Dear Students,

When I wrote to you on 5 January about our arrangements for the Spring Term, I promised that we would keep you updated as we receive further guidance and continue to review our plans in light of the changing context of the pandemic. We are constantly monitoring the situation and want to provide clarity to you as soon as we can. We also want to provide as much time as possible to evaluate whether the current trajectory in infection rates means that elements of face-to-face teaching this term are possible, should they be permitted by the Government. I’m writing today to set out the next steps for making our decisions.

Most subjects – 1 February

For most subjects where learning outcomes can be achieved through online-only delivery, a decision on the remaining period of the Spring Term will be taken on Monday 1 February. We will communicate to all students next week to confirm our plans.

Subjects requiring face-to-face teaching – 26 February

A very small number of subjects were permitted by the Government to go ahead with face-to-face delivery for this term. We expect this to continue. There is a limited number of additional subjects where learning outcomes require face-to-face teaching but are not currently permitted by the Government. For these subjects, the option of reintroducing an element of face-to-face provision will be left open for longer. A final decision for these subjects will be taken on 26 February so we can provide those of you affected with sufficient notice and still be able to provide at least two weeks of face-to-face delivery prior to the end of term.

All decisions on face-to-face teaching will not affect those of you who need to study wholly remotely in line with our dual delivery plan, which is designed to provide you with the flexibility you need.

All our plans continue to be shaped by the progress of the pandemic, your safety and wellbeing and any requirements placed on us by the Government. We are grateful for your patience and understanding as we work together to respond to what I know continues to be a worrying time.

We will be in touch next week.

Help and support

We know these are challenging times. If you have any questions or concerns about your teaching, course or modules, let us know as soon as possible. Please contact your lecturers, your personal tutor or the administrative team in your Department or School. Our Students’ Union can also help.

There are also Course Representatives at the Colchester, Southend and Loughton campuses, who can support you, provide feedback, and help to resolve any issues.

Richard Stock
Academic Registrar