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Heads of Department Message 28 March


My latest update………

Pre-Sessional English

Predictions about the impact of CV19 are many and varied. Research done at the end of Feb suggested that around 65% of students intended to continue with their plans for international education; this is now looking very optimistic and we will be modelling a number of scenarios, including one in which international numbers drop to 35% of target levels for September.

Student Recruitment Strategy Group on Friday discussed the importance of removing any potential barriers that might make access to a PGT place more difficult. In this context, we agreed that all Departments should be asked to recognise the Warwick Pre-Sessional English programme (PSE). The PSE programme can be offered as a condition to those students who require it or as an option for those who already meet the Department’s standard to improve language competency further and facilitate student engagement pre arrival. SROAS will be able to give more advice, but for now you might wish to be aware that:

  • Our only PSE offering for 2020 entry will be for 6 weeks duration and run online
  • All student taking the PSE will have already achieved government minimum standard of B2 level English language competency
  • If every Dept accepts PSE then we take away some pressure around English Language testing, we provide simplicity in communication to applicants and offer holders and there will be greater clarity in admissions offer making.
  • Given that we will only be running a 6 week version this year thoughts and work will be ongoing to bolster and increase our in-sessional support

Further information will follow as there is still a lot of work to be done, but I wanted you to be aware of the principle here.

Student Recruitment Activity

  • We have re-written and re-planned our engagements for our active recruitment markets to be digital these activities include live chats, webinars, agent activity and where appropriate additional paid for activity.
  • China offices are operational again Beijing from last week and Shanghai from this week but still no large scale events taking place.
  • Communications to offer holders, schools, agents are in progress and we are including a range of digital content to support these messages.
  • We are looking to replace April OHODs and June Open Days with virtual events including different ‘rooms’ for participants to enter and access video content. More detail will follow.

Pausing Staff Recruitment

I’ve been working with HR and the VP/CoFs to try to scope a number of principles to help deal with recruitment of staff in Academic Departments. This is an area in which I suspect that UEB-Gold will wish to be cautious. We have prioritised protecting jobs but we are facing a significant drop in income for next academic year and so the last thing we want to do is add to our cost base unless it is absolutely essential. The attached document contains detail of some generic principles that will guide how we work within ARC. It doesn’t cover every situation but it does try to cover many of the most obvious ones. Please treat this document as confidential.

We’re starting some further modelling work to assess financial impacts for the next academic year – and I will share more information as it becomes available.



Professor Christine Ennew OBE