University of Cumbria map out safe return for students

The University of Cumbria is writing to students to let them know how they'll be kept safe on campus, when they return once lockdown is eased.

Senior staff say teaching and assessment will be delivered through a 'blended learning approach', with most of their learning take place online.

Access to libraries and coming onto campus will only be for those learning essential course activities which cannot be taught and/or assessed remotely.

The university has stressed that people will be urged to follow social distancing guidelines and timetables are being reorganised to limit the number of people on campus.

Students and staff who are unable to attend for medical reasons will be supported using the university’s existing system for sickness absence and intercalation.

It's hoped face-to-face learning can be reintroduced from September.

University of Cumbria, Ambleside Campus Credit: University of Cumbria

University of Cumbria Pro-Vice Chancellor, Professor Brian Webster-Henderson said: “The way the world will look by then is not completely clear to any of us, but we would like to reassure our staff, students and applicants that we are working hard on our plans and will keep people updated as our strategies for 2020/21 take shape.

“At this point in time, we continue to plan for the new academic year and look forward to welcoming existing and new students to our university.

“It’s an exciting time to be starting university. We will be playing a major role in helping to drive economic recovery as we move out of the pandemic and our students will be part of this.

“We are following advice from the UK Government, and planning for a range of scenarios to ensure our academic year can start in September 2020.

“Our plans include looking at new approaches to providing practical sessions to exploring the use of ‘bubble’ groups within courses - we know most students want a face-to-face experience and we are working hard to get the balance right.

“Our top priority is how to give students the best possible experience while protecting the health, safety and wellbeing of students, our staff and the wider community.”

For those graduating there there's concerns that the pandemic could affect their job prospects.

  • Dr Signy Henderson, Universityof Cumbria.