The University of Nottingham is preparing to welcome vet students back for face-to-face teaching in July.

The university says it has implemented a range of health and safety measures to meet Government guidelines and allow for the controlled return of 150 first-year undergraduate students to its Sutton Bonington campus. 

Since the latest cohort joined the university at the height of the UK lockdown, the school has delivered a programme of technology-assisted Fresher’s Week and teaching activities.

However, the return of the April cohort will enable face-to-face teaching that cannot be delivered remotely, specifically essential animal handling and health and safety skills required before students can embark on the work experience element of their course.

The practical sessions will form part of a blended approach to learning, with other lectures and tutorial support continuing to be delivered remotely to reduce the number of students in teaching buildings at any one time.

Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science Professor Gary England said: “We have missed being on campus with our students tremendously during the coronavirus lockdown and we are excited to be welcoming this cohort to Sutton Bonington in July.

“The health and safety of our students and staff has remained our top priority and has been at the heart of our planning process. Colleagues from across the university have been working intensively on the intricate detail required to ensure that adequate social distancing and hygiene measures are in place to allow this first step in a return to campus.”

Among the measures which have been introduced are:

  • A new one-way system and increased signage in the teaching buildings to control the flow of pedestrians and ensure adequate social distancing.
  • Availability of hand sanitiser at building entrances and enhanced cleaning in both teaching buildings and accommodation to ensure a rigorous standard of hygiene.
  • Safety screens at till points in the shop and coffee shop.
  • Offering a two-hour arrival slot for students, online registration and asking them to arrive with only one other person to assist with moving in to reduce the numbers of people on campus.
  • Accommodating the students on campus in cluster flats treated as a household and keeping students in ‘bubbles’ for their teaching sessions to avoid exposure to larger groups of people.

The university says the return of its vet school cohort and the re-starting of face-to face-education at University of Nottingham Ningbo China at the end of April, where 5,000 students are now back on campus, will form the blueprint for the return of the majority of students to its UK campuses when the new academic term begins on 21 September.

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