Lancaster University preparing for full return of students
With students due to return to Lancaster University in early October, staff are getting ready to welcome them back to a post-pandemic campus.
The university expects to return to in-person studies in October, while retaining some elements of online learning that were found to be beneficial.
The new academic year begins on October 8, following a Welcome Week for the new cohort of students from October 4.
In a special message to all students, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Prof Steve Bradley said: "We fully expect to return to in-person studies in October thanks to the high vaccination rate and easy availability of testing in the UK.
"It is likely that we will continue to require mask wearing for in-person teaching and research activities such as lectures, seminars and use of shared labs and offices to ensure maximum safety for everyone.
"We will also retain some elements of online learning which our academic staff, in consultation with current students, feel added value to our teaching. All of our planning is, of course, conditional on there being no changes to government policy."
To help overseas students who may face particular challenges in travelling to Lancaster for the start of term, the university has introduced a new Travel and Test Support Package to help make their arrival as smooth and safe as possible and to help with any additional costs.
It is expected that the full range of campus facilities will be available, as well as an advanced support services and increased flexibility to allow students to access academic, health and wellbeing advice and support when they need it.
New guidance on how to be safe on campus has been made available to students, including emphasising the importance of asymptomatic testing. It also explains when and where to social distance and wear face masks at university.
Students are also encouraged to take the university’s online health and safety course, as well as to get vaccinated.
Prof Bradley added: "We are working closely with Public Health England to ensure that our own safety measures meet or exceed the Government advice in the UK.
"We are following the latest guidance and taking necessary measures in support of the safety and wellbeing of staff and students.
"Our priority is to keep students and staff safe while maintaining the high quality learning experience for which Lancaster is known."