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‘Many learning activities and assessments will transition online’, UoB Management tells students

The uni remains open with teaching to stop next Wednesday


The following is a statement sent to all undergraduate students at UoB at 16:54 today.

Dear student,

This email contains an important Coronavirus update. Please take the time to read it carefully.

For some weeks, we have been working intensively across the University, and with Public Health England (PHE), the NHS and other city partners, to plan for all scenarios, help prevent the spread of the virus, support affected students and staff, and limit the impact of the outbreak on our academic activities and operations.

Because the health and wellbeing of our students and staff is our top priority, the University has decided to take the following measures to safeguard our whole community and slow the potential spread of the coronavirus.

These measures reflect what we believe are the right things to do for our community, informed by the UK Government’s announcement to move from the ‘containment’ to ‘delay’ phase of their strategy.

Changes to teaching term

The University has decided to bring forward the end of teaching for this current term to Wednesday 18 March rather than the original date of Friday 27 March.

This means the last day of face to face lectures, tutorials and seminars will be on Wednesday 18 March. Please do not turn up to classrooms, seminars or tutorials after this date.

Arrangements for students on clinical programmes will be confirmed by individual schools.

Students in final years with outstanding assessments or projects that require continued access to University premises, e.g. laboratory experiments, should contact their supervisors to discuss individual arrangements for completing these. 

Individual student assessments may be adjusted. The University is committed to upholding its academic standards.

Teaching and research materials that you normally access online will continue to be available

Further advice related to individual programmes and exams and assessments due in the period 19 – 27 March will be provided early next week. 

You should be able to access supervision for final year projects and assessments, although your supervision meeting may take place online.

If you are working on a group assignment, we ask you to consider taking as many of your group conversations online. 

Currently, term will resume on 20 April as planned. We anticipate that many learning activities and assessments will transition online, designed to deliver you the best possible learning outcomes. 

If you are a Tier 4 visa holder, the change to term dates will not have any implications for you as your vacation period starts when teaching has ended. You can agree the most appropriate way to do this with your supervisor. Email [email protected]  if you have any concerns.

University Campus

The University remains open, including our libraries and research facilities, although some services may be scaled back if the situation changes. 

The University’s wellbeing services and support will remain available to you throughout the Easter vacation as normal.

Activities that would normally continue out-of-term such as research and supervision will continue on an individual basis, enabled where appropriate through digital support. 

University owned and managed accommodation will remain open, and those who can’t travel home or who wish to remain here over the Easter vacation will be able to do so. 

Field trips and graduations

The University is cancelling overseas fields trips until at least the start of the new term (20 April). UK fieldtrips are not cancelled at the present time but will be subject to review and changing PHE and Government advice. 

The University is currently not cancelling summer graduations but this will be subject to review.

We are providing this advice now, in order to give you as much notice as possible. More detail (if pertinent to your programme) will be sent to you in the coming days. 

I appreciate that these changes will be unsettling for some, but we have taken these decisions in recognition of the responsibility we have not only to you but also to the community as a whole. Similar decisions are being taken at other leading universities around the world.

In this rapidly changing situation we ask you to keep updated on the latest developments including a list of frequently asked questions through our Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage and by checking your emails. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns you can email [email protected] or visit the Information Point at 5 Tyndall Avenue. 

While this is indeed a very worrying time for us all, I am confident that we can harness our collective ingenuity, resolve and passion for our institution to navigate the weeks ahead. 

Best wishes

Professor Sarah Purdy

Pro Vice-Chancellor Student Experience