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VC update following national lockdown announcement

From Professor Karen Cox, Vice-Chancellor and President.

I am writing to update you following the Government announcement that a four-week national lockdown is due to come into force on Thursday 5 November.

The Prime Minister’s speech made it clear that, given the importance of education, universities would remain open during this time. Our aim is to continue to provide the best possible education and student experience which is line with Government guidelines for the lockdown period. Having made the necessary health and safety assessment, we are planning to move to Tier 2 under the Department of Education ‘Tiers of Restriction’ for HE provision. This means we will continue to offer a mix of online and on-campus teaching/supervision in a Covid-safe environment.

All our on-campus accommodation will remain open as will the libraries and study spaces. Our catering outlets will also continue to be open but will need to move to a take-away only service.

The new Government guidelines also provides guidance on travel for students living at university either on-campus or in private accommodation off-campus. This states that they should not move back and forward between their permanent and student home during term time.

The number of active cases of Covid-19 remain low for students and staff, and we also have a local testing site at both the Canterbury and Medway campuses. We continue to work closely with our local public health officials and a huge amount of effort have been put in to ensure that our campuses are Covid-safe. The safety and wellbeing of our students and staff remain our key priority and we will continue to work with trades unions and staff representatives.

We are currently waiting for further information from the Government and will write to you again as soon as we have more details.

In the meantime, please continue with your current pattern of work as agreed with your line manager/school. We offer a range of support for staff but if you have any concerns about the current situation please talk to your line manager in the first instance.

If you are a line manager of staff currently working on campus/essential to the student experience, HR will be writing to you shortly asking that you revisit the assessments you made over the summer and to ensure that Risk and Concern conversations are up to date and that appropriate Tier 2 risk mitigations are in place. Advice will be available to you if needed.

With my very best wishes to you and your family,


Professor Karen Cox | Vice-Chancellor and President