CoronavirusStudent update: 23 October 2020

Important update from your Principal

Dear Strathclyde Students,

I wrote to you earlier this month to advise you of the decision to adjust plans for the transition to blended learning, by rephasing the commencement of the transition phase to week 6.

I now write to update you on the arrangements for the phased commencement of our transition to blended learning, which commences next week. These are based on significant educational, accrediting and professional body requirements and are consistent with current Scottish Government guidance.

The first to benefit from on-campus learning are specific student cohorts from the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE); Pure and Applied Chemistry; Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS); and Prosthetics and Orthotics (Biomedical Engineering).  These specific cohorts require face-to-face teaching to meet professional accreditation standards.   If you are a student on one of these courses, the management of the arrangements will be communicated to you through the relevant Departments/School.  

All other teaching will remain online until further proposals from the Faculties have been considered by the Executive Team. We will continue to keep you updated on the arrangements for transitioning to blended learning; please do remember that the final details of on-campus activities will be confirmed to you directly by your Department or School.

As the University responds to the impact of Covid-19 we are committed to supporting all our students in the ongoing unprecedented circumstances. We will continue to ensure that you are supported and treated consistently and fairly, through academic policy, procedure or guidance. Our Guidelines for staff to Support the Learning and Teaching of Students During Periods of Disruption, provide a supportive approach by recognising the potential impact of your personal circumstances on your studies and providing a mechanism to minimise the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and wider circumstances on your academic progression. Whatever the remainder of the academic year brings – please be assured that we are here to support you.

Staff, fellow students and our StrathUnion Sabbatical Officers are working tremendously hard to give you the best possible experience, be it online or on campus. You have all participated in online learning and we are hugely impressed by your level of engagement throughout these sessions and are delighted to hear, first hand, your enthusiasm for your studies in these highly unusual times.

We know you will have lots of questions, from timetabling to assessment, and to how you can interact with your Strathclyde community. Further information about these, and many other topics, are available on our Student-facing Coronavirus pages. Please do keep checking for any queries you may have, as these are regularly updated, in line with Government and public health advice.  

The University recognises that students may be experiencing financial challenges as a result of the impact of Covid-19. The University and Strathclyde Students’ Union are working in partnership to further address the financial challenges experienced by our students. We have also established a Covid-19 Relief Scholarship for returning students to address individual financial issues, including outstanding and ongoing tuition fee payments. Please contact student-advice@strath.ac.uk

The University also has a dedicated Covid19 Hardship Fund. This month an additional £100k has been allocated to the fund, in addition to the £320k already raised and committed. To apply please visit our web page Covid-19 Hardship Fund. An application to this fund will also be considered for other appropriate funds including the Discretionary Fund. General advice and guidance on student financial support can be found here. 

Whether you are a new or returning student, you may be feeling excited, nervous, or a combination of the two as we progress through the semester together.  Our academic Schools and Departments, together with our student support services and the StrathUnion Advice Hub, are on hand to provide support and to help smooth the way. Please do remember that if you are finding things tricky – get in touch with us.

General enquiries can be sent to student-advice@strath.ac.uk.

 

Best wishes,

Jim

 

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice-Chancellor