We want to provide you with further information about the shape of the 2020/21 academic year.
We know that coming to University is an incredibly important moment in your lives. Therefore, we will 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 to meet other students and benefit from the 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.
All of us are living through uncertain times, but we will be doing everything we can to give you more clarity now and in the coming weeks. Our teams have been working extremely hard, planning for different scenarios depending on evolving guidance from government, in order to be able to welcome you to campus at the start of term. Thanks to this planning, we can now tell you more about our preparations for next year.
Learning and teaching
Here at Bath, we are really proud of the high quality teaching we are known to provide and our overriding aim will be to deliver that quality education for you.
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. We will be focussing in-person teaching on personal tutoring, laboratory work, peer-to-peer learning, design tutoring and smaller group learning, such as seminars. To allow for this, and for potential social distancing rules, preparations will be made to deliver innovative and high-quality large scale teaching, such as lectures and large workshops, digitally if needed.
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 prefer to start your course 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 can enrol in our high quality courses, without having to worry about whether you will be able to come to Bath in person at the start of term.
We have taken stock of our accommodation arrangements, to plan how we can best offer you rooms for next year. We are pleased to be able to say that we can allocate accommodation to all eligible new students, even if the current social distancing measures remain unchanged.
We have a number of ensuite rooms and shared flats that would form ‘households’ under current public health guidelines. In standard rooms with shared facilities, all occupants will have a dedicated wash hand basin, and to ensure social distancing guidelines can be applied, some rooms will not be let. If students need to self-isolate, they will be fully supported by a full range of tailored services that we are developing.
We understand some students may not be able to arrive on campus at the very start of term, due to shielding, travel or visa restrictions outside their control or other extenuating circumstances. We will therefore endeavour to tailor invoices accordingly, but this will need to be done on an individual basis. As an offer holder, if you will require University accommodation during your first year, you should apply once you have decided that Bath is your Firm choice.
Extra-curricular and social activities
We appreciate that coming to University is about more than completing your course, and aim to provide plenty of opportunities for you to form life-long friendships, have new experiences and develop and learn new skills.
Our spacious, green campus provides us with a range of opportunities to put on activities with social distancing measures in a safe way and we are planning ways to offer a rich student experience beyond the formal curriculum. Our Sports Training Village has been one of the first venues to open up to enable certain elite athletes to resume training, under strict guidelines from government and sporting bodies. This will give us an opportunity to pilot the one-way systems and cleaning regimes needed for a broader reopening of facilities when we are able.
The award-winning SU (students’ union) here at the University of Bath is known for its innovation. Even during the strictest period of lockdown, they helped to keep students connected via their ‘corona community’ Facebook group, with activities from pizza making to online workouts. We are planning activities in partnership with our Students’ Union and discussing ways to protect the Fresher’s experience, even if we need to recreate it a little later than usual, so that you don’t miss out.
Starting University can be daunting as well as exciting, and we have a whole range of services to help you. We know that our new students will need as much support as possible this year, and our dedicated Student Services team will be ready to provide you with advice and information on everything from navigating University life, to wellbeing and money advice and disability support. This support has continued to our existing student body throughout the pandemic, and we have been able to adapt our provision very effectively to ensure our students felt safe and supported in recent months.
We know that you may have other questions about your future studies in the next few weeks or months, and if so, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We will be very pleased to help you in any way we can. If you have questions about your course, admissions or the University of Bath please email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Professor Bernie Morley
Deputy Vice Chancellor & Provost