VP Education Q&A Round-Up

After hosting an ‘ask me anything' session on Instagram last week, VP Education Alissa Chohan has collated the most-asked questions and provided some updates on discussions with the University she's been involved in this week.

You may have seen that last week I hosted an ‘ask me anything' session on Instagram, giving you the opportunity to ask me anything about your university life.

This was hugely successful, with a total of 53 questions being asked and 91% of people voting that they found it was helpful. If you missed it, or if you’re like me and aren’t the best with social media or it simply isn’t your thing, here’s a round-up of what was asked and some updates on discussions I’ve been involved with this week.

Emergency regulations

Naturally, many of you had questions around ‘No Detriment’ policies for this academic year. Whilst I was unable to provide any specific information, I can update you all that over the past week I have been in further discussions with the University and have been consulting the school reps to understand their views on how the pandemic has affected students’ academically this year. This meeting involved senior members of the University who could also hear these views first hand. I will be having a follow-up meeting with the school reps next week, as well as selected PGT department reps. You can expect to hear more specific information about emergency regulations over the next couple of weeks. I would like to thank the school reps for their valuable contributions and the University for being so receptive to hearing students’ opinions and their will for students to be treated fairly.

What is important to note is that any policy that is put in place won’t just apply to assessments that will be taken in Term Three. They will be used to calculate your overall degree classification and will therefore apply to assessments completed throughout this academic year.

I also received many questions around how the policies put in place last year affect your overall classification. There will be some detailed information being released on this over the next couple of weeks so you can gain a concise understanding of how your classification will be calculated.


For this academic year, the University adjusted its extensions policy, allowing you the opportunity to apply for more extensions throughout the year. You can apply for two five-day extensions per term and do not need to provide evidence for ten-day extensions if you do not have it. IT issues also count as grounds for extensions.

Please see my blog on extensions to find out more, or head over to the student intranet where detailed information is also provided.

When will University halls accommodation applications open for 2021/22?

You will receive some more information on this shortly. There is no need to rush or worry about this yet – we will keep you all updated when information is released and how the process will work! Applications have not yet opened.

If you would like more information on finding housing privately for next year, please see the Housing advice on the Advice Centre website, or check out properties on our HouseSearch portal.

I’m struggling financially, can the University provide any support?

The Study Support Grant and Digital Disadvantage scheme has recently received more funding from the Office for Students to support students facing financial difficulty. The funding is for students who are experiencing financial challenges such as, but not limited to:

  • Loss of part-time work
  • Private sector accommodation costs incurred due to a change in personal/family circumstances 
  • Support needed to access teaching/library based learning resources
  • Additional costs due to travel restrictions

You can find out more about the Study Support Grant and how to apply on the student intranet.

These were the key reoccurring questions that were asked, however, there were also more specific questions that have not been covered here. Thank you to everyone who asked questions and I hope you found it helpful, or at the very least, assured that we are continuing to work hard to support you! If you do have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me via email at VPEducation@su.rhul.ac.uk. Alternatively, you can contact the Advice Centre for free, confidential, impartial advice at advice@su.rhul.ac.uk.