As the government’s roadmap out of lockdown brings us all some optimism for the coming months, it is not currently clear whether social distancing or any other COVID safety measures, including travel restrictions, will still be in operation in the UK as we begin our new academic year in the autumn of 2021.
Our expectation for the start of the academic year is that all students studying on an on-campus programme will be in Manchester and learning through a blended approach, with a mix of both on-campus and online elements. This approach gives us the flexibility to adapt our delivery of teaching and learning and optimise the student experience in response to changes in COVID safety measures.
However, we are aware that travel restrictions may delay some students arriving in Manchester for the start of the 2021/22 academic year. We are exploring which programmes can offer a remote study option in Semester 1 to support students who may find themselves unable to be here with us.
Remote study is not intended to be the default study route next academic year but we think it is important that we plan for every eventuality and to offer an accessible option for those that may still need it.
For some programmes remote study will not be feasible, particularly where students need to access specialist teaching and learning facilities; or due to professional and accreditation requirements. Remote study will therefore only be available (on an opt-in basis) for certain programmes and cohorts.
Your programme team will write to you in the week of 19 April to confirm whether there is a remote study option for your programme/year group in Semester 1 of the next academic year and if so, provide more information to help you make your decision and the deadline for letting us know. Please do not contact your programme team to ask about this before receiving this communication – they are working very hard on these details, but they will not yet have the information to help you.
The government is also due to announce a further update on the continued easing of restrictions in early to mid-April and we will continue to keep you updated on any developments.