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Teaching and Learning during the early 2021 lockdown.

Posted 8 January

Harper Adams University has responded to the latest Government guidelines, including those on the national lockdown, to ensure that teaching and learning can recommence in the spring term in support of the University’s students. As well as engaging with representatives of the DfE last week, the University has received updated guidance this week, on the approach that universities should take.

The current national guidance means that only designated courses, and students with exemptions that allow them to return to University, are able to attend campus, though those students undertaking a research degree are able to continue their research programme under Covid-secure measures.

This means that the majority of Harper Adams taught course students will receive their teaching and learning online until at least mid-February. All students were advised earlier this week, that unless they were in one of the relevant categories they should remain in their winter vacation location, avoiding all unnecessary travel.

Groups of students able to attend the University are limited in number, but include:

• Those on courses designated by the Government, who need to return for teaching in subjects “which are most important to be delivered in-person in order to support the pipeline of future key workers”. Harper Adams has reviewed the Government guidance, and its planned teaching, learning and assessment activities, and is in direct communication with students permitted to return under this derogation;

• Those on a very limited number of courses which require Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) assessments and /or other PRSB mandatory activity which is scheduled for January and which cannot be rescheduled;

• Students unable to reliably access online learning in their vacation setting. These individuals can return to their term-time address, where they will learn online and must continue to comply with wider lockdown regulations;

• Vulnerable students, those with no alternative address and those from overseas, who will continue to be supported by the University, while accessing online learning;

• Those students who remained on campus over the winter break.

Students have been advised to continue to monitor University email, stay in touch with their course tutors and remain connected with student services for wellbeing support.

In accordance with the Government’s guidance, all returning students have been encouraged to seek a Covid test or to self-isolate for the required period, before returning to the area, to travel in a Covid-secure manner and to obtain a precautionary Covid test upon their return.

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