With the start of the new term now only two weeks away, today I’ll be providing you with a final update on the 2021/22 academic year and how you can continue to play your part in keeping yourself and others around you safe when you return to campus.
As I mentioned in my last update to you on 1 August, we expect to welcome all students to campus in September and for you to attend timetabled, on campus teaching, in person. Being in an educational environment, attending face-to-face classes, having access to the Library and its increased number of study spaces, and being able to connect with your classmates, will help you to succeed.
However, if your circumstances mean that, for example because of travel restrictions or for health reasons, you are not able to start the academic year face-to-face, on campus, it is important that you let us know so that we can support you. If you cannot arrive to start your studies on campus by your school’s latest arrival and enrolment date, you should complete our late arrival request form which goes live tomorrow (Monday 6 September). Completing this form will enable us to support you in beginning your learning online.
Your teaching within the 2021/22 academic year will be a mixture of face-to-face, on campus, teaching and learning support, with some digital elements. The decision on whether a module will be taught face-to-face or online has been based on a number of different factors, such as being able to sustain social distancing, ensuring key activities are available on campus, retaining some classes online where appropriate and allowing flexibility in how some courses are delivered.
Alongside your studies, there will also be a full range of in-person social events and experiences taking place throughout the autumn term. From Monday 13 September, there will be plenty of opportunities for you to connect in-person again, meet up on campus with friends, old and new, and enjoy the different aspects of our campus community.
The health and safety of our College community remains a top priority, therefore many of the effective measures that we have had in place over the past 18 months will remain, and all students and staff will be expected to continue to play your part to help protect you, and everyone on campus. We will maintain 1m social distancing when our face-to-face teaching is being delivered, as well as strongly encouraging twice weekly lateral flow testing and the wearing of face coverings when moving around indoors.
I also strongly encourage all students to get two vaccinations, if you haven’t done so already. You can book a Covid-19 vaccine via the NHS website or by visiting your local walk-in centre. For those of you who won’t have received either your first or second vaccination before the start of the new academic year, there will also be the opportunity for UK and international students to get vaccinated on campus in the first few weeks of term - more information about this will be available soon.
We’re really looking forward to welcoming you back and for you to get the most out of everything our campus has to offer. I hope that you enjoy the last few weeks of the summer break – the weekly student newsletter will be returning just before the start of term, on Sunday 19 September.
Professor Paul Layzell