CoronavirusStudent update 23 September 2021

Dear Strathclyde student,

I am delighted to welcome you to Strathclyde for our new academic year, session 2021/22. The last eighteen months have not been easy for anyone and whether you are a new or a returning student, I am sure that you are looking forward to the campus experience for a number of your learning and social activities. Please remember that we are here to ensure that you receive the highest quality student experience.

Please also be assured that the health, safety and wellbeing of the Strathclyde community will always be at the heart of everything that we do.

The University is continuing to liaise closely with the Scottish Government to ensure the safe return of the wider student community. Whilst the roll out of vaccines is having a positive effect on the impact of COVID-19, we must all play our part in minimising the risk of infection.

Scotland moved beyond level 0 COVID protection level in August. However, protection measures remain in place, some of which we are all legally required to adhere to. This includes wearing face coverings in indoor public places and on public transport.

I understand that the measures being taken in Scotland and at the University may differ from other public venues or other countries, however, it is essential that we all follow the guidance to ensure a safe and secure environment for all; I encourage you to keep up to date with the latest information on our COVID-19 Student Information Hub.

I want to highlight a number of measures that are in place across the campus to help keep the Strathclyde community safe and secure.

Face coverings

We have recently updated our guidance on face coverings, which can be found on our website. We have taken the number of confirmed cases in Scotland, and in the greater Glasgow region into consideration and the University is going beyond the minimum Scottish Government requirements to help protect your health and wellbeing.

We require all students and staff, unless you are exempt, to wear face-coverings regardless of physical distance, while at work or study on campus. This includes in the library, in classrooms, in labs and in informal study spaces.

They should also be worn in communal areas where people mingle or gather including entrances, corridors, stairs and lifts.

Please play your part in supporting the safety and wellbeing of our University community by following our guidance.

The University is a member of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower scheme. Students, colleagues and visitors who are exempt from wearing face coverings can wear a sunflower lanyard to indicate their exemption. Find out more on our Sunflower scheme web pages.

We are providing face coverings for every student. You can collect your face covering from the Café Aura, in the Lord Hope building.

Physical distancing

You can read our guidance on physical distancing on our website.

In circulation spaces like entrances, corridors and stairs, the 2m physical distancing is in place. Look out for signage across campus.

Activity spaces such as teaching rooms, laboratories, offices, the library and catering outlets, will operate at 1m+; the plus being additional measures including wearing face coverings.

The University is using the ULab system to record attendance in teaching rooms for contact tracing and to help manage room usage. Please familiarise yourself with the processes for logging your attendance in campus teaching rooms by reading this document on our website.

COVID-19 tests

Testing remains an important tool in breaking the chain of transmission of the virus.

Lateral Flow Test kits are freely available for home delivery from the Scottish Government’s website. You are encouraged to access the test kits by ordering them online or by collecting them from a local pharmacy.

Being tested regularly is an important step in ensuring that the campus – and the wider Strathclyde community – is safe and that we help to minimise the risk of virus transmission. You should carry out twice weekly testing at home (three to four days apart). You can find out more about testing on our website.

Please remember that the lateral flow tests are only for people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms.

If you have symptoms or feel unwell, please do not come on to campus. Book a free NHS test and follow government self-isolation guidance until the results of your test are known. You can book your PCR test using nhsinform.scot.

Vaccinations

As the vaccination programme continues its successful roll out across the country, please remember there are now more ways than ever to get your vaccine. You can register online or attend a local drop-in clinic. You can find more information online at nhsinform.scot or you can call 0800 030 8013.

We have more information about the vaccinations on our website.

Wellbeing support

I would like to remind you that the Strathclyde team is here to support you in a wide range of areas.

Our Disability & Wellbeing Service has a large team of advisers and counsellors available to offer you advice and support in managing your mental health and wellbeing. If you have any concerns, or worries, please do contact us on student-advice@strath.ac.uk.

We also ask all students, at the point of registration, to provide details of a ‘wellbeing contact’, to enhance our capacity to respond to and support students who may need additional wellbeing support.

A safe and secure Strathclyde

I hope this message gives you some reassurance of how we are placing your health, safety and wellbeing at the forefront of our return to campus planning.

Our recent statement, made in partnership with StrathUnion, is a good reminder of how we are working in partnership across the whole of the Strathclyde community – with staff, students and visitors – to ensure that we keep everyone safe and secure.

Finally, I would like to draw your attention to the Scottish Government’s short course on COVID safety on campus. The course will help you understand what you need to do to keep yourself and others safe while you are attending University. It is quick and easy for you to complete and you can find it on MyPlace.

Thank you all for following all the rules and guidance and in helping to keep Strathclyde a safe and happy environment. I’m sure that you will quickly feel at home as part of the Strathclyde community.

Best wishes,

Jim
Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal