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Coronavirus Update

Coronavirus Update

We know that you may have concerns or questions about the current outbreak of the coronavirus COVID-19, and how it may affect your summer with Oxford Royale Academy.

Last updated: 4th May 2020

Summary

  • The health and welfare of our students and staff remains our highest priority, and our thoughts are with all those who are suffering or being kept apart at this time.
  • Our 2020 summer programmes in Oxford, Cambridge and Ascot are scheduled to go ahead on the dates originally scheduled, and we continue to accept enrolments.
  • Our 2020 summer schools at Imperial College London, the University of St Andrews, Yale University and Uppingham School have been postponed until 2021. Our June summer schools taking place at Yarnton Manor have been postponed until later in 2020. If you have enrolled in our summer schools at any of these venues, we will be in touch as soon as possible to discuss your options. 
  • We appreciate that this is an uncertain time and we want to support you in finding the right option for you and your family. We have therefore made a number of flexibility options available, including free deferral of bookings to 2021.
  • Online study options are now also available for those who may prefer to follow our courses from home.
  • We are closely monitoring expert advice from the UK government and the World Health Organization (WHO), and will continue to update our guidance as this complex situation continues to evolve.
  • We have robust systems and processes in place to provide the best possible care and support to students and staff throughout their stay.
  • We have provided answers to a range of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below.

 

Latest news

Oxford Royale Academy recognises the devastating effects that the current coronavirus is having on many countries and families, and our thoughts are with all those who are suffering or being kept apart at this time.

We know that you may have concerns or questions about the current global coronavirus outbreak, and how it may affect Oxford Royale Academy (ORA) this summer. Our planning must, of necessity, be guided by:

  1. Current government guidance regarding social gatherings
  2. The advice of our host venues
  3. ORA’s own policies and procedures about how we can deliver a safe and enjoyable experience for our students

In light of the above, we are still planning for programmes hosted in Oxford, Cambridge and Ascot to go ahead on the dates originally scheduled, though of course with every necessary amendment in place to protect the health and safety of students and staff. Our partner venues in these locations have not informed us that we cannot run our programmes at their premises this summer, and Public Health England and the UK government have not indicated that programmes such as ours will not be safe and should not run. 

We therefore continue to accept bookings in these locations, and are looking forward to welcoming students to exciting summer schools at our inspiring venues.

Our 2020 summer schools at Imperial College London, the University of St Andrews, Yale University and Uppingham School have been postponed until 2021. Our June summer schools taking place at Yarnton Manor have been postponed until later in 2020. If you have enrolled in our summer schools at any of these venues, we will be in touch as soon as possible to discuss your options.

We appreciate that this is an uncertain time and we want to support our customers in finding the right options for them and their families. We know that the situation is continually changing, what is relevant now may not be true in two weeks’ time. For this reason, we continue to review points 1 to 3 above, and are in constant contact with our host venues. Any updates to this situation will be communicated as soon as possible via our website.  

The welfare of our students and staff remains our highest priority, and our well-tested summer school policies and practices, as well as our rigorous staff training, have all been developed to ensure that we provide the highest standards of care to our students and staff. 

As one of the UK’s leading summer school providers, and the longest-established premium summer school provider in Oxford, you can book with confidence, safe in the knowledge that you will enjoy a safe and supportive environment during your programme with us. Dedicated Welfare Officers are available to students throughout their stay, and we have long-established links with local health care professionals and General Practitioners (GPs), as well as access to world-leading hospitals and health advice. UK public health measures are world-leading and our excellent National Health Service (NHS) is well prepared to manage and treat any new diseases. 

Below, we have provided answers to a range of questions that we have received over the past weeks. We recognise that this is a rapidly developing situation, and we will of course continue to keep you updated. We also recommend that you regularly check for updates on websites such as Public Health England and the World Health Organisation.

In the meantime, if you have any queries, please contact our Admissions team – we are here to help.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Last updated: 4th May 2020

Will ORA be running summer courses in 2020?

Yes, we continue to operate, with the majority of our staff currently working from home, and are accepting enrolments, although always with the safety, health and security of our students front of mind. 

Following guidance from our host venues in Oxford, Cambridge and Ascot, and Public Health England, we fully expect at this time to operate our 2020 summer schools in these venues on the dates originally scheduled. If anything changes with regard to your summer school booking, we will contact you as soon as possible.


I want to change my booking, what are my options?

We understand that people may be concerned about committing to travel plans in the near future. We are therefore offering flexible booking options, at no additional charge. As part of this, we are extending our 2020 summer school period through to late September to account for changes to school holiday dates, and all those students available later in the summer. The dates of our later sessions are:

Oxford

2 August – 15 August 2020
16 August – 29 August 2020
30 August – 12 September 2020
13 September – 26 September 2020
27 September – 10th October 2020

Cambridge

26 July – 8 August 2020
9 August – 22 August 2020

St Mary’s School, Ascot

26 July – 1 August 2020
2 August – 8 August 2020
9 August – 15 August 2020
16 August – 22 August 2020

Students can benefit from the following flexibility options:

  1. Defer your booking to Summer 2021 at no extra charge, with fees frozen at the 2020 rate
  2. Switch programme dates within 2020 at no extra charge – our summer schools run until the end of September 2020 (see dates above)
  3. Switch course of instruction (e.g. from Medicine to Law) 
  4. Switch to “non-residential” status (different fees may apply)
  5. Switch to our 2020 Virtual Summer School – see FAQs below

Students may choose options 2) to 4) up to 30 days before the start date of their booked course, subject to availability.


