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Statement by the University of Wolverhampton about the return of students to campus

01/09/2020
Statement by the University of Wolverhampton about the return of students to campus

This is a message from the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton, Professor Geoff Layer.

Students will be arriving to study and live at our campuses in Wolverhampton, Walsall and Telford from September. This is a very different start of term for both our students and staff following COVID-19 and we have been incredibly busy over the last few months making sure we are ready for the new academic year. We know people living in our region may have questions and concerns about the arrival of new and returning students to our area. We wanted to reassure you that our top priority is, and always will be, the safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and our local communities.

We have been in regular contact with public health officials and our local authorities throughout the pandemic to ensure a consistent and joined up approach. This has included making sure we share current guidance and health advice with our students living on and off campus, as well as all staff members.

Our focus in recent weeks has been making sure all of our campuses are as ‘Covid secure’ as possible. I would like to reassure you that all of our efforts are in line with Government advice, and we are prepared to respond quickly and effectively to any local or national public health issues that may occur.

I also want to share some of the measures we have put in place in preparation for the return of students to campus from this month:

  • Road to Reopening @WLV – our roadmap outlines our phased reopening of our facilities and campuses in a managed, controlled and safe way. We are now moving into Phase 3, which includes a large number of buildings being open and the return of students.
  • Covid secure campuses – we have introduced social distancing measures throughout our campuses including new signage, one-way systems, reduced room capacities, enhanced cleaning systems, hand sanitiser stations, and new screens and face coverings, where appropriate.
  • Quarantine – We will expect all international students and those who have been abroad 14 days prior to moving into University-owned accommodation to self-isolate. We will be providing support and advice to those students required to do this.
  • Campus capacity – as part of measures to reduce the numbers of students and staff physically on campus at one time, we have moved to blended learning, which is a mixture of face-to-face learning and online delivery. Some staff members who do not need to be based on campus will continue to work from home for this term. We have also extended the teaching week, enabling us to spread out teaching so we can offer more in-person teaching and greater access to our specialist facilities whilst adhering to social distancing guidelines.
  • Track and trace - the University will continue to work closely with public health colleagues on what to do if a member of staff or a student is confirmed as having coronavirus. We will be providing the information they need from us to assist with their Track and Trace processes.

We take the care and support of our students very seriously, and will be monitoring how our approach is working once people return to campus and will make any adjustments that are needed to maintain safety. We already have strong support services in place for our students to enable them to access support and information, including around important health messages, and we have taken time to ensure these are appropriate for the new ways of working and living.

As a University we always put the needs and interests of students at the heart of everything we do and we are committed to ensuring that they are nurtured to flourish in these unusual and challenging times. Our students often go on to work in the West Midlands region, including in key worker roles, so you may have encountered one of our students working as a nurse, paramedic, midwife, paramedic, teacher or early years practitioner during the pandemic. It is this important work, alongside our many other courses, that we are absolutely committed to continuing in a managed and controlled way, for the safety of all our communities.

Professor Geoff Layer

Vice-Chancellor, University of Wolverhampton.

geoff-web

For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

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