How UK universities are planning for a safe return to campus?
The UK is a popular study abroad destination for Indian students and universities are still preparing to provide a high quality learning and unmatched student experience for students joining for the September 2020 academic session. Thousands of students head to the UK each year to study at their world class universities which are leading the global education sector with cutting-edge research and state-of-the-art teaching and facilities.
Universities in the UK have been at the forefront of the fight against coronavirus and have put in place a series of measures to ensure a safe return of both staff and students on campus from September 2020 onwards.
Find out how the UK universities are preparing for a safe return to campus in September 2020 below and book a free consultation with SI-UK today to get free application support and guidance on studying in the UK.
Five Ways UK Universities Will Ensure Student Safety on Campus
Universities in the UK are planning to offer greater flexibility to international students with regards to optional start of academic sessions. In order to deliver a high quality learning experience, many UK universities are offering postgraduate course flexibility, options for late arrival and Dual Start for a number of programmes to benefit students who may not be able to reach the UK in September due to travel restrictions.
For instance the University of Glasgow is offering around 30 programmes with dual starts both in September and January. Queen Mary University of London has launched accelerated, intensive postgraduate programmes for students starting in January to help them stay on their original career plans despite delays. University of Liverpool is offering flexible start dates for its postgraduate taught programmes with options for October, November and January starts.
2. Blended Learning
The majority of UK universities are providing blended learning options for the best possible experience of remote and on-campus learning with an optimum combination of both methods. Universities will be using the best technologies and latest softwares to ensure that students get the best possible student experience and are also able to enjoy the campus life they deserve. The online teaching methodology used will be tailored and customised for an unmatched virtual learning experience. While seminars, tutorials, lab classes and small group lectures will be delivered face-to-face with implementation of social distancing measures throughout the first semester. Enhanced learning material will be provided for creating a resourceful virtual learning environment with access libraries and other virtual learning resources.
3. Safe Accommodation
After students arrive on campus, universities are preparing to accommodate them in safety bubbles or protective bubbles where they will live and learn together. Students on the same course or arriving from the same country could be allocated to the same accommodation groups to minimise contact and mixing for the first semester.
Liz Barnes, vice-chancellor, University of Staffordshire said, “We are allocating students from the same courses into accommodation in groups and we are looking at block timetabling so that students in a year group come in together and we minimise movement around campus, so when we describe the bubble that’s what we mean”. University of Lincoln has proposed to offer two weeks’ free accommodation for quarantine to international students arriving early.
4. Safety on Campus
Safety measures include proper distance between workstations, one-way systems and optimised timetables to avoid too many students gathering on the campus at the same time. The universities are planning to reopen setting out key considerations for student-staff safety such as following all government specified safety protocols, maintaining social distancing, providing safety kits and tools, and student support services.
Universities such as the University of Arts London are digitalising welcome packs and events and taking required measures to ensure international students take taxis from the airport to the campus. Measures also put in place to supply meal kits, safety packs, masks, sanitisers to all students. The universities are working towards making teaching spaces risk assessed and Covid-19 compliant.
5. Safe Transportation
Safe transportation and travel plans by the universities will ensure student safety upon arrival and during stay. Other than making provisions for airport pick-up as per safety guidelines, some universities are also arranging chartered flights for international students. According to reports, the University of Bolton has made plans to fly in students from India, China and before the new semester starts in September.
Steve Smith, vice-chancellor of the University of Exeter said, “We are looking at chartering planes in the autumn to bring students from other parts of the world, Because if they can’t travel on commercial flights, if that is the case then TNE will be more of an interesting option for us”.
Universities are also preparing for student arrival on campus with safety by arranging dedicated coaches and quarantine support such as that organised by the University of Bolton from Manchester Airport. Queen’s University Belfast will be flying existing international students from some countries to Northern Ireland to resume their studies.
Study in the UK
UK universities are planning to resume teaching activities on-campus with maximum safety and flexibility to provide an exceptional student experience. If you wish to study in the UK, book a free consultation with SI-UK today to get specialist application support.