Read previous updates to find out what we’ve been doing to manage the situation.
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Thursday 6 August
Now that Lansdowne and Talbot campuses are open for staff to begin to return safely, we are working with the faculties and Doctoral College to support those of you who are postgraduate taught students and researchers to also be able to return. We will be providing further details shortly.
The Major Incident Group (MIG) is focused on finalising the operational plans for our student-facing services for all of you from September. This is a complex operation with many different elements to consider. From the libraries, open access centres and student service teams to music, art and SportBU, we are working towards providing as full a campus experience as possible for you next semester, while complying with physical distancing measures on site. We hope to share further details with you next week.
All our teams are very much looking forward to welcoming you back to campus. In the meantime, to help you prepare for the new academic year, the online learning toolkit in Brightspace offers a wide range of advice and information, including areas such as critical thinking, collaborative resources, wellbeing support and career guidance from MyCareerHub. There is also a link to LinkedIn Learning, which is now available to you. With over 13,000 courses, including financial literacy, social media, drawing and music theory, this is a valuable resource to develop your existing skills or discover new ones.
I wish you all the best for the sunny weekend ahead and we will be in touch again with you next week.
Director of Estates
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Thursday 30 July
From Monday, both Lansdowne and Talbot campuses will be ready to reopen and our Estates and Health, Safety and Wellbeing teams have done an amazing job in installing all the physical distancing and other hygiene measures in time. However, I would like to reiterate previous messages, that we are initiating a phased return to our sites, which is to support the safety of all staff and students. While many of you may be at home with family, for those of you still around Bournemouth and especially our postgraduate taught students and researchers, we hope to be able to open up parts of campus to you shortly. As I say, this will be in a phased manner and we will be communicating further details about this with you. In the meantime, please do not come to campus unless you have received permission to do so. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
By now, we have all begun to get used to wearing face coverings in shops, on public transport and in other enclosed spaces. When you return to campus, we are asking you also to wear a face covering in all indoor communal areas, such as corridors, seminar rooms, stairs and lifts, the shops on campus and on the buses. If you are working or studying at a desk or other work station within two metres of another person, please also wear a face covering, but this is not needed if you are in a space more than two metres from a fellow student or member of staff. These actions are necessary to help keep our BU community safe and we all need to support each other during these times. Please do wear a face covering if you are able to do so. This is part of our responsibility towards ourselves and others. Of course, you may choose to wear a mask at all times and this is entirely a personal decision. I would ask you also to remember that some people will not be able to wear a face covering due to health or other reasons, so we need to be kind and understanding to other students, staff and visitors in this situation. You can find more information in the FAQs.
Over the last week or so, we have been sharing with you the details of how your programme will be delivered in semester one and you can find this detail in Brightspace. As we are able to open up more facilities on campus, we will of course let you know. In the meantime, you can find further information about the IT support for you on campus, as well as guidance about using and purchasing your own devices, including discounts available to you, on the website.
If you are about to start your placement during the coming academic year, or have already started this, look out for the email we have sent you, which contains key information for you, including details of flexibility of placement lengths, due to the impact of Covid-19.
Finally, I would like to draw your attention to the change on the Government rules around self-isolation, which now require anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 or shows symptoms to self-isolate for at least 10 days, rather than seven.
I wish you all the best and we will contact you again next week.
Finance Director (Interim)
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Friday 24 July
This week, we have started to clarify how teaching will be delivered for semester one of the next academic year. This information is being added to Brightspace by your programme teams during the next two weeks. You will receive an email from them when this has been completed for your course. Please do keep checking Brightspace, and your emails, over the Summer Break, to make sure you have all the information you need about the way your course will be delivered from September.
Teaching will be different in the first semester of the next academic year, from September, with a mixture of virtual and face-to-face teaching – with priority given to learning through specialist equipment that cannot be done remotely; you should see this reflected in the course information you receive. Our usual student support services are available, and we will be opening a number of on-campus services from September – including the Library, Open Access Centres, Student Centre, SportBU and catering outlets – in line with the Government guidance at the time.
It’s important that you know these changes are temporary and that we will be back to our usual on-campus experience as soon as national guidance makes it possible.
Preparations are continuing to make changes and adaptations to campus to prioritise your safety when you do return and you can see some of the changes that have been made in this video.
I am sure you’ll have seen the updated face covering guidance, in effect from today. We expect staff, students and visitors to comply with this where required, such as in BU’s shops on public transport and indoor communal areas. We are working through the detail of this announcement and will provide further clarity next week, prior to the reopening of campus.
I know many of you will be receiving your results too, so I wanted to remind you about the ‘no detriment’ policy that was put in place some months ago. The ‘no detriment’ approach has been implemented alongside new assessment regulations to ensure that you are not disadvantaged as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. When you receive your results, you can be assured that the 'no detriment' approach has been applied to your outcome for this year. Full information can be found on the BU website.
I know that many of you have already received these results and it is great to see your celebrations on social media. I take time to see these and listen to your feedback and I am sure that you will join me in thanking all of the staff who have supported you during what has been an incredibly difficult year.
Please do make the most of the summer break, I know I have said it before, but the circumstances of the last few months have been stressful. I hope that you will take some time for yourself and engage with family and friends. I am preparing to take a bit of annual leave myself for the same reasons. During this time the incredible team I have supporting me will continue to be here to support you if you have any questions or concerns.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Friday 10 July
In my message last week, I updated you on the work taking place to support the reopening of our campuses. By early August, all the physical distancing and other hygiene measures will be in place across our sites to enable staff to begin to return to working on campus, in preparation for the new academic year. We are very much looking forward to welcoming you back on campus, as soon as we can if you are continuing your postgraduate studies or in September for other students, and you can see some of the changes which have been made in this short video.
Thank you for all your emails and questions and please do keep sending them in to us, so we can continue to support you over the coming weeks. I know that you are of course very interested to hear the details of how your programme will be delivered next semester and our academic teams are finalising this for each of our programmes. We will be able to share this key information with you during the week of 20 July through Brightspace and I will contact you again during that week as well. Colleagues are also working incredibly hard through the assessment board to provide you with the outcomes from the year of study which, as I have said before, has been a challenge for all of us.
Following on from that, we will also share our plans for how services will be available on campus, including Student Wellbeing, SportBU, the libraries and open access centres. We are also reviewing transport between our sites, including the bus services and will have further details for you of these and other ways of travelling between the campuses.
With the easing of travel restrictions both in the UK and abroad, you may now be considering a break away from home over the summer. If you are planning a trip overseas, you can find guidance about quarantine regulations and the countries which are exempt on the Government website.
I will next be in touch with you on Thursday 23 July and wish you all the best for the coming two weeks.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Thursday 2 July
The Major Incident Group (MIG) met today and I am delighted with the progress we are making with our preparations to reopen campus and for how courses will be delivered next semester. There is of course a lot still to be done as this is a complex operation with the broad range of programmes taught at BU and the research activity which takes place, and we are committed to giving all students a positive experience, with consideration of the requirements for physical distancing on our campuses. I hope to be able to share further detail about this with you towards the end of July/early August when we will have a clear timeline.
For many of you, the academic year has now come to an end and I hope you have the opportunity to enjoy a break from your studies. If the change of routine feels a little strange, our latest Being Well podcast covers the topic of habits and routine and is well worth a listen. However, I know that many of our Postgraduate and researcher students are still hard at work. Everyone at the university remains here for you, so if you do need any support over the summer months, please get in touch with your academic team or AskBU. Details of how you can contact our different services can be found on our website.
On Sunday, the NHS celebrates its 72nd anniversary and I would like to take this opportunity to extend my special thanks to our students and staff currently working and volunteering in the health and social care services and contributing to our nation’s fight against Covid-19.
