Teaching in September
An update on our plans for the upcoming year
I hope you’re doing well and looking forward to your summer and beyond.
I know you’ll be wondering what teaching and learning will look like in September and what life will be like for you on campus. It’s great that the government’s plan to ‘unlock’ the country is going well and we can start to enjoy the increased freedom that this brings.
However, if the last 12 months have taught us anything, it is that life can be unpredictable and that we need to be prepared for sudden and rapid change. So, we wanted to tell you how our planning was going.
What will September look like?
We have worked with our students to find out what they have enjoyed – and what they haven’t liked so much – about online learning. Likewise, our teaching staff have learnt a great deal about the best way for them to facilitate effective learning using online platforms. Consequently, we plan to continue the use of our most popular aspects of online learning and combine them with those essential, practical, in-person sessions that you would expect from your course.
For example, and in line with the most recent government guidance, we would want to deliver practical sessions in person. You will have every opportunity to develop the practical and professional skills you need for your future career and your course will make use of a range of methods to provide you with the chance to learn and practise these skills.
Of course, it’s not just about your studies, and we know that you’ll be keen to be on campus to meet your coursemates in person. This blended approach will allow for that, and for you to enjoy the social side of university life which is such an essential part of the experience.
During the summer period we’ll let you know what your specific course will look like when you start your studies. As with everything, we will watch carefully and act promptly on all government guidance, and our staff are well-prepared to adapt their approach if they need to respond to any new information that is released.
How we’re preparing for you joining us
We are very aware of what a tough year you’ve had and how much your education has been impacted by the pandemic. Right now, we’re working through what we’re going to put in place to assist with your transition to university. We’ve got a wide range of resources that will help you, and there’ll be some materials that you’ll be able to access over the summer before you get a full induction to university life.
We’ll help you to develop your academic confidence and resilience, prepare you for revision and assessments and aid you with developing key skills like academic reading and note-taking. Once you’re here, we’ll walk you through the technology and apps that are available to help you learn and collaborate with your classmates on projects. On top of this, our askUS student support team are ready to provide the advice and guidance you need alongside your studies, whether it’s wellbeing, careers or money matters, they’re here to help.
Just as importantly, together with our Students’ Union we’ll help you to meet new friends and continue to enjoy your hobbies and passions while at university – and maybe develop some new ones!
Please try not to worry if you’re concerned about being ready. We believe in you and will support you both on your journey to joining us and in all aspects of student life once you are here.
What happens next
We expect that government guidance will continue to change over the coming months, and we’ll update you throughout the summer on what safety measures will be in place in September and the guidance that you need to be aware of.
During the summer, we’ll also be keeping you informed about your specific course so do check your emails regularly and keep an eye on our socials. I recently hosted a Live Q&A with our applicants on our plans for September. You can watch that back on our Facebook page.
We're looking forward to a time when we don't need to say 'subject to government guidance' anymore, but it's important for us to make sure you understand how we're preparing for September.
Dr Sam Grogan
Pro Vice-Chancellor, Student Experience