Over the next few weeks, aware that we all have many competing demands on our inboxes and our time, I will endeavour to keep my weekly messages brief. If there are significant developments, such as changes to Government guidelines, I will of course give a more lengthy update.
Our community on campus and testing
Those of you not able to come to campus currently may wish to know that our students are making use of the Library, study spaces and catering outlets in greater numbers and life is settling into something of a rhythm. Work on the new School of Management building continues apace and you can see some recent images on the relevant blog.
I would like to highlight the important work being carried out by our cleaning staff. Much of their work takes place very early in the morning, so they often go unseen, but without their vital contribution to keeping the campus safe, we would not be able to deliver such a good service to students and staff in the current situation. I offer my sincere thanks to all our colleagues in this department.
We very much hope to be able to welcome more colleagues and students back to campus once restrictions ease and we await guidance from Government, whilst making plans for different scenarios. In the meantime, we have received a letter addressed to you from the Minister of State for Universities, Michelle Donelan MP, which I hope you will find of interest.
Covid testing continues at The Edge building and we are encouraging colleagues working in University buildings and on campus to book these tests; more information can be found via our online Q&A and booking system. Students are also being encouraged to book twice-weekly tests, with a reminder issued earlier this week.
Undergraduate recruitment update
Although we should always remain cautious about recruitment figures at this stage in the cycle, figures for undergraduate applications in particular so far look positive. Total undergraduate applications are currently up 7.6% compared to this time last year.
I pay huge tribute both to the central recruitment, admissions and marketing teams and the work of teams at departmental and faculty level for the enormous efforts they continue to put into this vital recruitment round.
As you are aware, the continuing lockdown places increased financial pressures on the University, in addition to income already lost and the resources we have had to put in to make campus as safe as possible, whilst supporting online teaching and assessments with new technology. Strong recruitment is one of the key activities which will help support our future sustainability.
This week, we have launched our awards for doctoral students and staff who support doctoral students. Winning one of these awards can mean a great deal to those individuals, so please do take a moment to recognise others in our community for their efforts, support and commitment.
Finally, I would like to congratulate University Librarian Kate Robinson for being appointed to the position of President of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. Kate takes up this role in her professional body in 2022 but starts as Vice President immediately. Congratulations, Kate.
With warm good wishes,
Professor Ian White
Vice-Chancellor and President