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Spring return update – 11 December 2020

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

As we approach the end of term, I want to provide some further information to you concerning the planned staggered return of our students after the Winter break. Thank you to those of you involved in developing these complex plans. I appreciate it has not been easy and your efforts are greatly appreciated.

We will be publishing students’ Spring term timetables next week from Monday 14 December. In their timetables, students will see when their first face-to-face teaching session is taking place. Each student will be provided with a recommended arrival window during which to return to Kent. By staggering students’ arrival in this way, we ensure we can offer all students and staff the opportunity to be tested for Covid-19 before face-to-face teaching begins.

The table below shows the arrival times we will be recommending to students based on their first face-to-face teaching session.

First face-to-face teaching session  Recommended arrival window and testing 
w/c 18 January 9-15 January
w/c 25 January 16-22 January
w/c 1 February 23-29 January

I appreciate that some students and staff will be on campus before 9 January 2021 and can confirm that asymptomatic testing will be available seven days a week from 4 January so do please make use of this service.

Postgraduate research students who need to return to access specialist facilities may of course return early and are encouraged to book asymptomatic tests ready for their return. Further information on how to book asymptomatic testing appointments for the new year will be available next week.

I would like to remind all staff that the arrival windows above are not compulsory, and we will support all students regardless of their travel plans and when they decide to return. We will be advising students to use their recommended travel window so we can ensure they can be tested before their face-to-face teaching begins in line with Government guidelines. We will also be advising students that they should be tested before they return to Kent if this is possible. I will be in touch again next week to provide more information about asymptomatic testing for the new year.

Thank you for working together to keep our University community safe.