CoronavirusStaff update 3 June

Dear colleagues,

I hope that you enjoyed the longer bank holiday weekend and were able to make the most of the warmer weather and get some 'downtime'.

As we welcomed the start of June, the First Minister confirmed in parliament that Glasgow will move to COVID-19 Protection Level 2 at midnight on Friday. This means that from Saturday 5 June 2021, people living in the city will be able to meet in groups of six people from three households indoors, travel across the UK and enjoy fewer restrictions within hospitality venues.

This is great news for the city and I hope that it will mean that many of you will be able to cautiously enjoy more activities with friends and family. As before, the situation remains delicate and fast-moving, and I am sure you will keep up-to-date with the latest news on the Scottish Government’s website.

The Government has been able to continue to ease lockdown restrictions because the people of Glasgow and the surrounding areas have pulled together as a community to respond to the major public health interventions we have seen in the past few weeks across the city.

As Glasgow moves into Level 2, we can all continue to play our part in reducing the transmission of the virus. Everyone is encouraged to continue with regular rapid testing, adhere to FACTS rules and participate in the vaccination programme.

If you are between 18 and 29, you now have until tomorrow (4 June 2021) to register in advance for your vaccine. The COVID-19 Test Centre remains open in The Barony for students and staff who are studying, working and living on campus. Please remember to only attend the Test Centre if you have no COVID-19 symptoms.

You will remember that I wrote to you recently to ask you and the wider Strathclyde community to participate in a consultation to name the two wings of the Learning and Teaching Building. Five names were provided as a shortlist from a longer list of inspirational people and you were asked to vote for your preferred person.

I am delighted to tell you that there have been more than 4,400 votes cast which is an incredible response and one that has surpassed my initial hopes. Thanks to each and everyone of you for getting involved and helping us recognise the diversity at Strathclyde.

I will confirm the preferred candidates’ names in the coming weeks.

This week marked the end of 'Engage with Strathclyde', our flagship programme of events that took place over the month of May. More than 60 events were delivered by the team this year, an incredible task. This year, more than ever, Engage was an excellent opportunity for Strathclyders to share our research and technologies with businesses, government organisations, the voluntary sector and the general public. Thank you to everyone involved with this year’s very successful programme.

At Executive Team this week, we were joined by members of the Student Executive to discuss the future of university life and what it might look like in a post-pandemic world.

It was a constructive, lively and thought-provoking discussion which looked at the anticipated changing demographics of our student body over the next ten years and what students will need from Strathclyde and Strath Union to thrive and succeed.

It is a conversation that will continue to develop and I look forward to engaging with more of you on this as we look to maximise the opportunities to enhance the student experience in the coming decade.

Later this month, I will be hosting the next set of online staff engagement sessions. As before, I will be joined by members of Executive Team and we will provide you with an update on how the University community has continued to deliver for our students and other stakeholders with the continuing challenges of COVID-19. We will also look at progress against our ambitious Vision 2025 strategy and there will be an opportunity for you to ask questions.

Please attend if you can. You can see the available sessions and reserve your place using the links on our website. The sessions are very valuable for me and other members of the Executive Team. They have played a key role in generating two-way feedback which has allowed us to continue to put the health, safety and wellbeing of students and staff at the heart of everything we do.

With that in mind, please make the most of your Meeting-Free Friday and I wish you all a relaxing weekend when it comes.

Best wishes,

Jim