Student statement for academic year 2020/21
The Prime Minister announced new national restrictions in England to reduce the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19). From Thursday 5th November, everyone must stay at home, and may only leave for a limited set of reasons.
- For education;
- For work, if you cannot work from home;
- For exercise and recreation outdoors, with your household, support bubble or on your own with one person from another household;
- For all medical reasons, appointments and to escape injury or harm;
- To shop for food and essentials;
- To provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer.
Non-essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues will be closed. Pubs, bars, restaurants must close, except for takeaway and delivery services. Essential shops, including supermarkets, will remain open and click and collect services can continue.
These measures will be in place until Wednesday 2nd December when the Government will review them.
What this means for City
The Prime Minister outlined the Government’s priority to keep universities open during the upcoming national lockdown. Based on the current guidance available, City’s campus will remain open to deliver limited in person teaching and so that you can access library services and study spaces to help you progress with your degree. You will be allowed to travel to our campus for educational purposes.
In all spaces on campus, you must maintain social distancing, wear a face covering, unless you are exempt and adhere to the increased hygiene measures.
We appreciate this is a worrying time but we want to reassure you that the University is here to support you. You can find out more about the support available here.
We will review any further guidance from the Government and will let you know if there are any additional changes.
How we’ll deliver your education
We have developed our programmes for this academic year to enable the majority of teaching to be delivered online. The limited number of small group teaching activities that are timetabled to take place on campus will continue as planned. This is kept under regular review and if there are any changes to your timetable, you will be contacted by your Course Office.
We understand that some students will be unable to attend planned teaching on campus due to personal circumstances. The University has worked to make sure that the majority of teaching materials are available online for those students who are unable to come onto campus. Your Course Office will contact you if there are situations in which on-line provision cannot be provided.
What will be open on campus
Libraries and study spaces
University libraries can remain open to students and staff for educational purposes.
- Northampton Square library will remain open for you to study, borrow and return books.
- Business Library at Bunhill Row will re-open on Monday16th November from 9am-9pm, Monday to Friday
- A click and collect service is in operation at Northampton Square and many library services are available to access online.
- Study spaces and PC labs on campus will remain open for you to use.
- You can book a study space or a PC in the library using our booking system.
- You must only use the library independently and must not gather in groups on campus.
- If you need a group study spaces they must be booked in advance:
- By contacting your Course Officer, who will confirm your booking within one working day of the request.
- PG Business School students using Bunhill Row or Aldersgate should continue to use the online booking system instead.
Please the library webpages for the most up to date opening times, as the evening and weekend opening times may change. You must only use the library and study spaces independently and must not gather in groups on campus.
Faith and prayer spaces
Friday Prayer and congregational activity for all other faith or non-faith groups will be suspended to align with Government requirements. The multi-faith rooms will be open for individual prayer only. The Chaplaincy Team will continue to support students online.
As part of the new national restrictions, gyms, leisure centres and sports facilities will be required to close. CitySport will close at 8pm on Wednesday 4th November until Wednesday 2nd December. CitySport will be in touch with more information about their on-line provision to support your well-being during the closure. We will continue to monitor Government guidance and CitySport members will be contacted directly if there are any changes.
What to remember if you are on campus
As we work together to keep our City community safe, if you do need to come to campus, please ensure you continue to follow all health and safety regulations. These include wearing face coverings unless you are exempt, washing or sanitising your hands regularly and social distancing.
Please ensure you read the signage on campus and watch this short video.
How we will support you
Our teams across the University are available to support you remotely, via telephone, email and Microsoft Teams or Zoom appointments. Whatever your concern or query, one of our teams can help you, including our International Student Advice team for any visa queries and our Accommodation team for queries about your halls of residence.
The Students' Union Reception and Online Shop will be closed, however the SU are still here to support you. You can contact them via email.
Please continue to look after yourself and keep in contact with your Course Office
What you will need for studying online
To help you make sure you have everything you need to study online, we have put together a checklist of equipment and technology you will need to access for studying online. If you’re having problems accessing any of the software listed, please contact our IT team for support.
If you are not able to access any of the hardware mentioned or don’t have access to WiFi or 4G, we may be able to support you with money or vouchers towards the costs of these items through our Digital Inclusion Fund. You can find out more about the Fund and the eligibility criteria here
Summary of 29th July statement
We are really looking forward to welcoming you all back to our community in September, and would like to share some further information on what you can expect in the new academic year.
How we'll deliver your studies
You may have recently received information from your programme about changes to how your course will be delivered in 2020-21. If you haven’t received this information don’t worry, your School will be in touch with you shortly to confirm programme arrangements for 2020-21. However, if you have any questions about this, please contact your Course Office or School.
We will be delivering the majority of teaching online, along with some small group activities in person. On courses where more time on-campus is needed to complete practical work due to PSRB requirements, we will arrange for specialist facilities such as clinical skills and engineering labs to be used safely, in a socially distanced way. Our staff have been working together to develop online teaching in new engaging and innovative ways and your School will share more information about your timetable for the first term by the end of August.
How we'll keep you safe on campus
We’re preparing our campus to welcome you back from the start of term to use study spaces and computers, where possible. The safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and visitors remains our top priority, and we are putting measures in place to comply with social distancing and hygiene regulations and keep everyone safe.
