University news

University responds to increased infection rate in Manchester by increasing online teaching

In response to an increase in the COVID-19 infection rate in Manchester and in line with our commitment to protect the health and well-being of our students and staff and the wider community, we be will increasing the level of online learning. This will be implemented tomorrow (Wednesday 7 October 2020).

In practice, this means that we will increase the level of online learning for most programmes and will retain in-person provision for some courses which , for example, include clinical and medical and some laboratory-based teaching. This change will be in place until 30 October 2020, but will be reviewed on 23 October.

Our campus remains open and we will continue to ensure the necessary safety precautions are in place to make any activity on campus as safe as possible

This is a collaborative decision between ourselves, Manchester Metropolitan University, the Director of Public Health and local Public Health team, supported by Public Health England (PHE).

In addition to rising infection rates across the City, we have also been very concerned by a large number of reported COVID-19 positive cases amongst our students which we are reporting on a daily basis to PHE and publishing on the University website.

In practice these revised arrangements mean:

Teaching and Learning

We will be retaining some in-person teaching on accredited and professional programmes; for on-campus laboratory, clinical and practice-based teaching , where it is safe to do so. All other teaching will move online, including Academic Advising and most small group sessions.

Examinations

On-campus, invigilated examinations will be held only where required by Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies. All other assessments  will be held online.

Libraries and PC Clusters

Students and staff will have access to the libraries and study areas, although some may close earlier. PC Clusters will be accessible primarily via remote log in only, unless needed for in-person teaching.

Access to student support services

Student support services will continue to be offered on campus but on a reduced basis. An increased number of online appointments will be available for students who are self-isolating or vulnerable.

Residential accommodation for students

Government advice is that students are strongly encouraged to remain in their current accommodation and not return to their family home or other residential accommodation. If in exceptional circumstances students wish to return home for a period, we will work with them to make sure they can safely leave the campus. We will continue to provide support for students on and off campus.

We understand that many of you will be worried about your studies. We had always planned for a blended provision of teaching and learning this year. Although more of our activities will be delivered online, our campus remains open. This change won’t impact of the quality of your learning experience and we will ensure that the learning outcomes of your course are met.

Your School will be in touch later today with details of local arrangements for your programme. If you are travelling from outside the UK to start your programme and have questions about your arrival date please contact your school or refer to our website.

As we continue to have to adapt to living with COVID-19 we would like to thank you for your understanding and for taking responsibility for protecting yourselves and your local community.

Professors Nancy Rothwell and April McMahon

President and Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President for Teaching, Learning and Student Experience


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