An update from our Vice-Chancellor: July 2020

Posted in: Bath, Newsletter, On campus

I hope that this message finds you and your loved ones well and coping with current demands.

It was a great pleasure to welcome many of you to the AGM of Convocation, which was held virtually yesterday.

I write to update you, as valued members of the University community, about our response to Covid-19, our plans for the coming academic year, and to ask for your support for the Class of 2020.

Having moved all teaching activity online in March, we recently completed an entirely online assessment period. The challenges surrounding 35,000 pieces of work being submitted virtually and making all the arrangements for this to happen smoothly were no small matter, but the feedback from students has been very positive and I am grateful to the many staff who made this possible.

For the 300 students who remained in campus accommodation during lockdown, there was a wide variety of support on offer – from free takeaway meals at the Lime Tree café through to online care from our Wellbeing Service. Those living in city centre accommodation were also invited to move onto campus.

We have since opened parts of the campus as required and permitted, including some elite sports training facilities. Limited technical and research activities have run throughout lockdown on campus, including a major project to produce over 100,000 pieces of PPE.

For the coming academic year, we are seeking to do two things for our students. First, to give those who wish to come to Bath in September the best campus-based education and student experience possible. Second, to provide flexibility for those who aren’t able to come to campus, or who would prefer to start their course remotely, by providing high-quality learning and teaching online.

We know that our new students will need as much support as possible this year, and our dedicated Student Services team will continue to provide guidance on everything from navigating University life through to wellbeing and money advice and disability support, as they have done throughout the pandemic.

During these times of uncertainty, it has been wonderful to see so many of our alumni community coming forward to support the University and our students. May I express my sincere gratitude to those of you who contributed to the Student Hardship appeal. Together we raised over £45,000, which has supported students with urgent financial needs.

Since I joined the University as Vice-Chancellor last spring, I have been so impressed by the unwavering support of our alumni community. This year our students are facing unprecedented challenges and I would like to ask you to continue with that support, if you are able. There are many ways of offering support, and here are three that we are focusing on just now:

  • Consider offering a placement to a Bath student, providing them with the opportunity to build their employability while bringing value to your business.
  • If you are recruiting any roles within your organisation, please share these with our students and graduates through Recruit@Bath.
  • Offer students and recent graduates support and advice by signing up as an Alumni Expert on the Bath Connection networking platform.

Finally, I encourage you to welcome the Class of 2020 by joining in our virtual celebration activities, about which more details are to be found below.

Thank you all for contributing to the continued success of our community as we navigate the coming months together.

With warm good wishes,

Professor Ian White DL FREng
Vice-Chancellor & President



Black Lives Matter: Bath stands in solidarity with our Black students, staff and wider community
At times like this, it is not enough to be against racism in silence. As a University, we must acknowledge that racism exists across our society and country, including here at Bath. We know we still have much to do to address issues of racism, inequality and diversity in our own community and society.
Read the University's full statement >>

How to be an effective ally
Our Equality, Diversity & Inclusion team have gathered resources and information on how to be an anti-racist and a white ally.

Bath staff produce 100,000 pieces of PPE
Co-ordinated by our Department of Engineering & Design, the equipment – including face shields, eye protectors and gowns – has been supplied to local healthcare providers free of charge. Read more >>

Renewing the local economy
The University has joined the Bath Economic Renewal Partnership, which aims to boost the city's economy post-lockdown.

Tensions likely over social distancing
Differing interpretations of government guidelines may cause friction between groups, according to a report from our Department of Psychology. Read more >

Sleep tips from Team Bath
Team Bath have begun a new series of wellbeing videos, the first of which is filled with practical advice for getting a good night's sleep. Watch the video >>



Celebrating the Class of 2020: Wednesday 29 July, 10am BST
You're invited to join the University community online in congratulating our graduating students. Find out more >>

Get Connected: Singapore & Malaysia: Tuesday 21 July, 1pm BST
Join some of our most successful graduates for this panel discussion on careers in Singapore and Malaysia. Register now >>

Stay Connected Facing the Job Market During a Recession: Friday 7 August, 1pm BST
Our alumni panellists share tips and advice to help you navigate the job market during an economic downturn. Register now >> 

Keep an eye out for more!
We'll be back with more events this autumn, so look out for further updates via Facebook, Twitter and email.


Posted in: Bath, Newsletter, On campus


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