On this page, we offer a summary of the latest guidance, showcase helpful resources, and signpost the people available to support you during this time.
We are very aware that the unusual circumstances in which we all find ourselves are putting additional pressure on everyone and we want to reassure you that structures are in place to offer support.
This will be a testing time, but we are confident that by looking out for each other and seeing new ways to work and support one another, we will discover new depths of strength and resilience within ourselves, individually and collectively.
Official information sources
The constant stream of news and social media can be overwhelming. You should bookmark the following links for the official updates and guidance from the University, NHS and Government:
- University student updates and advice
- University general updates and advice
- NHS guidance
- Government guidance
College updates will be sent by email to the student mailing lists. These will typically come from the Director of Operations, Mike Freeman, or the Academic Administrator, Jennie Sheffield.
Please make sure that your contact details, including your current address, are up-to-date on Student Self-Service.
All students have three points of access to staff support, and you can approach any and all of these options as suits you best:
- For undergraduates: your Director of Studies or your Personal Tutor
- For graduates: your College Advisor or the Director of Graduate Studies
- For all students: the Welfare Team
If you do not know who your Personal Tutor or College Advisor is, you can access this information on Student Self-Service or by emailing Jennie Sheffield.
If you have particular concerns regarding your studies, your Director of Studies would normally be the first point of contact. If you are unsure where to take your concerns, the College Welfare Team are ready to talk with you and seek ways with you to address whatever concerns you have.
The College Welfare Team are:
- Esther Mason, email@example.com
- Mike Freeman, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Lynn Robson, email@example.com
- Jennifer Sheffield, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Bethany Sollereder, email@example.com
The Welfare Team is (virtually) meeting regularly and meets weekly with the JCR and MCR presidents and welfare officers so that we can be listening as carefully as possible to your concerns as events unfold.
University welfare services
The Counselling Service and Disability Advisory Service are continuing to operate, and all appointments are taking place online. If you would like to make an appointment or speak to an advisor, please email firstname.lastname@example.org (Counselling) or email@example.com (DAS).
The Counselling Service is running a good service and has capacity to see students, so please do not hesitate to access this service during this period. The Counselling Service also has a ‘Welfare Hub‘, bringing together a series of blogs and podcasts to support you during the coronavirus pandemic.
Big White Wall
The University offers free access to ‘Big White Wall’, a free service giving you access to a global welfare community. It provides a safe space online to get things off your chest, explore your feelings, get creative and learn how to self-manage your mental health and wellbeing. Whether you’re struggling to sleep, feeling low, stressed or unable to cope, Big White Wall can help you get support, take control and feel better.
To join, simply visit the official website and Register under ‘’I’m from a university or college” with your Oxford e-mail address.
Teaching and assessment
Advice and guidance for students in relation to coronavirus can be found on the University website, as well as information about open-book exams.
Make sure you have read the Open Book exams guides for candidates through carefully before taking your exams.
Accommodation and facilities
At present, the College site is only accessible to students already in residence.
The latest government advice is that if you have returned home, you should not return to Oxford.
If you have a licence or tenancy agreement for University or College accommodation for Trinity Term but are not in residence, you will not be charged rent. If you are staying in Oxford, or if government policy changes and you return to University or College accommodation, you will be charged rent in the usual way.
Please do not return to College unless you have been advised that it is possible for you to do so.
All licence agreements have been waived for this term.
Should you have left behind belongings in your room, we are discussing plans for collection and/or return, and we will be in touch directly with students once we know more. If you have essential items (e.g. medicine, medical letters, exam notes) that you need, please email the Director of Operations.
You must not return to College to collect your belongings. Should Government guidance change and allow travel, we will need to put in place procedures to facilitate collection, ensuring that we maintain social distancing, and protect the health of our staff and on-site residents.
The University has confirmed that, if you are not in residence in Trinity Term as a result of the coronavirus epidemic, you will not be liable for rent. Please see their coronavirus advice page for more information.
The University and Colleges have no control over the arrangements, and students are likely to still be liable for the rest of the year to their landlords. Oxford SU provides signposting for advice on its website or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Any students in financial distress should contact the College’s Director of Finance, Nicki Kilpin.
IT support and advice
We appreciate that many students and staff will experience new IT-related challenges in learning and working remotely.
The University’s IT Services have a number of useful resources:
- Microsoft Teams: Getting started
- Downloading Office365 applications to your desktop
- General IT help website
- What technology should I use?
You can also email email@example.com for IT advice and guidance.
The college library is now open again for most of each day, but with a reduced number of working spaces available and other arrangements to keep you safe. There will be a quarantine period (currently 72 hours) between a book being returned by one user and available to anyone else. Please plan ahead as much as you can, to identify the books you need and when you might need to use the library.
The library will be closed for cleaning on weekdays between 7 and 9am, and between 12 and 2pm. At weekends it will be closed from 8 to 9am. There is a booking system here to book slots for studying following each of the cleaning sessions. This will be the safest time to work in the library. From 5pm on weekdays until 7am the following morning, and at weekends, we do not currently ask library users to reserve study spaces.
It will not be safe for you to browse the shelves while anyone is sitting in front of them. If you cannot access the books you need, or would prefer not to use the library, there is now a ‘Click & Collect’ system in place. For books in the college library, when you find them on SOLO, use the ‘Request’ button to register your request for the book. Library staff will notify you when the books are available to collect. They will be left on the tables on the landing outside the library.
Books you have finished with should be returned as normal to the box outside the library doors.
If you are looking for books or journals that you need for your studies, please get in touch with the library. There may be new digital content available to Oxford library users that isn’t yet visible on SOLO, and there may be other ways of getting hold of what you need. So, please do email whenever you have a library or reading list question.
Please send any feedback on the library arrangements to Sarah Mann.
Helpful resources and links
- Student Welfare Advice – a PDF with a selection of useful resources and links
- The Park Bench – our community newsletter
- RPC JCR’s Love During Lockdown page
- Disability Advisory Service’s list of free academic resources and self-help (Excel version)
- OU Coffee Ambassadors – this student-led peer support scheme has moved online
- Oxford Study Skills Centre – a list of helpful resources for remote studying and learning
Healthcare organisations and mental health charities:
- Every Mind Matters – the NHS’ online toolkit for maintaining and managing your mental health
- Government’s guidance on looking after your mental health and wellbeing during COVID-19
- Mind’s Coronavirus and your wellbeing webpage
- Student Minds’ Coronavirus resources
- Mental Health Foundation – looking after your mental health
Resources recommended by members of RPC
If you find a resource that may be helpful for others (a website, video, podcast, old-fashioned book!), please email Fiona Floate and we will add it to this page.