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Update for students 22 September at 7.45pm

Dear Students,

Further to the email earlier today from Richard Taylor, the Chief Operating Officer, and our previous email with information on our plans for learning and teaching, this message provides you with some detail on the wider arrangements in place at the University to keep the campus community as safe as possible.

Please remember that formal teaching for the start of the 2020-21 academic year will begin on Monday 5th October 2020.

You may have seen the recent reports of a rise in infections in the UK and the likelihood that this in part is spread through contact between young people. We are monitoring the situation closely and are ready to adapt our plans in light of these and any further developments in the future.

In order for the University to operate effectively on campus this year, we must all adhere to the measures we have put in place. These include wearing face coverings where required, social distancing and self-isolating if required to. Further details of everything we need to do are available on our Back to Campus website.

Staying safe is a team effort and, after the many challenges we have all faced over the last few months, we need to work together to avoid jeopardising this academic year and everything it has to offer. Please make sure you follow the rules.

Halls of Residence and social activities

If you are living in a University Hall of Residence, we have taken a number of steps to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable experience. These include:

  • Bookable arrival slots to minimise the number of people in and around the hall at any one time
  • A limit of one person to travel with you and help you unload
  • The creation of student households, usually based around shared facilities such as kitchens or bathrooms
  • A virtual induction from the Hall Warden team to welcome you to your hall and explain the measures in place to keep your hall community safe. 
  • Changed layout of the dining rooms in our catered halls to reduce capacity and provide extra space between seating. We’re also offering a take-away option.
  • A mix of small group gatherings and virtual/online events for Freshers. Your Hall Committees will share the details of your hall’s plans with you. 

Find out more:

Living off campus

If you are a returning student you will have received an email from the Vice-Chancellor on 9th September outlining the 7 Golden Rules that everyone should follow to keep the community as safe as possible. The Vice-Chancellor’s message to students living off campus was clear: that we expect them to adhere to the new Government legislation in respect of social activities in houses. Please ensure you read the legislation so that you are clear about what you can and can’t do.

Find out more:

Our support services

Much of the support offered by Student Services will be provided online but we will be offering some face-to-face services where needed. The Bridgeman Building will only be open to those with an appointment, so you’ll need to contact them (E:, T: 01509 222765) before coming along.

The Student Enquiries counter in Rutland Building will reopen on Monday 12th October 2020 on an appointment-only basis. To reduce the need for in-person visits, many of the services (eg payments and letter requests) have been moved online. See the Student Enquiries website for further information.

Find out more:

The Library

The Library will be open seven days a week (opening hours vary, but closure is 2am every day), with a range of measures in place, including:

  • Reduced capacity to ensure everyone can maintain social distance while browsing or studying
  • One-way systems 
  • Face coverings while walking around, but not while studying in some of the study areas
  • Quarantining of returned books so they are safe for the next user

Remember to bring your Student ID card (which is also your library card) with you to access the building and borrow books.

Find out more:


All our facilities are open, with reduced capacity, to ensure everyone can keep a safe distance, and with enhanced cleaning regimes in place.

Our clubs have had to adapt their provision, so they’ll let you know what’s planned for training and competition.

When playing sports informally with people you don’t live with, you must limit the size of your group to 6, in line with current Government legislation.

Find out more:

If you have Covid-19 symptoms

The symptoms of Covid-19 are:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste

If you develop any of these symptoms or test positive, you must self-isolate in your accommodation on campus or off campus for 10 days. The rest of your household will need to self-isolate for 14 days if a case is positively confirmed, or until a negative test result is obtained.

You should also notify the University’s Connect and Protect service, which will launch later this week. Connect and Protect staff will be able to advise you on what you need to do and help you to access support while you’re self-isolating.

Find out more:

Some final important points

The University has a Face Covering Policy in place. Please ensure you read it. We will provide you with one face covering but please make sure bring at least one more so you can wash them regularly.

Please remember to bring a headset with you. In order to fully participate in online teaching sessions you will need to have a headset with a microphone – this should be able to connect to a computer via a USB A port.

If you have any other concerns about returning to the University, please contact Student Services, E:, T: 01509 222765.

We hope this provides you with reassurances about how life at the University is likely to be from this autumn and about the measures that we’re putting in place to make sure everyone stays as safe as possible. For more information please make sure you keep an eye on our website which will always have the latest information.

We are very much looking forward to the beginning of the new academic year and welcoming you to, or back to, our campuses.