Bournemouth University Covid-19 Statement: Friday 16 July 2021
Rules in place on campus
While we recognise that the Government is lifting the majority of legal restrictions from Monday 19 July, we also appreciate that we remain in a fast-changing situation, with local case numbers still high. We need to continue the work we have done to protect the BU community throughout the pandemic.
Throughout the pandemic we have put people first and we will continue to do so, which is why our position on the safety measures on campus remains unchanged. We are continuing to ask all members of the BU community to carry on following the ‘hands, face, space, fresh air’ guidance and we will retain the measures in place on our campuses to minimise transmission. We strongly recommend that we all continue to use face coverings in indoor spaces where it is hard to keep a suitable distance from others. We will be reviewing ventilation again and our enhanced cleaning regime will continue, in order to protect us when on campus. Sanitation stations will remain in situ so, as well as following the physical distancing measures, please remember to use these and wash your hands regularly. Our buildings and on-campus spaces will continue to be set out in a physically distant way, with maximum occupancy of rooms remaining in place, signage around campus and Perspex glass in reception areas.
As we have throughout the pandemic, we will work with local partners, including Public Health Dorset, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council and the other universities, to support the safety on our campuses and of the local region. We will ensure our risk assessments and Local Outbreak Management Plan remain current.
Testing, communicating with us and vaccinations
We would like to take this opportunity to urge you to get tested regularly, twice a week, especially before coming onto campus. Home test kits are available in local pharmacies, with a small stock at The Base in Poole House and in AUB’s Madeira Road halls of residence. You can also order test kits online on the gov.uk website.
We continue to ask all students who are living within the local area to let us know if they test positive by emailing email@example.com, even if they have not recently visited campus. However, students who are not in the local area do not need to notify us of a positive test result.
Other recent updates
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Thursday 4 February
I’m sure we have all been encouraged by the news of the vaccine rollout this week, and the role that the higher education sector in the UK has played in helping to provide solutions that will hopefully see life return to normal as soon as possible, as well as our role in educating and training the future workforce. I have been so impressed with the way health and social care providers have managed this in partnership with their local authorities, the military, volunteers and others. Just a few updates from me this week:
As a reminder, on-campus activity is currently limited to those students who have face-to-face teaching, or who need access for individual study and cannot do so at home. Open Access Centres (in Poole House and Bournemouth Gateway Building (BGB)) and Library (the Sir Michael Cobham Library and BGB) spaces are bookable on both campuses for all students for individual study and is bookable on our website. I'm really sorry that we cannot offer space for group work during the current lockdown restrictions and I know this is really frustrating.
Testing is available for all staff and students who are on campus, twice a week, Mondays and Thursdays and is quick and easy to do. If you are on campus, please make use of this service by booking your tests on our website.
As always, if you are on campus, please continue to follow the health and safety rules, which are in place to protect everyone: Hands, Face, Space.
Michelle Donelan, the Universities Minister, has written to all higher education staff and students. A copy of the letter to students can be found here.
We await further information from the government about their roadmap for reopening education – and lifting lockdown restrictions – and are anticipating this information to start coming in the week commencing 22 February. The Major Incident Group will review actions required and share details as soon as we can.
I have used my messages recently to underline the behaviour we expect of everyone as we continue to operate in a national lockdown, but I know the vast majority of you are following the rules and keeping people safe. I want to end my message by thanking you for your support as we work together through this pandemic, for following the rules and for being a good ambassador of this university. As always, we’re here for you, and you can explore the wellbeing resources available to you on our website.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 Statement: Updated Thursday 20 May 2021
I know not as many of you managed to get vaccinated this week as hoped, when the local NHS Trust made the kind offer to put on walk-in sessions for BU, Arts University Bournemouth and AECC University College students. While the process was clearly not as smooth as we would have liked, I want to underline our commitment to work with the NHS and other local partners to enable you to take advantage of any future opportunities for vaccination as soon as they are offered. I would also like to thank those of you who queued for some considerable time for your patience and consideration.
