Since the beginning of the COVID-19 situation, many universities have moved to online teaching to keep their students safe. However, with a new semester starting soon, universities re-evaluated the situation to keep their promise to students to have as much of a normal year as possible. Universities have now opened their campuses, however, not without taking extra measures to ensure students' and staff safety.
So, What Are Those Measures?
1. Face Masks
It's now mandatory to wear a face mask for your own safety at all the university's premises, libraries, transportation means, offices, etc. Social distancing markers set at least 6 feet apart are now available everywhere so that all students are fully aware of the distance they have to keep. Additionally, many universities have removed any chairs at the entrance of their facilities to ensure students retain their distance.
a. Flexible Learning Process.
This September blended learning is a required method in education. Most universities are working hard to utilize the latest technologies and offer students the best possible learning experience integrating online and offline methods together. Learn more about the hybrid or blended learning method through our blog " What to Expect From the Hybrid Learning Method?"
b. Flexible Academic Semesters Start Dates
Universities are likely to be more flexible than ever this semester. Late arrivals and dual start dates for a number of programs are now options in many universities. Glasgow University is now offering around 30 programs with dual starts, while The University of Liverpool is offering flexible start dates in Oct, Nov 2020, Jan, and Feb 2021 for its postgraduate taught programs. The University of Buckingham offers January intake for almost all undergraduate and postgraduate programs, so it's not a big deal anymore if you miss September intake. Jan intake will be the same as September with induction or orientation. Additionally, the University of Liverpool has even announced free COVID-19 testing for staff and students with results within 24 hours.
4. Cleaning and Sanitizing.
Throughout the term, all facilities, equipment, shared spaces, and desks will be cleaned and disinfected every day. Also, students will be instructed to wipe down their personal space from time to time.
5. Staff Training Courses
Throughout the last couple of months, universities have implemented COVID- 19 training courses for the staff to guarantee a safe return to campus (Supervisor training, university personnel training, and laboratory training, etc.) Programs differ from one university to another, but the objective is the same; all universities want to inform everyone how to stay safe. For example, the University of Nebraska's staff, students, instructors, and researchers received training by watching specific videos on the new health policies to raise their awareness of COVID 19 and the mandatory measures that should be implemented to avoid its spread prior to the beginning of 2020 intake.
6. Signs and Reminders
This year, a safe and hygienic learning environment is one of the top priorities. That's why universities are doing their best to provide students with the most effective ways possible to guarantee students feel safe and protected. With that in mind, universities use hand sanitizers and signs advising against shaking hands, hugs, or any way of avoiding touching others, as this is the easiest way to contract the virus from an infected person.
7. Transportation Safety.
Universities are doing their best to make sure that students are 100% safe upon their arrival and during their stay at the university. Moreover, some universities provide the students with buses from the accommodation to the university to ensure their safety on the way as well.
Is It Really Safe Traveling to Start The Academic Year?
Overall, universities are taking the students' safety into account as a priority expecting compliance with the rules from every single student. Therefore, always follow university measures to feel safe. Make sure you book a safe UK student accommodation as well.