An update from the Vice-Chancellor on Wednesday 6th of May announces that the University does intend to open in October, but raises the possibility that Michaelmas Term will not be run as normal. The notice also announces the creation of two new hardship funds to help students and staff affected by the pandemic.

In the statement, the Vice-Chancellor states the University “will be planning for Michaelmas term”, declaring intentions to open the University in October, although in a “changed world”. This means that social distance guidance and online teaching may continue into Michaelmas Term.

The Vice-Chancellor nevertheless emphasises that “as far as possible, we will preserve the face-to-face personalized education”, such as tutorials. Distancing measures are most likely to take place for group lectures and teachings.

They have announced they will adopt a policy of “test, trace and isolate” in order to allow for safety and normality in the new academic year.

The Vice-Chancellor has also announced two new hardship funds, one for students and one for staff, to aid those worst affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A “pilot program” to begin allowing on-site work in several departments is being developed as it is looking “increasingly likely” that the Government will begin loosening lockdown measures soon.

The University is also encouraging donations from individuals for both of these hardship funds and the research effort through the Development Office.

The statement gives further updates on the successful developments of the Oxford vaccine research, with its new partnership with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

The University has been contacted for comment.

Image Credit to Prosthetic Head/ Wikimedia Commons

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