Information for Applicants: Teaching and Learning - Academic Year 2021/22

Version 3

Published 2 August 2021

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Important terms

  1. Following the lifting of social distancing restrictions on 19 July 2021 and advice from the Department for Education, we currently anticipate that no social distancing measures will be in place on campus during Semester 1 of the 2021/22 academic year, enabling a return to a more normal on-campus experience. Our aim, in the Academic Year 2021/22, is to ensure that our students experience Leeds Beckett University, our courses, campuses, facilities and services to the fullest extent possible, while maintaining an environment where students and staff feel safe.
  2. We currently expect to deliver traditional face-to-face on campus teaching, supplemented by online teaching and digital tools which have been found to be effective and popular at a course level during the last year. The current 2021/22 course specifications are available on our website. Updated course specifications (where required) will be available on our website in August 2021.
  3. In all cases, the health and safety of students and staff is our priority and we will continue to follow guidance from Public Health England, the Department for Education and all other recognised government agencies (such as the Office for Students) in full and keep matters under close review at all times. The advice and restrictions may change before and/or during the academic year, either nationally or in response to local conditions and rates of infection and include the need for social distancing measures and other restrictions. Our flexible delivery model allows us to revert to a blended and/or remote delivery model if this becomes necessary. In a worst case scenario it is possible our campuses may need to close.
  4. We will provide general updates to our University community here and more specific updates will be provided by your School. You may find it helpful to refer to the Office for Students guidance and FAQs for students and the Office of Independent Adjudicators FAQs.

Introduction

Following the lifting of coronavirus restrictions on 19 July 2021, we currently anticipate that social distancing and face covering measures will no longer be mandatory on campus during Semester 1 of the 2021/22 academic year, although we will continue to implement infection prevention and control measures (such as hand hygiene stations, regular cleaning, ventilation and encouraging the use of face coverings in crowded or enclosed spaces.)

The University is informed by Public Health England (PHE) and the Department for Education (DfE) Covid-19 advice and guidance for maintaining a Covid-secure learning and working environment. We have made arrangements to continue to provide a high-quality educational experience in a way that protects the safety and wellbeing of both students and staff. We are engaging closely with Leeds Beckett Students’ Union to inform the arrangements and will also be informed by feedback provided by our individual students.

Government, PHE and DfE guidance continues to evolve, so the arrangements for delivery of your course and use of the campus may need to change during the academic year to continue to protect students and staff. However, should restrictions be considered necessary by the Government or advised by the Director of Public Health the DfE currently expects that our educational facilities will remain open wherever possible. Non-educational facilities and activities will be restricted first to reflect any local or national conditions.

Key terms and conditions

Further important information for applicants and students is available on our website. This includes information about the student contract, fees and funding, your rights of cancellation, the student protection plan and the University complaints process. It is essential that you read the information on this webpage carefully as it sets out the rights and obligations that will form the contract between you and the University upon accepting an offer and information about how to make a complaint.

Academic year

Our academic year will revert to two semesters commencing on 27 September 2021 and ending on 20 May 2022. Start dates will be notified to direct applicants via their offer letter or for UCAS applicants, via UCAS Track and will begin as planned. The length of the course is confirmed in the Course Specification relevant to your course.

Teaching and learning provision

Current expectation

Your studies will be a mix of predominantly in-person, on-campus activities and classes, recorded video content and other online and digital materials supplied, reflecting what will maximise learning on a course-by-course level, as well as supporting more vulnerable learners. The delivery of lectures will either by in-person on-campus or delivered online, depending on your course, and will be recorded where possible and pedagogically desirable. Further detail on the mix of teaching and learning activities can be found in the course specifications for your course.

Wherever possible and pedagogically desirable teaching content delivered by lecturers will be recorded, adopting our agreed inclusive practice commitments. Students will be able to access course materials either synchronously (where you learn live with your lecturer/peers) or asynchronously (where you access materials such as presentations, video content, online discussion boards and collaborative documents in your own time within a framework provided by your course.)

In most cases, the taught content will also be available online (eg. digital content and recorded lectures) so you can still access it if you are not able to attend campus due to the pandemic (for example, due to self-isolation, shielding or travel restrictions.)

Delivery in the event of Covid restrictions being reimposed or recommended

If there is a return to mandatory social distancing and/or face covering measures, we will not deliver large-group face-to-face teaching on campus, which will be delivered online instead. This will ensure that additional space will be available for small-group teaching, lab work, practical sessions and workshops on campus (restrictions permitting.)

In the event of a further government lockdown in response to Covid-19, we will prioritise on-campus delivery that is necessary for students to complete their award, meet required learning outcomes or mandatory practical elements for the level, and meet any requirements of relevant professional, statutory and regulatory bodies (PSRB). We will also prioritise access to specialist space and equipment that is important to enabling the successful completion of a module or course, over general teaching space and study facilities. Specific information on applicable PSRB recognition or requirements for your course is contained in your course specification. For other courses, digital and online learning and support will be delivered, to enable students to continue with their studies. Practical and specialist teaching and research space will be provided as normal or replicated in other spaces or through an online environment.

