York’s Vice-Chancellor announces University’s plans ahead of Government announcement

The Government announcement is expected Monday 22 February

In an email sent out to students, Vice-Chancellor Charlie Jeffery has explained the University’s plans following the upcoming Government announcement on Monday 22 February, detailing the roadmap out of lockdown.

The VC stated that “we anticipate there may be opportunities for a very limited number of students to access specialist learning and teaching facilities, such as labs and performance studios, for the remaining weeks of term before the Easter break.” However for most, online teaching will continue until at least the 19th April, following the Easter break. 

With this phased return to campus, the need for asymptomatic testing is also highlighted in the email. Students that live on campus or visit campus regularly are advised to get two tests a week, three days apart. Tests are available at the Campus West Sports Centre and The Goodricke College Nucleus, Campus East.

Summer term plans are not yet fully confirmed, but Jeffery highlighted that the University is working with YUSU and the GSA to keep outdoor venue, The Forest open until July whilst setting up other outdoor covered spaces for both teaching and socialising as he emphasised “having more safe spaces to learn, meet and socialise is vital for student wellbeing.”

Charlie Jeffery also acknowledged student dissatisfaction regarding accommodation on and off campus. Rent credits are currently available for those students that have not yet returned to their university-owned accommodation until the 8th March, when the education sector is advised to open.

For off-campus students, the Vice Chancellor announced the University has received an extra £200k which he described as “nowhere near enough but better than nothing” to aid students in private accommodation in paying rent. A letter drafted from Jeffery, YUSU, the GSA and YSJ Student Union to private landlords can be found here.

Another update from the VC is expected next week following a review of new Government guidelines. Further information can be found on the University of York Covid Page. 

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