Published on 17 September 2021
The University of Sunderland will be welcoming thousands of new students in the coming weeks.
After a turbulent 18 months, university life is readjusting and returning to a greater sense of normality.
But just what will life be like on campus for those returning – and those beginning – their student journeys?
We answer some of the frequently asked questions:
Will I have to wear a mask on campus?
The government has made clear there is a move to greater personal responsibility – and people will need to make their own decisions about how they want to manage COVID-related risks.
In line with the government guidance, you will not be required to wear a mask on campus. But we are encouraging staff and students to wear face coverings in crowded areas and also to respect those who wish to continue wearing a mask.
Will I need to be double vaccinated and carry a vaccine passport on campus with me?
No and No. Current government guidance does not require students to have a vaccination passport to come onto campus or to attend events. We are closely following government advice and will keep students informed if this position changes.
Getting vaccinated is the best way of helping avoid restrictions being put back in place by the government over the autumn and winter, as well as protecting yourself, others in the community, and the NHS.
So what about teaching groups, will it all be online or in-person?
We are looking forward to welcoming students back onto campus and teaching will mainly be in-person, including lectures, laboratories, studio work etc – not least because so many of our courses are applied, vocational and practical, whether that’s medicine or nursing, engineering or computer science, creative arts or teaching.
Timetables will be based on a 75% occupancy of teaching rooms. This will increase capacity while still ensuring there is enough room for students to spread out and maintain a degree of social distance if they wish to.
And the lecture theatres?
We will be continuing face to face lectures. But we have also asked staff to think about the educational value of very large lecture groups which don’t always deliver the best student outcomes – that might mean some students spend more time in smaller face to face groups, and in a well-managed way, utilise some online lectures.
What about the University’s cafes and libraries?
All our libraries and cafes are open as normal for students to use and enjoy. All we ask is that everyone shows courtesy and respect to both fellow students and staff members to ensure people feel safe and comfortable.
Can I get a test on campus?
Yes, we have on-site testing facilities at our Tech-Park which are available to both staff and students.
And what about vaccinations?
The University is actively encouraging all students to get both doses of the vaccine. Students and staff who are not already, are advised to register with a local GP and secure their vaccinations through the normal NHS process. And there will be a vaccination bus on campus for freshers’ week. International students are also able to be vaccinated in the UK and they do not have to pay.
What about public transport between campuses?
The 700 and 701 buses continue to run between City and St Peter’s campuses. We do encourage students and staff to continue to wear masks while travelling on all forms of public transport.
So what Covid guidelines is the University following?
The University will continue to monitor and follow the government’s guidance as we move beyond September 2021, as we have done throughout the pandemic.
Our priority remains to deliver the best, and safest, student experience.