HELP! INTERVIEW REJECTED DUE TO RISKS OF COVID-19 (Wuhan Corona Virus) Watch

shnack
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Yup, as the title states, my application got rejected due to RISKS of COVID-19.

I'm an international applicant from Singapore and have come to the UK recently for my dentistry interviews. Birmingham was one of the interviews that I was supposed to attend. However, when I was on my plane to the UK, they sent me an email stating that my application will NO LONGER BE FURTHERED THIS YEAR.

Their MMIs are conducted in an NHS hospital. Sadly, the guidance released has said: "We are asking colleagues that have arrived back to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau within 14 days to please contact their line manager before returning to work, whereupon they will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days."

They cannot offer an alternative interview because they believe it will be unfair for me or the other applicants when the interview styles or settings are different. Instead, they offered me a guarantee interview offer for the next year applications (2021 entry).

I travelled more than 14 hours and spent a year of my life applying and preparing for this. All train tickets, accommodation etc are booked. I spent literally thousands. Also, the 2021 entry interview offer cannot compromise all the effort and time that I have devoted to preparing for this.

I cannot believe that the university has invited me to the interview but closed their doors when I was near.

The regulations set by the NHS seems to be made mainly due to fear. WHO has announced that COVID-10 (Corona virus) has no sufficient evidence that it is airborne. Due to this, I am sure that I am not the only one who has lost an opportunity to enter a university. Also, the University of Birmingham stating that offering skype interviews will be giving unequal opportunities to applicants is too one-sided in my opinion.

Can anyone help? What should I do?
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Morgana1860
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Okay, first of all I'm sorry this happened to you.
If you haven't already, write back to them explaining everything you've done in preperation. Try and reason with them that despite the fact they think it will be unfair, argue your case as much as possible.
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aspireddentist
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Can't believe they did this to you. OMG!:eek:
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caramella21
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It seems a shame to disregard so simply and push you to the future pool of applicants. The reason behind not offering a Skype interview as being ‘giving unequal opportunities’ seems a bit ludicrous. Unless in your interview they require you to perform/demonstrate something that can’t be done over Skype, I don’t see why they won’t offer it. I’d be persistent in writing and communicating with them, perhaps suggesting alternative solutions eg postpone interviews (but not till the next year). I really hope they change their minds and I wish you all the best ❤️
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2500_2
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(Original post by shnack)
Yup, as the title states, my application got rejected due to RISKS of COVID-19.

I'm an international applicant from Singapore and have come to the UK recently for my dentistry interviews. Birmingham was one of the interviews that I was supposed to attend. However, when I was on my plane to the UK, they sent me an email stating that my application will NO LONGER BE FURTHERED THIS YEAR.

Their MMIs are conducted in an NHS hospital. Sadly, the guidance released has said: "We are asking colleagues that have arrived back to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau within 14 days to please contact their line manager before returning to work, whereupon they will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days."

They cannot offer an alternative interview because they believe it will be unfair for me or the other applicants when the interview styles or settings are different. Instead, they offered me a guarantee interview offer for the next year applications (2021 entry).

I travelled more than 14 hours and spent a year of my life applying and preparing for this. All train tickets, accommodation etc are booked. I spend literally thousands. Also, the 2021 entry interview offer cannot compromise all the effort and time that I have devoted to preparing for this.

I cannot believe that the university has invited me to the interview but closed their doors when I was near.

The regulations set by the NHS seems to be made mainly due to fear. WHO has announced that COVID-10 (Corona virus) has no sufficient evidence that it is airborne. Due to this, I am sure that I am not the only one who has lost an opportunity to enter a university. Also, University of Birmingham stating that offering skype interviews will be giving unequal opportunities to applicants is too one-sided in my opinion.

Can anyone help? What should I do?
Would it be feasible for you to self-isolate for 14 days? If so, I would suggest you ask for the interview to be rescheduled 14 days later. While I can understand they would be reluctant to do this so late in the interview season the extraordinary circumstances would justify it and it would be the only option that meets all their requirements.

Sadly if you plan to train and/or work in the NHS, it's unlikely this is the last protocol you disagree with that you will be required to uphold.

Assuming you don't get any movement, and you decide you do want to attend an interview next year, it would be reasonable that they give you that date now so that the additional expense can be minimised.

