University of Derby update on plans for students to return in January 2021

This letter from Vice-Chancellor Professor Kathryn Mitchell in December to our students and the wider community explains the plans we are making to ensure that students return to campus safely in January.  

As the government has recently announced its guidance for higher education institutions on the return of students to campus in January, I would like to share with you how we are planning on managing the safe return of our students to Derby after the festive break.

We have been looking at the guidance very carefully, which includes a request to stagger the return of students - with practical and placement students coming back first - and offer all students testing on their return.

I can share with you the following update:

This phased return will include managed access to specialist learning resources, allowing students on practical and professional programmes to progress research and project work which had to be suspended in the last fortnight of this semester.

This will all be done in coordination with the availability of asymptomatic testing at the University, in the same way we offered this facility to students heading home for Christmas earlier this month. 

Voluntary testing for asymptomatic students will be offered from 4 January, and we are encouraging students to get tested twice, three days apart, before they return to campus. Tests will also be offered to our students in Buxton and Chesterfield.

It is hoped that this approach will enable our students to return and resume university life safely, while having a minimal impact on their studies, and offer additional assurance that we are doing everything we can to keep our students, staff and local community safe.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Kathryn Mitchell DL

University of Derby Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive

The Vice-Chancellor also wrote a welcome letter in September to students and the wider community to explain what the University's plans were for the start of term, a letter in November with an update on the University's plans for managing the second lockdown period and a letter about plans for Christmas sharing the steps taken to ensure that students who wanted to go home for Christmas were able to do so safely for themselves and their families. And the Vice-Chancellor's most recent letter about returning to University in January 2021 with an update on plans for students.