I wish you all the best for the rest of the week and will be in touch again next Thursday.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Thursday 25 June
Yesterday I was on the Talbot Campus to see first hand the progress being made to get the site ready for our return and the progress on implementing government guidelines on keeping people safe. There has been significant progress made, and I am grateful to our colleagues for all the work they have done to make our campuses safe.
Below are some images so you can see some of the safety measures in place, including floor signs in support of physical distancing, hygiene stations in buildings, and the installation of some screens in public-facing areas. There is also clear signage about what is expected of you in terms of hygiene and hand-washing while on our campuses.
This work is ongoing and I trust that these images reassure you that we are doing all we can in support of a return to campus. While the first semester of the next academic year will be different to what you may have expected, I am confident that all students will be able to have some access to campus, whether it is to access specialist teaching facilities, or some of the services we are looking to open, and I am looking forward to seeing many of you back on site at the start of the next academic year.
I am still reading all of your messages and am grateful for the way you have taken the time to engage with us, and I understand that some of you still have questions about what next year will look like. Please do keep checking our Covid-19 FAQs page, which we are continuing to update with the latest advice and contact AskBU if you cannot find an answer to your question.
As I said last week, we are still working through the detail of what each course will look like in the new academic year, and we will be looking to provide this to you as soon as we are able. Additionally, over the coming weeks we will set out some timescales for the next phases of our return.
Please continue to take some time to look after yourselves and, as we head into the summer break, I trust you are making plans to give yourselves a proper rest.
Please do keep checking your emails over the summer, as we’ll have some important updates to share with you as we move towards September.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Thursday 18 June
I am sure that for most of you, like me, being in Bournemouth and Poole, making full use of the campuses and being able to meet friends, other students and colleagues is a key part of what you enjoy about being part of the BU community. I am sure that this is also the same for students that are mainly based in our Portsmouth and Yeovil sites.
This week has brought more work to make sure we can make this happen as soon as we can, implementing physical distancing measures, as we work towards re-opening some elements of campus life. We believe that your student experience is enhanced by our on-campus facilities and services, and I trust that these updates are encouraging for you, as we look to restart some on-campus activity in September, or sooner for those of you on postgraduate programmes.
At this stage, we are still planning for a blended teaching provision in September, with a mix of virtual and on-campus teaching, prioritising physical access to specialist facilities in support of your learning, as well as opening other areas to ensure you can benefit from the amazing spaces and facilities we have.
As I am sure you expect, any move back onto campus is being made with your safety and wellbeing in mind and our Estates and Health & Safety teams are working hard to implement all government advice to make our campuses as safe as possible for you.
We are finalising the details of what this specifically looks like at a course level, and we will be in touch as soon as we are able to give you the clarification and reassurance you need about what this means for you.
Some of your teaching will start online in September, but we are also aiming to have other elements on campus, especially those that need specialist facilities. We will also be making some student services and facilities available as part of your on-campus experience, as well as social spaces where guidance permits. As such, we’re really looking forward to welcoming you back to Bournemouth in September, as well as the new students who will be joining us for their first year.
My best wishes to all of you who are still working hard on your final assessments and dissertations, I’m so proud of the way you’ve continued with your work under the current circumstances, and wish you luck with your remaining assessments.
I hope you are all able to rest over the summer period and enjoy the summer vacation while continuing to follow physical distancing measures. I will update you again with further developments next week.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Thursday 11 June
Over the past few weeks an incredible amount of work has been going on to support your studies, your current assessments and the planning for the next academic year. We have teams looking at a variety of different challenges, including how we will structure our education and assessment in a way that meets physical distancing requirements and creates a stimulating environment for you and how we will ensure that the campus is ready for your return. Over the coming few weeks we will start to update you on what this means for your current studies and your progression to next year, and we will be able to show you what arrangements we are putting in place at all our sites to ensure everyone is safe and looked after. Having been onsite today, I have seen how hard the teams are working to ensure this is the case.
As we finalise these plans, we are asking for your feedback about how we have supported you during the pandemic. This information can help us put new or alternative support in place for September. If you have not already completed the Covid-19 survey, I would really appreciate it if you could find a little time to complete it before it closes on 18 June. Thank you.
While many of you will be focused on your exams and assessments at the moment, it is also important to think about the next few months and find things to look forward to. Despite the continuation of national restrictions on certain activities, nevertheless do try to make some plans for the summer months; enjoy some relaxation after a hard year of studying, perhaps dig out the bike from the shed and rediscover the joy of cycling or learn a new skill on line. We have shared some ideas for virtual culture you can enjoy at home or outdoor projects on our website, as well as training and development you can complete. As with many people, my holiday plans have been cancelled due to the travel restrictions, but I am still planning to take the time off with my family and visit more local attractions, as I am sure we all know local and small businesses that are struggling during this pandemic.
This week is carers’ week and I recognise that many of you may be supporting and caring for family and loved ones in many different ways. While this has been a challenging time for all of us, those of you with caring responsibilities are managing with additional challenges and worries, while continuing with your studies. I know that this is not easy, so if you do need some extra support from the university, please do get in touch with us via AskBU. We have updated our exceptional circumstances policy in light of Covid-19 and you can find further details on our website. We also have some links and further information for carers on the Covid-19 pages.
The Government has announced several changes to the national lock down restrictions recently, including the reopening of shops and the ‘support bubble’ for people living alone or single parents. You can find out the latest information about these areas, as well as others such as Test and Trace, on the Government website.
I wish you all the best with your remaining assessments and exams and will be in touch again next Thursday.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Thursday 4 June
I hope that you are well, and that you are preparing for your assessments while balancing this with looking after yourselves.
As you will be aware from my updates, the university’s Major Incident Group has been working since January to manage BU’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. This is by far the most significant and long-running incident we have ever had to deal with and I’m so grateful for your patience and understanding as we’ve worked with your safety in mind.
Thanks too for all your messages, I do take time to read them, to understand how you are feeling, and I’ve even seen a couple of the nice social media comments too, which have made me smile.
We have made a lot of progress in our planning for next year and with the group now meeting weekly, my messages will also reduce to once a week. But don’t worry, we know this information is really important, especially as we start reaching conclusions for the next academic year. We’ll be continuing to update you on all the progress being made, and all relevant information will be shared with you through regular communication channels, such as the Monday email you are sent, as well as in my message each Thursday.
In our meeting today, we were updated on the plans being made at programme level to look at teaching for the new semester. I know many of you have questions about what the new academic year brings for your specific course, and I want to reassure you that we are working hard at the moment to bring that clarity to you, and we will update you as soon as we are able. Your safety, and the safety of our staff and the wider community will continue to be the priority in our planning.
Please do continue to look after yourselves, and your fellow students, take regular breaks from your work – even if you are working towards your assessments, building in rest and good sleep will all help!
I will speak to you again next Thursday.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Monday 1 June
I hope that you are well, and that you are preparing for your assessments while balancing this with looking after yourselves. As we are now entering assessment season, I wanted to point you towards a helpful study guide that has been created to support you – I wish you all the best of luck with your assessments this year – I understand that you are working in unprecedented circumstances and I am proud of how you have continued to work and adapt as you continue in your studies.
Our student wellbeing services are here for you if you require any additional support and more information can be found on our wellbeing pages.
I also wanted to give you more information about our planning towards the next academic year, as I know many of you will have questions about this.
We are committed to an on-campus experience and, with current Government advice in mind, we are aiming for a mixed mode of teaching with on-campus specialist teaching resources from September, and generalist resources, such as the library, also available for use by all students. In whichever way your programme is taught, it will meet the intended learning outcomes.
We are still working on what this will mean at a programme level but, regardless of how teaching is delivered for your course, it is our intention that all students will be able to access some available services on campus, with social distancing measures in place to ensure safety.
