Board member news

Message from the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Education and Students

Dear Student,

It goes without saying that the next academic year will be unlike any other. However, we will be ready to welcome you back in a way that balances your education and wider student experience, with the need to keep you, our staff and the wider community safe. I wanted to use this message to give you a sense of how we will do that, and the measures we are starting to put in place. As I’m sure you will appreciate, the Coronavirus pandemic means these may need to be revised to make sure we continue to follow the changing government guidelines in the UK, Wales and for Higher Education.

Your safety and wellbeing

  • In line with government requirements, social distancing will be required throughout the University campus (and across the city)
  • Our buildings will have clearly sign-posted one-way walking routes, additional handwashing facilities, and high touch points (e.g. door handles) will be cleaned regularly
  • We expect that everyone will be required to wear face coverings while in our buildings. However, when teaching, our academics will remove them as face coverings may otherwise make it hard to understand what is being taught.
  • To maximise space, and mindful of everyone’s health and wellbeing, we will continue to minimise the number of people on campus. However, this will not affect the services you can access, or your student experience.

Your studies

  • We are planning to hold small socially-distanced face-to-face teaching sessions which, where relevant, include laboratory work, clinical teaching and other practical sessions such as those in our Schools of Architecture and Music
  • These will benefit from additional safety measures, alongside high-quality online teaching, learning activities and resources
  • We will shortly issue a survey on your digital learning experience, and will also be recruiting to our student insights panels to seek feedback on both your student experience and plans for the new academic session 
  • We will continue to provide support on how you can get the most from your online learning and accessing study skills support. Our study skills pages will continue to be updated with new resources.

Libraries

  • Our Libraries will be operating a ‘click and collect’ service, allowing you to collect and return books safely, at one of a number of collection points across campus
  • Study spaces in our Libraries will be bookable for two-hours slots, all with social- distancing and additional safety measures in place. Further details on our Libraries can be found here.

Placement and study abroad

  • We have had to make some changes to our range of placement and study abroad programmes and are working with partner organisations to put in place new arrangements while still following government advice
  • Unfortunately, it is already clear that for non-language programmes, international placements and study abroad opportunities outside Europe and due to commence in semester 1 will not be able to go ahead, and we have had to make the difficult decision to cancel these. Affected students will get specific communications from either Global Opportunities Team or directly from their School.
  • It is our intention to keep you updated and inform you of decisions as quickly as possible, and we will shortly be updating our placement and study abroad FAQs to explain the planning underway and the timescales for decisions to be made. 

Supporting you

  • While we will aim to deliver as much learning on site as possible, we know that some of you may not be able to return to campus if you are shielding, or living with those who are shielding. If this applies to you please contact the Disability and Dyslexia Service: disability@cardiff.ac.uk / +44 (0)29 2051 8888 so we can ensure we are able to put in place reasonable adjustments to enable you to continue your learning. It would be helpful if you could do this as soon as possible, so that there is time to work with you to identify appropriate solutions for your individual circumstances.
  • We know some other students may not be able to return to campus due to travel restrictions or that, having returned to Cardiff, some may be required to self-isolate if a member of their household has coronavirus symptoms. We are working to extend our reasonable adjustment process to ensure that students who are in either of these situations have access to digital content where appropriate and available and further information will be released in due course.
  • The University Financial Hardship Fund is being reviewed so that it can help students who would otherwise be unable to access online learning
  • Our Student Support and Wellbeing teams will continue to provide support for all students and for students living in university accommodation.
     

Thank you for your continued understanding while we work through the significant amount of work to re-open our campus in a safe and effective manner.  As more decisions are made, I’ll update you further, so please do continue to check your email and the intranet for updates.

Best wishes,

Claire Morgan
Pro Vice-Chancellor, Education and Students