Students on practical courses have been able to return to in-person teaching over the last few months. This has gone very well and we have been pleased to be able to welcome students back to campus safely.
Working in partnership with local authorities and public health, we’re confident in the measures we have in place to ensure our communities are safe – including test and trace, social distancing, enhanced cleaning and use of face coverings.
We hoped that there would be information for all other students in the latest Government guidance, issued on 5 April. However, this guidance is for all other students to continue to remain away from universities, with no other advice at this stage for the higher education sector. This means that we cannot yet give all our students the information you need on term 3 arrangements, including use of on-campus accommodation after the rent waiver ends on 9 April, and plans to return to in-person teaching and co-curricular activities.
The lack of information on student return is challenging for many of us. It does not seem to recognise the effectiveness of the safety measures we have put in place, or the importance of in-person provision for the wellbeing and mental health of students, or the list of other sectors allowed to resume in-person activities – including shops, gyms, theme parks and public libraries.
Why does in-person activity matter?
Please have no doubt that we will continue to provide excellent online learning and support for you if you’re not able to come to campus. Students at Warwick have been overwhelmingly positive about the overall quality of education you have had over the past year – online and in-person. But we know how much in-person activities matter to you too – whether this is participating in student societies and sport, work experience, study abroad, careers advice, volunteering and wellbeing provision. These activities support your wellbeing and mental health, and they enhance your personal development and employment prospects. This is why we’re keen to receive clarity from Government on when we are able to welcome you back.
What happens next?
Along with the rest of the university sector, we are working hard to persuade the Department for Education to set out plans, urgently, for all university students so that you can see the roadmap for the remainder of this academic year and beyond.
As always, if you need support, please don’t hesitate to use wellbeing support services whether you are on-campus or away.
We will continue to keep you updated throughout the remainder of the Easter vacation as further clarity comes in.
Best wishes, Stuart Croft