Your Quick Guide to Flexible Education

As you will have seen in the information released to students at the end of last week, the University is planning for a return to campus at the start of term in September. VP Education Kate Roberts sets out what this means for you and what we're doing to ensure your education and overall university experience can still thrive next year.

As you will have seen in the information released to students at the end of last week, the University is planning for a return to campus at the start of term in September.

However, we know that there will be a number of changes to how your education works due to government social distancing requirements. The guidance behind these plans has been to ensure flexibility and resilience in the way your course is run, this is so that you won’t miss out on any of your study regardless of any rapid changes to lockdown restrictions.

What does this mean for me?

It is likely that your lectures will be conducted online where necessary, with face-to-face activity provided in the form of seminars, tutorials, and practical work (such as labs). I have been working with staff at the University to develop an education that best supports you, emphasising that no matter where in the world you are come September, you are supported and able to engage in a high-quality educational experience. Thank you so much to the over 1000 of you who filled out our survey on digital education last month, we are currently conducting in-depth analysis of your responses and will use your views to input into discussions with the College about next year.

Academic representation has never been so important and we have a real chance to co-create an education that better supports you. We are working with the University to redevelop education, focusing on supporting all students from all backgrounds to succeed. I hope to share more updates with you when we know more about how next year will look, and how your voices are influencing this conversation.

What about my student experience?

At the Students’ Union, we know better than most that the things that sit around your formal education contribute hugely to your experience in the classroom. All the volunteering, sports clubs, societies, social action projects, and more that you do are extremely important to your university experience. We are working hard at present on a range of different options for how this experience can continue to thrive next year, no matter what social distance regulations are in place. Myself and President Jack O’Neill sit on a number of different workstreams run by the University to look at both your education and experience, ensuring that student voice is at the heart of these decisions.

Where can I find more information?

You can find FAQs about flexible education for the 2020/21 academic year on the student intranet, this will be updated as and when the University is able to provide more detailed information. The University is also working to make the campus Covid-19 secure for the start of term.

We understand that this may be a difficult situation for you, as there is no certainty at present over how next year will look. This flexible approach is important in ensuring students can be supported no matter the external situation, and our involvement in developments allows us to lobby for an education that best supports you to succeed. I hope to provide more updates soon, but if you do have any questions at the time please get in touch.

Stay safe.