Tag Archives: university of Westminster

Institutions face structural changes to support students amid the COVID-19 pandemic

As the UK government begins to up its efforts in impeding the growth of the COVID-19 pandemic, institutions have been forced to introduce structural changes.

Multiple universities have moved to online classes through means of digital platforms such as Blackboard and Canvas – sites prominently used among institutions across the UK.

Blackboard CEO Bill Ballhaus took to its official site with a notice, highlighting their plans to support institutions across the UK during the outbreak. He ensured that Blackboard will continue making online learning feasible for both staff as well as students.

According to the statement, the number of online users ‘has doubled every day’ and the platform is working diligently to keep up with this unprecedented surge.

To meet service user needs, Blackboard’s pro-active measures include activating ‘cross-functional response teams’ to ensure the functioning of the platform.

Universities have introduced responsive measures such as online libraries to make academic sources and books accessible to students.

Nottingham Trent University recently announced that it will waive accommodation fees for students who have the left the city during the nation-wide lockdown. Students who have vacated their residence provided by the university and are not returning will no longer be required to pay rent.

In a statement, the professor’s vice-chancellor Edward Peck said: “At every stage in this national crisis Nottingham Trent University has been committed to following Government and PHE advice whilst ensuring that the interests of our students are always paramount in every decision that we take.”

“We understand that many of our students rent from private third-party providers, both purpose-built student accommodation and houses in multiple occupation. NTU is not able to make a unilateral decision on behalf of our students regarding accommodation fees charged by these providers.”

PhD and master’s students have also signed an open letter urging research councils to publish a plan outlining the additional financial support required for postgraduate students.

Due to fieldwork at halt and university labs and libraries being shut, many are unable to complete their research projects.

March is a typically active period of the academic year – with lecture theatres packed and assignment deadlines approaching. This year, there is an unprecedented silence.

Users took to social media sites expressing that they are ‘mentally tapped out’ and ‘paralysed’ from the on-going situation.  

A PhD student at the University of Westminster stated that: “The assumption to go about academic responsibilities in one’s home has been readily taken advantage of. For many, staying at home brings forth added care responsibilities.”

“At present, many of us are taking on this additional workload to help us survive in the face of a virus that knows no boundaries. If these changes that are being introduced are causing more stress to students, then perhaps it’s time to reorganise the education system.”

To learn more about the government response and information provided by universities regarding COVID-19, visit this webpage.

The University of Westminster talks about Mental Health and Exam Season

In a study done by ChildLine, it was found that 68% of students are anxious about their grades and exams and the effect it has on their future.

The study also said that 65% of children who had to do referrals were suicide related – this only emphasises the stress students face to get the best grades in their class, not taking into consideration their mental health.

Petsa Kaffens, a lecturer and personal tutor at the University, says that “People take on too much. They have lots of hopes and dreams and raise them too high to get work done in time. At least that’s my opinion”

For the first time, in a ChildLine study school and education problems appeared in the top ten concerns with a 200 per cent increase in counselling about exam stress. Counselling services can be found at the University of Westminster, either with personal tutors or the mental health team.

Some students like Lucy Tonge, had this to say about the de-stress week at Westminster and why it shouldn’t only be once a year.

The University of Westminster prides itself in helping the mental health and well-being of students. You can email the University for help at counselling@westminster.ac.uk, or call them at +44 (0)20 7911 5000 ext 68229 if you need professional help.



De-stress with The University of Westminster

Kicking off exam season, the Student Union at the University of Westminster has organised a de-stress week that includes a nap room, free yoga classes and a handful of fluffy animals to deal with the stress of examinations.

According to a study by ChildLine in 2014, 58 per cent of counselling sessions in relation to school and education problems were about exam stress, a 200 per cent rise from the previous year. Now in 2017, It seems that the number is still rising as teens take to twitter to complain about their overbearing amount of work.

The Nap Room runs from May 8th to May 12th, and its Facebook event page can be found here. The Union started taking action due to the overwhelming amount of work students are facing with final year assessments and exam revision. One of the most famous and sold-out events of de-stress week is the puppy and bunny room, that allows students to play with adorable animals to calm them down from dissertations and final projects.

Pictures: University of Westminster Facebook Page


The University began the idea of bunny and puppy day last year and kept it this year due to the high demands. You can see the video of the day below.

Video: Smoke TV

With rising concern for exam stress and its effect on students, there is also a concern about eating disorders and self-harm being at a combined total of 34,000 people who use ChildLine yearly.

A press release from the University Health Awareness Day 2017 claims that, undergraduate students appear to have a lower sense of personal wellbeing than the rest of the population with 21% of students experiencing ‘low anxiety’ compared to 41% of the total population and 43% of the equivalent age group. [The 2016 Student Academic Experience Survey, HEPI]

De-stress week at the University of Westminster will help with students mental health and focus on student successes during exam season.

University of Westminster launches Creative Enterprise Centre

The University of Westminster hosts eight inspiring creatives to celebrate the start up of the Creative Enterprise Centre.

This networks allows students and alumni to find freelance jobs advertised on the software, according to their skills. It is highly focused on media, design and arts students. This gives young students the opportunity to get the name out there in this competitive industry.



The first panel at the event had four inspiring entrepreneurs with completely different backgrounds.

Alex Boden, co-founder of Pistachio Pictures, is a producer of the hit Netflix original series Sense8, Cloud Alas and PULP. He was named Moviescope “Producer to watch” in 2008 and its film PULP won Best Music Film at the 2015 NME Awards.



Jonathan Wilkins (Dines), founder and brand consultant of Studio Blup, a design agency that works with brands such as Adidas or Nike. He encouraged the students to think big and picture themselves in the position the want to be in.


Beanie Major, founder of In Detail, named one of the “30 best blogs ever” by Marie Claire. Who believes the best way to enter the market is to find your unique signature. Even if she was Evening Standard’s choice for 2017 Young Progress Maker, she still believes she hasn’t made it.


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Ringspiration by @rosadelacruzlondon

A post shared by IN DETAIL (@indetaillondon) on


Lucien Mansell, co-founder and director of FactorySettings. They create high-quality projects designing, fabricating and installing exhibitions.  Former clients include the National Theatre and the Museum of London.


Video Courtesy of The University of Westminster

If you were unable to attend the launch party, make sure you don’t miss the next even hosted by the Creative Enterprise Center: “Creative Currency: Talking Money”. It will cover the business side of freelancing and you can register to attend the free event here.


By: Christie Rankin and Lavinia Petrucci

Novgorod State University meets University of Westminster

The BA Journalism students at the University of Westminster teamed up with students at Russia’s Novgorod State University earlier today to compare journalistic styles across the countries.

During  Aasiya Lodhi’s International Journalism class, students from both universities engaged in an hour long Skype call where they pitched stories and looked at differences between both styles.

In the upcoming days we will be uploading a series of articles written by students of both universities to broadcast journalistic talent from across the globe.

Student Union Election Results

The University of Westminster Student Union 2015 election came to an end yesterday evening, with Jim Hirschman claiming the Presidential position.

Other winners included Otis Kirby-Dunkley as Harrow campus VP, Salsabil Al-Siri for VP Marylebone and a re-election for Cavendish VP Usman Mahmood.

However the results for VP of Regents Street have been postponed, following allegations of harassment and intimidation between candidates.

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