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31 December: New Government Covid-19 guidance: What it means for DMU (a message from the Interim Vice-Chancellor, Professor Andy Collop)

Dear Students,

We hope you are enjoying the holiday period and are safe and well.

Following the recent surge in Covid-19 infections across the UK, the Government has revised its guidance regarding the student ‘return travel window’ in January and February.

We have updated our return travel window webpage accordingly with the latest information but the key points are:

  • The undergraduate term will start as planned on 11 January and the postgraduate semester on 1 February.
  • However, as a result of the new developments, universities have been asked to restrict the number of students returning to campus until at least the week commencing 25 January.
  • The only students who should arrive at DMU earlier than this are those on some HLS programmes (listed on the webpage).
  • The Government is now urging all those other students to remain in their vacation accommodation until the resumption of their face-to-face teaching, wherever possible, to minimise travel over the next few crucial weeks.
  • Where students have stayed in their term-time accommodation (private accommodation or university halls) over the winter break, and for those who have to return to access appropriate study facilities, we will continue to ensure they are well looked after and supported. This will include keeping open the Kimberlin Library and other study spaces which can operate in a Covid-secure way.
  • Where researchers and research students are able to work from home, they should do so, but those who require access to specialist facilities for their work should be able to do so.
  • The Government will be reviewing these latest guidelines providers in the week commencing 18 January and will provide further information to universities during that week but no more students will be asked to return to campus before week commencing 25 January.
  • The Government has outlined to universities a clear expectation that every student should be tested for Covid-19 on their return to campus, unless they have had a positive test within 90 days.
  • We are urging all students and staff to follow the Government advice on testing as part of our shared commitment for the safety of the whole DMU community.  
  • The Government’s advice for international students travelling from overseas for the spring term is to consider whether they in fact need to travel to the UK at this time, particularly if their course does not require them to be on campus from 4 January. Those students should consider delaying if travel arrangements can be rearranged without undue costs. International students already in the UK are being urged to remain in the UK where possible.

We understand that this is a difficult time for everyone as we further adjust to try to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and you are encouraged to seek help through your Student Advice Centre should you need support.

We also wanted say a very big thank you once again for your patience and understanding during these challenging times. We are very proud of the way all of you have responded and continue to respond to these challenges and of the role you’re playing in keeping yourself, your loved ones and everyone in the university community safe during these trying times.

We look forward to seeing you in the new year.

Best wishes,

Andy

Professor Andy Collop
Interim Vice-Chancellor

*The information provided in this email bulletin is for students studying a DMU programme that is being delivered at DMU. Students on programmes that are validated by DMU, but are delivered by academic partner institutions (such as DMUIC, Leicester College, etc.), should refer to their institution/college for confirmation of local arrangements.*