I hope this blog finds you and your colleagues safe and well. Thank you all for the many kind messages of support you have sent to the International Office over the past few weeks. They are really appreciated and warmly received
English Language testing
- We have recently received approval for IELTS validity extension of up to 4 years. This will be added to Durham’s Learning and Teaching Handbook this week
- It is hoped that the Password English language testing will be launch around 11th/12th May. Our current MA TESOL students are testing the service for us. Students holding offers with an English language condition are encourage to express their interest in applying for the Password test at the following link: https://bit.ly/2YFLoM7 Admissions will be contacting students who have expressed an interest in the Password test shortly, regarding payment and how to access the test
- We won’t be adopting the new online Pearson test (VEPT), Duolingo or IELTS indicator test
I would like to bring the following COVID-19 related updates to your attention:
- Admissions (with the International Office) are actively mapping out undergraduate entry requirements for markets affected by Covid-19; especially those which won’t be offering final year exams. More communications are expected to come from Admissions in next few weeks.
- Admissions are preparing to issue CAS as normal, but will hold issuing them until we know more about October delivery.
- All undergraduate programmes are still open to international applicants; we would still welcome new applications
- There will be more CRM campaigns to international offer holders in the coming weeks with reassuring messages around health and wellbeing
- We are currently reviewing statistics regarding deferrals and refunds requests, but the indicators are that the numbers are currently very small. There have been several enquiries around the process, but students are still watching and waiting
- Some applications are still being automatically withdrawn/closed down when students don’t respond to requests. We know this is not ideal, however, students can request to be reinstated if this happens. Please can you advise applicants to respond to requests as soon as they are received so that their applications can be kept active.
Online Pre-Sessional English Programmes
- We have 34 students on the 20 week pre-sessional English Language programme – tomorrow (8th May) is the last day for any student who is not enjoying the programme to drop out without financial penalty. However, feedback from the cohort is positive. I have been promised some student profiles that I can circulate to you in the coming weeks
- Student sign up for the 10 week Pre-Sessional English programme has been excellent. The English Language Centre (DCAD) are preparing for a large intake when it starts on the 13th July
- A gentle reminder regarding the Pre-Sessional English programme booking cut off dates;
- 10 week – Friday 26th June
- 5 week – Friday 31st July
- Details of Durham’s Pre-Sessional English programmes can be found at: https://www.dur.ac.uk/dcad/study/presessional/
Durham University – COVID-19 FAQs
- Durham University remains open and is responding to the Covid-19 virus with the health and wellbeing of our community and the communities of which we are part as our first priority. For the latest updates and FAQs on the current outbreak, please visit; https://www.dur.ac.uk/coronavirus/faq/
New Academic Year start dates (2020/21)
- There’s still no decision on start dates/mode of delivery. Durham University’s leadership are currently considering different scenarios. Their decision will be partially informed by intelligence gleamed through surveys and stakeholder reports, as well as the UK government guidelines on the lockdown exit strategy and continued social distancing measures. We will keep you updated as soon as we have news to announce.
- We sent a survey out in association with other Russell Group institutions to postgraduate (taught) offer holders on Friday (1st May) to ask for their preferences regarding mode of delivery and start dates. The survey is now closed and we received 8089 responses with 724 from Durham offer holders. We expect the results early next week.