Wednesday 22 September 2021

All students email

Subject: Welcome to the start of term

Dear students,

Following my last email to you all, where I introduced (or reintroduced!) myself, I am today sharing further updates about our Autumn Term.

We have been welcoming many students over the past few days, with many more of you arriving this weekend, but I am aware that we begin our new term on Monday with some international students as yet unable to join us. I want to reassure you that, no matter where you are, we have planned for the best possible start, and being part of the University community means we’re here for you when you need us.

Teaching in Autumn Term

Your timetable for Autumn Term 2021 will be ready to view from Thursday 23 September. Teaching will take place in-person, so we expect students to be present. However we know that some international students still face difficulties in getting to the UK, so we will have online provision for them to give them time to make travel arrangements.

Some UK students are asking us if they have a choice, but if you are a UK student (therefore able to be on campus), you are expected to attend in-person from the start of term.

We are, however, enabling lectures to be viewed online. This is to reduce high numbers of people, who you might not see regularly, in one busy space. For lectures that are in-person that you do attend, we expect you to wear a face covering. Your department will indicate how you can access in-person or lectures remotely.

Protect. Respect. Be Kind.

We enter Autumn Term at a point where people have many different viewpoints, concerns and expectations about how we respond to Covid-19. Here at York, we are a respectful community and everyone needs to do their bit to keep everyone safe, especially those most vulnerable. As part of our community charter, we ask that you:

  1. Get tested regularly - Test yourself twice per week, three days apart. You can pick up self-tests from College receptions, or for those regularly on campus, testing is also available from Vedge Cafe in Wentworth College on Campus West or Ron Cooke Hub on Campus East. See our campus map for directions.

  2. Wear a face covering - Unless exempt, we strongly recommend that you wear face coverings in teaching sessions, to protect yourselves and others, as well as in busy indoor spaces and while moving around buildings on campus. Keep an eye out for signage about when and where we recommend wearing them.

  3. Get vaccinated - We are delighted by vaccine uptake so far by our students, and vaccination is by far the most important step you can take to protect yourselves and others, and help the University to maintain its full programme of in-person activities. So we strongly encourage you to get fully vaccinated as soon as possible. There are a number of pop-up vaccine clinics on campus in the coming days.

Support at York

There are lots of people here to help and support you in whatever way you need, wherever you currently are. Should you need to self-isolate, let us know via the self-isolation form. This unlocks our support programme, which includes providing activity packs and e-vouchers.

During your time at York, we provide free access to Togetherall, an online wellbeing community, and you can also call on your College, the Student Hub, the International Student Support team, Disability Services and Open Door. Our Student Unions, YUSU and the GSA, also play a key role in supporting you and there are Student Wellbeing Officers in your department, as well as your supervisors and departmental staff. We can support you whether you’re on or off campus, but above all, it’s important to remember that you’re never alone.

Enjoy the term

There is much to look forward to, and after a difficult 18 months, the University and your Student Unions have worked hard to get this academic year off to a flying start. Keep an eye out for our weekly ‘Things to Know’ student news. Whether you’re new to York or are returning to your studies here, and whether you’re attending Freshers or Returners Week, I very much hope you enjoy the start of term and all there is to follow.

Best wishes