Are your other interviews going ahead? If so, good luck with them.
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hannychica
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(Original post by caramella21)
It seems a shame to disregard so simply and push you to the future pool of applicants. The reason behind not offering a Skype interview as being ‘giving unequal opportunities’ seems a bit ludicrous. Unless in your interview they require you to perform/demonstrate something that can’t be done over Skype, I don’t see why they won’t offer it. I’d be persistent in writing and communicating with them, perhaps suggesting alternative solutions eg postpone interviews (but not till the next year). I really hope they change their minds and I wish you all the best ❤️
Agreed. Simply pooling to next year’s application cycle seems a complete cop out to me. I get there are protocols but surely this is a super exceptional situation?
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mnot
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(Original post by shnack)
Yup, as the title states, my application got rejected due to RISKS of COVID-19.

I'm an international applicant from Singapore and have come to the UK recently for my dentistry interviews. Birmingham was one of the interviews that I was supposed to attend. However, when I was on my plane to the UK, they sent me an email stating that my application will NO LONGER BE FURTHERED THIS YEAR.

Their MMIs are conducted in an NHS hospital. Sadly, the guidance released has said: "We are asking colleagues that have arrived back to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau within 14 days to please contact their line manager before returning to work, whereupon they will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days."

They cannot offer an alternative interview because they believe it will be unfair for me or the other applicants when the interview styles or settings are different. Instead, they offered me a guarantee interview offer for the next year applications (2021 entry).

I travelled more than 14 hours and spent a year of my life applying and preparing for this. All train tickets, accommodation etc are booked. I spend literally thousands. Also, the 2021 entry interview offer cannot compromise all the effort and time that I have devoted to preparing for this.

I cannot believe that the university has invited me to the interview but closed their doors when I was near.

The regulations set by the NHS seems to be made mainly due to fear. WHO has announced that COVID-10 (Corona virus) has no sufficient evidence that it is airborne. Due to this, I am sure that I am not the only one who has lost an opportunity to enter a university. Also, University of Birmingham stating that offering skype interviews will be giving unequal opportunities to applicants is too one-sided in my opinion.

Can anyone help? What should I do?
Well not a lot you can do. You can beg for a skype interview, but if they believe this is not fair method, then thats it.

You should request a refund from the uni for the travel expenses which cant be refunded.

Unfortunately, the NHS (rightly so) will follow best practice guidance which will no doubt be influenced by experts and WHO this is just one of those awful things. But at least you have the interview in the bag next year should you still want it.
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vicvic38
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(Original post by caramella21)
It seems a shame to disregard so simply and push you to the future pool of applicants. The reason behind not offering a Skype interview as being ‘giving unequal opportunities’ seems a bit ludicrous. Unless in your interview they require you to perform/demonstrate something that can’t be done over Skype, I don’t see why they won’t offer it. I’d be persistent in writing and communicating with them, perhaps suggesting alternative solutions eg postpone interviews (but not till the next year). I really hope they change their minds and I wish you all the best ❤️
Even Oxford offers Skype interviews to their international applicants (heck I got offered one because it was terribly snowy when I was meant to be headed over!) It's disgraceful that Birmingham would do this.
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mnot
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(Original post by vicvic38)
Even Oxford offers Skype interviews to their international applicants (heck I got offered one because it was terribly snowy when I was meant to be headed over!) It's disgraceful that Birmingham would do this.
I would agree for most courses, but it states in his first post that the MMIs are happening in a hospital, im assuming this is because it course related and they have specific reasons for this hence it would not be possible to replicate the same interview virtually and believe changing it would be unfair.

(this is speculation but seems possible).
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Marsharko
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(Original post by caramella21)
It seems a shame to disregard so simply and push you to the future pool of applicants. The reason behind not offering a Skype interview as being ‘giving unequal opportunities’ seems a bit ludicrous. Unless in your interview they require you to perform/demonstrate something that can’t be done over Skype, I don’t see why they won’t offer it. I’d be persistent in writing and communicating with them, perhaps suggesting alternative solutions eg postpone interviews (but not till the next year). I really hope they change their minds and I wish you all the best ❤️
If their Dentistry interview is anything like their Medicine interview, then I'd imagine the roleplay stations would be very strange to do over the internet.

OP, don't give up. As others have said, just push forward your side of the argument. Goodluck.
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2500_2
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(Original post by vicvic38)
Even Oxford offers Skype interviews to their international applicants (heck I got offered one because it was terribly snowy when I was meant to be headed over!) It's disgraceful that Birmingham would do this.
An Oxford academic-style interview would translate to Skype considerably better than a hospital-based MMI so I'm not sure why the 'even'?
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Treetop321
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This isn't fair. It isn't your fault that any of this has happened. They should be more willing to come up with another solution rather than making you waste this time and money.
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ANM775
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(Original post by shnack)
Yup, as the title states, my application got rejected due to RISKS of COVID-19.