On campus and testing
If you have returned to the local area, I hope you are enjoying being back on campus. I have really enjoyed seeing campus busier this week, as well as spending time in the Bournemouth Gateway Building, and there is light at the end of the tunnel for all of us.
If you are coming on to campus, please remember your face covering, which you need to wear when indoors with a few small exceptions and you can find all the details on the website.
We were really pleased to see so many of you come forward for vaccination. This, and continued testing, is a really important part of getting back to normal life for all of us. The test centre in Kimmeridge House is open for you on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, between 8.30am and 1pm. From Monday, we will also have home test kits available for you to collect, so you can test yourself before coming on to campus. We will share all the details of where these will be available with you in Your BU Weekly on Monday.
Now that we have moved to step three of the Government roadmap and are able to enjoy some greater freedom in our lives, we can hopefully start to return to a more normal way of studying, working and living, whilst of course continuing to remain cautious and following the remaining guidelines. Work continues across the university to manage our day-to-day operations, as well as planning for the summer, the new academic year and beyond, and we shared details of academic delivery with you earlier this week. This will now be overseen by the standard structures and teams in place at the university. The Major Incident Group (MIG), which has been managing our response to the pandemic, has today stood down after operating since January 2020. We will continue to keep you updated with everything you need to know. So, while I will no longer be sending you a message each Thursday, we’ll share updates and information with you through Your BU Weekly, Brightspace, the website, social media and our other channels. If you have any queries, please speak to your Programme Leader or get in touch with AskBU.
I wish you all the best for any assessments and exams which are coming up for you and, once again, would like to thank you for all your messages, and even the memes, which have helped enormously during these challenging times.
Very best wishes from the whole of the major incident team.
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Thursday 13 May
As I said to you on Tuesday, I was really encouraged to see the confirmation of further easing of restrictions as we move to step 3 of the government’s roadmap.
In line with this announcement we have reviewed our activity for next week, with full details of the buildings and facilities open on campus available on our website. Please do be aware that some facilities require pre-booking, so please do check the website before you travel.
Please also check your timetable for any changes from Monday and contact your programme support team if you have any queries.
Face coverings and testing
We are keeping our guidance on face coverings under constant review; we are updating our risk assessment in line with this week’s government guidance and will update you again on Monday. In the meantime, please continue to wear a face covering while indoors, or outdoors where two-metre distancing cannot be maintained, on BU’s campuses.
Our on-campus test centre is in operation, and we will share more information about the roll out of home test kits next week, but kits are available in all local pharmacies, and on the gov.uk website. Please do ensure you are continuing to get tested regularly.
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week so, as I have often done over the last year, I’d like to remind you all that we are here to support you, with a number of resources available to any student who may wish to make use of them.
We also have a number of financial support funds available for any student in need, including our Covid-19 Impact Support Fund, with more information available on our website.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Tuesday 11 May
We are really pleased that the Prime Minister has confirmed that England will move to Step 3 of the easing of Covid-19 restrictions on Monday and that we can resume more activities on and off campus.
It is important to remember that social distancing measures remain in place, including the use of face coverings indoors, and the ‘rule of six’ or two households indoors.
We will share more information on Thursday about what will change on campus from Monday, but you should refer to your timetable for any course specific information.
As well as the ‘Hands, Face, Space, Fresh Air’ message from the government, it is clear that regular testing of students and staff is really important to minimising transmission, the Prime Minister confirmed that regular testing will be required at universities as a part of this next stage. Please refer to our on-campus testing page for details on how to be tested on campus or how to order home test kits. We will also be distributing home test kits on campus from next week, with more details on this on Thursday.
You can see the latest letter from the Universities Minister Michelle Donelan, addressed to students, on our website.
I will be back in touch with you again on Thursday with more information.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Thursday 22 April
With term restarting this week, we have been able to welcome back a small number of additional students to campus in accordance with Government guidelines. If you have been able to return, we are delighted to see you back, but we remain committed to each you, whether you are able to be in the local area at the current time or are elsewhere in the country or world.
