Aberystwyth University welcomes Welsh Government support for autumn in-person teaching

Professor Tim Woods

Professor Tim Woods

30 June 2021

Aberystwyth University has welcomed the Welsh Government’s announcement about in-person teaching for the next academic year.

The Welsh Government is going to publish a new framework, the guiding principle of which will be to enable education to move to operating as normally as possible in the autumn term.

By moving away from the 2-metre social distancing rule to a contact group model in education settings, the plans aim to allow more in-person learning, provided there is low or moderate risk.

Professor Tim Woods, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Learning, Teaching and Student Experience at Aberystwyth University, commented:

“This is a very welcome announcement, which confirms that, in certain areas, we can scale-up our in-person teaching for the start of the new academic year, whilst continuing to prioritise everyone’s health and wellbeing.

“Over the past academic year, thanks to the dedication and support of our staff and students, we believe we delivered the among the highest levels of in-person teaching of any university in the UK when government regulations allowed.  This was part of our blended learning approach which also included online activities.  This announcement will allow us to plan to build on our provision. We are in a strong position to do so - the Times/Sunday Times rated us as the best in the UK for overall student experience and teaching quality in 2021.”

“Our local area here in Aberystwyth has had some of the lowest COVID-19 rates of any area in Wales and the UK. This is coupled with Wales having one of the highest vaccination rates in the world. We will continue to work collaboratively with our key partners to maintain this position to safeguard health and wellbeing, and to deliver as much in-person teaching as possible.”

The news comes after the successful resumption of in-person teaching in Aberystwyth University for the term after Easter, which concluded at the end of May.

The Welsh Government was the only government in the UK that allowed universities to teach in-person straight after the Easter break.

Professor Woods added:

“This Welsh Government decision recognises how successfully and safely in-person teaching has been delivered, and how we have put comprehensive measures in place to make our teaching facilities COVID-secure environments.

“We will continue to follow the Welsh Government’s rules, which now allow us to plan for even higher levels of in-person teaching, in order to deliver the best possible student experience. We will also continue to retain the best of digital provision so we are ready for all possible eventualities.”