The UK government have today released their roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions in England. Responding to the news that all students on practical and practice-based courses can return from 8 March 2021, University Alliance CEO Vanessa Wilson said:
“A significant proportion of courses delivered by Alliance universities are practical and practice-based, and so we welcome today’s announcement that students studying these subjects can resume face-to-face teaching from 8th March. Our members are fully committed to supporting the safe and responsible return of their students and will take steps to ensure these learners are supported to complete their learning, projects and performances; whilst ensuring incidences of Covid cases and transmission on campus continue to remain low.
For those students unable to return, Alliance universities will continue to draw on their extensive experience of a digital-first teaching approach to continue to offer extensive online academic and pastoral support. Alliance universities have made significant investments to ensure support reaches those students most in need, including those facing financial difficulty and to tackle challenges relating to digital inclusion and wellbeing. As students and institutions continue to face growing pressures from the impact of the pandemic, further funding will be needed to enable universities to best support students to succeed.
Over the coming weeks and months, Alliance universities will continue to support their students, staff and communities through the availability of Lateral Flow Device testing, the provision of support for those self-isolating, and through significant, continued investment to ensure their campuses and face-to-face teaching continues to be safe for all concerned.”