Update to students - 27 April at 8.50am
Term starts today at Loughborough University following the Easter vacation. I normally take this opportunity to welcome you back to the campus but we live in the most challenging of times and, with much regret, I cannot do that today. Both of our campuses, at Loughborough in the East Midlands and on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London remain closed until further notice.
The first three weeks of term mark the final full teaching weeks of Semester 2. As you should all be aware by now, the majority of learning has moved online. We have worked closely with higher education regulatory bodies to ensure that the material available to you meets appropriate standards to ensure that the learning outcomes for your course can still be achieved, so long as you engage fully with the material available to you.
You will have received a number of emails from Professor Rachel Thomson, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Teaching, outlining revisions to Semester 2 assessment and the various Safety Nets that we have introduced to ensure that no student is disadvantaged as a consequence of current circumstances. For some, this will have been accompanied by further information from your School.
Our approach to both your remaining learning and assessment has two principal objectives.
First, to ensure equity and fairness. This is important so that you can be reassured, whatever stage you are at in your degree, that despite the changes that we have had to make your marks will not suffer as a consequence of Government restrictions and their attendant challenges.
Second, to maintain the robustness and most importantly the quality of a Loughborough degree. You will be aware that Loughborough University has one of the best student employability track records in the country. This is because employers recognise the value of a qualification from this University and our approach to assessment in consultation with a range of employers, has ensured that this will not change.
I recognise that for final year students the job market is particularly challenging at this time. Please be rest assured that we shall do all that we can to help you. This includes offering alumni bursaries on taught Masters degree programmes on both of our campuses, should you decide to stay with us for a further year. Many of you may not have thought about this option but it goes without saying, we would be delighted to have you back with us.
There are similar challenges for those of you hoping to go on a placement next year. Again, we shall do what we can to help you. We are in close contact with organisations that take Loughborough placement students and we shall continue to offer internships at the University in a variety of different areas.
As you may have anticipated, with the current restrictions on both the movement of people and size of permitted gatherings, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the University summer graduation ceremonies to the Easter vacation 2021. I guarantee you two things. First, we will hold graduation so you, your family and friends can celebrate your achievements at Loughborough University. Second, because the format we adopt for graduation is so successful, we will not be changing it. Put simply, this is no more than a postponement of a very special day that we all enjoy and all want to be part of.
We are in discussion with Loughborough Students’ Union about marking the end of the academic year for finalists. I hope that we can provide an opportunity for you to meet with your friends, my colleagues that have taught you and other members of the University and LSU communities. Precisely what this looks like will depend on the way the Government’s social distancing policies change over the next few weeks.
I want to make one final point.
Right now, your physical and mental health are of particular importance. The University has provided access to a range of online material to support you through the coming weeks, such as The Yellow Book,Every Mind Matters and online fitness opportunities. Can I also remind you of our Frequently Asked Questions pages.
In conclusion, I must acknowledge your patience and willingness to adapt to new ways of learning and our revised assessment. My colleagues and I shall continue to keep in close contact with you. I encourage you to do the same with your friends. Continue to support each other so that we can be as proud of the Loughborough family today as we have always been.
Thanks to all of you.
Professor Bob Allison
Vice-Chancellor and President