Thank you for all of your comments, questions and feedback. Its always my aim to read as many of these as possible and ensure that you get a response.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 Statement: Updated Thursday 28 May
I hope you had a lovely long weekend and managed to get out in to the warm sunshine. I keep mentioning the sunshine in my messages and it does seem that this stint of fine and sunny weather has been with us for most of lock down. It certainly has helped to lift my spirits over the last two months. We are now heading towards exams and assessments. While it will be a new approach this year with all assessments taking place online, all the usual support remains available to you, including study skills and learning and disability support. You can find out further details on our website.
The Major Incident Group continues to progress our plans for re-opening the campuses. This will be done in phases, ready for the start of the new academic year, ensuring that all the risk assessments and actions required to support people, activities and facilities are completed before moving to the next stage.
I know that many of you are feeling anxious about the current situation and returning to campus. I also recognise that this is a very individual issue, with each of your personal situations and views being very different. We will be following national guidance at all times about the social distancing and health and safety measures that we put in place. These will be familiar to you from locations such as supermarkets and banks. Examples include working in rotation or ‘bubbles’, 2 metre floor markings and potentially one-way systems, restrictions on the use of lifts, consideration of office and workstation layouts, hygiene and cleaning provision, safe management of catering outlets and the use of protective screens and PPE (where required). We will be asking all students and staff to undertake a training module before returning, which will include details of the social distancing measures and how you will be expected to comply with these. We hope that this will provide reassurance about the health and safety planning we are implementing in our buildings and spaces.
We are looking forward to welcoming you and our staff back on campus. While we know that we will not be ‘back to normal’ for some time yet, we will continue to support students and staff as best we can and work towards a full on-campus experience in 2021, while complying with national and local guidance at all times. To help us deliver the best teaching activities possible under these challenging circumstances, we would like to understand how well you feel we have supported you during this period and what else you feel we could be doing. You can do this by completing this survey before 18 June. Thank you.
In the meantime, please continue to refer to the frequently asked questions and updates on the website for the latest information, as well as links to our excellent wellbeing and remote working resources. The second episode in our Being Well podcast series with our wellbeing experts Karen Butters and Kerry-Ann Randle is also available on our website for you to listen to.
I wish you all the best for the weekend, which once again looks to be full of good weather! My next update will be on Monday.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Thursday 21 May
Thank you for all the feedback you have sent on these messages, these circumstances are affecting us all in different ways, and I’m grateful to those of you who have taken time to talk to us and engage with us.
As we announced on Monday, we are now actively working on our plans for September, and our new academic year will begin as planned, through a mixed delivery approach, with some activities continuing to take place virtually in the first term. We highly value the campus experience we have, as I know you all do, and are working on plans to begin to return to campus, with some teaching – that which needs access to specialist equipment – and student services available from September on-campus, guided by Government advice.
We’re working hard to look at the detail of this announcement, and will be communicating with you in the coming weeks about what this will mean for your specific programme. I can assure you that we will be back on campus as soon as we are able, with the safety of you as a student, and our staff, foremost in our planning and thinking.
The last two months have seen immense changes to all our lives and the way that we are studying and working. To help us deliver the best teaching activities possible under these challenging times, we would like to understand how well you feel we have supported you during this time and what else you feel we could be doing.
Therefore, I would like to ask you to take part in this survey, which is run by an independent organisation for universities around the world. More information, and a link to the survey, can be found on the BU website.
I know I have said this many times before, but these are not normal circumstances, and as this remote way of working, with your teaching and assessment delivered online, is set to continue for the rest of the semester, I want to underline again how important it is for all of us to take care of ourselves.
I am taking some leave over this Bank Holiday weekend to spend time with my family – please do take some time to look after yourself. Take a look at our wellbeing pages, remember to take breaks from your work and think about ways in which you can be looking after your physical and mental health. Let’s keep looking after one another, please do look out for your fellow students too.
As we have a long weekend ahead, I am giving my major incident colleagues a break too, so my next update will be next Thursday.
Enjoy the long weekend, and please do keep contacting us with any questions you may have through our AskBU service.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Monday 18 May
I hope you managed to enjoy your weekend. As part of developing new skills while in lockdown, we have been learning barbering skills via YouTube and put them into practice for me and my son.
Last week, I let you know that the 2020/21 academic year will start as planned in September. I would like now to share with you some of the principles according to which we will reopen our facilities and manage on-campus activity. There is a lot of detail that we still need to work through, but I hope this update will provide you with some detail about how we will be moving forward.
At BU, we believe in the benefits of the campus experience, recognising the importance of connection between fellow students, staff and the wider community through shared experiences. We are very much looking forward to welcoming everyone back to BU and will do all we can to ensure students and staff remain connected online, on campus or in our accommodation.
Above all else, the safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and visitors to the university are our primary concern and are foremost in our decision-making about the reopening of our campuses. We will continue to follow national guidance and health and safety legislation, including responding to any future restrictions imposed by the Government.
During the first semester of the 2020/21 academic year it is expected that the majority of planned university activities will be virtual with the teaching activities being a mix of online and some on-campus activities, in compliance with any social distancing and health and safety requirements at the time. Delivery of student support and other facilities will be dependent upon government advice at that time and we are working hard to ensure that this can be provided in a way that meets student needs whilst adhering to national guidance.
We are still working through the details of how this will look for each programme, but on campus we will prioritise activities which cannot be undertaken remotely. Large group sessions, such as lectures, will be delivered online in a variety of formats. However your timetabled activity is delivered, we will do all we can to ensure the campus and local area are as vibrant as possible, as we welcome our new and returning students to the start of another exciting year.
Full details of how your programme will be delivered next year will be shared with you as soon as we can. We are currently planning for semester two to be delivered fully on campus, subject to national guidance.
Our intention is that accommodation will be available for students from the start of the academic year in September, where our fantastic ResLifeBU team will, as always, run a programme of social and support activities for students.
I recognise you may be experiencing many different circumstances, especially without access to the specialist facilities at BU, which is why those students and programmes will be the first to come back on to campus. In the meantime, I would just like to remind you that our financial support fund can provide help for books and equipment to support you, if you need additional kit for your online learning. There is a range of other financial support on offer from BU and you can read further details on our website.
I wish you all the best for the week.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Thursday 14 May
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Monday 11 May
Like me, you may have spent Sunday evening listening to the Prime Minister’s latest briefing to the nation and working out what it meant for you. For BU, in essence, there are no changes to how we are currently operating. The campuses remain closed, with our staff continuing to work from home and teaching remaining online.
I know how difficult this situation with lock down is and I am certainly experiencing days when I find it harder than others. I am hopeful that the ability to exercise outside more often from Wednesday this week will help, especially being able to exercise – at a safe distance – with someone else. We have launched a new podcast series with Kerry-Ann Randle, Head of Student Support and Wellbeing, and Karen Butters, Head of Health, Safety and Wellbeing, around the theme of being well in these challenging times. You can listen to the first episode on the website. One of the things that struck me while listening to the podcast was that we are all reacting to this situation differently and how we manage our wellbeing is also different for each of us. We have shared some advice and guidance on the covid-19 section of the website and you may have some other approaches that are working well for you. If you are struggling at this time, please do get in touch with the AskBU team.
Tomorrow it is International Nurses Day – a day to recognise the invaluable contribution nurses make to society. This year, more than ever, it feels fitting to celebrate the achievements of nurses around the world and everything they, and other health and social care workers, are doing to support us and our families. I would like to thank all our students and staff who are working in the NHS at this time. We are all immensely proud of you.
If you do need medical help, don’t forget that the NHS is still there for you, so you should continue to attend appointments unless told otherwise and still have routine vaccinations for you or your children, in order to protect against illnesses and help to stop outbreaks in the community.
In his latest podcast, our Vice-Chancellor, John Vinney talks about what an average working day in lock down looks like for him, what the Higher Education sector is doing to represent universities to the Government and plan for the future, plus how BU is working in a more agile and flexible fashion.
I wish you all the best for the week and will be in touch again before the weekend.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Thursday 7 May
Today is the last day of your scheduled study week, as we enjoy a long Bank Holiday weekend. I will keep this update brief as I am keen that we all take the time to have an extended break over the weekend.
