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Update to staff and students - 19 March at 11.15am

Dear Colleagues and Students,
 
The Government announced yesterday further measures to minimise the risk of coronavirus in the UK, including the closure of schools from tomorrow afternoon until further notice. To reflect current concern, from 1700 tomorrow the University will move to a minimum level of campus operation.

In practice what does this mean?

Although the University will not close, many of our services will not operate whilst others will maintain a minimal service. In some Schools, for example, we have complex pieces of laboratory apparatus that require attention every day and key staff will need to maintain the equipment for safety purposes if nothing else. We have in our halls of residence a number of students for whom returning home is not possible. To be very clear, we will not exclude them from their accommodation. To do so would be the wrong thing to do at this difficult time.

From Friday evening, 20th March, the University will operate as follows.

Taught students (undergraduate and postgraduate taught)

Since face-to-face teaching was suspended students have watched over 15,000 hours of online lectures. Please continue with your online learning. There is now much material available for students to access.

From 1700 tomorrow (Friday) the Library and other academic space available to students will close until further notice. Access to other facilities, such as gyms, will be very significantly restricted.

Assessment will go ahead next term but the format is likely to change. We will also make sure any student who is unable to return to the UK is able to sit appropriate assessments. Please read the email later today from Professor Thomson, the Pro Vice-Chancellor for Teaching. Further details of any changes to assessment for your course will be available by 27th March.

It is likely that significant temporary restrictions on the movement of people may be issued by the Government shortly. If you are still resident in Loughborough and this is not your permanent home you should now think very carefully about whether staying here is in your best interests. My strong advice is that you should return home while you still have the flexibility to do so. If you cannot get home, my colleagues and I shall continue to do our very best to support you.

We shall keep in close touch by email: please keep close watch for messages from the University.

Doctoral Researchers

Doctoral Researchers should continue to work to any locally agreed arrangements for the time being. The Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Doctoral College), Professor Peel, will be in touch with Doctoral Researchers tomorrow.

Staff

Detailed information with regard to staff working is available on the University’s Frequently Asked Questions pages.

For most staff, in particular colleagues in academic roles, we can continue to work but will do so remotely for most if not all of the time. With the electronic accessibility of library and other resources there is opportunity to support our students remotely and progress research. If you have followed previous guidance and advice, meetings and other aspects of University business can take place virtually.

Deans and Operations Managers are working on any special arrangements for the continuation of essential access to research facilities in their Schools.

Further information

This is a challenging time and I want to thank you all once again for your professionalism and support.

We shall keep in close touch by email. Please refer to our coronavirus website on a regular basis.

Yours sincerely,

Bob

Professor Robert J. Allison
Vice-Chancellor