Dear student,

We hope this message finds you well and we wish all those of you with remaining exams and assessments every success. The last few weeks have turned all our lives upside down and we are incredibly proud of the patience, hard work and resilience you have shown in adapting to these new circumstances.

If you are a final year student, we are making plans for your participation in a future graduation ceremony, informed by your feedback to us. You should have received a survey in April about your preferences and you will receive a reminder to complete this shortly. We look forward to helping you celebrate your achievements.

We know that many returning students would like to know more about the shape of the next academic year. Our teams have been working extremely hard, planning for different scenarios, in order to be able to welcome you back to University at the start of term. Thanks to this planning, we can now tell you a little more about our preparations for next year.

Our overriding aim will be to deliver the high quality education you deserve, whilst ensuring we are doing so safely and in line with Government guidelines to tackle COVID-19. We will therefore be seeking to do two things:

To give those of you who wish to come to Bath in September, the best campus-based education possible, and to enable you benefit from the other skills, friendship opportunities and experiences that come with a University of Bath education.

To provide flexibility and choice to those of you who aren’t able to come to Bath at the start of term, or who would prefer to start their course from another location, by providing innovative, high quality learning and teaching remotely. Although we cannot control all the eventualities related to this pandemic, we can and will make every effort to be flexible and ensure we can deliver a strong education and student experience to you in a number of ways.

We intend to be open for the next academic year with students on campus, and we will therefore be doing everything possible to welcome new and returning students from September 2020. We may phase the start dates for different groups, depending on the Government rules to combat COVID-19 that remain in place at that time.

You will, I’m sure, be keen to have as much in-person teaching as we can safely deliver. To allow for this and for potential social distancing rules, we are devising innovative large-scale teaching, such as lectures and large workshops, digitally, and will focus in-person activities on laboratory work, smaller group learning, such as seminars, personal tutoring, design tutoring and peer-to-peer learning. Of course, we recognise that different courses may have different requirements and we will be working through the detail about what this means at a course-level in the weeks to come.

UK Government advice is evolving, and we recognise that some of you may be unable to come to Bath in the autumn due to health reasons or travel restrictions. Some of you may simply want to choose to start your next year from your current location. Therefore, we will develop the academic delivery to allow as much choice as possible, so that you can begin your course remotely if you need to, or wish to do so. We hope that these arrangements will make life a little easier for you, so you don’t have to worry about whether you will be able to come to Bath in person at the start of term.

We will be updating you further as our plans develop and please do check our webpages for additional information too. Thank you for your patience and understanding in the meantime.

With best wishes, Professor Peter Lambert, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching) and Dr Cassie Wilson, Vice-President (Student Experience)