Update on teaching arrangements

Senior colleagues recently met to discuss the impact of the measures put in place by Government to reduce the spread of COVID-19 which, of course, include the requirement that many of you study wholly online until at least the middle of February.

We do not yet know when there will be a further announcement about university teaching and we appreciate that this is a cause of considerable uncertainty for students and staff alike.

Meanwhile, although it is encouraging to see case numbers decreasing in Liverpool as a result of the current restrictions, the recent spike in infections arrived here several weeks later than in South East England and it is very unclear when it will be possible for restrictions to be eased significantly.

With these uncertainties in mind, we have therefore decided that students who are currently studying wholly online will now continue to do so until the end of term on Friday, 19 March.

By then, the University hopes that we will be able to give you advance notice of any subsequent change in teaching arrangements that will take effect after the Easter holiday period, from Monday, 12 April, enabling you to plan accordingly. This will also help academic staff on these programmes to prepare for the remainder of the current term with certainty and support you in fully meeting your learning outcomes.

It remains our intention to introduce a hybrid model of learning for all programmes, including in-person teaching, when we are able to do so. Following any future update from Government about restrictions on in-person teaching, we will communicate with you quickly to let you know what this will mean for you including the timescales for any changes being introduced.

Clinical courses and exempt programmes

All students on clinical courses and other programmes that are exempt from the current Government restrictions will continue to receive in-person teaching and take part in placements as planned. Please remember that your safety, and that of those around you, is paramount.

The full range of COVID-secure measures remains in place on campus and we expect all asymptomatic students and staff who are using facilities on campus to take a test every five days. Regular testing of this kind significantly reduces the risk of transmission among the University community.

Additional support

Our main objective throughout this period of disruption is to ensure that you still have the opportunity to acquire all of the intended learning outcomes for your programme, even though some of the circumstances surrounding your studies are very different than any of us would have expected. We fully appreciate that studying through the pandemic is unusual and difficult.

Accordingly, as we have previously communicated, during this academic year we have introduced a new set of Learning & Teaching Principles to balance the requirement to keep staff and students safe while ensuring the University can continue to deliver outstanding teaching and support for learning.

We have also recently adapted our approach to delivering teaching, learning and assessments online for Undergraduates in 2020/21. Equivalent measures will soon be communicated to Postgraduate Taught students.

Please bear in mind that academic staff on your course are also dealing with a lot of uncertainty and an unusual working environment. Some of the changes we have introduced are designed to help them adapt the support they provide to you under the challenging circumstances. They are working extremely hard and, above all, want to help you achieve the best possible outcome from your studies.

Please also remember the wide range of support you can access at any time as a University of Liverpool student. This includes, among other things, support with your studies through KnowHow, online access to our library services, help identifying and pursuing your chosen career, access to advice and guidance on everything from mental health to money issues, and a range of activities to help keep you occupied away from your studies.