Bristol Uni to reduce library access to just FOUR HOURS per week

There are just 925 seats for 27k students

Bristol University has reduced the number of hours each student is able to work in study spaces, from 10 hours per week to just four hours per week.

Due to social distancing requirements, the university has reduced study space capacity from 4000 seats to just 925.

Initially the university had stated that students would be allowed up to 10 hours per week in the library under their new library booking system that was being piloted at Beacon House.

The Bristol Tab was taken on a tour of the ASS Library, Wills Library and Chemistry Library by Ed Fay, Deputy Director of Library Services, and Sarah Newbold, the Assistant Director for students and learning, to see what studying will be like under Covid conditions.

Study spaces in the Wills Memorial library separated by string

There are 16 different study spaces in Bristol but this year, because of Covid, only 925 seats out of a possible 4000 are in use, raising serious questions about how the 27k Bristol students are going to manage with less than 1000 seats.

Turns out that this year it’s going to be easier to get a Glastonbury ticket than a Bristol Uni library seat.

For Glasto, there are 135k tickets for 2.4m people who want them, meaning there are 17.7 people applying per ticket. For Bristol Uni study spaces, 950 library seats between 27k people, meaning 29.18 students per seat.

The first floor of the ASS library

In the ASS library there will be 246 seats (out of a possible 900) making up over 1/5 of all seats on campus. There will be 105 spaces in the Wills Library, and 74 available in Chemistry.

Socially distanced study spaces inside the ASS library

The Source Café will remain closed in the ASS. Guess you’ll have to bring your snacks from now on.

There will be no 24 hour study spaces this year. All the main sites will be open from 8am to 8pm.

Students will have to wear masks in the library at all times.

A statue in the Wills Memorial building wearing a branded face mask

Eight libraries out of nine will be open as of monday, as well as three study centres. The Education Library and the Hawthorns Study Centre are still closed for now.

VC Hugh Brady spoke to The Bristol Tab this week, and rejected any suggestion of tuition fee refunds as a result of reduced services and facilities, saying : “Your implication is that it’s an inferior product. It is a very different product, it is a very different experience, as is everything in life during this awful situation.”

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