If you are travelling to our campus in the new academic year, please follow the latest travel guidance including, where possible, travelling at off-peak times, using bikes and walking from the main stations.
If you are feeling even a little unwell, please do stay at home. If you or a member of your household has any of the symptoms of the virus, please stay at home and get tested, to allow contact tracing of positive cases.
When you arrive on campus at the beginning of the 20/21 academic year:
- You will see signs and posters with up to date reminders on the current health and safety measures.
- We will be implementing social distancing on campus and, as on public transport and in shops in the UK, we will require face coverings to be worn whenever you may come into close contact with someone - for example, when moving around campus or within buildings, and in spaces where social distancing is difficult. If you are unable to wear a face covering due to a physical or mental illness or impairment, or a disability, please make this clear by wearing an exemption card. You can download and print an exemption card from the TfL website.
- There will be an enhanced cleaning programme, and surfaces will be wiped down on a regular basis. On our premises, air handling units will be switched to fresh rather than recirculated air and windows will be opened where possible to allow natural air in.
- The Northampton Square Library will be operating a track and trace system for anyone who accesses the Library, in line with guidance from the Department for Education. They are continuing to plan their service and opening hours and you can find the latest information on this in the Library Guide and on the Library webpages.
How we'll support you
Our teams and services across the University and Students’ Union have adapted their services and been working on ways to continue supporting you both on and off-campus in a number of ways including via technology, such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom.
Many of our services also anticipate being able to offer in-person booked appointments for those students who are on campus, in line with UK Government health and safety guidance, and will provide further information on this soon.
How we'll welcome you back to City
As a returning student, you will be able to make the most of many of our Welcome activities, which will be accessible online. We’re planning an extended Welcome this year, with opportunities to meet new people, ask questions and take part in interactive sessions and will publish the timetable on the Student Hub in the coming weeks.
How we'll help you make the most of your student experience
Student life is not just about your studies but also about continuing to make friends, socialise and get involved with University life. To help you continue taking part in the activities and opportunities at City, such as clubs, societies, volunteering and sport, we are working on plans with our Students’ Union, to adapt our approach to the current circumstances and use online platforms to supplement what will be possible to deliver safely in person.
CitySport is also preparing our building and programmes to ensure they’re Covid-19 Secure. We are planning to reopen from Monday 14th September, so you can make the most of the facilities in a safe and socially distanced way, and will provide further information on this soon.
Summary of 11th June 2020 statement
Start of term and 2020-21 academic year
We can confirm that we will be starting the academic year on the following dates:
- Welcome Week: Monday 21st September
- Teaching beginning for the majority of courses: Monday 28th September
- Professional Law programmes (LPC and BVS): Monday 7th September
- School of Health Sciences programmes: Start dates will remain as usual. Your School will be in touch with further details.
- Cass Postgraduate programmes: The School will be in touch to confirm your start date and details about your programme.
We will be ready to deliver online the teaching that would usually take place in large groups, combined with some small group teaching on campus. All small group teaching will also be available online. We will resume other campus activities as soon as restrictions ease and we are able to do so safely.
We plan to open parts of our campus, such as study areas and some classrooms for limited access from September 2020. We're working on how we might reopen some areas of the University, such as sections of the Library, to students who need to use them for their studies before September. The health and safety of our students and staff remains our top priority and we are putting appropriate measures in place including:
- Carrying out thorough risk assessments for all areas of the campus and mapping capacity in line with social distancing requirements
- Putting one-way systems into place where possible
- Arranging seating areas so people can socialise safely
- Installing hand sanitation stations across our buildings
- Ensuring appropriate cleaning programmes are in place
- Adding clear signage about social distancing to the entrances and inside our buildings
- Encouraging the use of face coverings on campus
- Purchasing safety screens for our reception desks.
Teaching and Learning for the 2020/21 academic year
We are currently working to deliver the majority of teaching online for the 2020/21 academic year until we are able to resume our usual campus activities safely. We will deliver this by:
- Providing your lectures and core content digitally so you can access them from home and review them at your own pace.
- Offering face to face interactive sessions with smaller groups of students and staff where possible, which will also be available online.
- Arranging for specialist facilities such as clinical skills and engineering labs to be used safely, in a socially distanced way, where on-campus practical work is required.
- Ensuring that an online equivalent of any in-person teaching is provided, as we appreciate that some of you will be unable to attend any activities on campus due to travel, health or other reasons.
- Remaining flexible in our approach - whilst we are planning to be able to deliver teaching online for the whole academic year, we will also plan to deliver classes in person if we’re able to later in the year.
We know many of you will have questions about your studies in the Autumn term. We would like to assure you that the University remains committed to continuing to deliver your studies in the 2020/21 academic year. The health and safety of our students and staff remains our top priority. How we start the new academic year will depend on UK Government guidance - at this stage, we are therefore considering a range and combination of options, including programme delivery online, returning to campus for certain classes and potentially a slightly later start date to term.
We anticipate more clarity on the situation in the UK and internationally in the coming days and weeks. This will inform what teaching will be possible on campus, and from when. Regardless to any changes in delivery, the University is committed to teaching your programme and we will provide you with the support and guidance you need.
We will continue to update you as our plans develop.