I know that some people may be concerned about being on campus. We have fully risk assessed all activities on our campuses and will continue to update these in light of any changes in guidance from the Government. However, we can all play our part in keeping Covid-19 away from our campuses, so I would like to give you a quick reminder of the rules.
We continue to ask all staff and students, unless you are exempt, to wear face coverings at all times when indoors on campus or outdoors if a two metre distance can’t be maintained between you and someone else. This includes when you are sitting at a desk or study station, even if you are more than two metres away from another student. Even if you are sitting with someone you share a flat with, please wear a face covering when on campus. You can find further details about the safety measures on campus on the website.
We have changed the layout of teaching and seminar rooms and other facilities to keep space between everyone. I know sometimes the layout might not be ideal, but please don’t rearrange the furniture or move the transparent, perspex screens. These spaces have been set up to maximise the safety of all of us and to comply with the relevant health and safety legislation.
Don’t forget to keep washing your hands, as this is one of the most effective ways we can keep ourselves safe.
Please also remember that you should get tested twice a week, either at the testing facility in Kimmeridge House at Talbot Campus or by using home test kits. The testing centre will be open between 9am and 1pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from next week and you can continue to book your slot on-line. However, you can also now come along for a test without booking from 11am each day that the facility is open.
Lastly, thank you for all your efforts to follow the rules. I recognise that this is not always easy to do, but you are making a significant contribution to keeping BU students, staff and all our loved ones safe, so thank you.
If you are struggling financially at this time, there is some advice and guidance on our website, which you might find useful. You will also find details there of our hardship funds. If you need specific advice, please get in touch with AskBU for assistance.
I hope the first week back after the Spring break is going well and, with the sunny weather continuing, that you have some time to relax over the weekend.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Wednesday 14 April
What this means for you
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Friday 9 April
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Tuesday 6 April
Yesterday’s briefing by the Government addressed the next stage in the national roadmap out of restrictions, including the reopening of gyms, hospitality and non-essential shops. However, we were disappointed there was no update relating to universities and so we must continue to wait for their decision about more face-to-face teaching.
We are currently working through the guidance about the reopening of hospitality, gyms and other facilities on campus, and will update you again on Friday.
Director of Student Services
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Friday 26 March
Government Covid-19 restrictions
From next week, we enter the next phase of the government’s Covid-19 restrictions, with the ability to meet a limited number of other people outdoors. I’m sure that for all of us this will be a welcome change, but its also important to understand the restrictions still in place as they are eased in some areas. The easiest place to find the information is on the gov.uk website but from Monday up to six people, or two households, will be able to meet outdoors, with the opening of some sports facilities.
The rules for socialising indoors have not changed and you can still only socialise indoors with those in your household. As a reminder, a household is those in your immediate flat or house. Please do continue to operate all other safety measures, including physical distancing, mask wearing and hand hygiene, but let us all enjoy this limited change, and the opportunities it provides.
As we all know, it is vital we continue to follow the rules in place, it will only be for a little while longer and will help to stop the virus spreading.
While some of the lockdown rules are changing, the rules relating to universities will not change until after Easter. We have not yet been informed what these changes will be, but as soon as we hear, we will let you know. Please keep an eye on our website for changes to our campus facilities and opening times, as they may differ over the Easter period. We will continue to do all we can to make study spaces available for those who need them, and are reviewing our provision to make sure there are enough spaces to meet your requirements; thank you for your continued engagement and feedback. Please do remember that you should only be coming onto campus if you have face-to-face teaching or to access study facilities.
It has, of course, been a year that we have been living with some sort of restriction now, related to Covid-19, so thank you for continuing to read my messages, and all of the replies you have sent to me. I understand some of the frustration you feedback to me and share your hopes that we can soon return to a more normal on campus experience. As a reminder, we’re here for you to support you, with a range of support measures in place, and our latest Being Well with BU podcast talks about the journey we’ve been on this year.
