The new academic year

 

 

Are you re-opening in September?

Aberystwyth University has continued to operate throughout the Covid-19 crisis.  We are fortunate to have a spacious campus, set in a small town and are therefore confident we will be able to make the necessary adaptations to deliver as much in-person teaching as is safely possible.

Our intention is therefore to invite students back to our campus in September, and offer a learning experience for students in Aberystwyth which is as close as possible to the normal experience without compromising on the welfare of students, staff and the wider community.

The new academic year will start in September. The Big Welcome runs from Monday 7 September for 14 days. This will be followed by Induction, Orientation and Registration which commence on Tuesday 22 September, and teaching which starts on Monday 28 September.

Do you plan to hold face-to-face lectures?

Face-to-face teaching is central to our planning. We are aiming to tailor our delivery to provide as much face-to-face, in-person teaching as is safely possible. We will supplement this in-person teaching with the online teaching tailored to the needs of students.

We are currently preparing so that we are ready for a number of possible scenarios – because we’re aware that circumstances may change. Our priority is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all.    

In adapting our learning and teaching, we are fortunate that we can benefit from some of the unique advantages we have here in Aberystwyth. We have a spacious campus which enables us to use significant amounts of additional space for teaching.  This is particularly useful as we plan to keep teaching groups small in order maintain the Welsh Government’s social distancing rules.

Because social distancing rules are expected for some months to come, in general terms, we are currently adapting the curriculum so as to provide as much in-person provision as is safely possible.

As a general rule, we are planning to hold smaller group sessions, such as tutorials, seminars, workshops and practicals, in-person.  Some teaching previously provided in larger group sessions will be done in smaller, in-person group sessions, and some of this larger group teaching will be moved to tailored online sessions supplemented by more interactive activities in line with best practice.

Why are you doing this?

We are planning with the intention of providing the experience students wish to receive at University to the extent it is possible to do so safely. We recognise that students prefer to learn on campus, and that is why we want to provide online learning elements as needed to support face-to-face teaching. For Aberystwyth University, the priority is the safety of our students, staff and the wider community.

What do you mean by ‘flexible teaching provision’?

We are adapting the campus so that we can deliver as much in-person teaching as is safely possible.

We are supplementing our on-campus teaching with tailored, online experiences. We at Aberystwyth have experience in adapting teaching in innovative ways, and online learning specialists. 

We recognise that this is an uncertain time, and that physically attending classes may not always be possible, or may not be possible at all for some. In such cases, our intention is to deliver a combination of in-person and online teaching which will enable students to continue their learning. We will ensure that no student is academically disadvantaged if they cannot be present on campus.

Our plans are being developed in close collaboration with Students’ Union representatives, our local authority and health board as well as the Welsh Government and UK wide stakeholders. The ongoing feedback from our partners, including students, will be essential as we develop and move forward with our plans.

 

Should I sign a contract for private accommodation now or wait?

Aberystwyth University’s intention is to enable students to learn on campus from the start of the academic year to the extent that is safe. For those students who wish, we are providing accommodation on the University campus, but this is not compulsory and students are free to make their own accommodation arrangements.

Am I going to be allowed to socialise or hold a party?

Part of the appeal of on-campus learning is that it allows students to have a valuable life experience and make friends for life. it is possible there will be restrictions on what we are able to do and the University will make students aware of any rules or restrictions in place. Naturally, Welsh Government restrictions will be in operation on all our sites.

Am I going to be able to stay in University accommodation on campus as normal?

University accommodation will be available to students. We will be putting appropriate social distancing measures in place in line with government guidelines. 

Will there be reduced tuition fees?

The University’s aim is to carefully adapt the campus so that it can deliver as much in-person teaching as safely as possible. Our goal is to offer students an experience that is as similar as possible to the high-quality experience we always aim to deliver.   

Along with academic excellence and staff who really care, we have a depth of experience in adapting teaching in innovative ways, and online learning specialists.  This puts us in a strong position to supplement our on-campus teaching with tailored, online learning.

The detailed arrangements of the adaptations are being developed in close collaboration with Students’ Union representatives, as well as in discussions with Ceredigion Council, Hywel Dda Health Board, the Welsh Government and UK wide stakeholders. 

Therefore, and in line with other universities, we have no plans to offer a reduction in tuition fees. 

Other questions?

If you have a question that isn’t answered here, please e-mail coronavirus@aber.ac.uk or telephone the dedicated helpline on 01970 622483, which is open Monday – Friday 8.30 to 5.30 (4.30 on Fridays).