5 January: New national lockdown impact for universities and updated Covid-19 guidance
Yesterday evening the Prime Minister announced a strict new national lockdown in England until at least mid-February to tackle the steep increase in Covid-19 infections. As a result of this announcement, the university can confirm that all of the courses not due back this week (4-8 January), will remain online until further notice. We will review this as soon as the UK Government issues an update on the lockdown rules.
The courses that can still return to campus for face-to-face teaching from 11 January, in line with government guidance, are as follows:
- Biomedical Science
- Criminal Investigation/Policing (for practical sessions in the Crime Scene house)
- Diagnostic Radiography
- Education Studies (placement only)
- Forensic Science
- Medical Science
- Nursing (all 4 fields of practice)
- Pharmacy (MPharm)
- Pharmaceutical Biotechnology MSc
- Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science
- Physician Associate
- Speech & Language Therapy
- Social Work (placement and placement preparation only)
- Youth and Community Development (placement only)
The UK Government has said these courses should be allowed to return to campus early because they involve “training for vital public sector roles in health and social care and education”. All students on the courses listed above are also expected to be tested twice, with negative results, before they can commence their face-to-face teaching. Our testing centre at The Watershed reopened this morning (5 January) – See more information on testing process to follow and how to book a test.
Students on these courses should not move back and forward between their permanent home and student home during term time once they have returned to campus. Students who remained in their term accommodation over the Christmas break should also not travel back and forth to any other household.
Students who do not study these courses above should remain where they are wherever possible, and start your term online, until at least mid-February. This includes students on other practical courses not on the list above.
For those students who are eligible for face-to-face teaching, you can meet in groups of more than your household as part of your formal education or training, where necessary. Students should expect to follow the guidance and restrictions. You should socially distance from anyone you do not live with wherever possible.
Your DMU Safety
As a result of the new national lockdown, the government has strengthened national safety rules to limit the spread of the virus. Please ensure you adhere to this guidance to keep yourselves, loved ones and the wider community safe. We can confirm that our existing Your DMU Safety guidelines and measures are fully compliant with the latest safety information. This means any students (and staff) on the courses above, who need to access on-campus buildings and facilities, can continue to do so in a safe and secure way. The health and safety of our students and staff is of paramount importance to us, so please continue to follow the comprehensive safety guidance and instructions available.
Buildings and facilities on campus
We can confirm that the Kimberlin Library and some buildings and study spaces will remain open for students on the above courses and for students who have remained in their term-time accommodation over the Christmas period. We will send further information in the next 24 hours about which buildings will be open across campus in the coming weeks.
Health and wellbeing
Covid-19 continues to present all of us with difficult restrictions and challenges in a multitude of ways, and we want to assure you we will continue to do all we can to protect and support your health and wellbeing during this time.
The HealthyDMU Hub provides you with information about staying well, and how to book appointments with the Student Welfare Team. All of DMU’s welfare services are available online should you need to access them.
This includes counselling, mindfulness, masterclasses and Single Point of Access (SPA) appointments. The Healthy DMU Hub also has lots of helpful resources to help support you, including information on how to stay active and connect with others.
Any student who has an ongoing or significant health or disability-related concern which may affect their studies should contact the DAS on email@example.com or our Mental Health team on firstname.lastname@example.org, who will discuss the situation with you and consider what support or adjustments can be put in place.
The DMU Support Fund is also available for students facing financial hardship. The service will re-open on Monday 11 January 2021 – you can find out more information and what you may be eligible for on the Support Fund page. We will be issuing an update on this provision soon, so keep a lookout.
Students with additional requirements
In line with the Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan MP’s letter to all students last week, we are also working on arrangements and provision for students with additional requirements. This includes:
- International students who have remained in the UK and those who have arrived and do not have alternative accommodation
- Anyone without access to appropriate study spaces or facilities in their vacation accommodation. This also applies to commuter students who (if not in the first tranche) should only access university resources if they have inadequate study spaces or require additional support such as mental health provision
- Those of you who have remained in their university accommodation over the winter break, but we ask that you only utilise campus resources when you have to in order to reduce footfall on campus
- Those requiring additional support, including those with mental health issues
- Those of you on placements where the placement provider has COVID-secure measures in place, is permitted to open based on the relevant local restrictions, and is content for placements to continue
- Researchers and research students who require access to specialist facilities for their work. If research students can work from home, they are encouraged to do so.
Please keep a lookout for further information and guidance very soon on the above areas.
We appreciate that this is a difficult time for everyone as we further adjust to evolving government guidance to prevent the spread of Covid-19. We know there will be lots of questions on a variety of topics, in particular from students who will be impacted by the longer period of online-only learning and teaching, including timetabling, exams and assessments, accommodation, arrangements for practical elements, access to specialist equipment and much more. The university is working hard to address these points as quickly and as fairly as possible – so please keep a look out for more information via email and across our usual communications channels.
Despite the new restrictions we remain committed to supporting all of our students by providing high-quality education, whether you’ll be learning in a blended or online-only way. You will continue to receive the teaching you are entitled to expect in order to achieve learning outcomes and progress in your studies. We will be making further announcements about how we will offer extended support for your studies as soon as we can.
The Your DMU Future website also offers lots of advice, resources and support to get the most from your university studies and the student experience within the blended or online-only model. This includes access to Your Student Handbook, Your DMU Labs (virtual), Your DMU IT Handbook, Library and Learning Services and much more.
If you need urgent support you can seek help through your faculty Student Advice Centre which remains accessible online.
A massive thanks again for your patience and understanding through these ever-changing and difficult times. As before, we will get through this tough period by continuing to support each other and demonstrating the resilient spirit we are all so proud of at DMU.
Please continue to look after yourselves, regularly check your university emails for updates, keep up to date with and follow the latest government guidance and, above all, stay safe.
*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.*