As we head into the Easter break I want to wish you all well, please do remember that you will need to get tested before travelling, with more information about what you need to do on our FAQs page.
Please do keep checking your emails over the Easter break as we will continue to communicate with you and provide updates on any possible return to face-to-face activity post-Easter.
Staying safe online
The higher education sector has recently seen another surge in cyber-attacks, BU has also seen an large increase in the number of scam emails targeting BU email addresses, with over 15,500 scam emails received in March alone. Please do continue to do all you can to stay safe online, you can find out more about what you can do on the BU website.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Thursday 18 March
Following my message to you last week, we are still waiting for confirmation from the Government about when they will share their plans for universities after Easter. I am encouraged by the news that students will be able to return to their universities in Wales after the Easter break and we are cautiously planning for some more students to return to campus. However, this will of course depend on the Government announcement that we expect during April so, as yet, we are not able to provide a definite update about your programme and how this will be delivered for the remainder of this academic year. I will keep you updated as soon as we receive further guidance.
Travelling over the Easter break
The Government has advised that if you are currently at university, you are allowed to travel home to family for the Easter break, if you can or would like to do so. However, while this is permitted, the Government is strongly advising against travelling, especially if you have only just recently returned to campus. If you do decide to travel home, please be aware of the following:
- You are only allowed to travel home once before 29 April. You can travel back to your term-time accommodation at any time
- You need to get tested before you travel home and then again before you travel back to university, if there are community testing facilities available locally
- If you test positive, you must self-isolate for ten days and not travel until after this time. This is required by law
- When travelling, make sure you plan ahead. Don’t share a car with anyone outside of your household and if travelling by public transport, don’t forget you must wear a face covering unless you are exempt. You can find more information about safer travel from the gov.uk website
- Once you have returned to campus, you are expected to get tested twice a week at the testing site at Talbot Campus.
If you are planning to travel overseas for the Easter break, make sure that you check additional entry requirements and restrictions that have been introduced due to Covid-19 before you travel and before returning to the UK. This includes:
- Before you return to the UK, you must book a pre-departure Covid-19 test, complete a passenger locator form and book private Covid-19 testing for days two and eight of your stay in the UK
- If you are travelling from (or via) a ‘red list’ country, you will have to quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel
- If you are travelling from (or via) a country which is not on the ‘red list’, you will need to self-isolate in your student accommodation for ten days. You can reduce this period of self-isolation by taking a Covid-19 test from a private testing provider after five full days of self-isolation. You can’t use the testing facility at Talbot Campus for this purpose. If you get a negative result, you can stop self-isolating. This is called the test to release scheme and you can find out more on the gov.uk website. You will still need to take a test on or before day two and on or after day eight
- Once you have completed your self-isolation period, you are expected to get tested twice a week at the testing site at Talbot Campus
- You can find out more information about travelling abroad on the gov.uk website.
A reminder of the lockdown rules
This national lockdown is hard for all of us; I know how challenging my family and I are finding it at the moment. Nevertheless, the end is hopefully coming into sight and we need to make the final push through to the end. So here is a quick recap of what you need to know:
- You must continue to stay at home except for limited essential reasons such as exercise, food shopping or for medical appointments
- You can only socialise indoors with your household – the people you live with in your house or flat. If you are living in a hall of residence, then your household is the people in your flat; it is not the whole hall and so you can’t socialise indoors with anyone from a different flat, unless you live alone. In this case, you are allowed to form a ‘bubble’ with one other household, but you can’t have multiple ‘bubbles’
- House parties and gatherings of people not from your household are currently illegal. The Government has introduced a new £800 fine for anyone going to a house party, including in halls of residence. This amount will double for each repeat offence to a maximum level of £6,400
- You can leave your home to exercise and you can exercise outside with your household or individually with one other person.
