Update for students - 06 September 2021
As the start of the new term approaches, we want to update you about our plans, including teaching and learning, for the 2021/22 academic year.
As we’ve said in earlier communications with you, in-person activity and teaching will be at the heart of your studies this year at Loughborough. Further information about the ways we intend to deliver the different elements of your course in 2021/22 is available online.
Social and leisure activities
All the shops, cafes and eating places on campus will be open as normal.
All the venues and facilities in the Students’ Union will be open. In line with the likely Government requirement, you are likely to need to show proof of your vaccination status before you will be able to enter the Students’ Union club nights.
We intend that there will be a full programme of sport and that our venues will be open near normally. We are awaiting final confirmation, but we expect BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) to resume its national competitions. Hall sport, known as IMS (Intra-Mural Sport), social, recreational and other sport at the University will resume a full programme. Our gyms and other facilities will be open subject to the latest guidelines in place.
Many if not most of your lectures will be held fully in-person in larger lecture theatres to allow for social distancing.
However, for at least the first two weeks of the term, we’ll be operating some large lectures at 50% capacity to provide additional space for those in the room.
Some large lectures will therefore be held both in-person and live online via Microsoft Teams. You’ll be asked initially to attend in person and online on alternate weeks and this will be reflected in your timetable. Your timetable will show when you’re expected to attend a lecture in person (a room number will be given) or online (via a Microsoft Teams link).
We will review our approach every two weeks during Semester 1 and if we believe that it’s appropriate to do so, we’ll increase the capacity of our lecture theatres and move to full normal operation. We’ll let you know the outcome of each two-weekly review, so please do check your University email account and your class timetable regularly for any updates.
Seminars and tutorials
The majority of these sessions will be delivered in person in rooms with greater capacity than the number of attendees. A small number of seminars and tutorials, however, will be delivered fully interactively online through Microsoft Teams.
Practical classes and workshops
These will take place in person, in smaller groups than previous years and with additional space in place between workspaces. Last year our students and staff said they welcomed having more space, as well as more opportunities for one-to-one contact in smaller class sizes.
Semester 1 exams
The exams at the end of Semester 1 on most degree programmes will be taken online and will be open book examinations. There is a very small number of degree programmes where in-person exams may take place due to external requirements. You will be advised at the beginning of the Semester if your programme has in-person exams.
We plan to return to some in-person exams for Semester 2 and will provide an update on this later in the year.
Your academic timetable
Your timetable will indicate whether your teaching sessions will be in-person or delivered online. If it’s an in-person class, there will be a room number provided. Keep our campus map handy so you can find where you need to go. If your class will be online, there will be a link to a live interactive session in Microsoft Teams. Your timetable will also show if there are any on-demand sessions that you should view each week.
When you go to any in-person lectures, you’ll need to check in to register your attendance using the myLboro app. We’ll provide further information just before the start of term to explain what you’ll need to do.
Face coverings and social distancing
Please remember to bring face coverings with you to campus. We will ask you to wear them when moving around buildings to help protect others, particularly those who may be more vulnerable. You will be encouraged but not required to wear face coverings when you’re sitting in lectures or working in study spaces though.
There will still be some social distancing measures in place around the campus, such as Perspex screens at reception points. Please try to maintain at least 2m distance from others in shared spaces on campus, such as shops and cafes. Alongside face coverings, this is one of the best ways to make sure you’re helping to keep others as safe as possible.
All students coming to the University for the start of term in the autumn will need to take a series of tests: before travelling, before accessing any campus facilities and in the days after arriving at the University. It is likely, for at least the first part of the autumn term, that you will then be required to take weekly Lateral Flow Tests at our onsite testing centre.
Further information on exactly what you need to do will be emailed to you before you move into halls or your accommodation, or if you are not living on campus before you attend activity on site. Please look out for the email and read it carefully.
Compliance with the University's Covid testing requirements is monitored and you will not be allowed access to University facilities if you have not complied with our testing regime.
We’re strongly encouraging all our students to get the Covid vaccination so you can enjoy the student experience to the full. For instance, the Government has said that people will have to prove their vaccination status to access venues such as clubs from late September. If you’ve had two doses of the Covid vaccine, and at least 14 days has elapsed since your second dose, you won’t have to isolate if are identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive. So, if you’re fully vaccinated, you’d be able to continue attending classes, taking part in sport or other leisure activities, mixing with others and making the most of university life.
We are planning to have drop-in vaccination centres on site, and it would assist their organisation if you could complete this short survey. We would, however, very strongly recommend you receive your doses before arrival if possible. More information on vaccines for both UK-based and international students, and how to book them, is available on the Covid vaccinations page of our website.
Thank you for your continued understanding and support. Whilst the new year will retain some limitations at least in the first instance, and may still be affected if the Government changes its position, we are hopeful that we can offer you an experience at the University this year that is exciting and fulfilling academically and socially.