The UK Government is set to announce the next step in its Covid-19 response plan on Sunday, with a possible relaxation of some elements of lockdown. While this news is welcome, we recognise that this will be a slower process than when the lockdown was implemented.
We are meeting again as a Major Incident Group on Monday to understand the implications of this announcement for Bournemouth University, and will update you thereafter on our next steps.
In the meantime, please take this three-day weekend as a chance to rest and switch off where possible. Please do try and take time away from your studies and enjoy the nice weather. I have been given a list of jobs from my family that will keep me busy, including trying to replicate the menu from their favourite restaurants.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Thursday 30 April
I hope you have settled back in to your studies and are finding the new resources for online learning on Brightspace useful.
You will by now have now seen the details around your assessments, which have been shared with you via Brightspace, as well as the details around the ‘no detriment’ policy. Whether assessments take place in person or online, BU has an obligation to ensure the awards we make meet certain academic standards. Please take a look at this brief summary of the key areas of BU’s policies and procedures around academic standards to guide you in your assessment and to help ensure you do not unknowingly commit an academic offence.
The Major Incident Group has been working hard over the last six weeks to keep students and staff updated with this unprecedented situation and we continue to refresh and add to the range of FAQs available on the website. These cover key areas such as support and information, student accommodation and information for applicants. I would encourage you to keep checking these pages for all the latest information. If you have any questions, which we have not answered in the FAQs, please do send them through to us via the AskBU team.
I wish you all a restful weekend. With the weather looking brighter and drier, hopefully there will be chance to get outside for some fresh air and exercise.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Monday 27 April
Welcome back from spring break. While we are not able to welcome you back physically to campus, I hope you are looking forward to resuming your studies for the rest of this academic year. We have shared some tips for studying online on the website and would love to hear from you about what is working well for you and how you are approaching your studies. There is also a great online learning toolkit now available under the ME@BU section on Brightspace, which brings together some practical guidance, study skills and wellbeing information and resources to support you with your online learning. If you have not had the chance to do so yet, I would recommend taking some time to take a look at this information. With learning and other activities taking place virtually, please do keep vigilant against phishing and other online attacks. You can find some IT safety tips on the website.
You may have heard the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, this morning urging us all to continue to stay at home. I would like to thank you for all you are doing at this time, staying at home and helping to keep family, friends and communities safe. With the continuation of the national lock down, I know that some of you may be dealing with the loss of part-time jobs and the resulting financial difficulties. We have put together a range of information about financial support for students on the website, including both support available from BU and external funding. If you would like to talk about your financial situation further or need further financial guidance, please get in touch with AskBU.
In his latest podcast, our Vice-Chancellor, John Vinney, talks about the importance of having a rhythm and schedule to the day, especially a lunch break. I would encourage you to schedule in some regular breaks from your studies over the coming weeks. ResLifeBU has a range of isolation activities and challenges for all BU students to enjoy from virtual book clubs to live yoga sessions and language classes.
I wish you all the best for the week and will be in touch with you again on Thursday.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 Statement: Updated Thursday 23 April
Earlier this week, I said that I would give you an update on teaching and accommodation for the rest of the semester. The team have been working hard to get this right for you and we are now in a position to comment.
Let me start by underlining that your ongoing welfare is of primary importance to us, and I have outlined the services still available to you throughout this period should you wish to speak to us at all, we are here to support you.
Last week, the Government announced the extension of the national lock down for at least another three weeks. With travel restrictions and social distancing measures remaining in place, this means that we are not able to reopen the university’s campuses yet. Therefore, all teaching activities will continue online for the rest of this semester.
We have made this decision so you can continue to engage with your learning until the end of term uninterrupted, without further impact from continued national restrictions. During this period, services to support students will also be available online. Any programme-specific updates will be shared with you via Brightspace, so do please keep an eye out for these.
With on-campus teaching suspended and the stay-at-home instructions remaining in place by the Government, we know that many of you may be unable to return to Bournemouth and, for some, there is a subsequent impact on your university-managed accommodation.
For students whose accommodation contracts are with BU, and are no longer living in their accommodation, we have made the decision to implement an immediate 50% rent reduction. We are asking that the remaining 50% is paid and, where this is done by 15 May, and students are returning to study next year, an accommodation bursary of the same amount will be returned to you in semester two of the next academic year. This specifically relates to students living in Dorchester House, Home Park, Student Village, and Unilet and LettingsBU fully-managed properties.
If you are still living in your university-managed accommodation, you will continue to pay your rent as normal.
An email has been sent to all affected students with instructions on what we need you to do next. If you need any further information, we have prepared a range of FAQs around accommodation, which hopefully will answer any questions you have. You can read these on the covid-19 section of our website. We will continue to update these and all our FAQs regularly.
This solution allows us to continue to support those of you living in these properties who have been impacted by covid-19, while maintaining good financial management for the university in the face of this unexpected cost in this financial year.
For students whose contracts are not directly with BU, your accommodation provider will be making decisions specific to your circumstances, and will already have contacted you about this.
I know that some of you are still living in your accommodation in Bournemouth, regardless of the provider, and I would like to reassure you that our halls of residence remain open with the usual services available to you.
I know this has been a worrying time for many of you. Please rest assured that the university continues to work hard to support you during this challenging period. If you have any concerns about your legal obligations regarding paying your rent, please contact SUBU Advice for assistance. If you need financial support at this time, there is information about funding available on our website or please get in touch with AskBU to speak to a member of the team. The Government also has advice for renters on its website.
I will continue to update you with what is happening at BU. In the meantime, please get in touch with us via the AskBU team, if you have any questions which we have not yet answered, or if we can support you in any other way.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Monday 20 April
Last week, I said that we would be updating you with plans for your ongoing teaching for the remainder of this academic year, including an update on accommodation. We are working as a team to distil the latest government advice, extending the national lockdown for a further three weeks, and I am not yet in a position to update you. I will be doing this by the end of this week, so thank you for your patience, I know these issues are important to you, and we are doing all we can to get this right for you, as much as we are able, and for the wider organisation, due to the impact of the decisions.
I know that the covid-19 pandemic has provided challenges for your academic studies, and I am so heartened to hear from so many, who are working together to ensure that learning can take place online. I know there have also been questions from those currently on placements, as well as for those of you thinking about your placement for the next academic year.
Placements are an extremely valuable part of our learning experience, with professional practical one of the three elements of our Fusion learning approach. We want to ensure the majority of placement activity can still occur.
To enable this in the current climate, we have made changes to help ensure those of you on placement, and those currently seeking a placement, can still fulfil this aspect of your degree and achieve the intended learning outcomes associated with this experience. Changes include greater flexibility on the duration of a sandwich degree placement and additional options for students undertaking a short placement as part of your programme. Your Programme Team or Head of Department will be in contact to discuss the changes that are most relevant to you, if they have not done so already.
I’ll be in touch again this week to provide further clarity on how we are going to be supporting you for the rest of this academic year, but if you have any questions or concerns, our AskBU team are on hand to support you.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Thursday 16 April
Today the Government has announced an extension to the national lock down for at least another three weeks. We will be sharing with you more information next week about what this means for teaching for the rest of the academic year.
Thank you to those of you who have shared your stories with us about how you are supporting others through the pandemic. We are proud of everything you are doing. Looking after our wellbeing at this time is essential and Hester Rodrigues, one of our students and certified yoga teacher, contributed to this blog with yoga and mindfulness tips. Of course, we all have different techniques for managing our mental health. For me, time with family is really important and I was really interested to learn how John Vinney, our Vice-Chancellor, manages his own wellbeing in his latest podcast. You can also hear about some of the work we are doing to support students, as well as the future planning which is taking place.
I hope you have had the chance to read the details of the ‘no detriment’ policy, which was shared with you last week. If you do have any remaining questions, please get in touch with us via AksBU. The details of your assessments have been or will be posted on the programme area in Brightspace by the end of this week.