Many clubs and societies are running online, so why not take a look at the events and activities they have planned? Alternatively, if you need some motivation to get active, you can find a range of workouts with fitness and nutritional advice on SportBU’s premium portal, which is currently free to all students. For those of you currently in halls of residence, I hope you are managing to get involved in the social opportunities created by ResLifeBU teams.
Your feedback is important
As always, I value and appreciate the time you take to send in your comments and questions and these feed in to our communications and decision-making. Another way you can tell us how things are for you at the moment is through the surveys that you have been invited to respond to. If you are a foundation year student or level four or five, you should have received an invitation to take part in our pulse survey. The results of this will help us plan for your return after the Easter break, as well as for the start of the next academic year in September. If you are in your final year, you will have been sent the National Student Survey (NSS) to complete and for those of you who are level seven, the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) launched this week. Please do take these opportunities to share your feedback and experiences with us, so that we can continue to provide you with the best experience possible under current and future circumstances.
I hope your course or research is going well and you are finding ways to balance your studies with some downtime. As always, if you have questions or concerns, please do get in touch with us via AskBU.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Thursday 11 March
Here is the latest update from the Major Incident Group specifically for our students.
Today, I want to update you on the current position for universities and what we expect to happen next, when the Government announces the next phase of its roadmap for universities. I know it’s been a frustrating time for many of you who want to have more access to campus; this is something that we want too, but we need to ensure that we continue to follow the rules and legislation in place.
What the Government has said
Last month, the Prime Minister announced the Government’s road map towards moving the country out of the national lockdown. In terms of university teaching, from 8 March the Government allowed students on practical courses to return, but only those who would be unable to complete their courses if they did not return to take part in practical teaching. The Government required universities to limit the number of students who returned to university at this stage, in order to minimise travel and help manage the risk of transmission by not bringing back those of you who could reasonably continue your studies online. Therefore, we were only able to invite a small number of programmes to return to campus this week.
When the Government will next update universities
The Government has advised that it will provide an update for universities about which courses it will allow us to bring back to campus after the Easter break. The Prime Minister stated that we will receive this update before the end of the Easter holidays, but has not yet provided clarification by which exact date. Term dates differ between universities and therefore, at this point in time, we don’t know if we will hear from the Government before our term restarts on 19 April. Please be reassured that we are progressing with our plans, so that we can support your return to campus as quickly as possible, if and when the Government allows this. Our Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Vinney, and other universities are pressing the Government for a confirmed date for this essential information. I will, of course, keep you informed every step of the way.
What we want to provide for you after Easter
Our ambition is to try and bring as many of you as we are permitted to back to campus after the Easter break for as full an experience as we can offer, but we are very mindful of the continued health risks and will only do this if it is safe to do so. Academic teams across all the faculties are working through the detail of which activities we will be able to provide and which ones will remain online for the remainder of the semester. Furthermore, we are looking at what supplementary activity to your courses, as well as extra-curricular opportunities and facilities open across both campuses to support group study, might be possible. As I have said, I know how frustrating and disappointing the current situation is and this is not the experience that we would want you to have. Nevertheless, we are required to follow the Government’s regulations in respect to universities and students and so, while we are proceeding with our plans for the remainder of this academic year, we can’t confirm yet exactly whether you will be able to return to campus next month.
What this means for you
We remain fully committed to providing you with the best experience possible under the current national restrictions and as soon as we are able to do so, we will welcome you back to campus. I continue to be immensely proud of how your programme teams and student support services have worked and supported you and your learning during this immensely challenging time. The university has continued to function throughout the pandemic, offering opportunities such as our award-winning Global Talent Programme, through which you can enhance your personal strengths, navigate an increasingly digital and global workplace, and develop key skills sought by employers. SUBU continues to provide opportunities to get involved and support our local community through volunteering and our University Choir and other choral groups are meeting and enjoying the benefits of singing with others regularly via Zoom. These and other extra-curricular activities will continue throughout the year online and hopefully soon in person.
