to-face service points, and increasing our capacity to proactively maintain learning spaces
  • Increased the volume and quality of articles in our online Knowledge Base, making it easier for students to find information about our services and self-help
  • Extended the use of the AppsAnywhere platform for accessing applications remotely, to enhance the way students can utilise some applications from home via a portal
  • Continued to improve the infrastructure and support elements necessary to enable remote learning and collaboration, using MS Teams and Zoom. This has included adding live streaming to enable live events
  • Added automated captioning for content recorded by lecturers using Mediaspace, increasing the accessibility of media content
  • Delivered or upgraded a range of specialist professional facilities including, for example, the TV Studio for the Journalism department and expanding the Artificial Intelligence lab for Computing
  • Provided support to enable the provision of specialist professional learning environments such as the Law Pro Bono Clinics
  • Supported the introduction of services specific to programmes of study including: a new high-performance computer (HPC), giving students the power to run complex and processer-intensive actions not possible before; and the ePad platform specifically developed to support students on health programmes while on placement
  • Continued the programme of upgrades to learning and teaching spaces, with the aim of extending the capability of lecture capture to a wider number of rooms, as a direct response to student feedback
  • Initiated the work of delivering rooms that allow blended teaching and learning.

In 2019/20 we:

  • Primarily focused on improving the remote student experience by introducing and supporting new platforms such as MS Teams, Zoom, AppsAnywhere and more. IT achieved this while increasing support for key services such as Moodle and Kaltura Lecture Capture
  • Enabled student access to MS Teams. Teams played a critical role in the student experience early on in lockdown, enabling students to collaborate and meet online
  • Enabled a syncing process to automatically create a MS Team for every SITS teaching module at City
  • Enabled academics to choose to switch on their Team to create a space for students to work together, ask questions about their course and engage with academic staff
  • Established a new Zoom Service as a response to the increase in remote studying, relating to the student experience and academic quality. IT purchased an enterprise Zoom licence and provided guidance alongside MS Teams
  • Introduced a new platform for accessing applications to further help develop the remote student experience. This platform, known as AppsAnywhere, allows students to access some applications from home via a portal. AppsAnywhere also provides a cohesive and centralised interface for accessing applications at City
  • Utilised the computer labs across campus to create a Remote Labs service in addition to the introduction of AppsAnywhere. Remote Labs enables students to access a campus PC from home, therefore being able to access all the software licensed for campus only
  • Provided students with Apple devices and other operating systems the chance to access software not available on non-windows devices through Remote Labs
  • Delivered a new interim teaching space solution in the Great Hall, consisting of new cabling for the lectern as well as the lectern being brought down from the stage to the floor
  • Worked on the large lecture theatre in the new building for The City Law School and three teaching spaces in Franklin have been refurbished
  • Worked very closely with the exams office to ensure that online assessments were spread out to reduce the possibility of system failure and support the student experience
  • Strengthened the Moodle architecture to make it more resilient during the increase in remote usage
  • Supported an increase in remote lecture capture, with 43,000 new media entries into our media capture platform. Many of these video captures are from lecturers re-recording teaching material at home for students
  • Developed a new recording solution for Law students, allowing them to save their recordings in the cloud. IT are also using higher quality cameras and microphones and a refined user interface for an improved student experience.