Important COVID-19 / Coronavirus information and FAQs

IMPORTANT CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION AND FAQS

Updated on 20 April 2020

The Architectural Association is continuing to closely monitor the outbreak of coronavirus and seek advice from the UK authorities. We are doing everything possible to ensure the safety of our staff and students during the current situation.

On 23 March 2020, the Prime Minister announced strict measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the UK: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

It is very important that you familiarise yourself with this message and follow its guidance.

Updated government advice can also be found here:


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  1. WILL THE AA BE CLOSED DURING TERM 3?
  2. I HAVE NOT YET BOOKED MY FLIGHT TO RETURN FOR TERM 3. SHOULD I BOOK IT NOW?
  3. WHAT IF I CAN’T COME BACK TO THE UK DURING TERM 3?
  4. I’M WORRIED ABOUT MY TIER 4 VISA IF I AM NOT ABLE TO ATTEND IN PERSON – WHAT SHOULD I DO?
  5. WHERE CAN I FIND ADVICE ON MY STUDENT HOUSING RIGHTS?
  6. WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CORONAVIRUS? WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE THESE SYMPTOMS?
  7. WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I OR SOMEONE IN MY HOUSEHOLD HAS SYMPTOMS?
  8. SHOULD I INFORM THE AA IF I’M ILL?
  9. WHERE CAN I FIND SUPPORT FOR MENTAL HEALTH & WELLBEING?
  10. AA VISITING SCHOOL: I HAVE PAID THE DEPOSIT/FULL FEE FOR DLAB/SUMMER SCHOOL/AA SESSIONS. WILL I BE ISSUED A REFUND IF THE PROGRAMME IS CANCELLED BECAUSE OF THE CURRENT COVID-19 SITUATION?
  11. AA VISITING SCHOOL: I HAVE PAID THE DEPOSIT FEE FOR A GLOBAL VISITING SCHOOL PROGRAMME. WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF THE PROGRAMME IS POSTPONED BECAUSE OF THE CURRENT COVID-19 SITUATION?
  12. AA VISITING SCHOOL: I HAVE PAID THE FULL FEE FOR A GLOBAL VISITING SCHOOL PROGRAMME. WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF THE PROGRAMME IS POSTPONED BECAUSE OF THE CURRENT COVID-19 SITUATION?
  13. AA VISITING SCHOOL: I AM INTERESTED IN APPLYING TO ONE OF YOUR PART-TIME UK PROGRAMMES THIS SUMMER. DO YOU STILL INTEND ON HOLDING THEM?
  14. AA VISITING SCHOOL: I AM INTERESTED IN APPLYING TO ONE OF YOUR GLOBAL VISITING SCHOOL PROGRAMMES THIS SUMMER. DO YOU STILL INTEND ON HOLDING THEM?
  15. AA VISITING SCHOOL: WHERE CAN I FIND UPDATES ON ALL AA VISITING SCHOOL PROGRAMMES?



1. WILL THE AA BE CLOSED DURING TERM 3?

Whilst the AA buildings are currently closed on government instruction and will remain so until further announcement, the AA will allow access to the buildings once it is safe to do so.

Term 3 is commencing as scheduled on Monday, 20 April. We have developed new academic resources to enable you to complete your studies this academic year online and support each one of you, wherever you are. We will notify you as soon as it is allowed to open the buildings by the government and safe to do so.



2. I HAVE NOT YET BOOKED MY FLIGHT TO RETURN FOR TERM 3. SHOULD I BOOK IT NOW?

Not at this time. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) have issued an Exceptional Travel Advisory Notice that advises against all but essential international travel. At present, any country or area (including the UK) may restrict travel without notice. If you already have return flights booked, keep yourself updated on the developing situation and regularly check your airline’s website for notices on potential delays or cancellations.

You should also set up FCO travel alerts for your location so you can be kept aware of the UK government’s travel advice.



3. WHAT IF I CAN’T COME BACK TO THE UK DURING TERM 3?

Term 3 will commence online, so you do not need to be physically present at the AA or in the UK. However, you will need to complete registration online on Monday, 20 April and ensure that you engage with all online scheduled academic events and activities throughout Term 3. If you are a Tier 4 visa holder, do not worry – the UKVI is now permitting online / distance learning. We will accommodate each student to make sure that everyone completes this academic year.