As a last resort, we will move back to online only provision across the whole institution or for particular cohorts or study groups in response to outbreaks within those groups.

We will keep delivery under constant review, with the view to providing as ‘normal’ as possible on-campus experience, informed by PHE and DfE advice, while ensuring students who are unable to attend campus can continue with their studies. We are confident that we can support you to achieve the learning outcomes of your course online, but recognise the value of face-to-face contact in enabling you to derive the fullest benefit from your learning and interaction with staff and other students. Our flexible delivery model allows us to adapt our delivery from one Semester to the next (if possible, maintaining a stable teaching and learning environment in place throughout each Semester), moving to more face-to-face or online delivery as restrictions are eased or reimposed.

Assessments

Assessment will continue to be through a variety of means, with a mix of written assignments and timed exercises, and will be fully outlined in your module information. We will not be holding large on-site examinations this year so where there is a requirement beyond our control (a stipulation from a Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body, for example) we will arrange for examinations to be managed on-line. Your course team will esure you understand the requirements for each module.

International students

We will support international students to engage in their studies remotely if they are unable or choose not to travel to the UK. We advise international students who choose to study remotely from their home country, to check their continued eligibility for support from their home government or third party funding bodies.

We will provide a comprehensive offer of welcome and support to international students arriving from overseas in accordance with the Government’s traffic light system who may need to self-isolate, including financial assistance for those who must undertake a period of ‘managed quarantine’ in a Government stipulated hotel.

How we will communicate with you

As the situation evolves, further information on local course delivery arrangements will be provided to you in emails from your School.

In addition, the University’s Covid-19 microsite contains information for students and applicants, including information relating to University accommodation and University facilities and services. The Covid-19 microsite is regularly reviewed and updated as the situation, advice and planning evolve.

Course fees

Your course fee is stated in your offer letter and has not changed.

Given that courses will include online and digital learning, students will need a personal digital device. The cost of such a device will vary depending on your individual requirements but can be in the region of £400-800. The University will continue to support low-income students with financial support towards the cost of a Windows or Apple laptop through our Digital Access Fund.

Where PPE is an essential requirement for the course you are undertaking, this is detailed in the relevant Course Specification.

Policies standards and regulations

We continue to manage an enhanced cleaning regime and ensure both suitable ventilation and adequate provision for hand hygiene as part of our embedded Covid-19 control measures across all of our campuses. Additional control measures such as social distancing and face coverings may need to be put in place for teaching, learning, assessment and student support if restrictions are reimposed during the academic year or indicated by an emergency response through our Estates Department, our local Department of Health or through national restrictions. This means that there may be operational requirements and protocols in place for the way in which your course is delivered and the way in which University activities, facilities, and spaces operate, which students and staff will need to follow.

We may need to implement approved emergency Covid-19 pandemic academic regulations to take account of the impact of Covid-19 general extenuating circumstances.

Sandwich placements, other placements and other off-campus learning opportunities

Covid-19 response measures has impacted on the arrangements for placements, field trips, volunteering and other off-campus activities in the UK. We will begin to offer an increased range of placements with employers and volunteering during 2021/22, recognising that the availability and ability to plan these has been necessarily reduced.

The availability or type of international placements, study abroad or volunteering opportunities, has also been restricted. The University follows the UK Government‘s Foreign and Commonwealth travel advice and is also informed by any specific in-country international travel restrictions or requirements. The University’s current position is that we will not facilitate outward (from UK) international/overseas placements, study abroad or volunteering activity in 2021/22. This is to protect students and minimise the risk of you being stranded abroad in the event of a lockdown and the introduction of national/local travel restrictions. We will only consider international placements for students whose domicile address is in the country of their placement. We will begin to plan outward international placements, study abroad or international volunteering activity in 2021/22, with a view to facilitating this more fully from 2022/23.

Inward Erasmus study (from other EU countries to the UK under this scheme) will be supported where these align with the academic calendar delivery dates. There may be other national or international travel restrictions or quarantine measures or specific work-place Covid-19 measures that impact on these opportunities.

Should the Covid-19 response and alert level be amended any activity may also be subject to Covid-19 employer, local or in-country requirements applicable at the time of the placement/activity. We will keep the position under review, informed by PHE and the UK Government‘s Foreign and Commonwealth travel advice.

Students will have access to advice and support from the University careers and employability team during their studies via the online resources and support.

