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Student Update: Road to Reopening @WLV

Over the last three months, the University has moved quickly to change the way we operate to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are now preparing for the new semester to start with social distancing measures in place to protect our whole community.

During COVID-19 we have moved to online lectures, assessments and teaching with success and we are using the lessons learned to test and adjust our plans going forward. We have teams looking at a whole range of issues, from transport and toilets to lectures and equipment. We really are doing everything we can to make your return to campus as safe as possible so you can ensure your education continues.

Road to Reopening @WLV

The Road to Reopening @WLV outlines our approach to a managed reopening of the University facilities and includes the timescales we are currently working to. These may be subject to change if Government guidance is updated.

When we return to University in September, due to ongoing social distancing restrictions, we will be using ‘blended learning’. This will include a mixture of lectures being delivered digitally using a range of technology like Panopto and Big Blue Button, alongside face-to-face classes for seminars, work groups and practical work.

We recognise that students are keen to know exactly what this will mean for their programme of study, and course leaders will be publishing details of this after the July assessment period.

Heads of Schools and Course Leaders are working with School Reps to obtain feedback from students’ on their experiences of online learning during lockdown to inform our development of blended learning.
The Roadmap to Reopening @WLV can be found here:


Our library buildings remain closed at this time, but there is a range of support and advice available on our webpages:

We are aware students are keen to access on-campus library services and are working on how we can manage this in a safe and controlled way. We will provide updates to students when further information and timelines are available.


We acknowledge that many students were adversely affected by problems with the new timetabling system when it was introduced at the start of this academic year. We are seeking to ensure that this is not repeated, and remain committed to ensuring all students receive their individual timetable as early as possible.

We know that many of our students will need to make preparations for important commitments such as work and caring responsibilities. Nevertheless, the complexities created by social distancing and the need to respond rapidly to any changes to government guidance mean that individual timetables will be published later than we would have liked.

Course Structure

To prepare for blended learning, the University has reviewed the modules offered across its courses and removed a number with historically very small numbers. In most cases this will mean there may be a reduction in optional module choices for some courses, but there are some instances where we are having to deliver teaching in a different way or re-order modules due to the impact of social distancing.

None of these changes in course structure will affect your degree qualification and details of any changes to your modules will be provided within the next few weeks.

I want to assure all students that staff across the University are working hard in preparation for the new semester. We strive to provide the best student experience possible and we always welcome your feedback.

If you have feedback about how we can make your educational journey better, you can contact the Students’ Union and your School Rep, you can also provide feedback anonymously here:

Julia Clarke

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience)



Phase 1: Lockdown (March - June)

  • Most University buildings closed
  • Digital learning and assessment
  • Student accommodation available to those who need it
  • Small numbers of support staff on campus
  • Planning for reopening

Phase 2: Preparation for students returning (July - August)

  • Reopening of some buildings: for example Clearing and research labs
  • Digital learning and assessment
  • Student accommodation available to those who need it
  • Planning and testing of social distancing
  • Increased number of staff on campus

Phase 3: Welcome (August - October)

  • Larger numbers of buildings open including libraries, some social spaces and catering
  • Students back on campus: Welcome Week (from 21 Sept) and Semester 1 (undergraduates from 28 Sept, postgraduates from 26 Oct*)
  • Blended learning: mixture of face-to-face and digital
  • Student accommodation in use with social distancing
  • Continued use and review of social distancing
  • Larger numbers of staff on campus
  • Continued access from off-campus for students/staff who need to shield

*Note: there are some exceptions for postgraduate courses. Visit

Phase 4: Moving forwards (November onwards)**

  • Working towards all buildings being open, including social spaces and catering outlets
  • Rebalancing of face-to-face and digital learning
  • Student accommodation in use in line with social distancing guidelines
  • Some staff on campus, some working remotely

** Managed reopening will be dependent on government advice/guidelines and students and staff will be updated regularly on any changes.

For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

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