May 2021 Trimester Update (20/04/21 updated)
An update from ARU London Principal, David Sexton (20/04/21):
Firstly, many congratulations on securing a place at ARUL, and a very warm welcome.
As you may have seen in the news, the Universities Minister has set out the latest guidance on the return of students to universities (Higher education providers: coronavirus (COVID-19) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) stating that all students will be able to return to in-person teaching at Step 3 of the Roadmap when restrictions on social contact will be eased further and the majority of indoor settings can reopen. Step 3 is currently expected to take place on 17 May, subject to a further review by Government.
Your Welcome Week Event is being held week commencing 3rd May, with classes beginning Saturday 8th May, and so Welcome Week and all classes until the 17th May will be online only. We have considerable experience in online delivery, and I am sure you will find the experience as rewarding and positive as all of the many thousands of students attending our online Welcome Events and classes over the last year.
From the 17th of May we see 3 potential scenarios and delivery plans:
- Scenario 1 - Increased prevalence of Covid infections and a slowdown in the roadmap requiring all classes to remain online only.
- Scenario 2 - A return to class with social distancing retained at 1m: delivery will be via blended learning, with students rotating through the buildings, spending one day a week on campus and the other day studying live, face-to-face virtually via zoom. Lectures will be simultaneously delivered to a small physical class and to students studying virtually.
- Scenario 3 - Social distancing is removed: delivery returns to pre-Covid, business as usual.
Given the current national and local situation we are expecting that Scenario 2 - blended learning - will be the most likely position; however, we are ensuring that the processes and systems are in place to move seamlessly between these three scenarios as the environment changes.
We are aware that some students may decide not to attend the Campus next trimester due to remaining fears of Covid-19 so please be assured that you have the option to select to complete all your studies online for trimester 3 should you wish. You selected (or will select) your preferred mode of study during your registration process and that will be applied to your timetable in the week commencing 10th May. There will be the opportunity to update your preference at points throughout the trimester should you wish; details will follow. Be assured that we have taken all possible steps to ensure that our buildings are Covid-secure, and we currently have low levels of positive results in our community.
We fully recognise that the Covid-19 pandemic continues to have a very significant impact on your lives, and we are doing everything we can to support you through these challenging times. Your health and wellbeing are very important to us, and we will introduce you to our Wellbeing Service at your Welcome Event.
Teaching options when not in a lockdown
In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic all our students can choose to either study face to face on campus or online-only, and students are able to change their mode of delivery at given dates throughout the trimester.
For on-campus teaching, we offer at least 4 hours of face to face teaching-related contact time per week for our undergraduate full-time programmes supported by online learning using our established online learning systems. The number of contact hours varies course by course, and you can contact us for further information. The provision offered is subject to change due to the possibility of further Government restrictions, however, the University remains committed to delivering face to face teaching and ensuring a COVID-19 secure environment.
In the event that there are further changes to the current restrictions that are in place within the UK due to the pandemic, we may need to move some courses online only at short notice to remain in line with Government guidelines and ensure the continued safety of our students and staff.