Email from the Vice Chancellor to all students - 5 January 2021
Remember to check the FAQ section below for the most up-to-date information.
Yesterday evening HM Government announced an immediate national ‘lockdown’ in England in response to the continuing sharp rise in Covid-19 cases, hospitalisations and deaths nationally. The accompanying guidance includes a key section for universities, which reads:
‘Higher Education provision will remain online until mid-February for all except future critical worker courses.’
‘Future critical workers’ are defined by the government as students who are studying a course that leads to a professional qualification in health, education or social work. At Worcester, the following courses are included:
- Occupational Therapy
- Paramedic Science
- Physician Associate
- Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Primary and Secondary)
- Primary Initial Teacher Education
- Social Work (Undergraduate and Postgraduate)
If you are studying on one of these courses, then you should continue with your mix of online and in-person learning. Placements are also expected to continue and we are working with our education and health partners to review the arrangements.
If your course is not listed above, then you should do your best to remain wherever you are at the moment and continue your studies online. The new guidance means that the previously planned period of online learning will continue for a few further weeks, until at least the middle of February.
Supporting you on campus and online
The University campus and the vast majority of buildings will remain open to support students in residence and the many thousands of students who are following the courses listed above. The Covid-secure measures that are already in place, which are fully in line with the government guidance, will continue to provide a positive, secure learning environment for students and staff.
Whatever course you are studying, and whether you are online or in-person, the University is here to support you. If you are struggling in any way, please get in touch with us at email@example.com Firstpoint can refer you to a range of resources or help you make an appointment with a member of the Counselling and Mental Health Team. We also offer TALKWORC, a 24 hour text line for confidential help and support in a crisis. Text 'TALKWORC’ to 85258 at any time to access this service.
If you are currently away from the campus, but wish to return because of vulnerability in any way, whether arising from hardship, difficult personal circumstances or because studying is problematic due to your current practical situation, you always are welcome to return, regardless of the course that you are studying. The Peirson Study and Guidance Centre and the Hive Library will be open to all students who need them.
Covid-19 testing for students returning to campus
Rapid ‘lateral flow’ Covid-testing is now available and encouraged for all students who are returning to campus. These tests are designed for people without symptoms and will help identify and isolate most positive cases early, which will help minimise the transmission of the virus. You can find out more and book your free test on our website.
All-student meeting on Friday
I know that there will be many practical questions in the days and weeks ahead. This is a rapidly changing situation and we will write to you with further information over the next few days. Please continue to check your emails and refer to the Coronavirus FAQ pages, where we will always publish the latest updates.
Senior Pro Vice Chancellor Ross Renton will also give an update at a virtual all-student meeting this Friday (8 January) at 12 noon. Ross will discuss the latest guidance and what it means for students at the University. There will also be an opportunity to submit your own questions during the meeting. The meeting will be broadcast live via a special YouTube link, which will be shared in an email tomorrow.
All of us at the University want to do what we can to Save Lives and Protect the NHS. We are very aware of the pressures on hospitals in the region and across the country and the tragic increase in deaths.
Last term, students and staff at the University were so highly responsible that we had one of the very highest in-person teaching rates nationally at 58% with one of the very lowest Covid-19 infection rates – just 5% of the student average and 1/3rd of the national average for all citizens. This is a real credit to everyone involved!
The new vaccines are highly effective and are starting to protect hundreds of thousands more people every day. This makes it even more essential than ever that we all continue to follow the guidance, practice social distancing, take care of ourselves and each other and work together to defeat the virus.
With all best wishes,
Professor David Green CBE
Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive
University of Worcester