As restrictions continue to ease in line with the UK Government’s roadmap, we have been carefully developing our plans about the shape of next academic year.

Our overriding aim will be to provide high-quality learning and teaching in an environment that is safe for our staff and students.

Colleagues across the University have been working hard and planning for different scenarios in preparation for 2021-22. The testing systems we have in place, coupled with the excellent progress of the national vaccination programme, give us cause to put in place flexible but optimistic plans for a return to a more normal year ahead. We therefore look forward to seeing our students in person for the start of the next academic year.

The precise make up of delivery will vary, reflecting the specific needs of each course, but we are planning to deliver as much in-person learning – including lectures, tutorials, laboratory work, peer-to-peer learning and group discussions – as we safely can. Many courses will also have blended elements of delivery.

Of course, we have learned a great deal about adapting our plans, and know that we can move most of our provision online, should circumstances change and require it in the next year.

Whilst we expect new and returning students to come to Bath in person as soon as they are able, there may be some, for example students living in countries subject to travel restrictions, for whom this is not possible. Therefore, we will be seeking to support them in the best possible way to help them to achieve good learning outcomes ahead of arriving in Bath later in 2021 or early in 2022. Until that time, these students will need access to the available online course content and academic and pastoral support.

Health and wellbeing

The health, wellbeing and safety of our community continue to be a priority in all our plans.

We have had very few cases of Covid since the start of 2021, our testing programme has played an important role in keeping us safe and we expect regular testing will continue to be an important measure in the next academic year. We are also actively engaging with the local Council and public health officials on the roll out of the UK vaccination programme.

As we move into the next academic year, we will continue to implement any measures needed for a Covid-secure environment. We will be discussing this with our campus trade unions and guidance will be available for staff and students about what we can all do to keep each other safe.