Good news is always welcome and, at the moment, more so than ever. It was simply wonderful therefore to hear of our success in the Guardian University Awards 2020 with the One Hour Degree declared the winner of the Digital Innovation award. Created by the Student Success Project, this is an online game designed to provide the complete university experience for potential students. Congratulations to Alison Webb for her work in developing the game.
Congratulations also go to those involved the Professional Economist Degree Apprenticeship Programme, runner-up in the Widening Access and Outreach category. Launched in 2018, the programme, co-led by Professor Alastair Bailey and Dr John Pearson at the time of nomination, aims to attract a diverse, new generation of economists into the profession.
I am also pleased to say that we have submitted our pledge to Stand Alone, the charity that supports people who are estranged from their families. I greatly value this opportunity to make this pledge which states our commitments to our estranged students and demonstrates our recognition of the challenges that they may face. I am particularly pleased that we have made this submission during Estranged Students Solidarity Week.
While we have a dedicated package of support in place, there is more we can do. We will continue to engage with our estranged students to better understand what additional support they may need from us, as a University, to enable them to achieve their goals. I would also like to thank Ben Dawkins, Chair of the Chair of the Mature & Part-Time Students Network, for the work he is doing in support of our estranged students.
We have now learned that Kent and Medway will be in Tier 3 and are considering what this means for the University. We will provide further information once the situation is clearer.
The last week has seen work continue at high speed to set up the asymptomatic testing site on the Canterbury campus. I am pleased to say that we are on track to open the doors on Monday 30 November. As you will be aware, these sites play a major role in the government’s plans to enable students to travel home for Christmas, as well as supporting their return in the New Year. A special scheme for the Medway campus has been agreed with the local public health team, which will see the use of the pre-existing Local Testing Site for asymptomatic testing.
We are still waiting for government guidance on what the detailed arrangements are for the start of next term. I continue to engage at a national level on this and other issues and we will update you as soon as we have confirmation of what is required from us and the rest of the sector.
Thank you once again for all your hard work at this challenging time.
My very best wishes to you and your families,
Professor Karen Cox | Vice-Chancellor and President