Dear Strathclyde Student,
On behalf of the entire University community, I would like to wish you a Happy New Year. I hope you had a restful break and were able to enjoy the festivities.
As you will be aware, the First Minister has announced a temporary national lockdown to combat the continuing spread of Covid-19. We are expecting further guidance for universities from the Scottish Government this week, particularly around students returning to term-time accommodation, and we will be in touch with you again shortly with more on this.
In the meantime, the arrangements announced on 21st December still remain in place, with universities and colleges able to operate using a restricted mix of face-to-face and distance learning. The Scottish Government guidance relating to this can be found here. Learning and teaching will be online, with the exception of essential and time-sensitive learning, assessments and work placements that cannot be delivered remotely or postponed.
Your tutors and lecturers are looking forward to welcoming you back online, as planned, for Consolidation and Development Week from 11th January, and the start of online teaching from 18th January.
For the month of January, the Scottish Government is asking us all to stay at home as much as possible to minimise the risk of spreading the virus. By law, in a Level 4 area, you can only leave your home for an essential purpose, including “for education including school, college, university or other essential purposes connected with a course of study.”
The start of Semester two was planned carefully with this eventuality in mind, and only a very small number of programmes have essential and time-sensitive teaching on-campus commencing in the week beginning 18th January. If you are in this category, your Department or School will confirm the plans for your programme. Once you have this information, you should book a COVID-19 test to enable you to plan your return.
This is a fast-moving situation and we will share the additional, more detailed guidance from the Scottish Government as soon as we can.
Finally, we know that lockdown can bring additional stresses and strains to daily life. It’s more important than ever that we take time to focus on wellbeing – both our own, and that of those around us.
We can all feel the benefits of being active, staying connected with friends and family, and getting outside for fresh air. Remember that we’re here for you and if you have any concerns or worries, please do contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find wellbeing advice and support on our website.
Please take care and stay safe.
Professor Sir Jim McDonald
Principal and Vice-Chancellor