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A message from Kelly Coate, PVC for Education and Students to all students

Professor Kelly Coate, Pro Vice Chancellor for Education and Students

Today, 2 October, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education and Students, Kelly Coate, sent an email to all students. You can read the message in full below.

Dear students,

This week I am updating you on some important information about your education and student experience.  As always, please do read all of the email, as there might be something that’s really useful for you.

Mobile testing unit
We will have a mobile testing unit on campus which allows for up to 400 tests a day (although the precise number of tests it will be able to carry out will depend upon the laboratory capacity to process them).  The unit will be located in the Arts Carpark (no.7A) from Friday 2 October and over the weekend (three days in total).
The unit is for symptomatic testing and those people requiring the service should book an appointment through the national booking system:  This will help any students currently living on campus, who are concerned about having symptoms to seek a test and hopefully receive one onsite.
The mobile testing unit is purposely positioned on the edge of the campus, and close to University residences making it easy for students to access. It will complement the existing testing site in the City and an existing mobile testing unit. The mobile testing unit on campus will be available for members of the public to book if they choose it as their closest and most convenient location. 
Car parking will be available for those driving for a test and face coverings must be worn whilst walking to the testing location and whilst within the controlled parking areas. People are told not to take public transport to attend testing venues.
Having a mobile testing unit on campus has been made possible as a result of successful partnership working with the University, local council and PHE.  Provision of testing sites in the area is determined by the local Public Health Authority working with central Government; we will do all that we can to retain the facility on site.

Teaching and learning

I’ve been out and about on campus this week, in a socially distanced manner and wearing my face covering to visit lots of face to face classes.  It’s been great to see the things we’ve put in place to make campus safe – and I am sure you also appreciate the hard work of University staff including our porters, cleaners and security staff who make this possible.

I also want to thank you for adhering to the rules of the classroom, understanding the importance of wearing face coveringsunless you are exempt, and patiently waiting outside buildings or in the designated areas before classes begin.  We have had a few incidences where students have been waiting in corridors outside classrooms and this has meant we can’t maintain social distancing in these areas, but overall this week has gone very well thanks to your co-operation and understanding.
How to access Zoom

Some of you have let me know you have found it difficult to connect to Zoom sessions this week, so I want to share some key information to help you:

  • Sussex has provided you with a Zoom account for your studies, so you don't need to create one of your own.
  • To log into your University Zoom account, use the "SSO login" button on the Zoom app rather than the username and password boxes. See the Zoom guidance.
  • You’ll find links to join specific Zoom teaching sessions in Canvas, or your tutor might have sent it to you separately.

Spirit of Sussex Award

Many of you will be taking part in extra-curricular or voluntary work, and our recently launched ‘Spirit of Sussex Award’ recognises your achievements in these areas.   In just 24 hours of launching, 110 students logged into the award platform and registered 216 activities.  This has gone up since then, with more students joining and logging their activity.  Please do find out more about the award and register your achievements – it’s a great way to connect with others and showcase your achievements to future employers.  You can register here.

If you have Coronavirus symptoms, or you’re self-isolating

If you have Coronavirus symptoms, or you’re self-isolating you must immediately report this to the University.  Find out what the main symptoms of Covid-19 are and what you must do if you have them here.

Download the NHS contact tracing app

Last week I asked that you download and use the free NHS Covid-19 contact-tracing app.  If you’ve not had the chance to do so, I would really encourage you to do so as it is an important way for us to reduce the risk of transmission, and keep our campus safe.

How we’ll report Covid-19 cases on campus

As the Vice-Chancellor mentioned in his email to all students on Monday, there are only a few cases of Covid-19 amongst our community – with the majority of cases in people who are living off campus.  We will keep you informed of the number of Covid-19 cases among our community via this webpage.  You can find out more information on how we are keeping you informed and campus safe here.

University residences

I’ve visited a number of residences and most of you seem to be settling in well.  However, we are still getting reports that some students are not adhering to the ‘Rule of Six’ law.  This troubles us on many levels.  It’s making other residents very concerned, when they shouldn’t have to feel this way, and it’s putting the University’s ability to carry on running at risk.

This just isn’t acceptable and we will need to start issuing fines against students who do not follow the law as we need to protect the health and wellbeing of other students and the whole community.  As the Vice-Chancellor said, we really don’t want to do this, as we know how difficult this time is – and frustrating too.  We want to keep the University open, to ensure we can continue offering face-to-face teaching, but to do that, we need everyone to take the Rule of Six law seriously.  It’s a law that applies to everyone – and students aren’t exempt.

Help and Support should you need it & School offices

The University is here for you and if you are finding things difficult, or you need help on any issue please do reach out if you need support.  If you have any questions or issues relating to your course, please contact your School office.

With best wishes


Kelly Coate
Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education and Students

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Posted on behalf of: Kelly Coate, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education and Students
Last updated: Friday, 2 October 2020

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