I wish you all the best for the rest of this week and will be in touch next week with an update around teaching for the remainder of the semester and accommodation.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Tuesday 14 April
I hope you managed to enjoy some time with family and friends over the Easter weekend – even if this had to be done virtually.
We know that you have questions around accommodation and the university is working hard to have a clear answer to this key area very shortly. The range of accommodation providers and the complexity of contracts and leases means that this all needs to be worked through in detail, but we will be able to update you further about this early next week. I would like to thank you for your patience while we reach a solution to this situation. In the meantime, we have temporarily halted issuing invoices for rent to students living in BU-managed accommodation.
We are doing all we can to support our students at this time, even if our services have moved online. As I mentioned last week, we have a new support fund which is now available to support BU students who are struggling with short term living costs due to the covid-19 pandemic. The fund is open to any student who can demonstrate their need for the financial support and you can find out more details online. If you need further financial support, please take a look at our website or get in touch with AskBU for guidance about your situation.
While our support services are currently being delivered virtually, we are still here to help you. The AskBU team is the first port of call for student queries. In addition, the Student Wellbeing team can be contacted by email for assistance. There is also a range of wellbeing advice for students available on our website and all students have free access to the Big White Wall, a 24/7 online mental health resource with updated pages containing advice and guidance on managing anxiety in the current global coronavirus situation.
The Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan, has written to international students and you can read her letter here.
I wish you a good week and will be back in touch on Thursday.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Thursday 9 April
Thank you for continuing to work with us as we do all we can to support you during these difficult times. Working together is something which we see as a key strength of the BU community, as is the impact which staff and students have in the local community. We have been hearing about one student 3D printing face masks, while staff at the university are working in support of Poole Hospital’s Covid-19 testing capabilities. You can hear more about BU’s response to the pandemic in the latest podcast with John Vinney. We want to hear your stories about how you are managing in this time, ways you are supporting yourselves and other people. Please get in touch with us via the Student Comms team.
We have been working hard to finalise the details of the ‘no detriment’ approach and FAQs for students, which are now available here. By invoking a ‘no detriment’ approach to the current unprecedented circumstances, the university is able to consider your achievement and progression based on assessment completed up to and including the 15 March 2020. Assessment attempted after this date will only contribute to the overall level mark where this is advantageous to you; this means your final average mark will be the same, or greater than, your attainment to 15 March 2020. This approach is taken for all students on taught programmes (unless there is any conflict with a Professional, Statutory & Regulatory Body requirement).
Students must achieve the necessary credit to progress to the next level or stage, or to graduate with a final award; however, the Assessment Regulations for the Management of Assessment in Emergency Scenario(s) allow increased flexibility for assessment boards to award credit where students are unable to complete all of their assessments as a result of this situation, and where there is evidence that Intended Learning Outcomes have been met.
Our no detriment approach ensues that no student is disadvantaged by this or any other emergency scenario impacting upon them or the university, while also maintaining our assurances around quality, standards and consistency.
Careers BU is still offering a virtual service to students and recent BU graduates with telephone and Skype appointments available Monday to Friday via MyCareerHub with our professionally qualified Careers Advisers. If you need help with anything, from a review of your CV, to a mock interview, or advice on navigating the jobs market in these challenging times please contact us.
Placements, virtual internships, graduate and part time roles are still being added to MyCareerHub every day and there are there are plenty of resources and learning opportunities that you can access. We are still accepting registrations for the Global Talent Programme where you can access a wealth of e-learning content and workshop content to help boost your employability skills. You can also find a number of other resources on MyCareerHub - 100s of Careers Tools & Videos.
We’re encouraging all students to stay safe, whether online or offline, and our IT team have put together a helpful guide for staying safe online. Please do keep following the government advice, and enjoy your Easter weekend from the comfort of your own homes. We’ll look forward to communicating with you again after the weekend.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Monday 6 April
I hope you managed to enjoy some of the much welcome sunshine over the weekend, especially when you went out for some daily exercise.
We continue to work through the finer details of the ‘no detriment’ policy’, which we announced last week. I will share further information with you about this during the course of this week.
We recognise that the exceptional circumstances around covid-19 has placed additional strain on many people, in some cases financially. If you are struggling with short term living costs due to the covid-19 pandemic, there is a new support fund which has been made available to support BU students. The fund is open to any student who can demonstrate their need for the financial support and you can find out further details on our website. If you would like to talk about your financial situation further or need additional financial support, then please get in touch with AskBU.
You may have seen over the last few days that the Government is focused on significantly expanding its laboratory capacity and testing and, to support this, is recruiting additional qualified staff for laboratories in Milton Keynes, Cheshire and Glasgow. People with both a general laboratory background and specific experience of working in a qPCR environment and operating liquid handling machines are needed. If you have these skills and are interested in supporting the testing effort, you can find out more on this website.
I will be in touch with you again on Thursday and I wish you all the best for the week.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Friday 3 April
At the beginning of this week, we announced that a ‘no detriment’ policy was to be put in place to ensure that you are not adversely impacted in your studies because of the Covid-19 pandemic. We said that we would come back to you by the end of this week, and I wanted to make sure I did that before the start of the normal Spring break.
We want to ensure that this policy is robust in supporting you, and there are some elements that are still to be worked through. Essentially we will look to apply a ‘no detriment’ approach to ensure that no student is disadvantaged by emergency scenarios impacting upon them or the university, while also assuring a consistency of decisions for university awards, to keep this process fair for all.
By invoking a ‘no detriment’ approach in emergency circumstances, the university is able to consider student achievement and progression based on assessment completed up to the date that the emergency scenario, in this case the government restrictions around the coronavirus, impacted upon the university or the students. This date will be determined when these regulations are invoked. Assessment attempted after the defined date will only contribute to the overall level mark where this is advantageous to the student. This means the final level or stage average mark will be the same or higher than the average attained up to the defined date.
As this policy looks specifically at grading, it would not apply to PGR students, and we are communicating with you separately to ensure you are not adversely affected in your work either.
More specific detail will follow next week, but I wanted you to be aware of progress so far.
Additionally, there are a number of ways you can continue to stay in touch with us during the Spring break and I’d like to highlight the work of our ResLife team to you. The ResLife team are here to look after students in our university-managed accommodation and, while we have been studying and working remotely, the ResLife service has been made available to all students at BU.
They are working hard to create opportunities for you to connect with one another, and to have a bit of fun, as well as supporting you in your wellbeing. You can find out more information about the activities taking place on their Facebook page.
Please take some time to focus on your wellbeing, look after yourself, and remember that BU is here for you if you need any further support.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Thursday 2 April
Thank you, once again, for your patience and flexibility as we have moved your teaching and support services online.
I’ll underline again that we are reading all of your messages and your concerns, and I am grateful that you are continuing to be honest with us. Please do keep in touch with AskBU, your lecturers, and programme leaders, accessing any and all wellbeing services you need during these unprecedented times.
I appreciate that some of you may still have questions and concerns that you feel have not yet been addressed. I can assure you that we are working as hard as we can to get the answers to your questions, as much as is within our control, we are working with other organisations and taking advice from the UK Government, on how to address these. Thanks for your continued patience as we work through these.
If you haven’t had a chance yet, please do take the time to listen to John Vinney’s new podcast, which will be coming to you throughout our time of working and studying remotely.
As I know you will be aware, for many programmes this would normally be our final week of teaching before the Spring break, so I wanted to wish you well as, hopefully, you can take a bit of time off from your studies.
Your final semester will continue after the Spring Break, and we are working to prepare for this now, as it will likely continue to be delivered virtually. We will make sure we are clear in communicating more with you about this as soon as we can, so do keep an eye on your emails.
Please take some time to relax over the next couple of weeks, spend time with family, either at home or virtually, and invest in your own wellbeing.
