Important update for all students: Return to campus from 19 April
As you may be aware, late yesterday the Government announced its position on the return of all remaining students to in-person teaching. This advised that: “remaining students will be advised to return to in-person teaching alongside Step 3 of the Roadmap, when restrictions on social contact will be eased further and the majority of indoor settings can reopen. This will take place no earlier than 17 May, following a further review of the data against the four tests.”
We are extremely disappointed by this decision given that many other areas of society such as bars, hairdressers and tattoo parlours are opening up. We feel this decision is not in the best interests of students and it fails to reflect the hard work of colleagues who have ensured that campus remains a safe environment.
What this means is that only those students on practical or practice-based courses, including creative subjects, who need access to specialist facilities and equipment can resume in-person teaching and learning from Monday 19 April. Students who have been notified previously by their school or course team that they can resume bimodal teaching and access specialist facilities can do so, as was the case before the Easter vacation period, and for these students there is no change. In addition, some further groups of students on these programmes may now be invited to return to campus where we have sufficient capacity. If you have not already been contacted by your School or subject team then you can expect to receive a message shortly so please do check your email for any updates and messages.
For those students who are not yet permitted to return we will continue to provide you with online teaching and learning in the same way as before the Easter vacation period. You should follow your scheduled online timetable for the three weeks of timetabled teaching that remain in this academic year (weeks commencing 19 April, 26 April and 3 May – excluding Bank Holiday Monday).
The Government announcement and guidance has also restated that: “some students, such as those with inadequate study space and/or mental health and wellbeing issues, may need to return to their term-time address despite their teaching still being online”. This also includes students who do not have access to appropriate alternative accommodation, who have remained in their term time accommodation, or have already returned, including international students who are not expected to return to in-person teaching and learning at this stage. Students in these circumstances are welcome to use on-campus facilities including libraries, study spaces and sports and fitness for the purposes of online learning, private study and to prevent isolation.
Campus remains open and for those students who are back in their term-time accommodation, we will continue to plan to make the rest of this academic year as enjoyable and Covid-safe as possible. We would ask that all students continue to engage in regular asymptomatic testing at one of our on-campus facilities.
We will provide more information for all students in our regular communications with advice about testing, assessment support weeks, wellbeing and financial support to follow.
If you are living in University-operated or nominated accommodation we will be in contact with you early next week with a further update.
Thank you for your continuing support and cooperation.
You can also read a letter to all students from the Universities Minister, Michele Donelan (13.04.21)