I am writing to update you on our plans for face-to-face teaching and other on-campus activity following the UK Government’s announcement on 13 April 2021.
The University’s Summer Term runs from Monday 26 April to Friday 2 July. The Government have confirmed that its review of further changes to restrictions will not take place until 17 May. This means that we cannot allow any additional face-to-face teaching before 17 May at the earliest. If your course is currently approved by the Government for face-to-face teaching in the Summer Term, you have already been informed and those arrangements will continue in line with your Department or School’s advice. If you have not been contacted, any teaching delivered before 17 May will remain online only.
We want you to have the best possible university experience. We have done all we can to bring as many students safely back to campus as we are permitted, in line with Government restrictions. We know this latest news is very disappointing and the Vice-Chancellor has written to our local MPs asking them to highlight the pressing need for students to return to face-to-face teaching as soon as it is safe to do so and to raise the issue with the Education Secretary and Universities Minister.
In light of significantly reduced levels of infection on our campuses, the University has considered our level of protection and agreed to change it from Advanced to Enhanced Protection. Our Business Continuity Plan provides more information.
While we are not yet able to offer a full-scale return to campus, we can start to bring more life and activity back to our campuses. You can find the latest information about what is open here:
If you want to return to your campus to use the facilities during the Summer Term, you are welcome to do so. However, you must follow Government and University guidance when making your decision. This includes guidance on travelling to campus, social distancing, testing and where necessary, self-isolating to protect yourself and our campus community.
The health and safety of our students and staff remains central to our thinking. Social distancing, testing and self-isolating where necessary is vital to allow us to ensure that we are monitoring and effectively managing levels of infection on our campuses.
It is important for you to be aware that the Government have set specific requirements in relation to testing. More information about our testing requirements is available on our webpages. As at 12 April, we have no positive cases on our campuses. A current positive case is defined as an individual who has tested positive for the NHS COVID-19 test and is currently self-isolating. Our live dashboard provides the most up to date data on University infection rates.
We want to minimise the impact of the pandemic on your ability to succeed in your studies and the following services are all available to provide you with support, wherever you are currently studying:
You have managed unprecedented challenges throughout the year, and I have been overwhelmed by your resilience and how amazingly you have looked after each other during this time. We are currently looking at ways we might be able to offer you some further on-campus activities after the end of the exam period and into summer 2021. This will be in part dependent on the Government announcement on 17 May. The health and safety of our community will remain our priority. I promise to update you as soon as possible once the situation is clearer.