Freshers’ Week is now well underway, and it is really encouraging and uplifting to see our University community reunited and active on campus. I am also delighted to see our new and returning students attending their induction sessions, enjoying their new Strath Union facilities, and getting to know their classmates.
As we enter the new academic year, our first priority continues to be the safety, health and wellbeing of our students, staff and visitors. Today, I am asking for your renewed support to help suppress the virus and to keep each other safe.
As the First Minister set out in her statement to parliament on Tuesday (14 September), cases of COVID-19 have fallen in the last week, but they remain at worryingly high levels.
As a University, we adhere strictly to Scottish Government guidance – and we go further where we feel it is necessary. Nonetheless, we need your help to keep cases low on campus.
- getting double vaccinated if you are eligible and haven’t already done so;
- testing yourself regularly with lateral flow devices – you can pick these up from pharmacies or order them through NHS Inform;
- booking a PCR test and self-isolating if you have symptoms, have a positive lateral flow test, or if you are identified as a close contact of someone who has COVID;
- and, complying with the mitigation measures on campus – including wearing face coverings in indoor places, adhering to physical distancing guidance, meeting outside where possible and washing your hands regularly.
Similarly, if you haven’t already done so, please take time to read the updated guidance on face coverings shared by our University Secretary and Compliance Officer, Dr Veena O’Halloran, on Tuesday this week.
Thank you for your ongoing vigilance, support and care for each other and our extended University community.
As we move closer to the UN Climate Change Conference in November, I am pleased to see our sustainability agenda is driving positive change. Last week, I was delighted to take part in the official opening of a new facility for a company that we work closely with. Renewable Parts Ltd. is a leading wind energy supply chain specialist and has opened its new Innovation Centre in Lochgilphead with support from Strathclyde colleagues and a programme of collaborative activities.
At the event, the company recognised that our research, knowledge, facilities and significant pool of expertise are key to their ongoing success. It is a great example of a company with a vision to create a more sustainable future and one that can be showcased as Scotland looks forward to hosting COP26. I wish them every success in this new chapter in the next phase of their journey.
Finally, I am looking forward to presenting the 2021 Strathclyde Medals this afternoon to mark the outstanding contributions of 14 individuals and 16 teams; the event is an annual highlight for me and truly enjoyable in recognising staff across the University. This year’s Medals are being awarded to colleagues who have exemplified our Values during the coronavirus pandemic.
I will also be making four Principal’s Special awards to reflect colleagues’ outstanding achievements.You can read full details of the recipients in next week’s Inside Strathclyde, and I know you will join me in congratulating everyone who was nominated this year.
Best wishes for a relaxing weekend,