Vice-Chancellor's welcome letter

This letter from Vice-Chancellor Kathryn Mitchell in September to our students and the wider community explains what the University's plans were for the start of term.

University of Derby ready to safely welcome back students to our city

As we begin to welcome new and existing students to the University of Derby, it is understandable that the community of which we are proud to be a part may have questions about the phased return of activity to our city and wider county.  

We are one of the area’s largest employers, with over 3,000 staff and around 24,000 students, and we very much recognise the responsibility that brings after such a challenging six months for us all.

Throughout the pandemic, assuring the safety of our students, staff and the communities around us has always been our main priority. This core principle will not change as we move into the next important period.

I can reassure you that we have done everything possible to enable the safe resumption of more activity at our University, developing plans that enable our students to have the best possible experience, and our city to regain some of the vibrancy and economic benefits that they bring, while not compromising on our commitment to public health and individual wellbeing

Adherence to government guidelines has always been the minimum standard to which we work, supported by our close working and communication with Public Health England, local authorities, the police and key stakeholders to ensure a collaborative approach and response to the challenges presented by Covid-19.

A huge amount of work has gone into getting our University, staff and students to this point and I want to use this opportunity to give you an insight into our plans.

We are proud to be the only university in Derby and Derbyshire and we take the civic role we have to play incredibly seriously, something we have demonstrated through the significant support we have offered to our community and external partners throughout this pandemic.

Our widely respected College of Health and Social Care has been instrumental in our support for the community, from making extensive donations of PPE in early spring to providing hundreds of nursing students and staff to support the frontline work in our local hospitals throughout the crisis. Their expertise, and that of our health and safety team and student support staff, should give you confidence that we are in a strong position to deal with any situation that may arise linked to Covid-19.

The start of university is, for many, one of the most important times of people’s lives – a defining moment for them and their families. I hope that you will join me in offering newcomers and returning students the warmest welcome.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Kathryn Mitchell DL
University of Derby Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive