The University will be open and ready for the start of the new academic year with safety measures in place

  • 11 June 2020
  • 5 min read

The University of Portsmouth (UoP) is now able to share with you our plans for the University to be open and ready to teach online and in person at the start of the new academic year on 5 October 2020.

With the safety of our staff and student community paramount, the UoP campus will be open to welcome students to Portsmouth from the start of term on 5 October with stringent safety measures - based on the latest UK government guidance as well as the expertise of teams across the University and the wider sector.

Due to anticipated restrictions on social distancing and international travel, UoP will be introducing a ‘blended and connected’ approach to teaching, learning and assessment for the autumn term, our first Teaching Block.

  • Teaching that is normally delivered in person in lecture theatres or other large group settings will be delivered online
  • UoP’s campus will be open for in person activity, where possible, for delivery of small group teaching including studio-based learning, laboratory and workshop sessions, tutorials, seminars, and other events that can be safely accommodated with social distancing and/or the appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other measures 
  • Additional safety measures will be in place such as deep cleaning, one way systems, sanitiser stations, temperature scanning and other measures in line with government advice to ensure the campus is as COVID-safe as possible
  • Opportunities for students outside their academic programmes will continue both online and in person where possible - including volunteering, employability and careers support and clubs and societies run by the University of Portsmouth Students’ Union
  • Enrolment, induction and welcome will involve a blend of in person and online activities in the autumn. 
  • Our full accommodation offer, which includes a variety of housing options, remains available with safety measures and guidance in place and 24/7 welfare support
  • Students will be encouraged to travel to Portsmouth wherever possible. Some students may be unable to travel internationally and will be able to access online provision, including both one-to-one pastoral and academic support, in Teaching Block 1, our autumn term. 
Students walking

Vice Chancellor, Graham Galbraith, said: “The University of Portsmouth will be open and ready to deliver our excellent TEF Gold education experience at the start of the new academic year on 5 October, but in a very different way.

“Although Covid-19 cases are reducing in the UK and lockdown is easing, uncertainty still remains about the progression of the pandemic. Ongoing restrictions on social distancing and international travel mean that we will not be able to return to the normal operation of our campus for the autumn term, Teaching Block 1.

“As the safety of our staff and students is paramount, we will be delivering a blended and connected approach to education at the start of the academic year, something we have developed with our academic colleagues, that brings together the best of what online experience can offer, blended with face to face where it is critical to support learning outcomes.

“This means that teaching, learning and assessment will be a combination of online and in person, wherever safely possible, to ensure that all our students continue to receive an excellent UoP education that is valued by employers around the world, as well as a great university experience.

“Challenging, adapting and doing things differently have always been the UoP way so this will be at the heart of what we do in the 2020-21 academic year. As social distancing measures are relaxed, UoP will move in a phased manner to deliver as much face to face activity as soon as we can.”

Helena Schofield, President of UoP Students’ Union, added: “We hope UoP’s announcement on teaching for next year gives as much clarity to new and returning students, many of whom have felt anxious about what their education will look like from October 2020. With government regulations continuously changing we feel this is the best possible outcome at the moment.
 “The safety and welfare of students is a priority in making these decisions, and we’re confident that UoP’s approach will have taken into consideration the expertise of its academic community, as well as guidance from the UK Government.

“We’re working every day to try to make sure UoP delivers what’s best for students. Our priority is to ensure that all students, regardless of where they’re studying or how they’re studying, receive a high-quality and positive experience. We’ll continue to represent students on every decision UoP makes about next year.” 

Useful links

Coronavirus information page