Loughborough University have confirmed that in-person teaching will move online where possible from the 9th December and that plans are in place for a testing program for all students in the week of 23rd November.

The government announced this morning a set of plans that sets out how students will be able to travel home for Christmas. The plans centre around a “student travel window” lasting from 3-9 December, during which time the government expects as many students to return home as possible.

This aligns with the end of the current national lockdown on the 2nd December, meaning students will have spent 4 weeks under the current restrictions which the government hopes will limit the risk of students contacting and transmitting Covid-19 while returning home.

The guidance also sets out a testing programme of as many students as possible to be rolled out immediately prior to the travel window, this will use new rapid testing techniques which allow for results to be obtained in approximately 1 hour and do not require any special lab equipment.

The guidance states:

“We have selected this date as the cut-off date for in-person learning to ensure that the last date students are required on campus allows enough time for students to complete self-isolation before Christmas. We expect every university to follow this timeframe to ensure that the last date students are required on campus can allow for any isolation period that may follow.

Vice Chancellor, Robert Allison, wrote to students this evening with further details of how the guidance would be implemented in Loughborough:

  • Fast-turnaround testing will be available, in Loughborough, sometime during the week of 23rd November, for any student (including non-symptomatic students) who wishes to have a test. Testing arrangements for London students are also in place. We encourage all students returning home to take advantage of these tests.
  • In-person teaching on both the Loughborough and London campuses will continue up to and including Wednesday 9th December 2020. At that point, all lectures and seminars will move online where possible until the end of term on Friday 18th December, following the existing timetable.
  • Workshops, practical classes and laboratory work timetabled in specialist spaces will continue in-person until the end of Friday 11th December.
  • The University and our halls of residence will remain open and study spaces, including the Library, will be available so that students can carry out independent learning and dissertation / project work. Other specialist spaces usually available to students will also remain open up to the Christmas closure on 23rd December 2020.
  • If in-person teaching activities in week 11, from 14th to 18th December, are such that they cannot be moved online (such as laboratory practical classes, workshops and studio activity), changes to the taught programme will be made so that students will not be disadvantaged as a result of any change.
  • Coursework and other assessment deadlines remain unchanged unless you are told otherwise.
  • Campus activities that are low risk, including sport, will resume on 3rd December assuming Government rules are changed as planned.
  • Students will be able to choose when they return home for Christmas. The University will begin to ask students shortly for your intended leave date so that staff can co-ordinate this safely. We will not be instructing you to leave on a specific date. Please note however that if you opt to leave closer to Christmas, and become Covid-19 positive in that period, the Government rules are that you should isolate for 10 days.

The Vice Chancellor also reiterated the commitment that Loughborough have made to students wishing to remain in Loughborough over Christmas, “Be reassured that if you are planning to stay, in particular if you are unable to travel home, we shall care for and support you during this time”.

LAST UPDATED: 21:00 11/11/20


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