Please note: the following information is intended for TEI Staff and Students who are part of the Common Awards scheme.
This FAQ section relates to Covid-19 and scheduled events and meetings within Common Awards.
Last Updated: 11 February 2021, 11:53
Our advice would be for TEIs to make a judgement call on whether or not there is any essential or urgent business that should require either (a) comments by electronic circulation, or (b) Chair's action being taken on behalf of the Committee. We would advise that the Chair and Secretary liaise on any matters which would require consideration at the meeting and take the necessary action as outlined above. Otherwise, it would be appropriate for matters to be considered at the next scheduled Management Committee.
Boards of Examiners meetings will need to go ahead (most likely virtually) and if possible on the dates already scheduled. We understand however that dates of TEI Boards of Examiners might need to change as a result of granting extensions to assessment deadlines. Please contact the Common Awards team as soon as possible to inform us of any rescheduled Board of Examiners meetings. Please ensure to liaise with your External Examiner when rescheduling any meetings.
In the first instance, TEIs should try to use Big Blue Button to host their Board of Examiners meetings as this platform is embedded within TEI Moodle sites. External Examiners should also be able to join virtual meetings of the Board of Examiners through BBB with ease. It is suggested that the Secretary or Chair of the Exam Board ‘share their screen’ with members of the Board when conducting the business of the meeting, rather than relying on individual members of the Board having or using their own versions of the marksheets. TEIs are reminded of the importance of password protecting documentation that might be required to be shared between members of the Board – although we would expect instances of this to be rare.
TEIs are reminded that they must hold their Board of Examiners at a minimum of three weeks before the Overarching Board of Examiners. This allows the Common Awards Team to process all data necessary in the interim.
We understand that TEIs might be required to make complex decisions at the Board of Examiners as a result of students’ changing circumstances. The Common Awards Team will endeavour to be available to attend all meetings remotely to support colleagues.
In-person attendance at TEI meetings (such as Management Committees or Boards of Examiners) by University Liaison Officers or members of the Common Awards team has been cancelled for 2020/21. Instead, we will join scheduled meetings electronically.
We are aware that there are a number of upcoming deadlines for Common Awards activity. Please contact the team if you anticipate any difficulties with meeting these deadlines.
TEI Forums, scheduled in October and April each year, will go ahead online via Big Blue Button. Please see the TEI Forum webpage for scheduled dates in 2020/21.
The Annual Conference for Theological Educators 2021
The Annual Conference for Theological Educators will be hosted virtually in 2021 and will take place between 5-7th July. TEIs are advised to make a note of the date, and further information will be provided in due course.
Due to the ongoing significant measures designed to manage the spread of Coronavirus and the latest advice available from Public Health England, the University has taken the decision to postpone April 2021 and Summer 2021 congregation ceremonies.
We acknowledge that this is very disappointing news for our students, however, with the uncertain national situation we feel that the health and safety of staff, students and guests should be paramount.
We would like to reiterate that these ceremonies will be rescheduled and graduands from Summer 2020, Winter 2021 and Summer 2021 will have the option to attend a ceremony.
We would ask that TEIs re-confirm contact details with all students who will be eligible to attend the rescheduled ceremonies. This will ensure that all students who are eligible to attend the rescheduled ceremony will receive notification of the registration process when it opens. Please note that the University does not hold contact details for Common Awards students and we will therefore need to rely on TEIs being able to contact their students to advise them of the formal registration process.
We would ask that TEIs distribute this information to their Common Awards students and ask that students confirm their contact details for the purposes of registering for Congregation.
Unfortunately, the Campus Card production for Common Awards students studying in 2020/21 will not take place as planned. This process relies heavily on CIS to produce the campus cards, once the Common Awards Team have shared the relevant data. Understandably, their efforts have had to be redirected to support academic departments in Durham transition to online teaching in response to Covid-19 (resources for which are also available to TEIs – please see the Covid-19 FAQs for more information). CIS colleagues are also working from home in light of the current national restrictions. As a result, it is not possible to print Campus Cards at this time. The Common Awards Team understand the inconvenience this may cause for students and TEIs affected.