September return 2021

This year has been extraordinary and challenging for many people. Our students and staff have been fantastic in their response to the pandemic, and we are proud to have continued teaching and learning throughout - both online and face-to-face on our Covid-secure campuses.

We are pleased that the UK Government’s roadmap for Covid-recovery continues to progress. We all hope that most restrictions will have been lifted by September and we are planning our 2021/22 academic year on that basis. We are hopeful that students and staff will be able to look forward to a University experience which is much closer to the experience before the pandemic. We are conscious that our new and continuing students will have missed out on a lot of the activities and opportunities that they would have hoped to enjoy, and we want to provide as many of these as we can.

However, the last year has also brought new ways of learning and working that people have welcomed - we’re keen to hold onto those where students and staff have told us they want them. We will continue to learn and respond to student feedback and we will always seek to provide services in the ways that best reflect our students’ needs.

In making these plans, the health and safety of our students, staff and the local community remains paramount. We know that the situation may change - we will move forward in a way that is Covid-safe and allows us to take account of any changes in the national or local picture.

We will act in accordance with any measures that are introduced by the UK Government and authorities in response to the Covid situation. We will always ask our students and staff to act in accordance with the latest guidelines. 

Learning and teaching

From September, subject to Covid rules in place at the time, we are planning for class teaching, seminars and tutorials to be delivered face to face.

However, we are not complacent and are aware of the possibility that new variants of Covid-19 could spread globally. Therefore, we believe that it will still be sensible to restrict people gathering in large numbers from September. 

For this reason, in Semester 1 most of our bigger teaching sessions involving more than 50 students, such as lectures, will continue to take place online. 

Many students have told us that they have welcomed the ability to access lectures online this year, and we are pleased to be able to continue this for sessions with large numbers of students. We will keep options under review for Semester 2 and provide information to students and staff as soon as we can.

Support

During the last year, we’ve learned that our students have welcomed and benefited from the flexibility that comes from offering some of our support services online, such as Wellbeing and Careers. 

We’re keen to keep this flexibility as part of our student offer for the next academic year, and so plan to offer many support services both in-person and online.

Student experience

Socialising with friends and fellow students is a valuable part of university life - clubs and societies also form a valuable part of this experience. We hope that from September, students will, once again, be able to participate fully in these activities. 

We are working with the Students’ Union to devise an events programme that will help all students get their year off to a great start.

We look forward to welcoming you back to our campuses.