Route out of lockdown – what it means for students
Posted on behalf of: University of Sussex
Last updated: Wednesday, 12 May 2021
On Wednesday 12 May, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education and Students Kelly Coate emailed all taught students. You can read the message in full below.
Dear all students
On Monday, the UK Government announced that all students may return to campus from 17 May 2021.
This is really good news in many ways, particularly as it shows that the current levels of Covid-19 infection in the UK have reduced significantly and this marks an important step in the Government’s roadmap to easing Covid restrictions in the UK.
Of course, the majority of students are now in the online assessment period, however we are here to welcome you back. The campus will be open during summer and we’d love to see you.
Sussex roadmap out of lockdown:
To make all the new guidance as clear as possible for you we have worked together with the Students’ Union to produce a guide on the Student Hub, which you can view here. It provides an outline of the key dates and steps for re-opening our campus now and after the current Covid lockdown is due to end in late June. We’ll keep this guide updated regularly.
Please read on for more information on what this new announcement means for all students at Sussex.
Assessments and academic support:
The current assessment period is taking place online and this will also be the case for the August 2021 resit period. You can find guidance on submitting online assessments and how to access your feedback from assessments here: Submission and Feedback in Canvas: A Student Guide.
Your Academic Advisors or Academic Success Advisors and School Offices are here to help you on any academic matters – you can find contact details for your School Office here.
Opening up campus for your study and wellbeing:
If you return to campus we want to make sure you can access as many of the spaces you need as possible.
- The Library has been open throughout lockdown for click and collect services and for click and study (to book study spaces). These will continue to be on offer until the lockdown restrictions relax further at the end of June. The Library will be open for you all summer.
- We’ll also make sure you can get access to study spaces, including bookable rooms, technical facilities, labs and facilities.
- Some students may be invited to some in-person academic activity – this may be drop-ins, tutorials, workshops and/or direct teaching – and your School will be in touch directly.
- Sussexsport has reopened the Falmer Sports Complex fitness rooms, and outdoor facilities are all open so you can enjoy sporting and recreation activities on campus. All of the facilities and services are operating in a Covid-secure manner. You can find more details on the Sussexsport webpages.
- We’re so fortunate at Sussex to have so many green spaces to enjoy on and around campus. Our wildflower areas will soon come into bloom and there’s lots of space available on our green campus. Being right next to the South Downs National Park means we also have the countryside and nature for you to enjoy. Why not have a look at ways you can explore the surrounding areas through a range of walks and runs that you can view here?
- We are also looking at a programme of activity for students who are in Brighton to get involved in during the summer and we’ll share more information about this very soon.
Remote learning, activities and support for all students:
If you decide not to return to campus or Brighton and Hove at this time that’s fine, as all of our remote services will be available to you throughout the summer.
- Careers and employability – have you thought about an internship this summer or is there some support and advice you’d like to receive from our teams? Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly advisors – this could be a great time to start planning your next steps.
- If you need help and advice on money issues, mental health concerns or perhaps you’re struggling with the lasting effects of lockdown or any other issue, all of our support services – Student Life Centre, Student Support Unit, Counselling Service, Careers and Employability Centre and International Student Support – will continue to run online, so please get in touch. There’s also 24/7 access to Togetherall, a safe community to support your mental health, and the Student Space which offers support to students during the Coronavirus situation.
- Whilst teaching has now finished for most Undergraduates, any remaining teaching and academic work will be delivered in a way that enables remote access.
Travelling back to Sussex:
It’s really important to follow Covid-19 travel guidelines if you return to campus. Please ensure that you read the travel information on the Student Hub. For students who are travelling from overseas, specific information, including around testing, can be viewed here.
If travelling within the UK, you should do a lateral flow test before you travel back to university, either through your local community testing programme or by ordering a test online.
When you return to campus, you should take three lateral flow tests at our test centre on campus (three or four days apart) and then be tested twice a week (which can be done using home testing kits that you can collect from the testing centre, or order online at gov.uk). View more information about testing on the Student Hub.
Students with University accommodation:
If you are a student with University accommodation, please make sure you’ve read the email sent to you on 9 May, as this includes important information about new measures we have put in place to support you. We’ll be sending you more information on this very soon.
Keeping campus safe:
Our estates and facilities staff continue to work hard to make sure campus is safe for everyone in our community. Even though rates of Covid-19 have significantly reduced in England, it’s important that we all work to make sure we look after our own health and safety and others around us on and off campus. You can read more about how to do this on the Student Hub.
This means that you’ll need to continue to wear face masks (unless exempt) when inside most buildings and social distancing rules still apply. You’ll see we have sanitiser stations all around campus.
Support for final year students:
We know that for many finalists you may have begun to, or will soon be focussing on your future after you finish your studies and assessments. You may be thinking about further study, and if that’s the case our £3000 Sussex Graduate Scholarship may be of interest, or you may be looking at starting your new career; if so our Careers and Employability service is here to help you with free expert advice and support.
All Sussex graduates are able to access support from the Careers and Employability service for up to three years after they graduate. You can also benefit from a range of other free services as a Sussex graduate – please click here to find out what’s available.
Message from the UK Higher Education Minister:
The UK Higher Education Minister has written a letter to all students, where she outlines her understanding of the difficult year students have had and thanks them for their resilience and co-operation. You can read the letter in full here.
Next academic year:
This latest guidance from the UK Government shows that things are improving in the UK in terms of Covid-19, and we remain optimistic that next academic year things will change considerably for students returning to Sussex.
This will of course be dependent on the UK Government’s ongoing advice, but we expect to see a return to a predominantly campus-based teaching and learning experience in September 2021. We will continue to keep all students updated on the latest developments as they happen.
For now, our teams are working hard on welcoming students back to our beautiful campus from next week.
With best wishes
Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education and Students