Important update regarding in-person teaching
Last week the Government confirmed it is ‘allowing providers to invite students on practical courses and creative subjects who need to access specialist facilities and equipment back to in-person teaching and learning from Monday 8 March’. At the same time, the Government has made clear that students should remain online where that is possible.
Since then we have been working hard to review the courses which meet the new criteria. If your programme is one of these courses, your school or college will be in touch by Wednesday this week, at the latest, to invite you to return for some selected campus-based teaching from next Monday. If you have any queries about this, please contact your School Office in the first instance.
We know it will be very disappointing for those that aren’t invited back yet, and indeed we share your disappointment. Like you, we are looking forward to when all of our students can be back on campus safely. The Government has advised that they will review the guidance on return for all other students by the end of the Easter holidays and we will be back in touch as soon as we have more information.
For those that aren’t returning yet, teaching will remain online. The University has also confirmed that it will be extending rent rebates for eligible students in University accommodation up to and including 11 April, and Accommodation Services will be in touch soon with those directly affected. Those students with membership to Sports and Fitness/Tiverton Gym will also be notified this week about an extension to their membership rebate which will also now run until 11 April.
We also want to remind you about all the support that is available if you need it – whether you are on or off campus at the moment. We are continuing to provide a range of wellbeing resources and expert contacts that are accessible wherever you are. Our Wellbeing Services are open in your Schools and Colleges and support is available from our Mental Health and Wellbeing Team. We have also increased the value and revised the criteria of our Enhanced Student Support Fund, making it easier for students to receive support. You can apply for the fund here.
Finally an important reminder for those students that are returning to campus as well as those who are in University accommodation. We are continuing to offer regular asymptomatic testing which you can book here. It is essential that we all continue to get tested regularly to keep ourselves and each other safe. Government has made it clear that it expects students to come forward for regular testing and they will review the data on the level of testing to inform their decision-making about post-Easter returns to campus. Testing is not only responsible to do, it will help to pave the way for the rest of our student population to return as soon as possible.