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Updating you on your teaching and learning for terms 2 and 3

For term 1, we’ve welcomed our students into a campus-based, blended learning experience to give us flexibility in supporting diverse student needs and in responding to any changes that may have arisen, while ensuring our community on campus has remained safe.

Reviewing our approach

The Students’ Union and the University have worked together on reviewing this approach to blended learning using the latest data and guidance, and taking note of your feedback, including from the SU survey that ran during week 2 of this term.

It is clear from your feedback that a majority of you would value more face-to-face learning and interaction, but there are still some of you who value online and a continuation of our blended learning approach.

We’re also pleased to note positive progress on vaccination take up in our community and beyond. Vaccinations on campus are progressing well: 84% of students are double-vaccinated, rising to a projected rate of 97% by the end of November.

What does this mean for teaching and learning in term 2 and 3?

As a result of this increase in vaccination rates, and in response to your feedback, the decision has been taken to remove the 1.5m social distancing restrictions in teaching spaces effective from term 2. This will allow us a little more time for the uptake of the second vaccinations – not least for those who are due to arrive later in the term.

What this means at an individual level will vary according to your department, module selection and year of study. We are confident this relaxation of restrictions will allow more larger group teaching to take place face to face, and is likely to allow reductions in the amount of online delivery, although as part of our blended model we will retain certain types of online delivery where there are benefits to your learning outcomes, specifically when there is a limited discursive element to the teaching, and to enhance levels of inclusivity across our community.

Update from your academic department

Your academic department is working with central timetabling and will be in contact with you to update on how these changes impact your timetable for term 2. Jointly, the Students Union and the University hope you welcome the return to a more recognisable teaching approach while continuing to embrace and enhance progress we’ve made with online learning. Please do continue to feed into SU and University feedback mechanisms such as student representation, SSLCs and relevant surveys, so we can keep your feedback central to our joint efforts. And while we look forward, we’re still strongly encouraging wearing face coverings when moving around indoor spaces, particularly if they’re enclosed or crowded spaces.