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OPINION: The best of Leicester in the worst of times

Professor Andy Collop, Interim Vice-Chancellor at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) looks at how the city has responded to a year like no other.

Leicester is one of the best cities in the country.

I know I would say that, as Vice-Chancellor of DMU, right in the heart of it. But it’s true and I feel lucky to be in the job I am.


There’s no doubt it was disappointing to hear that restrictions in the city have been extended until August. We work closely with businesses, community centres, shops, manufacturers. We are partners with Curve and the Phoenix cinema. We are in constant touch with our students and staff, working from home and feeling uncertain.

So, we know the effect these restrictions are having, the challenges they throw up. But there’s another effect they’re having, and this one is different. It’s amazing.

All through the pandemic we have seen people adapt and support each other, find ways to keep in touch and show compassion.

But in the last couple of weeks, in Leicester, it seems to have increased even more. Our nursing staff have gone back to work in hospitals, our students are our volunteering in food banks and helping older people. Our researchers have joined vital work to stop the spread of infection and started studies about how we could learn and improve our lives after lockdown.

See how DMU is supporting Leicester community

And that’s just DMU. Every day I see new projects on social media, new ideas and support networks popping up. The amazing diversity across the city – which we’re so proud to see on our campus – has given rise to the most creative and innovative ways of helping that I’ve seen.

And here at DMU we’re working hard to make sure our campus is as safe as it can be for students and staff when the new term begins on October 5. We have developed an innovative and exciting form of teaching, learning and living called Your DMU Future, which will give you an unforgettable student experience and outstanding teaching and all within the highest safety standards.

Leicester is right at the heart of the country and right now, at the centre of the story. Which is why I’m so proud that with all that attention, we are showing the rest of the country how it should be done, how a city uses its many strengths to overcome and care for each other.

We might have seen some of the worst of times this year, but we have seen the very best of Leicester.

Posted on Tuesday 21st July 2020

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