Bournemouth University Covid-19 Statement: Thursday 25 February 2021
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