York VC confirms the 2020/2021 academic year will start as normal in September

Whilst strike savings have been invested into student funds

In an email to sent all students at 9PM last night, the Vice-Chancellor Charlie Jeffery has confirmed that the University of York plans to go ahead with the start of the next academic year 2020/2021 as normal.

The University of York has currently moved all summer term teaching online amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

There is still plenty of speculation around what social distancing measures will still be in place by September, the email acknowledges things may not be back to normal and travel restrictions may determine students access to campus again. The VC has proposed a mix of strategies in this eventuality including “a combination of on-campus and online” or “starting the academic year online only”.  But the University of York remains positive the term will start on campus as it normally would for students.

The email also covers financial support, with a new round of the Emergency Student Support Fund that opened on the 6 May. The VC clarifies that summer term fees requests have been issued as normal.

In a separate email sent from the Pro Vice-Chancellor for Teaching, Learning and Students, students have been told the money saved from not paying salaries throughout the strikes will be invested into an Individual Student Learning Opportunity Fund, Student’s Project Fund and into the existing Student Hardship Fund which is now called the Student Support Fund.

The Individual Student Learning Opportunity Fund will receive £450,000. Students who “lost between 33% and 65% of their contact events during the affected period” will be able to claim a maximum grant of £150, with students who lost over 66% of contact events will be eligible for up to £300. It will also apply to students whom have already graduated by the time they’ve applied, the fund opened on the 7th May 2020.

Conditions exist for what the fund can be spent on, the money can only be spent on “learning opportunities of most kinds, including conferences, short/skill courses, books or ebooks, online courses, research/archive visits” but it can’t be used towards “degree-awarding programmes.” The fund can’t be applied to rent payments, food bills or purely travel and accommodation costs.

The Student Projects Fund will receive £200,000 and will support “colleges, sports clubs, societies, volunteering groups and other initiatives.” The process will follow the current YuFund application but “there is no requirement to identify a YuFund focus area” and the Student Projects Fund can go towards operational costs instead of “project development”.

You can apply to the Individual Student Learning Opportunity Fund here.

The Student Projects Fund opens for applications on the 31st May 2020.

To keep update to with the University of York’s Covid-19 strategy on the update page.