Support for you and your learning
While we know that the future is looking brighter, we do all still need to live under the current situation and if you need support or assistance, please do come and talk to us. In your faculty, the Student Support and Engagement Team can guide you through personal and academic issues or you can contact your academic adviser. If you need someone to talk to, the Faith & Reflection team offers a welcoming environment and a listening ear to everyone, while the Student Wellbeing service can support you if you are feeling anxious or stressed. This week, we have relaunched our student health and wellbeing pages on the website with filters to help you find the information or support service you need more quickly, so do take a little time to have a look around the pages. The university is here for you and if you are unsure about who you need to speak to, then get in touch with AskBU.
Travelling home for Easter
To continue to keep transmission levels of Covid-19 as low as possible in the country, the Government is asking students to avoid travelling home for the Easter break if possible. If you do wish to return to family for the holiday period, you are expected to get tested at the facility at Talbot Campus before you travel and only travel if you get a negative test result. You should also get tested locally before you return to campus after the break, if there are community facilities available.
If you are making plans to travel overseas for the Easter break, do make sure that you understand what measures you need to follow both on leaving and returning to the UK.
I hope to be able to update you more next week.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Thursday 4 March
University Mental Health Day
Today is University Mental Health Day, so I want to start by reminding you all of the wellbeing resources available to anyone in need of support as we continue to work through these restrictions. Please do take time to look through these resources, and to look out for your fellow students too.
Following the government’s roadmap announcement last week, we have been working on the gradual return to campus for students, in line with national government guidelines and restrictions.
In line with this, we are also increasing the activity of our on-campus test centre, which will be open and bookable for students from 9am-4pm Monday-Friday from next week. We expect all students who are accessing campus to get tested twice a week.
As our test centre opens for longer hours, there has also been a small change to our building opening hours, which can be viewed on our website. Please note, you should still only be accessing campus for face-to-face teaching, or to access study spaces, which should be booked in advance. If you are on campus you must comply with the Covid-secure measures we have in place, including face coverings and social distancing.
Continued online teaching
For those who are not returning to campus just yet we recognise that this is a disappointing and frustrating situation and the university is very much committed to enabling you to come back to campus as soon as we are permitted to do so.
At all times, we have been working to follow government guidance, while also prioritising the safety and wellbeing of our staff and students. While the government confirmed that in-person teaching could resume for those on practical or practice-based courses, universities were asked not to ask students to return yet if their course could reasonably be continued online. After careful consideration, we have decided to minimise the number of people on campus before Easter, and therefore minimising travel from around the country. We hope the Government’s guidance after Easter will allow more of us to be back on campus too.
We will continue to update you as soon as we are able on what a further gradual return might look like.
Impact and support through Covid-19
I am so proud of the way that our community has come together throughout the pandemic, as we have made an impact on the national effort and supported one another.
Our Covid-19 news page is full of stories about the impact we’re having, please do have a look at the work of our colleagues. If you’ve got a good example of support you’ve received, either from fellow students or from BU staff, please do email firstname.lastname@example.org, we’d love to hear them!
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Thursday 25 February
Studying from 8 March
I wrote to you earlier in the week outlining how the Government’s roadmap for exiting the national lockdown will impact the BU community. We are currently finalising the details of any programmes which we can bring back to campus and, if this includes the course that you are studying, your programme teams will tell you by the end of this week via Brightspace the details of any on-campus sessions from 8 March. If you are not on a practical-based course, or the course does not meet the Government’s criteria, your teaching will continue to be online, so please continue studying from where you are currently living and do not return to Bournemouth. I know this may be disappointing for you, but we all need to continue to follow the Covid-19 regulations for a while longer and we hope Government decisions will allow us to welcome more of you back to campus after the Easter break.
If you are returning to campus
If you are returning to campus, you are expected to book in for your two Covid-19 tests, which you can access in the sports hall on Talbot Campus. Getting tested will be able to provide reassurance that you will minimise the risk of infecting your friends, housemates, other students and staff, so helping to keep the BU community safe. If you do test positive, our student support teams are on hand to help you manage, so please don’t forget to let us know of your positive result.
