Image Credit: Annie Watson
In light of the upcoming end to Covid-19 restrictions, Charlie Jeffery has told students to “plan for a return to campus for the first day of term”, with all academic departments confirming in-person teaching for the 2021/22 academic year. The Vice-Chancellor was also pleased to announce that the University will be welcoming back staff members and postgraduate students in a “careful and measured way” from 19 July 2021.
Despite a return to campus for many students from 27 September 2021, the Vice-Chancellor noted that due to travel restrictions, some international students may be unable to return to campus at the start of term. In response, the University is offering online teaching for the first six weeks of the autumn term for students whose travel is restricted.
The Vice-Chancellor has also confirmed that the majority of assessments in January 2022 will remain online to minimise disruption in the event of possible changes to distancing or isolation requirements. Jefferey also stated that online exams will be “fairer” for those students who have had very little experience of in-person exams over the last two years, however he noted that the University will review these plans closer to the Summer 2022 assessments.
Although Jeffery emphasised that the updated plans prioritise the provision of an “enriching and engaging” university experience for all students, he was keen to stress the need to continue to “maintain the safety and welfare of the community without social distancing” through careful management. Key safety measures on campus will continue to be in place, and face coverings will be ‘strongly recommended’ for busy indoor spaces. Jeffery also urged students to get vaccinated when they are offered the opportunity, suggesting that “high rates of vaccination are the surest route to a full, safe and rewarding experience on campus”. With testing and vaccinations continuing to be an important part of campus life for the University, the campus testing and vaccination centres will remain in place.