As the new academic year begins, Buckinghamshire New University and Bucks Students’ Union are delighted to welcome new and returning students back to the University’s COVID-secure campuses in Aylesbury, High Wycombe and Uxbridge. Students are being urged to take the Be Bucks Safe pledge to protect themselves, other students, University staff and members of the local community. As they return to campus, University leaders have issued a joint call to action for students to ‘do the right thing’ whether they live in University residences, private accommodation or at home.
Buckinghamshire New University supports tens of thousands of regional jobs with its beneficial impact estimated to be in the region of £0.95bn annually, reflecting the economic activity of the University’s students, staff, and alumni. Bucks students work in and support many key local industries, including the vitally important health and social care sector, and are active contributors to local and regional charities and voluntary groups.
Since teaching was moved to an online mode earlier in the year, the University has taken significant steps to ensure it operates in a COVID-secure way. This includes the installation of hand sanitiser throughout campuses, a new face coverings policy, reduced capacities in rooms and other changes to implement social distancing. The University has also installed screens and temperature scanners, put in place an enhanced cleaning regime, and adopted a hybrid learning model that combines face-to-face with online learning.
Professor Nick Braisby, Vice-Chancellor of Bucks New University said;
“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone in the University’s communities. The younger generation are particularly impacted by restrictions on behaviour and lifestyle, and the economic recession which is significantly affecting their chances for employment. The return of our students to campus therefore gives the whole community a reason to celebrate, as students and staff bring economic activity, enrich the arts and culture, and support voluntary and charitable institutions. We can’t wait to welcome them back and are determined to do so in a way that’s safe and considerate to our local communities. We’ve worked hard over the summer to ensure our campuses are COVID-secure, and now each and every student and member of staff must protect one another and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.’
“Our university community has worked tirelessly in the fight against COVID-19, with our staff and students serving on the front line in healthcare and volunteering to help those in need. We’re proud to be part of our local communities and committed to being socially responsible and to making a positive contribution. I want to reassure everyone in our communities that we’re taking our responsibilities seriously and fully commit to ‘doing our bit’ to fight COVID-19, and that we’ll be expecting and supporting our students to do the same.”
The University wrote to all new and returning students last week to explain what they need to do to keep COVID-secure, and what is expected of them when they arrive on campus. Should it become necessary, Bucks New University and Bucks Students’ Union stand together in backing sanctions for students who do not adhere to the rules around expected safe behaviours.
All Bucks students can expect a warm and safe welcome to Bucks, with a wide range of online and socially-distanced activities which fully comply with the UK Government’s guidelines.
Tamsin Grainger, President of Bucks Students’ Union said:
“We’re really excited to welcome all our members, the students of Bucks New University, back to our campuses. They bring so much valuable diversity, culture and vibrancy to our local towns and villages and I know many local community groups, organisations and businesses are as pleased to see them as we are. We have many great, socially distanced events and activities in store and everyone at the University has worked tirelessly to ensure we’ve adapted what we offer in a responsible way.
“I’m proud of all that our students do to support our local communities including giving up many hundreds of hours of their time each year to make a difference and help others. We’re working with the University to make sure students know what they need to do to keep themselves and everyone around them safe. I know Bucks students will rise to the challenge.”