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A message from Professor Ruth Whittaker: Update for students for semester 2

I do hope that this email finds you well. I promised that from time to time I would write to share important news with you. As such, I wanted to let you know that we have now taken the decision that Semester 2 of the current academic year will be delivered through a continuing blended mix of socially distanced campus-based teaching and enhanced digital learning in the same way as Semester 1.

This decision has been informed by the rising number of positive COVID-19 cases across the country, and the latest announcements by the government – critically we believe that this is the best way to continue to manage the risks posed by the pandemic and safeguard the health and wellbeing of our students and staff. We have, of course, all seen that things can change rapidly in relation to the pandemic and we will, therefore, continue to follow national and local guidance and modify our approach as necessary. I am sure you will have noted the ongoing discussions at government level regarding the Christmas vacation and a potential request that we change our teaching delivery model ahead of the end of this term. We are monitoring this very closely and will write to you again if any decision is taken that has implications for your course.

The blended approach to learning for semester 2 will continue to enable you to meet the learning outcomes for your course. Your school will contact you to outline any changes and to answer any questions. We will also ensure that module delivery statements are updated and shared with you.

The University continues to be responsive to your direct and highly valuable feedback and works closely with our Students’ Union on ways in which we can adapt our approach to improve your experience. Some examples of where we have already done so include:

  • Providing  more opportunity for students to access face-to-face on-campus sessions remotely if they have been required to self-isolate or are unable to attend in person for other reasons
  • Providing more bookable Covid-secure study spaces and social learning space outside the libraries for those on campus.
  • Providing more access to computers on-campus to allow students to access remotely-delivered sessions on campus.

Next week we will be asking you to complete a short ‘Checking in’ survey on your experiences of the semester to date. What you share with us at this early stage will be crucial in helping to inform our planning and delivery on your behalf. Please do take a few moments to complete this.

Kind regards

Professor Ruth Whittaker
Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education & Students)


Alex Scarrott • 15 October 2020

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