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University pledges September return to face-to-face teaching

Birmingham City University has issued students with a seven-point pledge, detailing how it plans to return to face-to-face teaching from September.

The University has written to all applicants and current students to outline plans for the next academic year, which will see courses delivered in person with safety measures implemented across its campuses.

Teaching will take place in small groups, social distancing markings will be introduced, and students will be issued with the personal protective equipment most relevant to their course.

A range of digital resources will also be made available to ensure students have access to the full package of learning materials.

Other commitments pledged to students include a staggered return to campus for students to ensure the safest possible transition as well as a comprehensive programme of student support.

Access to mental health services, including from seconded NHS staff, will be available alongside variable start times for international students to make sure they do not fall behind while complying with UK quarantine requirements.

There will continue to be opportunities to take part in social activities, including the ability to join societies through the Students’ Union. Vice-Chancellor, Professor Philip Plowden, said:

“The safety and security of all in our University community is our absolute priority, and we have spent a long time planning measures which will allow us to safely deliver face-to-face teaching for our students from September.

“Our focus will be on providing high quality teaching in small groups so that we can maintain social distancing but also make sure students have access to the full university experience.

“We know that students are keen to get back onto campus and to plan for next year and we hope that this pledge makes clear that the university will ensure that we deliver a safe and high quality experience.”

The university is already providing some teaching back on campus, using social distancing and PPE. In May the University reopened one of its buildings in order to allow nursing students and returning NHS staff supporting the fight against COVID-19 to receive bespoke training.  And from mid-June some current students will be invited to return so that they can complete their studies and graduate on schedule.

A range of safety measures were introduced including adjustments to the flow of people moving around the building, distances between seating in social areas and floor markings to make sure social distancing could be observed.

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