University news

Update from government on return of universities

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Following the announcement from the Prime Minister on 27 January 2021, it has been confirmed by government that, unless you are studying one of the exempt programmes or have particular personal circumstances which require you to be on campus, students should not return to campus and most teaching will remain online until at least 8 March 2021.

What this means

This means that all teaching and assessment expect for a few exempt courses will continue to be online, until at least the 8 March. Government guidance confirms that In universities, currently only those on critical courses such as medical, clinical and healthcare subjects should be receiving face-to-face teaching and all remaining students should continue their studies remotely until 8 March at the earliest.’ We will continue to determine the order in which programmes and student cohorts might need to return, should we be required to manage a staggered return from 8 March 2021. Return order will be based on:

  • whether on-campus teaching is required for you to graduate or progress successfully,  
  • the professional, statutory and regulatory requirements of accredited degrees,
  • the need to access specialist on-campus facilities.

We should note that 8 March 2021 is not a guaranteed return date, and will of course be subject to on-going government review, over the coming weeks.

We realise that this announcement of the earliest return date to universities across the UK may be disappointing for many of you, but we know that it is necessary to help reduce the level of infection and enable us to get back to more normal activities, once it is safe to do so.

Weekly testing

In addition, the guidance says that ‘students and staff on campus should take part in twice weekly testing on offer to help limit transmission and identify asymptomatic cases.’ We are pleased to have this already in place, and all students and staff who need to be on campus can book two tests every week.

We’re here for you

We know that this continues to be a difficult time, so please do remember that we have a range of services available to support you, including a 24-hour support line. You can read more about this and our wider services on our student support webpages. In addition, if you are experiencing unexpected or additional financial worries (due to the pandemic, or otherwise) the Living Cost Support Fund is open all year round to support you financially, thanks to gifts from our generous alumni, staff and supporters.

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