I hope that you and yours remain safe and well.
This has been another significant week in the national effort against the pandemic and I am sure that like me, you took great encouragement from the news that Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine has been judged to be safe and that the roll-out will begin next week, with the first vaccination jabs being administered in Scotland as early as Tuesday.
This is a crucial milestone in the global recovery from COVID-19 and is the strongest indicator yet that we are entering a new phase. Scientists and Technologists have played a leading role in creating a pathway out of the current situation and they are demonstrating the important role that research and development plays in so many aspects of our lives.
While the vaccination will take time to reach the entire population, rapid testing is being ramped up across the country and this week saw Strathclyde’s COVID-19 Asymptomatic Test Centre successfully up and running in The Barony.
I cannot underplay the monumental amount of work that has gone into making this happen and the transformation that the Barony has undergone is impressive.
I would like to give my sincere thanks to the Test Centre project team for their incredible efforts, and to the significant number of staff and student volunteers who are working seven days a week to deliver this critical service.
It is yet another example of an ambitious project that has drawn out the very best in the Strathclyde community. I am very proud of what has been achieved and the difference we are making as part of the UK-wide effort to increase the availability of mass testing. Thank you to everyone involved.
Hundreds of students have already booked appointments for their tests which will help give them the security to return home safely to their family and friends over the festive period. The service has been incredibly popular with those students who intend to travel and change households over the coming weeks.
Last week, I told you that at their annual strategy session, our Court members had given their input into the work of our Visioning and Positive Response Groups, which the Executive Team set up to focus our efforts on the Strathclyde response to the pandemic and its aftermath.
Our efforts have been focused on five key themes – Global Context and Distinctiveness; Research and Innovation; The Learner Journey; Values and Culture; Financial Sustainability and Optimal Diversification.
Our Court members were clear in their strong appreciation of the committed and professional response of the entire Strathclyde community and they recognise the strong position the University is in, thanks to our people, our performance and our strategy.
It is widely recognised that the world has changed significantly and we need to adapt and adjust to meet these challenges. However, throughout all the discussions – at Court, Senate, Leadership Group, Executive Team and through the five work groups themselves there has been a clear consensus that Vision 2025 is the strongest possible platform upon which we will build our collective success, with a renewed confidence.
As we move forward we will use our solid foundations as a leading international technological University, our commitment to being socially progressive, our strong financial position, our international profile and our core values to meet the challenges ahead and to capture opportunities with purpose and determination in a world that is continually and rapidly changing.
The past months have shown that our strength lies in our ability to respond quickly and adapt flexibly to developments in the external environment, while taking care of the interests of our staff, students and partners and creating and taking advantage of the possibilities that arise. This is the authentic and empathetic ‘Strathclyde way’. Through Vision 2025, we will use our distinctive position to be innovative in delivering our ambitions.
Thank you, as ever, for your continued efforts on behalf of our students, staff and the wider community and please enjoy your weekend.