Starting at Borders College - Information for students

Student Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 2022

Group of students in library

Delivery will return to be predominately on campus session 22-23. Albeit, we plan to do a mix of face-to-face and online teaching this year in some areas. This will be discussed with students at Essential Information days in June & at Induction in August

Yes, all campuses are now fully open COVID restrictions may be in place in some areas during the Autumn & Winter. College staff will regularly update you on changes to restrictions as and when they occur

The college has created some guidelines for students and staff to keep everyone safe;

  • All classrooms have been reviewed for maximum class sizes and we are putting in place a CO2 monitoring programme. This will help us to ensure good ventilation is in place.
  • Good ventilation is important therefore ensure windows and doors are open wherever possible

Any updates to our guidelines will be shared with you via e-mail or by your course tutor.

If you get invited to be vaccinated, please take this up, this is the best way to protect yourself. 

  • Wash hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds
  • Physical distancing rules have been relaxed; however, we encourage staff and students to avoid crowded areas and to maintain a safe distance apart, especially in the Union, corridors, toilets and other close spaces. 
  • Do not congregate in corridors, please disperse and move to a communal area, or external space.
  • Anyone experiencing Covid-19 symptoms should not come onto campus

If you are returning from an amber listed country please follow Scottish Government travel guidance.

Any updates to our guidelines will be shared with you via e-mail.

Bring a notepad and pen if possible, along with a digital device if you have one. Some courses will be asked to bring kit (e.g. sports kit, riding kit).

Information about this will be in your induction e-mail. You are also advised to wear enough clothes to keep you comfortable in our ventilated spaces.  Windows will be open as good ventilation is a requirement to maintain as safe an environment as possible.

Yes - there is a student loan laptop scheme available in college.

Details of how to apply for a laptop were sent to you in your enrolment letter. If you need any extra support, get in touch with ISLT at helpdesk@borderscollege.ac.uk.

Yes – it’s important to let us know as soon as possible so we can get the right support in place for you. You will get a chance to share this with us through enrolment and induction.

  • If you would like to speak to someone about learning support, please complete the form by following this link
     
  • If you would like to speak to someone about your wellbeing or any other issues, please complete this form by following this link.

A member of staff will be in touch with you once they have reviewed your information. You should expect to hear back within 1 week.

If you have concerns about your mental health, it is important to get in touch with the college. You may be eligible to get support from the College’s mental health team.

  • To speak to someone about counselling and other forms of mental health support, complete this form by following this link.

There are lots of staff who can help you while at College.

Our Student Advice Centre is in the main reception - you can pop in any time to ask for help. You can also contact your Students’ Association at bcsa@borderscollege.ac.uk or drop into the office which you can find round at the canteen (look for the purple tartan door!).

Each course has a dedicated Achievement Coach to support you throughout your studies along with your Course Tutors, Lecturers and Curriculum and Learning Managers.

  • You will be introduced to these staff members at the start of term as part of your student induction. More information about pastoral support can also be found on the student portal.
  • You can access the Student Portal by following this link.

There is support available for all of these groups so please get in touch with the Student Advice Centre if you think you belong to one of these groups.

  • More information about how we support these groups can be found on the Student Advice page on the student portal.
  • You can access the Student Advice page on our Student Portal by following this link.

You can find information about funding options on the student funding page on the student portal which can be accessed by following this link.

If you can’t find what you are looking for, or you need more help, you can contact the student funding team on studentfunding@borderscollege.ac.uk or call into the Student Advice Centre and speak to someone.

You should contact Student Funding or call into the Student Advice Centre if you are struggling for money.

The college has a discretionary hardship fund and may be able to offer non-repayable grants to help you.

If you are concerned about your finances or in need of support, please contact our student funding team on studentfunding@borderscollege.ac.uk

Yes! We’re busy planning your Welcome Week right now. Welcome Week will start on Monday 22nd August  

During Welcome Week there will be opportunities for you to make friends, settle into life at college and see everything that the college has to offer.

Keep an eye on your student e-mails and Borders College Students’ Association’s social media pages to find out what’s happening.

There will be a mix of online and in person events so whether you are in college or learning from home, you can get involved.

All courses cover employability skills, but the content of this will vary depending on what course you are on.

You may have the opportunity to gain a realistic workplace experience through our work placements programme.  More information about this will be shared with you at induction.

Students enrolling on a fulltime Further Education level course

An electronic travel ticket is normally available to students who live more than 3 miles from their College base and who qualify for funding support. The public service bus routes cover all the main towns in the Borders at the times required.

If you live in Scotland and are 5-21 years old you are eligible for a card giving you free bus travel. Applications for cards are now open.  

How to Apply for Free Bus Travel  

 There are several ways to apply for a new or replacement Young Scot National Entitlement Card (Young Scot NEC):

 Online at getyournec.scot

 Directly with your local council. You can find their details on the Young Scot website Young Scot National Entitlement Card | Young Scot

 Already have a National Entitlement Card (NEC)?

 If you’re aged between 16 and 21 and you already have an active NEC or Young Scot NEC, you can download free bus travel onto your existing card using the Transport Scot Pass Collect app. This means you may not need to apply for a new card to access your free bus travel. Active cards are those received since 2016 – they’ll have a long number next to the ITSO logo and, if there’s a date of birth shown, it will be highlighted with a pink strip.

Train Travel

If you are travelling to College by train, remember that you can get discounted rail travel by applying for a 16-24 railcard. All information about bus and train travel can be found on our website at https://www.borderscollege.ac.uk/life-at-borders.

Students enrolling on a Higher Education (HNC/HND) Level Programme

Higher Education Students are entitled to apply for funding support from Students Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS).  Students on SAAS support receive a contribution towards travelling expenses within their award and are required to budget for their daily travel to and from College from the monthly SAAS allowance paid.

Sustainable Travel

Travelling to Borders College

The College aims to encourage both students and staff to utilise sustainable and integrated modes of transport for commuting to and from College. Our objectives are to minimise environmental impact, improve safety, and ensure our facilities and services are accessible to all sections of society.

Please ensure you follow all public transport guidance in terms of face coverings and ventilation.

We encourage students to make use of public transport wherever this is possible.  However, if you require to travel by car, there is a large public car park in front of the college which is free to use.

This can get quite busy on some days during the week, however there are alternative parking options a short walk from the campus. There is also a regular town bus service (Service No 74) which passes close to the campus hourly throughout the day.