I’ll be doing the same, the weather looks good so I’m going to make sure I get out into the garden, no doubt spending some time playing football with the kids and retrieving the footballs that fly over the fence.
Thanks again, and I hope you have a positive break.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Tuesday 31 March
We wanted to get in touch to thank you again for your patience and flexibility while we do all we can to support you and your studies as we deal with the impact of this international pandemic.
We are aware of the challenge that students are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we’ve heard your concerns, read the emails you’ve sent, and been speaking with our staff to make sure that your voice is heard and you are supported.
I hope you will appreciate that as this is an international pandemic, and we will not be able to answer each and every concern as we are also reliant on other organisations, and the UK Government, to support us in our decision making. But you should know that, wherever possible, we are making decisions to support you in these unprecedented circumstances.
There are some important updates in this email about your studies, and the ways in which we will move forward in the coming weeks.
We will be implementing a ‘no detriment’ policy to ensure that you are not unfairly disadvantaged in your studies. The full details are being worked through and should be in place by the end of this week, following dialogue with staff, SUBU and student faculty representatives. We will update you on the detail as soon as these are in place and you should continue to actively engage in your studies.
We will continue teaching online wherever practical, and are looking at all elements of your study to ensure that your learning outcomes can still be met. This is different for each academic discipline and level of study and the communication of this remains at a programme level. Please continue to feedback any questions you have to AskBU and we will ensure you are provided answers.
All of our staff are adapting and are being supported through the university as they acclimatise to new ways of teaching online to ensure that learning outcomes can still be met virtually. They have done an incredible job in such a short period of time. Supporting you in your learning remains our top priority and we are continuing to share resources on best practice for teaching online, across the university. Please familiarise yourself with the resources that have been placed on Brightspace, including the ‘Me at BU’ resource around wellbeing and the ‘Study Skills toolkit’, which may give you ideas around virtual learning.
We are aware that a number of students, such as those on placement, or those supporting the NHS, will have different circumstances, so are working to ensure you have all the support you need. This is particularly the case for students in the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences and colleagues within the faculty are working incredible hard to support you, and the requests that are coming from the NHS. Your continued support in this area is directly impacting on the national response to this pandemic and I would like to thank you all for this.
As we’ve said previously, we will not be conducting any assessment that requires you to be on campus from now to the end of August 2020 and we have been reviewing assessment requirements for all programmes with updates being provided through Brightspace. Programme teams are also considering any assessment submission deadlines over this immediate period and have been adjusting submission dates where appropriate.
The university has decided to pause the anonymous marking policy, to free up additional time for your lecturers to support you in these difficult times and simplify the operational management of online assessments. We will continue to apply the measures already in place, including second marking, double marking and external examiner oversight, therefore ensuring that all marking is fair and that standards are maintained.
Viva voce examinations for postgraduate research students will proceed as planned, wherever possible, although these will be conducted via video conferencing. Specific communication is also now being sent to postgraduate researchers specific to your circumstances.
We know that some of you will still have questions around accommodation and we are currently working with our accommodation providers, as well as taking national guidance, to be able to provide clarity for you as soon as we are able. Our university accommodation remains open for use, with a number of students still living in student accommodation.
Finally, and most importantly, we’re still here for you in support of your wellbeing. Many of our wellbeing services are available online to continue to support you in your studies, and with your welfare in general. Have a look at the wellbeing pages on the BU website as a starting point, and please keep talking with your programme leader and tutors, as well as your fellow students. It is vital, now more than ever, that we come together as the BU community in support of one another.
Thank you again, for all you are doing to work with us in these unprecedented circumstances.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Friday 27 March
As we approach the end of the week, I hope you have begun to adjust to the situation which we find ourselves in and are progressing well with your studies.
Both campuses closed fully on Monday night in response to the Government’s advice. We know that while many students will by now have travelled home, some of you are still living in halls and private accommodation around Bournemouth. The Government’s instruction is that students remaining at university should now stay where they are and not attempt to travel. If this is your situation, please follow the restrictions and stay indoors. If you need help with food shopping or getting hold of other essential items, please get in touch with AskBU, so we can discuss how we can support you in this situation. The ResLifeBU team is running a range of online activities including virtual pub quizzes and online yoga and the chance to connect with other students still in Bournemouth. You can find out more on their Facebook page.
Yesterday, we shared information with you about assessments for the rest of this academic year. Details for your individual programme will be shared via Brightspace, so please do look out for the announcement with this information from today onwards.
Michelle Donelan, the Minister of State for Universities, has sent all universities a letter covering a number of areas, such as finance, visas and distance learning. This letter is available for students to read.
As we head in to the weekend, please take some time away from your studies to relax and connect with friends or family. Take the opportunity to focus on your health and wellbeing. You can find a range of support and guidance on our website. The Big White Wall is available to all students 24/7 and is free to register. They have updated their pages to include advice and guidance on managing anxiety in the current global coronavirus situation.
I wish you a good weekend and I will contact you again on Monday.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Thursday 26 March
We appreciate this is a worrying time and the university is working hard to support students and your learning during this period.
As you are aware, all teaching has moved online, wherever possible, and we will not be conducting any assessment that requires students to be on campus from now until the end of August 2020. This decision was taken to support the safety of our students and staff.
As a result, programme teams have been reviewing planned teaching and assessment for all units and have been considering any changes that will be required to ensure that all assessment is aligned with online teaching delivery and that students can still achieve the learning outcomes for their programme.
Some changes will be necessary to planned assessments and we will update students on an individual programme basis from tomorrow, Friday 27 March 2020. This update will let you know how your assessments may be changing and any alterations to the assessment schedule. We will post this as an announcement on the Programme area of Brightspace. Further details of changes relating to individual units will also be provided, as appropriate, as soon as possible.
We recognise the extraordinary situation relating to coronavirus (COVID-19). Therefore, during this period, we have introduced a specific Exceptional Circumstances form to support any students impacted by circumstances relating to COVID-19 and we have extended the self-certification period from 5 to 14 days. Please refer to the guidance outlined on the ‘Important Information’ webpage.
Update on online module registration
Online module registration is currently open for students on programmes with unit options. The deadline for students to select their preferred units was tomorrow. However, to ensure students have suitable time to choose their units under the current circumstances, we have now extended the deadline to midday on Friday 3 April.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Wednesday 25 March
I just want to start by reiterating that we know how difficult and challenging things are at the moment in circumstances that are changing rapidly.
A significant amount of work has been done across BU to manage the situation and support the BU community and we hope to provide further clarity about the remainder of the academic year during the course of this week including addressing questions around accommodation and assessments. In the meantime, please bear with us while we finalise the necessary arrangements. Our teams are working hard to respond to all the student queries we are receiving, but with higher than usual volumes, our response times are not always as quick as we would like. We will respond as soon as we can and please do keep an eye on our frequently asked questions, which we are regularly updating.
The health and wellbeing of students and staff is key and we have increased some of the advice and guidance around this on our website.
All of us will struggle in one way or another over the coming weeks. These are unique circumstances and it is natural to feel worried or anxious. Do talk to your Programme Leader or get in touch with the Student Wellbeing team via their virtual drop-in sessions, especially if you are feeling low or isolated. Technology gives us many ways of keeping connected, so while you may be home on your own, you don’t have to spend your day without any social contact with fellow students. Many of you are setting up social media contact groups to stay in touch with staff and each other.
The Big White Wall is a free anonymous online mental health support service for BU students and staff and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with specific advice if you're concerned about coronavirus. The ResLifeBU team is running some virtual activities, so keep an eye on their Facebook page for opportunities to get involved.
At this time, when we can’t all be together on campus, Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Vinney, has sent a personal message to the BU community.
It is important that we all follow the latest government announcement about staying at home. Do make a plan for how you will spend your time and schedule breaks during your day from your studies. Take time to clear your mind and benefit from some activity, other than work while observing social distancing guidance as part of the Government’s lock down requirements.
