Version 1.0 - Last Updated: 16 Feb 2021

Our COVID-19 questions and answers for higher education providers

Courses and term dates

Q1: What do we need to do if our term dates are changing within the same month in academic year 2020/21?

A: If your term start date is changing by less than 5 working days within the same working week, there is no need to update your term dates on the Courses Management Service (CMS). You will only need to update your term dates if the change affects the long course loan duration. For example, your course is now longer or shorter than 30 weeks and 3 days.

If your term dates are changing by more than 5 working days, or by less but the new term start date is into the next working week, you will need to change your term dates on CMS. If you are certain that your dates will not change again, you should update them on CMS as soon as possible. This will help to ensure that reassessments are completed for all applicants.

You should not create a new version of your course with the new term dates. You should make any changes to your existing course. This will avoid the need for Transfer CoCs. Please contact your HEP account manager before you make any changes.

Q2: What do we need to do if our term dates for academic year 2020/21 are changing into the next month?

A: If your term start date is changing month (but not outside the season), CMS will not let you make this change. However, we can make it for you. To allow us to do this, you will need to complete a pro forma. Please contact your HEP account manager who will explain the process and provide the relevant form.

Q3: If we change our term dates, will this affect students receiving their maintenance?

A: Regardless of the length of change, we will make payments to students after you confirm registration. We cannot pay Maintenance Loan until we receive a registration. If you amend your term dates, this will affect a student's payment date. It will not affect their entitlement if the course remains the same length. In all instances, please make sure to tell your students about the change to term dates and how this will affect their payment schedule.

Q4: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are looking to restructure our programmes into a condensed year for academic year 2020/21 only. For example, we are thinking about changing the start date from September 2020 to January 2021. Is this possible?

A: Please see the specific guidance about temporary winter term courses for further information on this process.

Q5: For the temporary winter term start courses in 2020/21, when will you make the tuition fee payments to us?

A: The tuition fee payments for the temporary courses will follow the same timeline as other courses in academic year 2020/21. For January starts, the payment windows are February, May and October. Please see the specific guidance about temporary winter term courses for further information about early payments and the exact dates.

Q6: We are using the new seasonal start guidance. Can we have some students on the autumn start and some on the new compressed course with a winter start?

A: Yes, you can have students on both autumn start and winter start programmes.

Q7: Do I need to amend my course details on CMS for academic year 2020/2021?

The only time you need to tell us is if you are extending your term dates past 30 weeks and 3 days. This will make your students eligible for long course loans. You will need to tell our Partners Support Desk about these changes. Students are entitled to additional funding per week up the maximum of 45 weeks, where they become eligible for the full-year rate. This also applies to final year students.

If the extension of study period is only to allow more time for exam resits, then this will not be eligible for extra weeks of funding. Please do not submit any changes if this is the case.

The latest third term end date for a course starting in the autumn term of academic year 2020/21 is 31 August 2021.

If your course is already over 45 weeks, there is no need to change your term dates. Students will already be receiving the full-year rate.

You do not need to tell us if you want to make changes to your current term dates, but it does not affect the Long Course Loan duration. We will pay your students in line with the original term dates you have entered on CMS. This process will reduce the number of reassessments.

Some students may need additional support hours from a non-medical helper due to a course extension. They can discuss this with their needs assessor, who will in turn contact our DSA team for approval. 

Q8: The Nursing and Midwifery Council has announced a new range of recovery standards to help students to complete their course. Will support be available?

A: Yes, for the purposes of student finance, support will be available as these students are actively engaging in their course. This will be determined at provider level. It may vary from one organisation to the next.

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