Government update and the return to campus
A message from Debra Humphris, Vice-Chancellor emailed 26 February 2021 to all students.
Further to my recent email, I wanted to share more details in response to the Government’s welcome news that we can start planning for the return of more of our students in the coming weeks and months.
In the first instance, this means supporting the safe return of students on courses requiring practical or practice-based teaching and learning, specialist equipment and facilities (including creative arts), and/or on-site assessments from 8 March.
If you are on one of these courses, your timetable should already show the details of your on-campus sessions, but your School will confirm this in the coming days to allow you to plan your return.
For those of you who will not be returning at this point, it is understandable that you will feel disappointed. It is however important that you stay where you are, do not travel, and continue with your studies online for the time being. The Government has confirmed that over the coming weeks they will update their roadmap which will provide Universities with guidance on when further students will be able to return to campus after the Easter vacation. We very much look forward to welcoming you back to face-to-face teaching as soon as possible.
For those of you who will be resuming in-person teaching and learning, we are continuing to offer regular Covid-19 testing to all students. These are the same tests provided during recent months – i.e. Lateral Flow Device (LFD) testing for students without symptoms.
You should take testing twice in your first week of return – immediately upon return and then again three days later.
If possible, please take a test before you travel back to university, and if travelling from areas which are undergoing surge testing, different public health guidance applies, and you should ensure that you get tested before you travel.
Once you have returned to your term-time accommodation you must remain living there unless an exemption to the national restrictions on leaving home and gatherings applies.
Thereafter, ongoing testing will be available and you are strongly encouraged to take part in regular testing when on campus. Testing will be available across four sites:
- City (Grand Parade)
- Moulsecoomb (Cockcroft)
Booking is now available for returning students. For more details on testing, see our FAQs.
Unless you are in the group of students who are able to travel back to university for in-person teaching and learning, international students should also stay where they are at this point.
International students whose courses allow them to return should be aware that the UK has introduced travel bans for arrivals from some countries (otherwise referred to as ‘red list’ countries) as part of measures taken to protect the UK from new strands of Covid-19 and these bans remain in place.
Safety when returning to campus
With the return to campus, ensuring the ongoing safety of our students and staff is the highest priority, and we will have the same extensive safety protocols in place.
It is vital that we all still take steps to ensure our own health and safety and that of others by continuing to wear face coverings, maintaining social distancing and regularly washing or sanitising our hands.
Although this is an understandably exciting time for those able to now return, it is imperative that all our students obey the laws on social gathering and parties. Breaking the law will result in police action being taken, with the potential for fines and further University disciplinary procedures and evictions. Please maintain the high standards of responsible behaviour you have already shown throughout this period, to help ensure the roadmap for the safe easing of lockdown can be continued.
Our libraries will remain open on the current click and collect basis and computer room study spaces can be booked via My Brighton. A takeaway food and drink service will be available on each campus. Our Sports department are following Government guidance and are working to re-open facilities as soon as this is permitted.
Much of the guidance issued previously remains in place. In particular, when traveling within the UK please try to use private travel where possible and avoid traveling in large groups, and adhere to good social distancing practice. More details are available in our FAQ webpage.
What happens next?
All students will be contacted by their School, to advise whether you should plan to return from 8 March, or not.
Thank you all for your patience, resilience and cooperation. The last 12 months have been incredibly tough but I hope we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. If we all continue to play our part, we can feel optimistic about the days ahead.