Campus services and facilities

In semester one, we currently expect all of our campus services and facilities to be open as normal:

  • Our sporting facilities will be open, prioritising access for students and staff.
  • Our cafes and smaller retail and food services outlets and social space will be open across both campuses.
  • Events will resume, with priority given to a limited number of student-facing activities in Semester 1 which will be risk assessed.
  • Study spaces and student IT facilities will be provided on campus.
  • Access to library and learning support and student support will be provided through a blended model of remote and on-campus delivery, according to the needs and preferences of our students.
  • Full access to advice and professional health and wellbeing support will be provided through a blended model of remote and on-campus delivery to best suit the needs of our students.
  • The mix of welcome and induction arrangements on campus or online will be determined at course level.
  • Student accommodation will be open and not subject to social distancing.

In the event of Covid-19 restrictions being imposed, the delivery of some or all of our campus services and access to campus facilities may need to be changed (for example, restricting access to meet social distancing rules, or in a worst-case scenario, moving facilities fully online and closing campus facilities.)

Libraries and study spaces

Our libraries and study spaces will be open as normal, and there will no longer be any need to book study spaces.

In the event of Covid-19 restrictions being imposed, general study spaces, including access to libraries, will be available to be booked online. Where specialist space is needed, this will either be provided as normal through your School, created in newly adapted spaces, or replicated as part of an enhanced suite of online resources. The libraries will be available via a booking system for students to study, access to PCs and laptops, printers and other equipment, and to use the books and journals.

Learning support and student services

Access to learning support and student support will be provided face to face on campus and via telephone or video calls, according to the needs and preferences of our students. The Library offers access to thousands of resources via MyBeckett or the Library website, which also provides full details of all our services.

If you have a question or a problem relating to your course, your Course Administrator and Course Director are there to help you. However, you, must remember that some help may operate within defined core office hours. You may also like to contact your Course Representative or the Students’ Union Advice team for additional support with course related questions.

The Library and Student IT Advice Service provides support on using the University’s online and digital services, finding information, borrowing, Office 365, MyBeckett, online meetings, saving your work and passwords. The University also has a laptop loans scheme.

There is a range of support for disabled students. Any student with a disability, who may or may not have declared this to the University and wishes to discuss their learning needs for the year ahead should contact the Disability Advice team. We encourage applicants to register with us as soon as possible if they wish to have their adjustments in place before the course starts (you can do this at any stage). You can register with us here. The service contact details are disabilityadvice@leedsbeckett.ac.uk or telephone 0113 812 5831. For further information please visit the disability advice pages on our website.

Once enrolled, you will have access to our virtual learning environment, MyBeckett. Within this system you will see two tabs (Support and Opportunities) where you can find online information and resources. The Support tab gives you access to details of services available to give you academic and personal support. These include Library Services, the Students’ Union, Money advice, Disability advice and support, Wellbeing, International Student Services and Accommodation. There is also an A-Z of Support Services, and access to online appointments/registration. The Opportunities tab is the place to explore the options for jobs, work placements, volunteering, and a wide range of other opportunities.

If you have any questions about life at our University in general, the Student Advice Team are a great place to start. They will make sure you have access to and are aware of the support, specialist services, and opportunities our University provides. Student Advice are found in our Student Services Centres on both campuses, as well as operating via live chat, telephone and email services. You can book a face to face or telephone appointment with an adviser or email the team at studentadvice@leedsbeckett.ac.uk.

In the event of Covid-19 restrictions being imposed, to ensure safe delivery of services for students and staff, many of the arrangements for access to advice, learning support and specialist services will be delivered via telephone, email, video calls and online live chat. The Students' Union will also be implementing social distancing arrangements for student advice services.

Covid-19 infection prevention and control measures

Although face coverings will no longer be mandatory for students, staff or visitors in teaching, learning or communal areas on campus from the start of Semester 1, their use is strongly encouraged to protect others (for example, when in close contact with others either in transit or when mixing in busy or crowded places or with people you do not usually meet) and where their use ensures that others do not feel pressured or uncomfortable. We will review our position on face coverings on campus in preparation for teaching commencing in September in consultation with the Director of Public Health and in response to the local prevailing conditions at that time.

Hand hygiene will remain an important infection prevention measure and sanitisation and handwash stations will remain on campus.

We will implement a minimum twice-daily cleaning schedule to maintain the cleanliness of all areas on campus. These measures, together with student support packages for those who need to isolate, will also be maintained within student accommodation where we are the landlord.

Our Covid testing programme will continue to operate in line with support from the DfE/DHSC.

We will ensure our campus is well ventilated and a comfortable learning environment is maintained.

Students and staff who test positive will be required to self-isolate and we will continue to support them in the usual way through our established Covid related processes. Currently, we expect that contacts of a positive case will not be required to self-isolate from 12 August 2021 if they are fully vaccinated and declare this through the University’s Covid reporting mechanism.

We will continue to contribute to the public health response in Leeds through co-ordinated communications and support for GP registration, vaccination, the testing programme and infection prevention measures.

Detailed risk assessments will continue to be developed and adapted (eg in response to local outbreaks) taking into account guidance for educational settings, particular activities and general workplace guidance, in order to identify additional safeguards or measures that may be required to continue to deliver services safely.