Announcement

Covid-19 update for students (27 Jan 2021)

Published on 27 January 2021

A copy of the email sent to all undergraduate and taught postgraduate students

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Dear students,

I am now three weeks into my role as Principal of the University, although I have not yet had the opportunity to work on campus or meet many colleagues due to the current high level of Covid-related restrictions.

I do hope that it will not be too much longer before we can make a return to life on campus and I will have the opportunity to meet many of you in person. In the meantime, we must stick with living life within the limitations set as we try to control the spread of Covid-19.

There have been some signs of optimism that cases locally are levelling off, but this must still be viewed with caution. Please do continue to follow all of the public health advice.

I know the restrictions are causing deep frustrations. Most of you have not been able to return to campus. For some there is a different issue of not having been able to return home at any point in the past year that we have been living with the pandemic. These are disturbing circumstances causing anguish and pain as well as the frustration I mention.

Of course, it is difficult for all of us right now. Learning and teaching is not the same, our social activities and the other aspects of campus life we used to take for granted are simply not possible just now.

The University and DUSA have been working closely together throughout the pandemic to support you, to listen to student concerns and respond to feedback on all aspects of University life.

We have been able to switch to doing ever more in the digital space. Our staff have worked tirelessly to create a new working environment to ensure you can continue with your degrees and other work and study.

For some of you, with a strong practical element to your course or a need to be in facilities such as laboratories, workshops, studios and clinics, I know it is extremely difficult to replace the `hands on’ element. We are working to do all we can to facilitate this but we can, of course, only do what we are permitted to under the terms of the Government and public health guidelines which, as you know, evolve with the pandemic.

The Scottish Government has produced a new Q&A document for students, which advises what you can and cannot do under the latest guidance. I hope this is helpful, but if you do have any issues with which you need help or advice then please do remember it is available from the University and from DUSA. You can also speak to your advisors and your School.

We all hope we can get back to something closer to normal before too much longer. There are glimmers of optimism with the various vaccines in production and being rolled out, including to some of our own staff and students in key groups. Meantime, we are here to support you as best we can.

I have been hugely impressed by the effort I have seen from staff and students to work our way through this situation we are all facing. We must carry on, and we will.

Best wishes,

Professor Iain Gillespie
Principal & Vice-Chancellor

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