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Updating students on their education and feedback

Professor Kelly Coate, Pro Vice Chancellor for Education and Students

Today (15 May), Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education and Students Kelly Coate, sent her regular weekly email to all Undergraduate and Post Graduate Taught students. You can read the full email here:

Dear all students,

I use these emails as a way to keep in touch and to update you on key decisions and guidance on a number of areas that affect you.

Campus update

Earlier this week, the UK Government set out a roadmap for how the UK could slowly emerge from the current lockdown.  No doubt many of you have questions about when normal life will begin to return to campus.
The first thing to say is that we are still in the early stages and, for now, it is important that campus remains closed. Our specialist teams, working with me and my colleagues in the executive team, have been working to plan all we need to do to enable this to happen.

This is a huge challenge, and we are having to rethink every aspect of how we all work and study – from the big issues like how to safely hold lectures and seminars, to smaller but equally important things, such as safe handling of library books, moving around buildings and accessing essential facilities like toilets.

I know that many of you will be eager to return, especially those with more practical elements to your courses.  For now, please do not try to access campus buildings and thank you for your patience while we do the vital work to ensure they can re-open in a safe way.

Inevitably, this leads to the next big question on many of your minds – when and how the new academic year will start.  We will provide guidance on this as soon as we possibly can, as I know that you need this clarity as soon as possible, for many different reasons.  Our planning is at an advanced stage and we are in conversations with national university bodies and government departments. Please look out for updates in one of my future emails.

Additional guidance on Assessments

Following on from my email to you last week which featured Dr Graeme Pedlingham, University Lead for Assessment, you can now access a new Canvas module.  It offers guidance on each of the replacement modes to on-line assessments and a mock submission point for you to experiment with and familiarise yourself with.

Update for students living on campus

The UK government had previously advised that students living on campus could not leave.  This has now changed and students who wish to leave to permanently stay in their family home may now do so.  Students living on campus will receive an email soon explaining what they must do to move to their permanent address.
 
Information re: students on study abroad year
 
Due to the impact of Covid-19, many of our partner universities in other countries have cancelled their study abroad opportunities for the first term of the academic year 2020/21 – particularly so in Australia and New Zealand where the semester starts in July.  Some partner Universities in North America and Asia and a handful in Europe have also cancelled Study Abroad opportunities.

We have contacted affected students and we are exploring ways to manage disrupted study abroad opportunities.

We are committed to the health and wellbeing of all students, and that is why we have been regularly updating information on our website for students studying abroad.  Our Global Mobility team continue to advise and assist students in other countries.
 
Whilst the UK Government currently advising against all but essential international travel, we have told students planning to study abroad in 2020/21 to continue with their preparations, but to avoid making any financial commitments such as flights and accommodation.

BAME Ambassadors

I’m in regular contact with the Students’ Union and its elected student representatives through our conversations I hear about student concerns, ideas and initiatives.  One initiative run by the SU and funded by the University is the BAME Ambassadors.  I am really pleased that the new team of Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) student ambassadors have taken up their positions.  They will be trying to speak with as many BAME students as possible this term.  You can find out who the BAME Ambassadors are via in this article.

Sussex Researchers contributing to combatting Covid-19

The greatest challenge to the world right now is of course Covid-19, and I am so proud of the contribution that Sussex students, staff and alumni are making during the pandemic.

So many of you are playing your part, whether it be volunteering in your communities, making PPE for front line workers, our BSMS final year students qualifying early to work on the frontline in our hospitals, supporting NHS diagnostic labs – and most recently 190 researchers have signed up to help combat Covid-19 – all truly outstanding efforts and you can find out more about Sussex’s contributions on our Responding to Covid-19 webpages.

Finally, if you need of assistance, no matter what the issue the University and its support services are here for you.

With best wishes

Kelly

Kelly Coate

Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education and Students


By: Harvey Atkinson
Last updated: Friday, 15 May 2020

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