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Aberystwyth University to restart in-person teaching next week

Aberystwyth University has announced that it will begin in-person teaching next week.

The decision has been sanctioned by local regional and national partners as part of a formal discussion around the recent increase in cases in Ceredigion.

Over the weekend a temporary suspension of in-person teaching for the first week of the teaching term was announced.  The decision came due to uncertainty about the levels of community transmission over the weekend. In the interim, teaching has taken place online only.

In line with decisions made in discussion with partners today, the University will introduce some in-person postgraduate activity this week, before resuming undergraduate teaching next week in line with the full safety measures that had been planned. On-line teaching will also continue this week.

In announcing that in-person teaching would resume next week, the Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, Professor Elizabeth Treasure reminded students, that they need to stick to government guidelines to stop the spread of the virus.

Professor Treasure commented: “I’m extremely pleased to get the unanimous support of all partners to introduce in-person teaching on campus in line with the detailed plans we had made.  This is excellent news for us and our students.  We will continue to ensure that the safety of our students, staff and the wider community is our priority, and we’re very grateful for the way local, regional and national partners have worked swiftly with us to recognise that the best thing for our students to be doing right now, is taking a full part in their learning activities.

“While the measures we are taking on campus have received full support, we must continue to impress on everyone not to take this as a sign that life can go on in the way we would wish. It can not.  We have continuously emphasised to our students and staff how they need to adapt in line with Welsh Government restrictions and guidance.  I thank all those who have stuck diligently to these requests, and appeal to those who have not to change their behaviour.  Covid-19 is circulating in our community, and it is only by working together for the common good, will we halt its damaging effects.

“We recognise this is a difficult and unprecedented time for students, and we have a range of support services available to help them. Our priority must remain the health and wellbeing of our students, staff and the wider community here in Aberystwyth. To this end, it is imperative that every one of us sticks to the government guidance. We need restraint and restrictions on social activity in particular – every student must remain with their own student household and not mix with other households in a social setting.”

The decision follows discussions and close collaboration between partners including Public Health Wales, Hywel Dda University Health Board and Ceredigion County Council.

Eifion Evans, Chief Executive of Ceredigion County Council added: “We are pleased that face to face teaching can commence on Monday, 5 October 2020 supported by strict control measures that the University has put in place. The priority for us is to support the introduction of face to face learning but we urge all students to self-isolate if they have received a positive test result, have any symptoms, or have been identified as a contact. Also, there is a need to limit social contact as much as possible and in order to protect each other and our communities, we are urging students to remain within their student households. These measures will be kept under constant review as the days progress.”