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Student travel window and vacation update

From Professor Richard Reece, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education & Student Experience:

Following my previous email to you on 11 November 2020, I would like to provide you with further information regarding the end of the Autumn Term and to let you know that we have published a new set of FAQs helping to explain the arrangements for travel home, the end of term and the winter vacation period. We are also running a  WebChat on 20 November 2020 to discuss any questions you may have.

The Department for Education has set out guidance outlining plans to bring students safely home for Christmas. This allocates a ‘Student Travel Window’ between 3-9 December 2020 and the Government is requesting that all students travel from their term-time address to their permanent home during this time.

We are currently developing plans to support all students that wish to travel home during the Student Travel Window to do so safely.

Although the Government have specified 3-9 December 2020 as the Student Travel Window, we appreciate that some of you may have alternative travel arrangements or may not be able to travel then for other reasons. Some of you may also intend to remain at University after 9 December 2020 or over the winter vacation period. I want to reassure you that we will support you whatever your plans and personal circumstances. The University and our accommodation will remain open for any students who wish to stay with us.

The Government have requested that we co-ordinate staggered travel dates for you in conjunction with local transport companies and other universities in the region. To enable this, we intend to stop all face-to-face teaching by 4 December 2020 and all teaching will continue online until the end of this term (18 December 2020). 

All students will be provided with a recommended travel period between 3-9 December 2020 and if you do wish to travel home, we ask that you please do so during this period if possible. By staggering the departure dates for students leaving on-campus accommodation, we can ensure similar numbers leave each day of the Student Travel Window. This will make it easier for you to adhere to social distancing guidelines and should make your travel plans run more smoothly. For those of you living off-campus, please also try to travel within your recommended travel period if you can do so.

I would like to remind you that if you do wish to return to your home for Christmas but choose to remain at University after 9 December 2020, you may have to self-isolate for up to 14 days if you contract coronavirus or if you are identified as coming into close contact with someone who has tested positive. This may impact on your plans and could prevent you from travelling home for the winter vacation at a later stage. Please do consider this when deciding when to return to your permanent home and when making your personal travel arrangements.

As well as our new Student FAQs concerning end of term travel arrangements, more information can be found in our dedicated webpages.

If you need any support, please email or call 01227 823158 (Canterbury) or 01634 888969 (Medway).

With my best wishes,


Professor Richard Reece | Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience