Version 1.0 - Last Updated: 16 Feb 2021
Our COVID-19 questions and answers for higher education providers
FAQ specific to AY 2019/20
Q1: We are moving to complete our teaching through online delivery. Will you make payments as normal?
A: We do not intend to change payments as a result of the change in delivery. We will deem the course to be completed based on the original course intention. You do not need to submit any Change of Circumstance notifications (CoCs) for changes in intensity or mode of study.
Q2: Do we need to tell you about changes to term dates, methods of study and other such details?
A: Not if the change is a result of delaying your AY 2019/20 summer term in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. But if you are planning significant restructures, please contact your HEP account manager.
Q3: Do I need to amend my course details on the Courses Management Service (CMS) for AY 2019/20?
A: The only time you need to notify 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 AY 2019/20 is 31 August 2020.
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.
Q4: Where term dates are shortened, will you claw back maintenance entitlement from next year's funding?
A: If the third term dates of a course in its final year are shortened (and were originally greater than 30 weeks and 3 days) we will not actively seek recovery of overpayments. If the course is not in its final year, any outstanding overpayments will be netted off from the student’s maintenance support in AY 2020/21.
Q5: When considering extending final year course length, would it be possible to do this at course level or individual student level if necessary? If students are expected to complete in August but fail, they will be entitled to resits and these would be in October.
A: You cannot make changes to courses on an individual student level. You will need to do this at course level.
If you extend a course beyond 30 weeks and 3 days to allow for additional teaching weeks, you will need to tell us in advance. This change will trigger a reassessment and students will be eligible for long course loans.
If the extension is only to allow students to resit final exams, then this is not deemed as funded study. You should not make any changes to the course.
Q6: Some of our students have returned home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Will you reassess them from elsewhere rate to home rate?
A: For AY 2019/20, no. It has been confirmed that students will not be reassessed and we will pay them as expected for their next instalment.
Q7: Some students are having childcare issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. They will therefore need an extension to complete an AY 2019/20 course. Can they get additional childcare funding?
A: Students can get additional weeks of childcare funding in these circumstances. You should submit a Fee CoC with the extension dates included, and request additional childcare funding in the text box.
Q8: Will you be providing special dispensation for students who are on the Erasmus+ scheme, or are currently studying a year abroad, and may be forced to return home or suspend their studies?
A: We will continue to make scheduled tuition payments to providers for the rest of AY 2019/20. Students will also continue to receive scheduled payments of loans towards their living costs for AY 2019/20. Both tuition and living costs payments will continue irrespective of whether providers have made alternative arrangements for teaching.
Q9: Will providers receive their tuition fee payments as expected, regardless of whether a student has returned to the UK from study abroad?
A: Providers will continue to receive their scheduled payments as expected. This includes fees for Erasmus students.
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