Dear Strathclyde student,
As Semester 1 comes to an end and 2020 draws to a close, we can look back on an extraordinary year that has brought out the very best in the Strathclyde community.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you once again for your hard work, maturity and commitment to undertaking your studies, while adapting to the ongoing public health and safety restrictions that have impacted on our usual way of life. You have shown tremendous resilience, and I know you will continue to demonstrate this throughout your studies.
The year has been challenging and your experiences will have been very different, but we have pulled together and can look forward more positively to 2021 with the good news of vaccines being developed and rolled out.
Support over the festive break
Whether you remain in Glasgow or travel elsewhere, I wanted to remind you that we are still here for you and will provide support throughout the festive break.
Although Christmas will be a lot different for everyone this year, there is still plenty going on around the University and in Glasgow to support you throughout this period, with your safety and wellbeing at the heart of our thoughts.
I’m delighted to tell you that the Strathclyde and Strath Union teams have organised many activities, in line with the national guidance, over the holidays as well as providing a significant amount of wellbeing support. Have a look at our Festive Break webpages.
Working with Strath Union, our colleagues in the University’s Disability & Wellbeing Service are running online Drop-In sessions for all Strathclyde students where you can get direct access to information, support and advice on mental health and wellbeing matters.
There will also be a number of facilitator-led sessions running in addition to the daily mental health and wellbeing drop-ins. All the information can be found online on our Wellbeing webpages.
Please take advantage of this support and access to activities if you can.
Safe return to campus - COVID-19 Testing
Many of you have visited our COVID-19 Test Centre for support to allow you to travel safely over the festive season. I am delighted to confirm that the Centre will re-open on 11 January 2021 to help support your return to campus. This process will be an important step in ensuring that our campus – and the wider community – is safe and that we minimise the risk of virus transmission.
Testing will be available to all students and we strongly encourage you to take advantage of this, as part of your planned return to campus, whether you stay in residences, private accommodation or with friends or family. More information about the Test Centre’s availability and how to book can be found here on our Test Centre website.
There is a lot of useful information including a number of FAQs to help you understand our current arrangements and future plans for testing in 2021
Learning & Teaching in Semester 2
In my update of 13 November 2020, I shared with you the University’s plans for the start of the new Semester. Semester 2 commences with Consolidation and Development week, which will be presented online from week beginning 11 January.
Teaching commences online from week beginning 18 January and will continue online for the following three weeks, except for a very small number of programmes – your Department or School will be in touch with you before Christmas if this applies to you.
After the first 3 weeks, we expect a transition to a blend of online and on-campus teaching. The exact timing of this will vary across programmes, and your Department or School will confirm with you the plans for your programme return to campus, which will be managed in line with the local protection levels that are in place at the time.
This communication will be early in the new year, informed by Scottish Government guidance, and will take into account the requirements of students who need to plan their travel, book testing, self-isolate and/or have other circumstances which will impact on the return to campus.
** Please review the Semester 2 webpage to learn more about the University’s phased return to campus for Undergraduate, Postgraduate Taught and Postgraduate Research students.
To help manage the return to campus, we strongly encourage you to book a test to enable you to plan your return, if changing household. Please take time to book your tests to align with your planned return dates.
On your return to Strathclyde, please remember to continue to follow the latest COVID-19 guidance and restrictions to minimise the risk of contracting or transmitting COVID-19.
Finally, Strathclyde is a fantastic University, and our people – students and staff - make it what it is. We have produced a short film to sum up 2020 at Strathclyde and to remind us all what we have been doing in a year we will never forget. Watch our video here.
Once again, many thanks to you all. Have a safe and happy Christmas break and a peaceful New Year.
Principal & Vice Chancellor, University of Strathclyde