If you are travelling to campus for teaching or to get tested, the UniBus service is running on a reduced timetable, so please remember to check out the bus times before you travel. The libraries and open access centres remain open for independent study and you will need to book a study place before travelling to campus. If your plans change and you aren’t able to make the time you have booked, please remember to cancel your booking. This will help us to provide facilities for as many students as possible in these difficult times. If you are coming on to campus, don’t forget that you will need a face covering and to follow all the physical distancing measures in place. Thank you.
New measures to support you and your learning, including uncapped reassessment
While the lockdown continues for a while longer, we have at least seen the plan to remove the restrictions under which we are all living and so we need to continue to support each other into spring. In our latest ‘Being Well’ podcast, you can hear how the army teaches recruits to develop resilience and how to deal with stress. If you are facing stress caused by financial worries as a result of the pandemic, we have a number of support funds which may be available to you, including the BU accommodation support fund, and if you have any questions, please get in touch with AskBU for help.
Of course, I recognise that the continuation of lockdown may be having an effect on your studies. We recently let you know about all the ways that we are supporting your learning at the current time and we have continued to look at other support which we could introduce to help you at this time, as well as to listen to your feedback. Therefore, we have now launched a new online extension request form to simplify the process of requesting an extension. You can use the online extension request form for all requests from now onwards, but there is no need to submit the form if you have already requested an extension through the old process.
In addition, as a result of the continuing challenging circumstances which you are experiencing this year, we have made a temporary amendment to the Standard Assessment Regulations for this year, so that if you fail an assessment on your first attempt in 2020/21, you will automatically be given an uncapped reassessment as your second attempt. This means that your marks will not be capped at the pass mark for your second attempt.
BU supports the fight against Covid-19
Universities have been at the vanguard of developments in the fight against Covid-19. Research has always been, and will continue to be, an essential part of BU’s identity, and we have been successful in a number of projects that look at tackling the problems created by the pandemic in a range of ways. Dr Anna Feigenbaum, from the Faculty of Media & Communication, for example, is researching web-comics from the first six months of the pandemic, in order to evaluate the impact of sharing health messages via digital storytelling in the style of comics on social media platforms and the impact on behavioural change. In the Faculty of Health and Social Science, Dr Pramod Regmi is working with Dr Nirmal Aryal, Professor Edwin van Teijlingen and Dr Shovita Adhikary to examine misinformation and its impact on socio-economically disadvantaged populations in Nepal during the Covid-19 pandemic. We will be sharing the details of these and other Covid-19-related research projects throughout March.
It is looking like a sunny weekend, so hopefully we can all get out and enjoy some exercise outdoors.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Tuesday 23 February
Yesterday, the Prime Minister presented his roadmap for the country to move out of lockdown and you can find the full details on the gov.uk website.
The key messages of the Government’s roadmap
England remains in lockdown and the restrictions about who you can meet outside of your home continue. Therefore, you must remain at home except for limited allowed reasons such as exercise or shopping for essential items. You can meet one other person outside of your household for exercise, but must not visit other people in their home or allow them to visit you at your home, unless you have formed a ‘support bubble’ with them.
The Government signalled that, for universities, some in-person teaching and learning may resume from 8 March for students who are studying practical or practice-based subjects and require specialist equipment and facilities, but that universities should not ask students to return to campus if their course can be reasonably continued online.
The Government has said that it will review the situation during April for all students who are studying remotely and we will keep you informed, as soon as we hear more about this.
The Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan, has written a letter to all students following the Government’s announcement.
What this means for you
We are working through the guidance issued by the Government last night, so please do not make any immediate arrangements to return to campus at the current time. We will advise you via Brightspace if your course is returning to face-to-face teaching on campus, so please look out for this information. This information will be specific to your programme and if your teaching is to resume on campus, you will be contacted by your programme team on Friday 26 February via Brightspace. Otherwise you should stay where you are for now, in line with the national guidance, and continue to study from where you are currently living.
If you are a research student, please continue to follow the guidance in place to support you at this time.