4. I’M WORRIED ABOUT MY TIER 4 VISA IF I AM NOT ABLE TO ATTEND IN PERSON – WHAT SHOULD I DO?

The UKVI recognises that due to these exceptional circumstances, it is not currently possible for Term 3 to be conducted on-site (for any university, school or college). Therefore, they are now permitting Tier 4 students to undertake distance or online learning. This means that, as long as you engage with your tutors and your scheduled online academic events, it is completely fine that you study from home (whether you are in the UK or in your home country) – the AA will be able to continue to sponsor your Tier 4 visa. These arrangements apply initially until 31 May 2020, by which date they will be reviewed. The UKVI have said they will provide further advice for all Tier 4 Sponsor Institutions in the near future.

As new information and policy guidelines are released by the UK Home Office, Assistant Registrar Lauren O’Brien and Compliance Officer Krishna Songara will be running Teams sessions to answer questions around visas and compliance issues. These sessions will be announced as they are scheduled. If you have questions in the meantime, please get in touch by emailing compliance@aaschool.ac.uk and joining AA Visas & Compliance on Teams.



5. WHERE CAN I FIND ADVICE ON MY STUDENT HOUSING RIGHTS?

The AA has partnered with the University of London Housing Services (ULHS) to assist all students with accommodation support and guidance throughout the academic year. All housing and legal advice appointments will now be scheduled as telephone appointments.

ULHS are compiling guidance in response to enquiries received about COVID-19; the following link is updating as these enquiries increase and broaden – please retain for ongoing reference: https://housing.london.ac.uk/housing-advice/legal-advice/covid-19-coronavirus-private-housing-rights

AA students can contact ULHS to discuss their specific situation:
Email: housing@london.ac.uk
Telephone: 0207 862 8880



6. WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CORONAVIRUS? WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE THESE SYMPTOMS?

The NHS is advising that the symptoms of coronavirus most commonly are:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature) and/or
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

Though these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness, in order to protect others, if you have them you must stay at home and seek medical advice. Please see the NHS’s advice on what to do if you have these symptoms.



7. WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I OR SOMEONE IN MY HOUSEHOLD HAS SYMPTOMS?
Please follow these key messages circulated by Public Health England:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance



8. SHOULD I INFORM THE AA IF I’M ILL?
You must inform us if you are unwell or unable to attend scheduled online academic events for any reason, just as you would in the usual way. Please keep the AA informed by emailing:



9. WHERE CAN I FIND SUPPORT FOR MENTAL HEALTH & WELLBEING?

We understand that this is a troubling and uncertain time. It is of the utmost importance that you look after yourself; not just in terms of your physical health but your mental wellbeing too.

Though the AA premises will be closed over the coming weeks, please remember that there are several sources of online support available to you:

AA’s Student Care Centre
The Student Care Centre continues to be open with all appointments are taking place online. If you would like to make an appointment, please email: aawellness@aaschool.ac.uk.

The Student Care Centre aims to support students and help you gain understanding and insight into any difficulties you may be experiencing, to develop emotional resilience and put into effect real change.

The Centre offers free and confidential support, however it is not an emergency service. If you need to speak to someone immediately, you can find contact information at the bottom of this section.

The Student Care Centre will be running online sessions in Term 3. If you would like to join, email aawellness@aaschool.ac.uk to check dates, availability and to reserve a place.


Office for Student Affairs

Remember, you can also email studentaffairs@aaschool.ac.uk for advice and support on practical matters, e.g. visas, housing, travel arrangements, etc.

Student Affairs can also arrange referrals for over the phone Consultant Psychotherapy sessions.


Supportive Resources

The AA has put together an extensive list of resources (including websites, articles, apps and books) that you may find helpful when thinking about the challenges you're facing and what you can do to address these. You may find some resources more helpful than others, as different resources suit different individuals and circumstances. These are listed in the Student Guide to Term 3.  

If you need to speak to someone immediately

If you are in the UK:

Samaritans
Call 116 123
Open 24 hours a day
https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/contact-samaritan/

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) – for men aged 15-35
Call: 0800 58 58 58
Open 5pm to midnight everyday
www.thecalmzone.net

Papyrus - for people under 35 years old
Call 0800 068 41 41
Text: 07860 039 967
Open: Mon-Fri 9am to 10pm, weekends and bank holidays 2pm to 10pm.
https://papyrus-uk.org

If you are in an emergency situation, call 999.

