Hull University takes 'softly softly' approach over rule of six breaches

Credit: University of Hull

A university in Yorkshire has said it will be taking a "softly, softly" approach to enforcing the so-called rule of six as it welcomed students at the beginning of an extended two-week freshers' event.

Students at the University of Hull have been moving on to the Cottingham Road campus over a four-day period and attending events - virtually and in person - as part of "WelcomeFest".

Academics assured the new intake this will be "a year we will never forget for all the right reasons", despite coronavirus restrictions.

The university said it will take a "blended" approach to teaching, with many lectures online, and students are being asked to attend some events on campus within their household bubbles.

But it said it would not take a hard-line approach to anyone breaching the rule of six.

A spokeswoman said: "I think we would take a softly, softly approach, we would deal with noise from parties on campus, we would take each situation as it comes and then think about what the measure would be, what measures would be appropriate in each.

"We're not taking a hard-line approach of fining students. We feel that the students we've talked to already are quite cautious themselves."

Because we're doing so many different things during Welcome Week, outside and at multiple venues and of course in the virtual capacity, that actually students don't need to be challenging that rule of six, they're going to be able to be fully engaged in university life, feel very welcome into the university the campus and to be part of the University without worrying about the rule too much.

Claire Hookham, deputy director of Hull University Business School

Dr Hookham said students will still get the full university experience, despite many activities and events being moved online.

She said: "I think, if anything, the friendships, particularly within the accommodation blocks, could potentially be a lot stronger because they're going to be spending so much time together and they're going to have more opportunities for that socialisation.

"We've been working so hard to ensure that the experience that they get is going to be very different, undoubtedly very different, but by no means any less.

"We've been looking at different forms of teaching and different ways of engaging with students so they still feel very much part of a cohort and they don't feel isolated.

"And also from a social point of view, there's a variety of activities happening during Welcome Week and we've extended the welcome period this time to really make sure the students feel socialised but we will continue that into the trimester.

"It's actually quite exciting, continuously finding new ways to engage with our students and really make them feel part of the university.

"I think it's absolutely a year we will never forget for all the right reasons."