COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Information for students, staff and visitors content

Information for students, staff and visitors

Last updated: 9 September 2020

West Highland College UHI has started the academic term as planned and we’re delighted to be welcoming students from all over Scotland, the UK and further afield.

Our priority is to provide a safe learning environment for all of our staff and students. So please familiarise yourself with the guidelines below in order to protect you, your friends and family and our local communities.

We've made a number of changes at our college centres to ensure the health and safety of our staff, students and visitors and have prepared some general guidelines for everyone.

The following information may be useful, but please contact us on 01397 874000 or email info.whc@uhi.ac.uk if you need more information or advice.

General Advice content

General Advice

General Advice

We are working closely with NHS services and Health Protection Scotland who are taking the lead in responding to this situation and we will take direction from them. Please continue to go to the NHS Inform website for the latest health related information, including advice on self-isolation if you develop a cough or fever.

Meanwhile the following information might be of use:

  • The new NHS Scotland app Protect Scotland is now available to help reduce the spread and avoid further lockdowns. It uses bluetooth so is totally anonymous and doesn't require setting up an account. We would encourage you to download and use this to help keep you and your communities safe.
  • If you have any concerns about your health in relation to suspected coronavirus, please contact NHS24 by calling 111 for advice.
  • You might find the current situation around coronavirus difficult and stressful in terms of how it will affect you. This information from MIND, the mental health charity, is useful and reassuring.
  • If you are a student with West Highland College UHI you can also contact your personal academic tutor or Student support for further advice.
Access to our buildings content

Access to our buildings

Access to our buildings

Access to our buildings for both students and staff is by prior arrangement only and the majority of students and staff will continue to work remotely. Our buildings will be closed to visitors and members of the public.

Initial priority for access to centres is for students on courses that have a highly practical element and need access to specialist equipment and facilities. Except for these practical courses, all other courses will be delivered through scheduled, online connected learning time and flexible learning time. More detailed information about how our courses will be delivered is available on our website; select a particular course and then select the “Study Mode” tab. These pages are being updated regularly.

Café facilities on our sites content

Café facilities on our sites

Café facilities on our sites

In our Fort William and Portree campuses, we are providing areas for students and staff to eat snacks and lunch, but for the time being there will be no on-site vending or catering. Students should bring their own packed food and we are looking at ways of providing hot water for drinks. This situation will be reviewed and updated regularly in line with Scottish Government guidelines.

Information for students arriving from outside Scotland – Coronavirus content

Information for students arriving from outside Scotland – Coronavirus

Information for students arriving from outside Scotland – Coronavirus

We’re delighted to welcome students and staff from outside Scotland who have to come live and study here in the West Highlands. Please be aware that the COVID regulations and guidance here in Scotland may be different from your home, so please familiarise yourself with the relevant information here Coronavirus in Scotland.

Scotland has a published route map identifying how Scotland is transitioning out of lockdown. As of 7th September 2020, we are in Phase 3 of this route map.

Local area restrictions content

Local area restrictions

Local area restrictions

There are currently no local restrictions in or around any of West Highland College UHI's ten college centres. However, there are local area restrictions in certain areas of Scotland. The Scottish Government website provides information on these. You must remain vigilant to any local changes and abide by any local restrictions that may be put in place if we are unfortunate enough to have a localised outbreak.

Quarantine arrangements content

Quarantine arrangements

Quarantine arrangements

If you are travelling to Scotland from a country not exempt from quarantine requirements you must complete a passenger locator form and self-isolate for 14 days. This is a legal requirement and it is essential that you comply.

Please check the Scottish Government website for the latest advice as this may change at short notice. If you are in quarantine, you must stay away from others and stay in one place for the full 14 days and this must be at the address you provide on the passenger locator form.

For students it can include:

  • Your own home or accommodation
  • Staying with friends of family
  • A hotel or other temporary accommodation

We are expected to take non-compliance of quarantine requirements very seriously and sanctions will be determined on a case-by-case basis, but may include the full weight of the disciplinary process.

What to do if you develop symptoms content

What to do if you develop symptoms

What to do if you develop symptoms

Joint open letter from Scotland’s senior clinicians to college and university students, Common Cold, Flu-like Symptoms and COVID-19 Symptoms, 10th September 2020

ANYONE who develops symptoms (irrespective of if they are quarantining or not) must follow public health guidance.

If you develop any of the symptoms of COVID-19 while you are in Scotland, you and your household should self-isolate. The symptoms are:

  • new continuous cough
  • fever/high temperature (37.8C or greater)
  • loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste (anosmia)

A new continuous cough is where you:

  • have a new cough that’s lasted for an hour
  • have had 3 or more episodes of coughing in 24 hours
  • are coughing more than usual

A high temperature is feeling hot to the touch on your chest or back (you don’t need to measure your temperature). You may feel warm, cold or shivery.

How do I arrange a test? content

How do I arrange a test?

How do I arrange a test?

You can arrange to be tested on the NHS Inform website. Details of mobile testing units can be found on the Scottish Rural Network website.

Who do I notify in college if I feel unwell or need to self isolate? content

Who do I notify in college if I feel unwell or need to self isolate?

Who do I notify in college if I feel unwell or need to self isolate?

If you are self-isolating, please inform your teaching team so that they are aware. Additional support or questions can be directed to Student Services by email to student.services.whc@uhi.ac.uk or by telephoning 01397 874000.

Togetherall - support for your mental health content

Togetherall - support for your mental health

Togetherall - support for your mental health

We also offer access to Togetherall, a confidential online support service operated by healthcare professionals, which is available 24/7.

HISA - social groups and activities content

HISA - social groups and activities

HISA - social groups and activities

As you will no doubt be aware, this will not feel like a normal start to University or College life. Opportunities to socialise will be much more restrictive, although there will be more opportunities for online socialisation. 

Our Highlands and Islands Student Association (HISA) have been working tirelessly throughout the lockdown period to redevelop existing activity and introduce some totally new opportunities for students across all centres and Academic Partners.  HISA can be found through a number of ways including their website, and social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).  Please do get in touch with them and see what’s on offer.

Guidance for meeting with friends and family content

Guidance for meeting with friends and family

Guidance for meeting with friends and family

It is important to know the guidance on seeing friends and family in Scotland. Students living in accommodation should not have large groups of visitors, and that any visitors attend properties in a safe manner when doing so. Guidance can change quickly, and locally, so please be aware of any local restrictions which may be put in place.

The latest guidance from the Scottish Government on meeting friends and family can be found here

How to make and wear a face covering content

How to make and wear a face covering

FACTS content

FACTS

Remember – the best protection for us all in these times is to follow the FACTS:

Face coverings in enclosed spaces
Avoid crowded places
Clean your hands and surfaces regularly
Two metre social distancing
Self-isolate and book a test if you develop coronavirus symptoms

How to handwash effectively - a film from the World Health Organisation content

How to handwash effectively - a film from the World Health Organisation

Risk assessment content

Risk assessment

Risk assessment

FAQs for new applicants content

FAQs for new applicants

FAQs for new applicants

For more information please check our Frequently Asked Questions for Applicants or contact admissions.whc@uhi.ac.uk