If you are outside of the UK, you can find help here: https://yourlifecounts.org/find-help/



AA VISITING SCHOOL FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

10. I HAVE PAID THE DEPOSIT/FULL FEE FOR DLAB/SUMMER SCHOOL/AA SESSIONS. WILL I BE ISSUED A REFUND IF THE PROGRAMME IS CANCELLED BECAUSE OF THE CURRENT COVID-19 SITUATION? Yes, the deposit/full fee will be refunded to you if the programme is cancelled. We are monitoring the situation closely and will be making updates that are publicly accessible. Please check this page for updates.

11. I HAVE PAID THE DEPOSIT FEE FOR A GLOBAL VISITING SCHOOL PROGRAMME. WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF THE PROGRAMME IS POSTPONED BECAUSE OF THE CURRENT COVID-19 SITUATION?
If you have paid the £60 Visiting Membership deposit fee and your selected Visiting School programme is postponed until a later date you will have the following options: hold your place in the programme and attend during the new dates; transfer to another Visiting School programme; or discontinue your Visiting Membership and have the deposit fee refunded. Please note that your £60 Visiting Membership deposit lasts for one-year from the date of registration.

12. I HAVE PAID THE FULL FEE FOR A GLOBAL VISITING SCHOOL PROGRAMME. WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF THE PROGRAMME IS POSTPONED BECAUSE OF THE CURRENT COVID-19 SITUATION?
If you have paid the full fee and your preferred Visiting School programme is postponed until a later date you will have the following options: retain your place in the programme and attend during the new dates; transfer to another Visiting School programme; or be offered a full refund.

13. I AM INTERESTED IN APPLYING TO ONE OF YOUR PART-TIME UK PROGRAMMES THIS SUMMER. DO YOU STILL INTEND ON HOLDING THEM?
With the first of our UK programmes taking place towards the end of June, we remain hopeful that the programmes will take place during their scheduled dates. We are monitoring the situation closely and will be making further announcements on the AA website. Please check this page for updates.

14. I AM INTERESTED IN APPLYING TO ONE OF YOUR GLOBAL VISITING SCHOOL PROGRAMMES THIS SUMMER. DO YOU STILL INTEND ON HOLDING THEM?
We are constantly monitoring the global impact of the COVID-19 situation. We still hope to run our global programmes during their scheduled dates. If you are interested in participating, we would suggest paying the minimal £60 Visiting Membership deposit, which lasts for one year. This will guarantee your place in the programme.

15. WHERE CAN I FIND UPDATES ON ALL AA VISITING SCHOOL PROGRAMMES?
Further updates on all of our programmes will be available and regularly updated on our AAVS homepage. Please stay in touch via our social media pages: FacebookInstagram and Twitter, and sign up to our AAVS Newsletter that can be found at the AAVS webpage on the right-hand column found here

Date Submitted: 3/3/2020

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THE AA RECEIVES THE POWER TO AWARD ITS OWN DEGREES

The Architectural Association receives Taught Degree Awarding Powers by the Lords of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council.

The Architectural Association (AA), the oldest independent school of architecture in the United Kingdom, is pleased to announce that it has been granted the power to award its own degrees. As of 1 October 2019, the AA has the right to establish new academic programmes and degree awards and is working to create some of the world’s most pioneering courses in architecture to shape and build the future.

Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) give UK higher education institutions the right to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Prospective students worldwide can apply to the AA Foundation Course (Foundation Diploma), Experimental Programme BA(Hons), Diploma Programme (MArch), and nine taught postgraduate programmes encompassing History and Critical Thinking in Architecture (MA), Projective Cities (Taught MPhil) and Sustainable Environmental Design (MSc/MArch), amongst others.

AA Director, Eva Franch said, ‘since our founding in 1847 we have never ceased to create new horizons, institutionally and academically. This is a significant milestone for the AA and demonstrates how we have grown and progressed as an institution that has always valued independence. Receiving TDAP marks a new era for our institution; these are exciting times for the AA. The process has required considerable work from all members of staff and students. I would like to take this opportunity to credit them for this major achievement’.

President of the AA Council, Victoria Thornton added, ‘the TDAP process has recognised our strong governance, academic standards, scholarship and teaching as well as the environment supporting the delivery of taught higher education programmes’.

The School’s application for Taught Degree Awarding Powers was supported by the Architects Registration Board, the Royal Institute of British Architects and The Open University.

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