Update for students - 13 April 2021
Despite some chilly days recently, today is bright and sunny at Loughborough University and the campus is coming back to life. As I walk through the Student Village or along Ashby Road, I see familiar faces. I have been able to exchange a smile and kindly word with many students that are now back on-campus. I am grateful to everyone that has taken a moment to speak with me and look forward to this continuing as we return to more normal times.
We are acutely aware of the need to provide more certainty to students. We are also aware that before Easter many students returned to their campus accommodation. Our focus is on operating as safely as possible. To this end, any student may now return to the University provided they participate in regular asymptomatic testing, including immediately upon their arrival. Details are outlined later in this email.
Please read the following information carefully, which outlines arrangements for the start of term and remainder of the academic year.
Teaching and learning
Students on programmes where in-person teaching will restart or continue
In-person teaching will resume from the start of the summer term, Monday 26th April for students on specified courses – including all practical programmes. For those students on programmes who were able to return to University prior to Easter, the in person component will focus on sessions in specialist teaching spaces (e.g. labs, workshops and studios), and will be further enhanced for the remaining teaching weeks prior to the start of the Semester 2 assessment period. In addition, a further group of students on programmes requiring access to specialist spaces will be able to return to some in person teaching. You will be notified of the additional programmes where this is the case in the next few days.
The timetable will be updated shortly and will include the colour-coded, in-person teaching sessions and room details. Information will also be available for live on-line MS Teams sessions and on-demand content as previously.
The week commencing Monday 19th April (the fourth week of the Easter vacation) is a ‘catch-up’ week, principally for students on programmes with practical teaching, for the use of specialist facilities and other activities postponed from earlier in the year. If this applies to you, information will have already been sent to you by your School.
If you are currently overseas and unable to return to the UK, you should let the University know immediately using the online form available here. Detailed information on returning to the UK and arrangements for teaching and learning the remainder of Semester 2 is available here.
Students on other programmes
If you are studying on a taught programme where Government restrictions on in-person teaching remain in place (this will largely be classroom-based programmes), we shall continue to deliver the curriculum on-line for the time being. We shall return to in-person delivery the moment circumstances allow. A further email will advise you as soon as we can provide details. Notwithstanding restrictions around learning and teaching, other campus facilities are open and available to those students in this group.
All students may opt to return to the campus now. If your programme of study does not have any scheduled in-person teaching you can continue to study away from the campus.
Our buildings and catering facilities are open. The University Library and other workspaces are open but with adjusted numbers to maintain social distancing. Outdoor sport facilities, gyms and the swimming pool are all open. Sporting fixtures, including IMS, will recommence on Monday 19th April. Outdoor social venues opened at the start of this week. LSU’s new Socially Distanced Social Club will open on 21st April. Hall committees, sports clubs and societies have been doing excellent work to re-invigorate activities within Government guidelines. I am grateful to everyone for their innovative and imaginative approach to what can be done.
Students in University accommodation that do not wish to come into residence because there is no in-person teaching on their programme of study, may continue to apply for a rebate on residence fees. Details will be sent shortly on how to do this.
It is a condition of returning to campus that both staff and students participate in regular COVID-19 testing. For those already back at the University, our testing programme is proving to be highly effective in minimising COVID-19 infection rates.
All students who are returning to campus should note the following information about testing requirements.
If you are based within the UK and have been at home over Easter, you should take a test before you travel back to the University, if community testing facilities are available near your home. If you are travelling from an area which is currently undergoing surge testing you must have a test before you travel. If the test is positive, you must not travel until your period of self-isolation is complete. We shall make sure that you can catch up on any missed work.
YOU MUST BOOK A LATERAL FLOW COVID-19 TEST UPON YOUR ARRIVAL AT THE UNIVERSITY AND BEFORE YOU ACCESS ANY PART OF THE CAMPUS, INCLUDING HALLS OF RESIDENCE
The only exception is those that have had a positive Covid test within the last 90 days. Please use the Connect and Protect form.
Once back at the University all students, whether resident on-campus or in the town, must take a free COVID-19 test at least once, and ideally twice, a week. Please book this using the Connect and Protect form. Checks will be made for students accessing a range of University facilities, including prior to entering in person teaching sessions.
If you are returning to the University from overseas, please look at our website for details of the COVID-19 tests that you will need to take both before you travel and once you have arrived in the UK. The website also provides information about quarantine arrangements when you arrive in the UK. Once your quarantine period is complete, you will be required to take a free COVID-19 test at least once a week. Please book this using the Connect and Protect form.
If you have remained on campus over the Easter break, you must continue to take a free COVID-19 test at least once a week, booked using the Connect and Protect form.
During the remainder of the academic year the Government roadmap will allow a further easing of restrictions, such that I hope we can end term as close to normal as possible. This will include re-opening Room 1 in the Students’ Union, increasing social activities and celebrating a successful end to the most challenging year in the University’s history. Over the last three weeks I have been meeting with student leaders who are developing some excellent plans.
While a degree of uncertainty remains my colleagues, the sabbatical officers at LSU and I will do all that we can to support you in returning to the University and enjoying the rest of the academic year.
Professor Bob Allison