The majority of students at the University of Central Lancashire are to see a delayed return to the Preston campus.Advertisement
Following an announcement by the education secretary Gavin Williamson on Wednesday 30 December, he urged universities to restrict the return of students to campus teaching.
UCLan has responded by saying their second semester of teaching will now start on Monday 25 January, rather than Monday 4 January.
The university has delayed the start of the term by two weeks and then added in a ‘reading week’, usually in February, to add a third week of non-campus teaching.
Mass testing of students at the Preston campus is also being rolled out.
A number of courses are exempt from the 25 January start date and will instead resume on Monday 4 January with classroom teaching or placements.
A UCLan spokesperson said: “We have now also been asked by Government to restrict the number of students returning from 4 January to minimise the need to travel and to review the start dates for all other students.
“For those students who will now start on 25 January please be assured that you will continue to receive the same teaching hours as you would normally have done as we do have the flexibility to accommodate the later start of term within our timetabling.
“We will be bringing forward the ‘Reading week’ in February (15-19) to the 18-24 January as well as ensuring across the rest of the academic year we will schedule in the same amount of teaching as planned.
“For students who have online teaching and assessments scheduled prior to 18 January to enable them to complete Semester One these online sessions will continue as planned.”
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Medical, dentistry, health and social work courses all have exemptions. A full list can be found on the UCLan website.
Before Christmas the university set up on-campus testing for Covid, and including asymptomatic testing.
Anyone on the courses listed as exempt must have a Covid test before returning to teaching or placement from 4 January. Tests can be booked via the university website.
All students must have a Covid test before full teaching resumes on January 25.
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The university said: “We realise that some students will have remained on Campus during the Christmas period and as a University we will continue to support those still living on or near campus. If you are currently in student accommodation, please stay there and do not travel home as per Government advice. We also know that there will be some students who will need to return to their student accommodation before the start of term because they do not have access to appropriate study spaces or facilities at home or if they require additional support. As a University we will continue to support those in this situation.
“If you do not need to return to your accommodation the Government strongly advises you to stay at your current address until the new term starts. For those living in UCLan owned halls of residence we will be reviewing the accommodation costs taking in to account the delayed start to term. The normal payment on 5 January is still required but any adjustments are being looked at and may be made to your scheduled final payment this year.”
Anyone having difficulty is asked to visit the student wellbeing pages of the university website.
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The university says: “The advice for international students travelling from overseas for the new term who are not required on campus from 4 January is to consider whether you need to travel to the UK at this time. You should consider delaying if travel arrangements can be rearranged without undue costs. This does not apply to medical degree students who should arrange to travel if possible and not delay their arrangements.
“Please remember all international arrivals must complete a passenger locator form on arrival in the UK, and passengers travelling from a country not on the exemption (travel corridor) list will need to self-isolate in their accommodation for 10 days. There is now the option to take a COVID-19 test from a private testing provider (at your own cost) after 5 days of self-isolation, with a negative result releasing you from the need to continue to self-isolate.”
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