What if I do not wish to attend in Summer 2020, but wish to attend in Summer 2021?

If you do not wish to attend an ORA summer school in 2020 but you have already paid a deposit, you may carry over all moneys paid (including your deposit) to secure a place for summer school 2021. Those deferring their attendance from 2020 to 2021 will benefit from our price freeze and will pay 2020 fees for their 2021 summer school booking.

We have extended the deadline by which you must inform us you would like to take up this option to 15th May 2020 – you must contact us to let us know you wish to defer your place by this date.


I wish to cancel my booking entirely. Will ORA provide a refund?

All cancellations are governed by our terms and conditions. As above, we are also offering:

  • The option to carry over all fees paid, including your deposit payment, to secure a place for summer 2021 (benefiting from our price freeze in doing so), but you must inform us you wish to do this before 15th May 2020. 
  • Dates/course/city flexibility at no charge for 2020 bookings.
  • The option to join our 2020 Virtual Summer School.

I want to enrol for a course, but do not want to commit financially yet. What are my options?

If you are not ready to make a decision yet, then please still contact our Admissions team to discuss your options. We offer a “book now, pay later” option, allowing you to reserve a place for up to 30 days with no payment required. If you do not wish to proceed at the end of that period, we will cancel your reservation for you, or defer it until the following year or later in the season, with no fees or additional charges.


When is my balancing payment due, and what happens if I am unable to pay?

In this time of ongoing uncertainty, we are not expecting our clients to settle their remaining balance payments as per our usual policy and deadlines. We would normally ask for remaining balance payments to be settled no later than 60 days before the course is due to start; however, to allow more time, we are able to offer an extension until 30 days before the course start date. This is also the deadline for confirming whether you would like to move your booking to one of our later 2020 sessions. Should you wish to defer your deposit to summer 2021 free of charge, the deadline for that is 15th May 2020.


Am I insured automatically with ORA?

Bookings made before 15th March 2020 include an insurance policy provided by guard.me, underwritten by leading insurance firm AXA. Information about the scope of cover provided by this policy is available here. Specific queries should be addressed to AXA (please speak with our Admissions Team to request contact details). 

Please note that AXA is currently unable to offer insurance for bookings made after 15th March 2020. We therefore recommend that you take out alternative insurance at this time. We will provide further updates as this situation develops. 


Can you guarantee a single room for all students?

We will make every effort to meet all specific room requests. Where availability permits, we will provide single rooms to all those who request them.


How will students be screened to ensure they are free of coronavirus?

We will not be undertaking medical pre-screening of students. It is not within our expertise to conduct such screening, and we have no way of verifying with whom an individual may have been in contact before joining our programmes. We have well-established links with local health professionals, and we will follow all relevant advice provided by relevant local authorities and the World Health Organisation.

Students and parents must assure themselves that students are fit to travel and make themselves aware of any restrictions affecting travel to and from the UK, including requirement to quarantine. You should not travel if you are unwilling to meet those restrictions.


Can ORA provide any online learning support while students are unable to travel?

Yes! We understand that during a time of school closures and uncertainty around exam arrangements across the world, students and their families are likely to be in need of additional online resources.

Virtual Summer School

Our curriculum development team has been hard at work making our award-winning summer school programmes available in an online format – our accredited course materials and top-class teaching from our esteemed faculty can be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home through our new virtual platform.

Find out more about our Virtual Summer School at www.oxford-virtual-summer.com.

Learning is delivered through a mixture of virtual lectures and seminars, guided project work, interactive material and resources, with over 4 hours of guided study time each day. Different timezone options are available to accommodate all locations. The Virtual Summer School is an ideal way for students to keep their minds occupied and develop those crucial academic skills that will prepare them well for returning to educational normality after the summer. Students completing a virtual programme will receive a final grade and a graduation certificate.

Year-round online learning with ORA

We would like to remind you that all students booked into an ORA course for Summer 2020 are eligible for free access to our bank of online courses, and will be able to access these until 1st September 2020. This is a great way to keep your mind engaged and to learn more about subjects of interest during a time when you might not have access to all of the resources you normally might.

Browse our range of courses and sign up to as many as you like: www.oxford-royale.com/online-courses. Students without an existing booking can choose to sign up to a single course, or take up one of our membership options, giving access to the full suite of courses for a set period of time.

Online enrichment activities

We are compiling an ongoing list of open-access online resources from recommended educational and cultural institutions, from which students (and parents!) unable to attend school might benefit. One of the key features of an ORA summer course is our cultural enrichment programme, and we believe that this is just as important if students are spending more time at home than they are used to!

View our online resources list here, and please let us know if you have any more suggestions that we could share.


Study in confidence