Friday 10 July 2020

All student email

A Covid-19 Secure plan for our students 2020

Dear student

September will be here before you know it, and we hope you are excited about returning to university. Given the upheaval of the past few months, we want to provide you with more detail on how we’re planning to deliver a Covid-19 Secure campus, and reassure you that when you return you will have:

  • a challenging, stimulating and rewarding learning experience

  • a safe environment to live and learn

  • opportunities to have fun and socialise

  • a caring and supportive community.

The health and wellbeing of our students and staff is our number one priority, so we will be putting in place all necessary Covid-19 safety precautions as we prepare for the start of term.

Learning and teaching

Our aim is to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as possible and to deliver online teaching where we need to. As you know, at York each degree programme has its own, tailored set of distinctive learning outcomes. These won’t change, no matter what your location or mode of delivery, and our academics are working hard to ensure your programmes and modules next year will inspire and motivate you, and we’ll support you to succeed in your studies.

All large lectures are already routinely recorded and in your first term, these lectures will be delivered solely online. This will free up lecture theatres providing additional space for face-to-face teaching such as seminars, tutorials and small groups to be delivered safely. Changeover times between taught sessions will be managed with staggered starts to minimise large gatherings of people.

Where appropriate, our academic departments are re-ordering the curriculum so that lab work, studio work, performances and field trips can be undertaken later during your studies when Covid-19 risk levels are lower.

If you are unable to get to campus for the start of the year, we will provide online teaching and support so you can participate from wherever you are in the world, until such time as you can join us in York.

Exams and assessments all moved online in March and will continue to be delivered online for the time being.

Our library team are organising group and single study spaces and introducing a click and collect service for books. And we are looking at how to make more study spaces available across campus.

A safe environment

Your health and safety are our top priority and so all student venues, event spaces and sporting facilities will be Covid-19 Secure. Our on-campus supermarkets and restaurants will be operating with strict cleaning schedules in place and options for takeaway, delivery or pre-ordering for collection.

We will be partners in City-wide health and safety measures to implement track and trace. The University will provide widespread hand sanitiser stations and washable face coverings for staff and students. In line with government guidance, physical distancing measures will be applied across campus with appropriate signposting and these will be updated whenever government guidance changes. Our campus accommodation will also be safe and welcoming

For students who are travelling from abroad who have booked University accommodation and are told to self-isolate, we will offer free accommodation for the two weeks before term starts and assist with food and shopping.

A rich and enjoyable on-campus experience

We want you to have an unrivalled experience at York - you just have to take part in what's on offer. You'll reconnect with friends, make some new ones, discover new passions and continue to learn invaluable skills.

Colleges and our students’ unions, YUSU and GSA, are planning a variety of fun and exciting activities throughout the first term. YUSU is working to increase the number of outdoor seating areas, street food kiosks and licenced events across campus to create safe zones for fun and socialising.

There will be a mixture of face-to face and online events. We encourage you to join communities, clubs and societies and take advantage of the many opportunities to try things you’ve never done before.

The City of York is making plans so you can continue to enjoy the sights and sounds of this historic and beautiful city.

A caring and supportive community

These are challenging times but don’t worry, there is lots of support available should you need it.

Even if you are living off campus this coming year, your college team is there for you, offering welfare support and guidance. They can help with issues relating to college life and wellbeing.

You’ll still meet with your academic supervisor who will advise you on your academic progress and support your personal development.

The advisers in our Student Hub can help with practical matters such as finance issues, money worries, private accommodation issues, health concerns, immigration advice and academic progress issues. There is also independent advice available through YUSU and GSA.

Open Door, our team of Mental Health Practitioners, continue to provide counselling and support to registered students experiencing psychological or mental health difficulties. In addition to that, all University of York students now have access to the Big White Wall - a 24/7 safe anonymous online platform to connect with others experiencing similar feelings.

So whether you join us on or off-campus, this September is set to be an exciting and safe time to continue your journey at York.

Best wishes


Professor Charlie Jeffery