Studying and the Campus in the new academic year (Fri 29 May)
I hope you and your loved ones are well, despite this difficult unhappy time of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Many congratulations on receiving an offer to study at the University of Worcester. This letter is for you on the assumption that you decide to take up your place and meet all the necessary requirements for your specific course of study.
In these uncertain times, you will understandably have questions about your application and your studies next year.
At the University of Worcester, we are working hard to support the studies and all-round progress of our existing students and graduates as well as to prepare the new academic year for you. We know that you will have many questions about your teaching and learning as well as wider opportunities and campus safety in the new circumstances created by the pandemic.
I am writing to provide answers to some of those questions now. In addition, over the next few weeks, we will update you with specific arrangements for your course, accommodation, when and how you should arrive on campus, and other essential information.
The University of Worcester intends to start the new academic year as planned in September 2020. We look forward to welcoming you to our community here in Worcester. We intend that our campuses will be open, following all UK government safety and World Health Organisation guidelines appropriately.
Of course, life on our planet has been deeply affected by Covid-19.
At Worcester we are well advanced in our planning to ensure that your opportunities and experience as a student will be enriching, purposeful and enjoyable, despite the impact of the pandemic on everyday life. We have learned a great deal about carefully managing our campus as we are amongst those universities who have honoured our commitment to keep our Halls and other essential facilities open to those students who feel it is their home and wished to remain here. Over 200 of our resident students chose to stay with us throughout the national lockdown, which began on 23 March. This means that our campus never closed throughout the pandemic. As a result, we are able to benefit from our ongoing experience to inform our practical approach to next year.
For many years, the majority of our teaching has taken place in small group settings such as seminars, laboratory classes, tutorials, clinical simulation and other practical sessions. We are planning to continue to teach these in person, while strictly following the Government safety guidelines in place at the time. Our aim is to ensure you have every opportunity to become a skilled professional and to meet in person with your lecturers, university professional staff and your fellow students.
Many of our courses at Worcester benefit from professional accreditation and extended professional placements in companies, Health Trusts and community organisations as well as hundreds of schools and educational settings. As you may know, Worcester is in the top ten universities in England for employability one, three and five years after graduation, according to official government data (Longitudinal Educational Outcomes). One of the reasons that our graduates are so successful in gaining jobs is this practical placement learning, so we consider that it is vital that these placement opportunities continue to be available to Worcester students. We are in discussion now with our partners to consider how this practical learning will continue, to the benefit of students and society as a whole.
Next year, lectures will typically be delivered through a blend of in-person and online learning, depending on the course size, government regulations and other factors at the time. What you can be certain of is that we’ll be doing our best to make sure that every session is high-quality and effective for you.
Worcester has a strong reputation as one of the UK’s most inclusive universities, where all those with the determination and ability to succeed are welcomed and supported. If you have declared a disability on your UCAS application form, our Student Services team will be contacting you in the coming weeks to help you plan for September. You can find out more about our outstanding student support on our website and if you have a specific question, please get in touch at email@example.com
Many colleagues across the University are working intensively now so that we can begin our new academic year on campus and in the spirit of community. This spirit, which makes Worcester so special, has guided and will continue to inform our response to the coronavirus pandemic. We have done our best to support the NHS locally and to contribute to saving as many lives as possible by providing specialist equipment, helping our third-year nursing students join the NHS if they so wished, and in other practical ways, as well as by working closely with the Students’ Union in promoting volunteering in particular.
In practical terms, social distancing and other public health measures will be in place across our buildings, accommodation and public spaces alongside the dedicated entrances, one-way systems and distance markers that have become a familiar feature in other areas of national life. We will also make full use of the teaching day in order to avoid busy ‘peaks’ on campus.
Our campuses already benefit from being spacious, self-contained sites within a relatively small city. You can easily walk or wheel between our campuses and into the city centre. We have affordable student parking permits available, as well as plenty of cycle hoops and a bicycle-share scheme for students.
We are working closely with the Students’ Union to develop new leisure, training and sporting programmes as well as volunteering and other opportunities that will help you settle into University life. Meg Price, our newly elected Students’ Union President is looking forward to welcoming you: ‘We are so proud of how our students and student groups have been supporting each over the past few months, with the kindness and empathy that Worcester is known for. We realise the unknown is hard and we’re here to support you as one Worcester community.”
I hope that you find this information helpful. We will of course keep all of our plans under continuous review, ready to act if the situation changes and to make full use of scientific advances.
There is a lot of detailed work to do, and we will keep you updated throughout the summer. Please continue to follow the latest information on our webpages and stay in touch with us online through social media and our digital student ambassadors.
If you have questions about your application, please do not hesitate to contact our Admissions team on firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also find it helpful to refer to our Applicant FAQ page, or to visit us through a Virtual Open Day.
In the meantime, I wish you all good health and every success.
With all best wishes,
Professor David M A Green CBE
Vice Chancellor & Chief Executive
University of Worcester