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National lockdown: a message from the Vice-Chancellor

Statement from Professor Stuart Croft

We have returned, as a nation, to where we were in March of 2020; a really tight lockdown. Not the so-called lockdown of November, which was a reduction in activities, but back to a cessation of activities, right across the country.

Our priorities

In March 2020, we as a University went into our lockdown before the Prime Minister’s announcement by a few days, and committed to work according to four principles through the lockdown:

  • Safeguarding health
  • Graduating our students
  • Protecting Jobs
  • And being a good neighbour.

Now, ten months later, we need to again commit to the principles that will see us through this lockdown. And so I want to share with you our principles for the 2021 lockdown; you will see much continuity from last year.

  • Protect the health of our university community, our families, and our neighbours, in particular through testing and support for our wellbeing; and work to maintain our sense of community as a university.
  • Deliver high quality teaching and learning to our students, to ensure timely graduations and progression.
  • Carefully manage our finances to protect jobs.
  • Continue bringing about positive transformation and recovery in our communities and the world by maintaining and accelerating our world-leading disciplinary and interdisciplinary research.
  • Ensure that as a university and as individual citizens, we volunteer to support those in need in our local communities where we can.

What’s different

Actually, this lockdown – although it has legal force, as did the one from March of this year – looks similar, the conditions are different. There is now a vaccine, and I hope everyone could take pride in that the very first person inoculated from the virus received that injection at our University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire.

We have all learned a lot about how to live, learn, and communicate in these lockdown ways. Our community is, I think, much stronger now than it was, precisely because we have worked so well together.

Looking forward

Lockdown will test us all, as individuals, families, communities, and as a University in these next few weeks. But the situation will become more positive by the Spring, let’s hope. Some days Spring will feel a long way away. But it is something for us all to aim for. Let’s look after each other in the meantime.

Thank you for all you do for this University, for our city, and for our county.

With best wishes,

Stuart Croft, Vice-Chancellor

6 January 2021

Prof Stuart Croft
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