Please do take the time to adjust to this new situation and to keep you and your family safe and well.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Tuesday 24 March
By now you will be aware of the latest Government’s advice, which is to stay at home for all of us, except for a very few essential reasons such as food shopping and basic exercise. You can see the full guidance on the Government website. We would urge all members of the BU community to follow this advice for your own safety and that of others.
We know that this situation is extremely worrying for many of us who are managing studying or working from home and concerned for relatives and friends. This is an unprecedented situation and at this stage, we don’t know how long it will continue. If you are a student still living in Bournemouth, please get in touch with AskBU, so that we can support you during this time. Our services may not be available on campus, but we are working hard to provide as many facilities online or via phone/chat options to help you. The ResLifeBU team is running some virtual activities, so keep an eye on their Facebook page for opportunities to get involved. If you are a student who has returned to family elsewhere, we know you may also have questions and concerns. Please do not worry at home on your own. We are here to support you. We may not have all the answers to your questions at the moment, but we are working through the many aspects of campus closure to get these answers to you as soon as possible. If you are a colleague working from home, we recognise that you may be juggling multiple priorities of work, childcare and other family members for whom you are caring or be coping with living alone. In these extraordinary times, we all need to reassess priorities and manageable work. We would encourage you to discuss this with your line manager further.
With campus now closed, students and staff cannot come on site unless you have expressed permission to do so. Staff needing to access essential equipment or documents for their work should discuss this with their line manager for approval by the University Leadership Team (ULT). This decision has been taken for the safety of staff.
We will be sharing further information and guidance with students and staff later today around how we can support our physical and mental wellbeing at this time. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by emailing AskBU.
Please do continue to look after yourselves and your loved ones at this very challenging time
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Monday 23 March
Last week was an exceptional week, like none of us will have known before. We are all proud of the way everyone came together and supported everyone in the BU community. All of the updates from last week, including the frequently asked questions are available on the website.
As we all get used to working, living and socialising in different and virtual ways, we will be updating our information and guidance as soon as we can. The major incident team continues to meet daily, please bear with us. We will continue to prioritise critical activities, providing support to colleagues and students and engaging with you on how we continue to do the best we can.
Please send through any questions that you may have to us, but most importantly look after yourselves, family, friends and each other.
Going forward, we will be sharing our daily updates at 12 noon, starting on Tuesday 24 March.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Friday 20 March
Thank you all for supporting us as we worked today to move more of our services online. For many, working from home will be a new experience, so we'll do all we can to support you in it, look out for content in the coming days with tips and advice for home working.
To reiterate my message from yesterday, the majority of the university's buildings are now closed, with staff encouraged to work from home wherever possible. But, this does not mean that the university is closed, or that academic and professional service activity has stopped - we must continue to do all we can to continue key activity virtually, keeping in touch with our students to ensure that their learning outcomes can be met, as much as is practicable, and to support them as they do so. We need to do all we can to reiterate this message to our students.
A small number of services will remain on-campus for students who are remaining, and for staff who have a critical role that can only be fulfilled on campus. A full list of on-campus services still open can be found on the Staff Intranet. I would again like to thank colleagues who will continue to work from our campuses to provide this support.
We are continuing to react to this international situation, and will be following national advice on when we may reopen campuses - but will continue to work to ensure all key activity, including academic, professional and support services, continues in this new, virtual, way. We will continue to communicate with you next week on all we are doing to ensure the continued running of key university activity, and I want to thank you all again for the work you are doing in support of this. With more detail released earlier on how A-level assessment will be undertaken this year, we will be looking at the implications for our own admissions process in the coming days.
I know the next few weeks won't be easy, but the resilience I have seen in our BU community has been outstanding, and I'm grateful for the way you are all working to support us in these unprecedented times. I’d also like to acknowledge the work of our Major Incident Group who have been working tirelessly with me over the past few weeks, as well as the very collaborative work we have been undertaking with BU UCU and UNISON.
These last few weeks have been tough, and many of you will be experiencing pressures beyond work as you look after yourselves, your families and your friends. Please take this weekend to switch off and look after yourselves in the knowledge that we are incredibly thankful to you all.
I am very proud to be a part of the BU community, to have such support from colleagues across the organisation and beyond and we will speak next week.
Very best wishes,
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Thursday 19 March
I want to again extend my heartfelt thanks to you all for the work you are doing, and the patience you have shown, while we have worked through BU's response to the international pandemic. Many of you have worked extra hours, in alternative ways, balancing your own personal concerns and that of your families, and I am grateful to each and every one of you.
Today's update is an important one. Whilst the university remains open during this period, we have taken the decision that the campuses will be largely closed from 5pm tomorrow, Friday 20 March.
We are also now advising all students who are able to go home to do so. A limited provision will be made on campus for any students who cannot, but our advice is that students pursue options to return home as a first option.
During this closure we will keep a small number of important areas open. Poole House and Studland House will remain open with 24-hour access for the Open Access Centres. In addition, the Staff Zone in Poole House will remain open for limited staff working. The Sir Michael Cobham Library on Talbot Campus will also remain open between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. The Library in Bournemouth House will close.
Talbot House will also remain open for key wellbeing functions to remain, while critical activities for staff will continue in other buildings, with very limited access only to pre-assigned staff in critical roles.
Therefore, from 5pm Friday all other on-campus buildings will close. This includes the EBC, Student Centre, SportBU and the gym, and all catering facilities. A few vending machines will remain on campus. There are some outstanding operational matters, such as receiving post, which are still to be worked through, and more information will be shared on these matters.
Staff should make all possible provision to work from home, and the IT requirements sent to the Service Desk are being worked through in order to enable this. If your home working would be easier with the use of your work keyboard and mouse, then we will allow these to go home with you, but only if you log this with the IT Service Desk first. A small number of monitors have been made available for staff who need them - these can be requested through the IT Service Desk and are limited in availability. Other equipment should not be removed from the campuses.
We know that students are worried about assessments and marking of work. We are currently reviewing assessment requirements for all programmes. We will not be conducting any assessment that requires students to be on campus from now, running through to the end of August 2020. We are considering a range of alternative options, and will provide more assessment information to students as soon as we have it.
A page will shortly be available on the BU website outlining the contact information of key services, and we are doing all we can to ensure that key university activity continues as much as is practicable. I will say again that we are not in business-as-usual times, and we all need to come together to work on what is most critical to ensure the university can continue as much as is possible. Once again I’d like to thank you all for your support and contribution so far.
Finally, a reminder to look after yourselves, and one another. The university as a community has to rally together like never before - and I want to ask each and every one of you to take personal responsibility for your own mental and physical health. Talk to people, exercise and get outside where you can. A full page of wellbeing tips has been created on the BU website, where you can also find the latest information about BU's coronavirus response.
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Wednesday 18 March
Bournemouth University COVID-19 statement: Updated Wednesday 18 March
Firstly, I am sure many of you will have heard the announcement this evening about school closures in England from Friday, with exceptions for some children. We will be meeting tomorrow to discuss the impact this will have on the university and will be in touch in due course to make sure we provide clear communication in the coming days. We will continue to do all we can to support the BU community as further national decisions are made.
Additionally, with mention of no school exams in May and June, there will undoubtedly be knock-on impact for universities. We will await national guidance on how this may impact university recruitment.
We are continuing to work as a Major Incident Group to minimise the impact on key university activity. As the decision has been made to move teaching online, and with a number of staff members starting to work from home, the campus is feeling quieter, allowing those who remain the ability to practice social distancing. The university remains open, with a reduced on-campus service, and we are meeting to discuss ongoing campus arrangements tomorrow.
We recognise that not all staff yet have the ability to work from home. We are looking at our IT kit request list and will be making decisions on this on a priority basis, but will continue to prioritise staff safety in line with national advice. As a reminder, any work from home arrangements should be discussed locally with your line manager.
