Starting at Borders College - Information for students

Borders College four main campuses

Student Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 2021

These FAQs will be updated as required. Please check back regularly. 

We plan to do a mix of face-to-face and online teaching this year.

This is known as blended learning. The exact balance of blended learning will depend on your subject, but we hope to have as many students on campus as possible. 

If the situation changes, we will let you know via e-mail or shared by your course tutor. You will also hear more about this during induction.  

Yes - we expect all campuses to be fully open in September although many of our services and facilities will be opening up with COVID safe measures in place including significant ventilation measures.

Have a look on the Student Portal to see how, when and where you can get in touch with each department.

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
  • A keep left system continues to be in place, please follow this and any floor markings.
  • Hand sanitiser will be available at all campuses
  • Testing kits are available from all campus receptions

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

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
  • 3-ply face coverings to be worn at all times when you are in a College building. These are available from campus receptions
  • 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.
  • Students should access LFD testing kits from reception desks at Galashiels  Newtown, Hawick and Tweedbank campuses. Self tests should be conducted twice a week at home before coming to campus.
  • Anyone testing positive from self testing should seek a PCR test and not attend campus until advised of a negative result.
  • If you move households within term time you should seek a PCR test and not attend campus until advised of a negative test.
  • 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 guidance will be shared with you via e-mail.

You will get an e-mail to let you know when your first day will be and whether this will take place online or in college. You will receive your full timetable during induction.

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 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.

Yes! We’re busy planning your Welcome Week right now. Welcome Week will start on Monday 6 September.

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 get to do work placements, get experience of realistic workplace environments, or have the opportunity to hear from local employers. More information about this will be shared with you at induction.

We will provide a bus pass to students who are eligible. The public service bus routes are being planned to cover all the main towns in the Borders at the times required.

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.

We also recommend you download the Borders Buses app which will allow you to access your bus pass as well as information on bus times and routes.

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.

In the event of an outbreak the college will work with local health protection teams to put plans in place to make sure you are safe and supported.

Any important information about Covid-19 will be sent to you by e-mail so please make sure you check these before coming to college.

Yes. It is important that you speak to your course tutor or student services team about your exemption so that measures can be put in place to support you where possible.

If you need to go into isolation, please do not attend college and let a member of staff know. Your lecturer should be clear about how your course will continue to operate in these circumstances and what welfare, resources and support are available to you.

The college should also provide information about how testing can be accessed and make sure that you can access food and other essential provisions if needed.

No - your funding will not be affected if you have Covid-19 or have been asked to self-isolate.

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

Please contact the Curriculum Learning Manager for your area. 

Alternatively, the Students Association (bcsa@borderscollege.ac.uk) or the Student Advice Centre (studentadvice@borderscollege.ac.uk).