COVID-19: National lockdown in England
You will by now be very aware of the Government’s announcement that we will shortly be entering a nationwide lockdown in England. Whilst there is no doubt about the seriousness of the situation, this announcement will have left many of us asking questions about what this will mean for the students and staff of the University of Brighton.
Whilst we await further guidance, the Government has made clear that universities should remain open and continue face to face delivery where possible. As such, I would like to reassure you that we are committed to continuing to ensure that our students are fully supported to achieve the objectives of their learning.
We are currently considering plans to continue to deliver face-to-face practical-learning sessions and their associated integrated tutorials, where appropriate, on campus in studios, workshops, laboratories, and clinical-skills training facilities.
However, we have also noted the Government’s request that we consider an increase in remote learning. We also recognise that the announcement of a second national lockdown is likely to heighten concerns for students and staff about the spread of the virus. We have therefore concluded that, where non-practice based learning can move online without compromising the achievement of learning outcomes, then this is the approach we should take. Over the course of this week, Heads of Schools and course leaders will consider whether there are elements of in-person delivery – such as non-practical-related tutorials and seminars – which should now move from in-person to remote delivery. Specific details of any changes in your course delivery for the lockdown period will be communicated to you over the next few days by your School.
During the lockdown our students will be able to continue to access University services either in person or remotely. I expect to be able to confirm the specifics of this with you shortly.
The Government has confirmed that, during lockdown, where students live at university, they must not move between their permanent home and student home during this period. This will, I know, be challenging. The Government is also developing its guidance on the Christmas break and, when we have confirmation of this, we will update you on what this will mean for our students.
I can confirm that University accommodation will remain open and those of you in halls will continue to be supported by our Residential Life team. There is a wide range of support available for all students and more information about this can be found on our FAQs for Brighton Students web page.
We will continue to provide further updates to this when the Government has published its guidance for universities.I will write to you again shortly. In the meantime please do take good care to follow the personal measures advised by Public Health.
Professor Debra Humphris,