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A message from the Vice-Chancellor

Page last updated: 05 November 2020

Nottingham Trent University remains open to all students during national COVID-19 restrictions.

Edward Peck

As our country enters national restrictions to help stop the spread of COVID-19, NTU remains open and our campus facilities are available to all our students until the end of the term.

I have spent the last couple of days listening to a range of views about the implications of this new lockdown, one that is very different in many respects to the original in March.

Our Students’ Union has told us how important it is to the educational progress and to the mental health of our students that our current approach to blended learning and support continues. Our NTU leadership team has told me that overall our academic colleagues support our current level of face to face teaching and support to students. Our Board of Governors agree. I am informed that most universities are intending to carry on with their blended approach.

The Minister of State for Education has written to me saying she expects us to carry on with blended learning, unless we make a local decision to change based on a revised risk assessment with our local public health officials.

Now, since the lockdown was announced on Saturday, there has been no suggestion from these officials, or from the leadership of our local councils, that we should make any alterations to the approach agreed with them when we entered Tier 3 just last week. As you know we had extensive discussions with them at that point. In many ways the new lockdown does look like Tier 3 with additional elements and that our key decision point about our blended approach was then rather than now.

I want to stress that the most recent guidance from the Department for Education reconfirms this message, that we are expected to carry on with blended learning. Government guidance also confirms researchers and research students will be able to continue in-person research activities if the work cannot be done from home.

As I have said since the start of term, we will keep our face to face teaching and support under review at course, campus and institutional level on a daily basis.

The number of cases amongst our students continues to decline rapidly. Our Government has said repeatedly, there is no evidence of infection being spread by campus-based teaching.

Overall, therefore, our decision is that we should run our current blended timetable and student support services until the end of term.

We must not forget the guidelines that have been put in place to keep our community safe. All students are asked to stay in their term time addresses until 2 December. We must continue to respect our local community, for example wear a face covering when using public transport, maintaining social distancing at all times and washing or sanitising hands frequently. Face coverings must now be worn in all learning environments where this does not compromise teaching.

When our students chose to come to NTU, we made a commitment to enable them to transform their future. We intend to deliver on that commitment to the best of our ability.

This is not an easy time, if you or an NTU student you know, is struggling please reach out to us for support with studies, finances or wellbeing.

Professor Edward Peck
Vice-Chancellor, Nottingham Trent University

To learn more about the support available to all NTU students please visit our StudentHub.

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