With restrictions now beginning to ease, we understand that you may have mixed feelings about either returning to campus or joining university. We’re here to reassure you that all guidelines will be followed to ensure you have a safe student experience. Below, we’ve compiled a list of everything you may need to know about coming out of lockdown.
What your tutors are saying:
A lot of your tutors will have spent most of lockdown teaching at the university, so they have first-hand knowledge of what it’s like to be there. We spoke to a few of our academics to ask about their experience:
Laura Garbett, Operating Department Practice:
“Returning to campus to teach and support our students has been fantastic! I feel safe and look forward to returning to the new normal on campus”
Matthew Cole, Sport and Exercise Nutrition:
“It has been fantastic to return to face-to-face on-campus delivery for our Sports courses since early March. Whilst the adaptation to online learning has been a largely positive experience, there is nothing like the buzz of a busy sport and exercise laboratory or performance analysis suite to help make us all realise how much we’ve missed being in our specialist facilities. Since our return, the University has made lateral flow testing available for all staff and students and this has helped to reassure us that we are returning to a safe environment to teach and to study. We are all really excited for the start of the next academic year in September where we expect to have transitioned back to even more of our usual activities.”
Richard Gillis, Food and Nutrition:
“As a lecturer working at City South Campus, I was really impressed with how the University has laid out its one-way systems and strategically placed hand sanitisation points. They have also provided free Lateral Flow Testing on site for students and staff, with reward schemes for free coffees at the Starbucks.”
Advice on public transport:
All public transport in Birmingham is running as usual, but you must wear a mask when travelling on board. West Midlands Metro, National Express and National Rail have boosted their cleaning services, as well as providing extra space on board and hand sanitiser on its services.
For the latest advice on safe travel in Birmingham, see here. If you don’t feel ready to step on board of public transport just yet, than that’s okay too. Most places in Birmingham are of a walk-able distance or if you wish to cycle instead then Birmingham has plenty of cycle lanes and our campuses all have safe bike racks too.
Introduce yourself to the city:
Pandemic or no pandemic, a good way to make yourself feel less anxious about joining university is to introduce yourself to your new campus or area of learning before you start. Finding areas of your new city to explore or discovering easier ways to get to campus will make you feel a lot more at home!
Students in the faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences are based at our City South campus, which is situated right in the heart of Edgbaston, where you can explore days out such as the Botanical Gardens or eat your heart out at exciting eateries such as LA Pop. Discover more of Edgbaston before you arrive.
For more of a general idea about life in Birmingham, our handy guide to Student Life in Birmingham should do just the trick.
The Student Union:
The Student Union will also be back up and running events and making sure to follow government guidelines.
Victoria Aurora Bennett-Salvador, BCUSU President:
"We’re really excited to welcome you when you join us in September. As soon as you start at BCU, you’re part of the BCUSU family. We're already hard at work planning a host of activities for your Welcome Week, in line with all government guidelines. We can't wait to share those with you soon. There are loads of ways to get involved with your Students' Union, through 100s of our societies, our Advice Centre, our Rep system, and of course our Freshers schedule"
Our support services are there for you:
We have a whole host of support services available to you at BCU if you ever were to feel anxious about returning. We spoke to Alice Wilson, who is the Head of Mental Health and Wellbeing Operations.
“It is really normal to feel anxious and worried about returning to ‘normal’ life following these periods of lockdown and restrictions. If you feel this way, then remember it can help to take it one step at a time. If you need any help or support with anxiety or any mental health and wellbeing concern, do remember that the BCU Mental Health and Wellbeing Team are here to help, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org”
If you’re a current student, you can find out more from our Mental Health and Wellbeing index.
Restrictions are changing quite regularly, so if you’re wondering how to keep up or find out what the current restrictions are at the time of reading this blog, please find out more at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do
Got a question?
If you have any questions, worries or concerns about studying with us then please get in touch with our Student Affairs team, who will be happy to help.