Last Word

Professor Kathryn Mitchell DL, our Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, reviews the challenges of the past few months and looks to the future and the start of the new academic year.

What we have all experienced over the past few months has been unprecedented for many of us within our living memory, but I believe has also created a strong community across the University and our city.

It is important that we remember everyone whose life has been severely affected by coronavirus at a personal and professional level, as well as the key workers in all areas of our public services and economy, including many of our own staff and students, who continue to work hard to keep the population safe and well.

At the time of writing this, restrictions on movement, social distancing and economic activity are being eased by the government, but it is important that we are aware that we are not free of the virus; the risk remains and we must continue to ensure that our staff and students are safe as the new term begins.

Throughout the whole of lockdown we have been fully engaged in planning for the new academic year; examining how we can safely deliver our applied learning and teaching to all of our students, ensuring their experience of university is as full and enjoyable as it can be.

We have robust plans in place for the start of term and eagerly await the opportunity to welcome all our new and returning students to Derby from September.

Whilst we have not been able to undertake our summer graduation ceremonies as usual, we have been able to share the success of graduating students through our first ever virtual celebration events. Nevertheless, we do look forward to the day when we can once again welcome back and congratulate our students in person, when it is safe to do so.

A portrait picture of Kath

We have robust plans in place for the start of term and eagerly await the opportunity to welcome all our new and returning students to Derby from September.

Professor Kathryn Mitchell DL
Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive

Throughout this period, we have been even more conscious of our civic responsibility and are deeply engaged in the recovery process that our region must undergo to restore the economy, including regaining investor confidence, creating new jobs and making our city and county greener.  In particular, we have been working closely with Derby City Council and other partners across the county and region. The University is part of the Derby Economic Recovery Task Force, which is making sure that the propositions of the city are fully aligned to the government’s agenda.  

The return of students to our city will provide a considerable economic boost, so we must continue to ensure the University and city remain attractive destinations to future generations of students.

Although Covid-19 has brought many challenges, the University has sought to identify and make the most of opportunities too. Whether that be delivering our courses through alternative modes of learning or working more collaboratively with our city and county, it is now our intention to harness the new momentum to drive our University and community forward.