Imagine yourself back in December 31st, 2019; would you have ever predicted that 2020 would turn out like this? As the year comes to an end, it brings with it the start of the academic year, and given the circumstances, I can tell we are in for a very odd one. While there is still some mystery, confusion and fear about going back to university, here is what we know so far about the new safety measures implemented in Liverpool Hope University, University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University.
Liverpool Hope University
With the safety of the staff and students, the provision of an excellent student experience and the continuation of activities that uphold the values of the university in mind, Liverpool Hope University are running on a mixture of online and on-campus arrangement.
According to their website, Liverpool Hope University, “will be following social distancing guidelines in all areas of the campus, will be requiring the use of PPE as appropriate and will be operating the timetable in a very different.” Induction weeks for Level I, Level M and H are to be conducted online, and the academic calendars have been released with personal timetables to be released in mid-September. According to weekly emails from Pro Vice-Chancellor Penny Haughan, more information will follow soon. For now, terms have been extended by two weeks with reflective weeks, and big lectures will be conducted online, with smaller teaching such as tutorials and seminars happening on campus following the social distancing guidelines.
University of Liverpool
University of Liverpool seem to be following a similar procedure. They have stated that they intend to, “provide every student with a combination of face-to-face teaching in smaller classes, laboratories and other environments … together with virtual teaching sessions in place of lessons that would normally take place in large groups.” Some online courses will be place online so that they are there for whenever students may wish to use them, while some will be broadcasted live, allowing interaction between tutors and students. Full details about each specific course will be made available soon, with no specific date given.
On the 13th of August, the university released a video on their Instagram highlighting the new on-campus rules and regulations, which consists of one-way systems, contactless living in halls, masks and how to use and manage them, free corona tests to those who are showing symptoms, and bird-eye view images of the layout of classrooms.
Liverpool John Moores University
Liverpool John Moores University has released a Youtube video titled, “Ensuring a safe return to LJMU” and microsite called “Moving Forward Together”, which aimsto show students, staff and visitors the Covid-19 related procedures. In the video, they outline the rules and regulations for the next academic year. These include expanding the range of learning spaces, giving free masks, implementing a one-way walking system in all buildings, increasing the amount of hand sanitiser stations and increasing the number of things such as door handles, handrails and buttons on elevators. The academic calendar has been released, with the undergraduate programmes commencing on the 28th of September, online registration opening on the 11th of August, and describe their educational delivery as an “Active Blended Learning.” This consists of a mix of online and face-to-face teaching, with live sessions and activities to be conducted on a variety of platforms so that students can fully participate and learn together as a cohort.
Times are strange, and the future is unknown. Who knows what is going to happen next, or when we can return back to “normal”, but university is an important and memorable part of our lives, and while it may be different this year, we know that the universities are doing their best to provide an education that is both enjoyable and educational, without harming any students.