BU is here for you
I know that this announcement may be disappointing and frustrating for you, and I and all my colleagues at BU share these feelings. We very much want to welcome all of you back to campus and look forward to when we are able to do so. For the time being, however, we need to follow the Government guidance to help keep the BU community safe.
While we might be working remotely, our student support teams are on hand to help you, from Student Wellbeing, Faith & Reflection, the library team, IT support and Careers & Employability. You can find out more about how we are supporting your learning on the website and of course, the AskBU team is here to help with any queries you might have.
If you have been advised by the Government to stay at home because you are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable and your course will have face-to-face on-campus teaching after 8 March, please stay shielding at home. You should not return to campus at this time. If this applies to you, please get in touch with your Programme Leader about how we can support your learning during this period.
Accommodation and finance
Following the Government’s announcement, we have extended the accommodation rent credit for those of you living in a property where the contract is directly with BU and who have been already been informed that you are eligible for a credit for the period 11 January to 5 March. If this applies to you, we will extend the 50% rent reduction for the period 6 March until 29 March and we will automatically apply it to your account, unless you are returning to your accommodation for face-to-face teaching. Please remember, if you are not on a course that allows you to return to campus, then you should remain studying online from where you are currently living.
If you live in any other type of accommodation, you will need to check with your landlord/provider to see what arrangements they are making following the Government's announcement.
If you are worried about money as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, then please do get in touch with us. There are a number of support funds which may be available to you and if you have any questions, please get in touch with AskBU for help.
I will contact you again on Thursday and will of course update you further once we have more information from the Government, which we expect to receive at the beginning of April.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Thursday 11 February
I hope you are having a good week. Just a few updates from the Major Incident Group:
I would like to start by reminding you that we do not want any of you to be struggling as we continue to work and study under difficult circumstances. Last week I wrote to you to tell you about the accommodation support we are able to give.
Please be aware that there are a number of financial support measures in place for you in you are in financial hardship. Please take time to look at this page and ask for help if you need it.
John Vinney’s latest podcast is out today, and gives more information about the response of the HE sector and how we’re planning for the future, you can listen to it here.
How you can support the Covid-19 effort
We are often contacted by partner organisations to ask for your help and opinions as they look to manage the Covid-19 effort nationally. If you’d like to offer your support to any Covid-19 related initiatives we’ve put a page of information together with some suggestions.
Looking after yourself
We need to keep remembering that our current circumstances are not normal, as we continue with our work and study. Please to make sure you are looking after yourself, and those within your households.
We are not planning a Major Incident Group message next Thursday, but we will speak to you again the week after, when we are expecting more information from the government about the next steps for education.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Tuesday 15 June
Last night, the Government announced a delay of four weeks to the Covid-19 roadmap. Due to rising rates of the Delta variant, the Prime Minister has decided to postpone the lifting of all restrictions until 19 July to allow for more people to get vaccinated. Currently people aged 23 and 24 years can now book their jab, so if you fall into this age category, I would encourage you to get your first vaccination as soon as possible.
I understand that this delay is disappointing, as many of us are likely to have had plans over the coming weeks. However, for the time being, we need to continue to follow the existing rules, which means:
- If you are socialising indoors, such as in a café or your own home, you can do so with either five other people (the rule of six) if you all belong to different households, or with your household and one other household. Remember, your household means those people in your immediate flat or house only, not the whole hall of residence. You will also need to continue to wear a face covering in many indoor settings.
- If you are socialising outdoors, a maximum of 30 people can meet together. When you head out to socialise with friends, please be aware that you are an ambassador of Bournemouth University; we kindly ask you to consider others, who may still be nervous about larger groups.
- You can find out the full details of what restrictions are in place on the gov.uk website.
The Government will review this situation in two weeks’ time, so if there are any changes to these rules, we will of course let you know.
Campus remains open for you, although there are some limitations to access which we still have in place to meet the necessary Government regulations. You can find out the details of what’s open on our website.