Returning students: arrangements for September
We're looking forward to welcoming you back to ARU in September. You'll notice some differences, but our tutors and student services will still be here to support you.
As the health and wellbeing of our students and staff is our absolute priority, we wanted to outline just some of the measures we're implementing on campus for the new academic year. We'll continually review the situation as restrictions ease.
Over the summer, we've made changes to the details you use to access systems at ARU, so you can use the most up-to-date technology. These changes apply to all students, including postgraduate researchers, and will allow you to collaborate more easily with staff and other students. Stay up to date with these changes on our Student News blog.
Creating a COVID-19 secure environment
We're putting social distancing measures in place throughout the University and are doing everything practical to manage the risk of transmission.
- introducing one-way systems in campus buildings wherever possible
- increasing cleaning regimes
- providing hand sanitizer stations around campus for your use
- restructuring the timetable to stagger break times, and prevent crowds from forming outside teaching spaces
- changing the layout of classrooms and other specialist learning spaces, such as workshops and science labs, to comply with social distancing requirements
- offering grab-and-go options at our catering outlets, and using cashless payment.
Supporting you academically
As ever, we're committed to providing a supportive and inclusive environment for you to study in.
You will be able to access the campus every day and you’ll be taught in smaller groups, ensuring excellent support.
You'll notice a few changes from September so we can be sure we're following social distancing guidelines:
- teaching timetables for Trimester 1 will be published on 7 September and your personal teaching timetable will be available via eVision. You can also download a copy to the ARU app. Your timetable will show your on-campus or online activities (depending on whether you have chosen to study On-campus or Online only) and will also show online teaching activities that are being delivered to all students.
- teaching blocks of four hours, on campus one day a week (for example 8am–12, 12–4pm or 4–8pm). You won't have to attend more than one teaching block on that day but you will be able to access other facilities outside your teaching block. We'll publish teaching timetables week commencing 7 September
- campus teaching may include seminars, workshops, practicals and labs (where relevant)
- campus teaching will be supplemented by a rich range of online group teaching and learning activities delivered through Microsoft Teams, such as virtual practicals, online assessments, discussion boards and group work exercises
- courses that use specialist learning spaces, such as skill labs, will have additional time allocated in those spaces
- we're installing some of the specialist applications software that are normally only available in our IT teaching labs on computers in the Open Access areas to increase availability outside teaching hours
- we're also arranging for specialist facilities to be available for booking for self-directed learning, when they're not in use for timetabled teaching
- we've published guidelines on technical requirements for online learning.
If there is a local or national lockdown we will continue to support students and, unless told otherwise by public health officials, will continue to follow the National Institute for Health Protection guidance and ask all students to remain in their current accommodation. We will also move to online teaching, learning and assessment and support.
Supporting your studies
We know how important it is that you can continue to receive excellent support. You'll still be able to access:
- library resources and digital support online
- campus libraries from 1 September (with reduced opening hours and seating to allow for social distancing)
- all student services, including counselling and wellbeing, disability and dyslexia support, employability and placement services, and Study Skills both face-to-face (by appointment) and online
- the iCentre and ARU Temps recruitment agency without appointments
- open access PC areas, with some computers available on a drop-in basis, and some bookable in advance.
Offering a wider student experience
It's never been more important to have some fun, relax and enjoy a bit of 'normality' in our lives. And so:
- your Students’ Union will be putting on activities to help you have some fun and relax
- student-run societies will continue to have fantastic events and activities
- your confidential advice service will be open, by appointment, to provide support and guidance
- campus gyms will be open, and Team ARU encourages you to get involved and enjoy social and competitive sports in a safe and socially distanced way
- we’ll also be providing space on campus for socially distanced social activities, group and personal study, and relaxation.
Choice and flexibility
We understand that everyone’s circumstances are different due to the pandemic.
If you are unable to or do not wish to start on campus in September, you can choose to continue your studies online for the first trimester (September-December). You'll receive the same or similar teaching content, so you're ready to join us on campus when you’re able to.
We will be emailing all our students with more details.
- If you would like to change your preference of study, either from Online only to On-campus, or from On-campus to Online only, you can submit your request by logging into your eVision account and changing your preference by 23:59 on Sunday 6 September. We will then consider your request and confirm the outcome to you in time for the start of Teaching Week One. You will also be able to change your preference at other key points in the first trimester.
- If you're considering studying online but you're on a clinical course, or a course that includes a placement, please contact your Course Leader before completing the form.
- If you plan to study on campus, you don't need to complete the form.
- If you planned to study online but change your mind before teaching starts, that's fine. Please do let us know by submitting your change in preference. This will help us to make sure we can maintain social distancing measures on campus.
- After teaching starts, there will be specific points at which you’ll be able to request a change in mode of delivery, subject to social distancing measures and approval by your Course Leader.
Visit Student News for full details of all these changes.
We’re looking forward to welcoming you back in September.