We continue to scenario plan for what the coming weeks will look like, and will share this with you in due course, as and when decisions are made at a national government level. All our work is being done with the safety and wellbeing of the BU community in mind.
I would like to use the rest of today’s update to share with you some resources and information that will help you in your continued working:
Firstly, for staff who are increasingly working remotely, our IT Services team have put a page of resources together to help you as you log on and work. This includes guidance on conducting meetings and accessing core functions in support of your work. Please do have a look at these pages on the Staff Intranet.
Additionally, a series of FAQs have been created specifically for staff who may have questions about self-isolation or working from home. Again, these can be found on the Staff Intranet. If you have a health concern that is not answered by the FAQs, you can email, the new CoronaVirus-Staff mailbox firstname.lastname@example.org. This service is managed by HR and has been set up for any staff queries relating to Coronavirus that are not covered by standard FAQs. Your information will be treated in confidence.
We are also working to create guidance and advice in support of online teaching as we look to do this initially until 27th April. The FLIE team continues its service to enable a personalised and inclusive curriculum for students. This guidance has been compiled to support staff in the use of Brightspace to better support their students in their learning where limitations are posed on our standard on-campus delivery.
And finally, we have added additional information to the coronavirus pages of the BU website to give you all the information you need about BU’s response to the pandemic. This includes a specific page on wellbeing, with tips from our wellbeing team on how you can look after yourself physically and mentally, please do have a look when you have the chance.
As John Vinney said in his message earlier, we are extremely grateful for all you are doing, and the way the BU community is coming together, please do continue to support and look after yourself and one another.
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Tuesday 17 March
Bournemouth University COVID-19 statement: Updated Tuesday 17 March
Thank you for working with us as we continue to manage an unprecedented situation internationally.
This is a rapidly changing situation, and we are constantly receiving updates. With the latest advice available, the decision has been made to postpone all remaining face-to-face teaching from close-of-play this evening, making plans for teaching to resume online next week. On-campus facilities will remain open for the BU community to use, though many will be scaled back in the coming days.
We would like to underline that the university remains open, and any decisions made nationally to close universities will trigger a closure of campuses – with work and teaching continuing, as much as is practically possible, virtually.
We have been working today to make immediate plans for the most vulnerable in our community and have been working across the university to support all faculties and services to be able to continue as much as is practicable.
We take all government advice incredibly seriously and specifically note the announcement made yesterday around working from home. The main reason for this suggestion is to promote social distancing, and limit non-essential face-to-face interaction.
We are working to make social distancing decisions across the university – including the decision to pause teaching, and are making plans across the university to support distancing. While we do this, we would like to remind staff that there needs to be a transition period while we balance this advice with the usual running of the university.
Working from home is not possible for all, and we are making plans to support social distancing, while keeping a core staff base in operation as the university continues to operate as usual. As much as is possible – staff within services should discuss the ability to be able to rotate staff and work from other locations in order to support social distancing. Any work from home requests should be made through discussion with your line manager.
Information will follow tomorrow afternoon with remote working best practice. As a reminder to all staff, IT requests for kit in support of remote working should be sent to the IT Service Desk. These requests will then be processed, with decisions made about prioritisation, with a limited amount of kit available.
All meetings should now be postponed or taking place virtually in support of social distancing, removing face-to-face activity where possible.
I would like to remind all members of the BU community that we are not in a ‘business-as-usual’ situation and we need to be prioritising the most business critical work that will support the university in continuing its most important functions.
We will continue to post daily updates, the timing of these will be in-line with national press conferences. As such, updates will be made each evening, ready for the following morning. Other information can be found in our FAQs, with specific questions sent to askBU@bournemouth.ac.uk.
Finally, the whole of the Major Incident Group, including all members of the University Executive Team (UET), has been encouraged by the way our BU community has come together to provide resilience and support for one another, and this is the most important part of the way we should work together now, looking out for one another.
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Monday 16 March
We appreciate that the coronavirus (or COVID-19) pandemic is a cause for concern for students, colleagues and the wider BU community. The welfare of our staff and students is the university’s highest priority and since early January we have been continuously monitoring the situation and liaising closely with Public Health England (PHE) and acting in line with their latest advice at all times.
Based on this advice the university remains open. However, in support of the ‘delay’ phase of Government’s current plan, and the increased concern amongst the university community, some teaching has commenced online and we have decided that from 23 March all face to face teaching will be suspended until at least 27 April when we are due to return from the Easter break.
The university has taken this decision now following changes in the latest Government advice, conversations with PHE on Friday, as well as the need to support students and staff. There are still some details which we will be working through over the coming days, so we recognise that you may have some questions. However, I would like to reassure you that BU will take all necessary decisions to ensure that our students are not penalised academically by these extraordinary circumstances and staff will not be financially disadvantaged.
Where it is possible to do so our educational activity will continue online during weeks commencing 23 March and 30 March. Where it is not possible, such as practical or lab based sessions, we will be working with the academic teams to ensure that the learning outcomes can still be met, either through delaying the activity until after the Easter break, or through other means. Updates will be provided to students on a course by course basis.
Unless advised to the contrary, the campus will remain open over the coming weeks. We have already increased the cleaning regime in key areas and would encourage anyone attending campus to follow the NHS guidance on hand washing. If you feel unwell with a new cough or fever, you should not attend campus and follow NHS advice around staying at home. With these extraordinary circumstances, it will not be possible to open all areas of the university, and some buildings will be closed. Further details will follow.
Line managers will be working with colleagues to ensure those that can work from home are able to, and those who need to be on campus can do so safely. It is important to reiterate the current advice is that there is no need to close educational establishments. Any colleagues with underlying medical conditions will be encouraged and supported to work from home during this period.
- We are postponing with immediate effect all international and UK field trips until after the Easter break.
- There will be no international staff travel on university business, unless demonstrated to be essential and an updated risk assessment is in place and approved by a relevant member of the University Leadership Team (ULT).
- We will be asking people to think very carefully about their UK travel on university business, and their method of travel.
- All BU on campus and university events will be postponed at least 1 May and rescheduled where possible.
Over the coming weeks we will continue to monitor the situation and update you frequently. We will also be reviewing the position in the build up to 27 April and will update closer to this time.
We would encourage staff and students to keep checking the Frequently Asked Questions on the website, which are being regularly updated. If you have any queries, which we have not answered, please get in touch with us via email@example.com. Alternatively, you can call the coronavirus help line on 01202 969696.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Saturday 14 March
We are monitoring developments and advice relating to the coronavirus outbreak closely, and are ready to act quickly if we need to. The Major Incident Group meets again on Monday morning and we will update you again at 3pm on Monday afternoon.
We understand this is a difficult situation and are doing all we can to support our students, staff and visitors. If you are not feeling well, please follow the latest NHS advice.
Chief Operating Officer
Bournemouth University Covid-19 statement: Updated Thursday 12 March
A Bournemouth University student has tested positive for the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
The student informed us of being tested after coming into contact with the virus through another individual based in the UK, not at the university. The student followed Public Health England (PHE) advice and self-isolated pending the results of the test. We are supporting the student to ensure they have everything they need to recover quickly from the illness.
PHE has advised that the risk to our students, staff and visitors remains low. The university remains open and continues to operate normally. We will continue to work with partners to ensure our response is aligned to national advice and guidance.
We are grateful that the student took proactive steps to limit contamination and we are working closely with PHE, doing all we can to follow advice and support containment efforts. We have been planning for instances of outbreak since January and are confident we are well prepared, and our first priority is to continue to support the student and anyone else who may feel concerned as a result of this news.
We understand that students and staff may be concerned but remain confident that the university is a safe environment. We would ask you to refrain from speculation and unnecessary action at this time.
We ask all students and staff to continue to follow Government and PHE advice, washing hands regularly, and use the 111 coronavirus service if you begin to develop symptoms.
Further information can be found using the boxes below.
Chief Operating Officer