Update to students - 27 March at 9.30am
Term ends today, although I am very aware that the current Coronavirus pandemic means that whether you are an undergraduate, taught postgraduate or doctoral researcher your work has been very significantly disrupted over recent weeks.
Undergraduate and taught postgraduate students will have been using the material that my colleagues have provided online to continue with their studies. While this is very different from being on campus, I also know that many thousands of hours of material have been watched and you have taken part in remote seminars and tutorials. Well done to all of you that are keeping up with your studies in this way.
For those of you on taught programmes (principally undergraduates and taught postgraduates) you will shortly receive a further email from Professor Rachel Thomson, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Teaching, outlining changes to assessment and face-to-face examinations.
One thing I want to make clear is that the arrangements to be outlined by Professor Thomson will allow final year students to graduate with a classed degree and other students to progress to the next year of study. All I ask in return is that you read and follow the advice that we are sending out shortly, engage fully in remote learning (in this regard it is wrong to say that the University is closed) and recognise that the alternative assessment will be robust and allow you to guarantee the quality of your degree – you will still be a proud Loughborough graduate.
For doctoral researchers the current restrictions around coming on to campus either in London or the East Midlands will undoubtedly mean that you will have had to speak with your supervisors about how to restructure your research programme. Your aim must be to continue to work towards your original submission schedule, although I do recognise that interruptions to field and laboratory work, delaying primary data collection, are far from ideal.
Alongside our donation of a significant amount of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to local hospitals and the loan of our DNA sampling machines for the national effort, you may like to know that our colleagues are supporting the response to the Covid-19 challenge with research expertise. Diverse research groups are advising on communication strategy, economic recovery, and behavioural studies related to isolation and exercise advice, as well as working towards developing a potential new test to detect Covid-19 infection.
I know that many of you have volunteered within your local communities and I commend you for doing so. Thank you also to the many students that have emailed me offering support, saying that you are willing to help or simply passing on best wishes: this is very kind of you.
Most importantly, do what is necessary to keep you, your family and friends safe. This is a challenging time for us all. We will do whatever we can to reassure you and maintain your academic progress at Loughborough University.
Professor Bob Allison
Vice-Chancellor and President