Liverpool Hope University has moved to reassure students that it is open and will welcome freshers next week, despite new local Covid-19 restrictions.
On Friday (Sept 18) the Government announced temporary new social distancing measures that affect the North West, Midlands and West Yorkshire and come into force Tuesday (Sept 22).
While Merseyside is an ‘area of intervention’, the new rules do not impact educational establishments, such as universities and schools, or places of work.
And with Hope having implemented a raft of measures to ensure student and staff safety, the University is looking forward to welcoming both new and returning students back to campus.
Hope’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for Student Life and Learning, Dr Penny Haughan, says: “The message is clear - the University is very much open and we’re delighted to be welcoming our students to campus.
“In fact, we’ve already welcomed PGCE and PGDE students to Hope, who began their teacher training with us earlier this month.
“Rigorous, independently verified, risk assessments have been conducted to make sure we make the appropriate adjustments to life at the University, and the safety of our students and staff will always remain paramount.
“Throughout the University’s campuses, we’ve implemented one way systems through buildings to ensure social distancing, cleaning regimes have been escalated, and we’re adopting a hybrid mix of both online and face-to-face teaching sessions.
“Students will be allocated to learning bubbles and there are residential bubbles when they arrive in Halls, another measure designed to safeguard health and wellbeing.
“And we’ve also invested heavily in protective technology.
“Hope has launched its own track and trace initiative - the ‘SafeZone’ app - in order to protect the entire Hope family.
“We also have a ‘Covid-19 Alert Status’ system, designed to communicate the local Covid-19 situation to students and staff on a daily basis, via email, text on via screens on campus, so that safeguarding measures can potentially be put in place.
“And we also want to reassure students that the new measures don’t have to detract from the overall student experience.
“The majority of our cafes, bars and canteens are open. And students and staff can still access our library while making use of its computers and printing services.
“To make life easier, we’ve also launched a ‘request and collect’ service for the library’s materials to maximise convenience and safety for all. “
Hope’s ‘Welcome Week’ begins Monday September 28th, and a raft of fun events have been planned with social distancing in mind, from virtual discos to an online band night.
And Dr Haughan says everyone at Hope is committed to making sure students have the best-possible experience, in this term and beyond.
She adds: “The new term will undoubtedly be different to what happened at this time last year, but change also brings new opportunities and we have embraced the chance to reflect on our processes and create a model of living and learning that will enable you to reach your full potential.
“We have plans to ensure students have the best possible opportunity to fully immerse themselves in university life, but we obviously need to do this within the safety arrangements that are part of all of our lives at present.
To learn more about all the Covid-19 measures being put in place at Hope, as well as important and regularly-updated guidance, head here.