September return 2021

Our students and staff have been fantastic in their response to the pandemic, and we are delighted to be welcoming you to our campuses for the new academic year.

We recognise that you may have mixed emotions about returning to campus and we want everyone to feel welcome and safe. If you have concerns about coming to campus, or you find it hard to adjust when you arrive, the Wellbeing team is here to help you.

Whilst many Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted we recognise that the pandemic continues to have a significant impact on our lives. To protect the health and safety of our students, staff and the local community we are continuing to put in place precautionary measures on campus.

We have retained our enhanced cleaning and increased ventilation measures and we ask everyone to follow the Covid-secure measures that remain in place across our campuses to help protect others by:

  • Wearing face coverings, unless there is a medical exemption which you can indicate by wearing a sunflower lanyard
  • Limiting close contact with people you don’t live with
  • Regularly washing or sanitising your hands and cleaning desks after use using the wipes provided
  • Filling the room starting at the desk furthest from the door when attending in-person teaching
  • Following the signposted circulation routes
  • Collecting home test kits and taking two rapid Covid-19 tests, three days apart on arrival at University and then reporting the results to the University and NHS Test & Trace. You should then test twice-weekly throughout the semester
  • Using our QR code system on campus. It supports the NHS Test & Trace service and means that if someone tests positive for Covid-19 we only have to ask close contacts (who aren’t double-vaccinated) to self-isolate. We recommend that you also check-in with the NHS Covid-19 app when you are outside the University at other venues
  • Getting vaccinated against Covid-19. If you still need to get your Covid-19 vaccinations you can book an appointment at our pop-up NHS Covid-19 vaccination clinic on our Headington Campus.

We know that the Covid-19 situation may change, if this is the case, we have plans in place that will enable us to 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-19 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, such as lectures, will either take place online or in a suitable risk-assessed space. 

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.