I'm an international applicant from Singapore and have come to the UK recently for my dentistry interviews. Birmingham was one of the interviews that I was supposed to attend. However, when I was on my plane to the UK, they sent me an email stating that my application will NO LONGER BE FURTHERED THIS YEAR.

Their MMIs are conducted in an NHS hospital. Sadly, the guidance released has said: "We are asking colleagues that have arrived back to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau within 14 days to please contact their line manager before returning to work, whereupon they will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days."

They cannot offer an alternative interview because they believe it will be unfair for me or the other applicants when the interview styles or settings are different. Instead, they offered me a guarantee interview offer for the next year applications (2021 entry).

I travelled more than 14 hours and spent a year of my life applying and preparing for this. All train tickets, accommodation etc are booked. I spend literally thousands. Also, the 2021 entry interview offer cannot compromise all the effort and time that I have devoted to preparing for this.

I cannot believe that the university has invited me to the interview but closed their doors when I was near.

The regulations set by the NHS seems to be made mainly due to fear. WHO has announced that COVID-10 (Corona virus) has no sufficient evidence that it is airborne. Due to this, I am sure that I am not the only one who has lost an opportunity to enter a university. Also, University of Birmingham stating that offering skype interviews will be giving unequal opportunities to applicants is too one-sided in my opinion.

Can anyone help? What should I do?

sounds harsh, ....but i really don't want to get coronavirus so i'm not gonna condemn their decision

good luck for next year..
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lauramath
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Maybe you should contact the Ministry of Foreign affairs for Singapore in London and see if they can offer any help in this.

Mission Contact Details
London
Tel:
+44-20-7235-8315

Emergency Tel (after hours):
+44 (0) 77 1034-8335

Fax:
+44-20-7245-6583

Email:
[email protected]

Address:
9 Wilton Crescent
Belgravia
London SW1X 8SP, United Kingdom

URL:
https://www.mfa.gov.sg/london

Office Hours:
Mon - Fri
9.00 am to 5.00 pm
Closed on Sat & Sun, UK public holidays and Singapore National Day (9 Aug)
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MilMed2020
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The NHS trust I work in is only enforcing self-isolation for people travelling from Hubei province, China. Anywhere else on that list is a matter of monitoring yourself and then acting accordingly if you develop symptoms. I believe this is in line with current PHE guidance, so my gut says they're being unnecessarily strict with their decision here.

The legalities are complicated but this seems very close to possible discrimination - might sound a bit dramatic but without good reason to deny you access to the process, and no effort to make adjustments, it's a bit dodgy.
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illusionz
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As a Brit living in Singapore, this is a ****ing joke and the uni should be ashamed of themselves.

The infection rate in Singapore is lower than in Brighton. Are they banning applicants from Brighton too?...
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mnot
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(Original post by illusionz)
As a Brit living in Singapore, this is a ****ing joke and the uni should be ashamed of themselves.

The infection rate in Singapore is lower than in Brighton. Are they banning applicants from Brighton too?...
This obviously inst malicious, yes it seems harsh but im sure the interviewers and university are just following professional advisement, if they have sought the judgement of experts in either the NHS or WHO and followed it thats the end of the story, imagine the 1 in a million scenario where they ignored the advice and brought the virus into a hospital where hundreds of potential high risk patients are being held.
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MilMed2020
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(Original post by mnot)
This obviously inst malicious, yes it seems harsh but im sure the interviewers and university are just following professional advisement, if they have sought the judgement of experts in either the NHS or WHO and followed it thats the end of the story, imagine the 1 in a million scenario where they ignored the advice and brought the virus into a hospital where hundreds of potential high risk patients are being held.
That's just not accurate though.

Current advice about self isolation does not cover individuals coming from Singapore. They may have made a choice themselves to extend this to the other countries on the list, but they need to be held accountable for that if this is the impact
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mnot
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(Original post by MilMed2020)
That's just not accurate though.

Current advice about self isolation does not cover individuals coming from Singapore. They may have made a choice themselves to extend this to the other countries on the list, but they need to be held accountable for that if this is the impact
I dont know what advice the University of Birmingham has or hasnt received or where they've got it from.

Im aware the home office is saying, not travel to Hubei province unless absolutely necessary and avoid travel to China if possible. But I cant imagine the uni is on some vindictive mission to stuff applicants from Singapore, im imagining they got in contact with some sort of expert and made a decision.
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Anonymou5l
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Try to get a refund - bc you claim you spent thousands. Email those in charge and get your money back and then wait till next year. They have a reason that they rejected you since they do not want to risk of spread of COVID-19. Despite the fact that you may not have it, they may not want to take the risk, so wait till next when everything is settled. This may sound harsh but it is for the safety of the public. Sorry that you have to go through this.
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