Plans for autumn term
We are monitoring and adjusting our plans dependent on government advice related to COVID-19. We will continue to update this page with new information as and when we can.
Access to campus by members of the community
Following the new government restrictions on group gatherings, the University has reviewed our policies around events and activities for staff, students, visitors and our local community. We have been delighted to keep our grounds open for our neighbours and local community during the pandemic, and we know how much this has meant to people. Individual members of the public remain welcome to use our campuses for recreational activity – for example, walking with your family, walking your dog, or exercising. However, everyone must comply with all government requirements, so groups of more than six (or more than two households) cannot gather. We expect everyone on our campuses to wear a face covering as per the legal requirements in any indoor spaces on campus, including campus cafés, shops, food outlets and museums, or if it is not possible to stay two metres' distance from other people.
We have, however, taken the decision to temporarily suspend use of our campuses by organised groups for recreational activity or educational visits, regardless of size. We are doing everything we can to support the national effort to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission and given the increasing numbers of people on campus, with the return of staff and students, we need to be extra vigilant. We will keep this decision under review and we look forward to welcoming organised groups back onto campus as soon as we feel it is safe to do so. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need to find out more information.
Safe reopening of campus – September 2020
The University has developed a roadmap for managing the gradual reinstating of our campus activities in a phased, safe and careful way.
We are planning for students to return to our Reading campuses (Whiteknights and London Road) for the start of the autumn term on Monday 28 September, where possible. Teaching will be a combination of face-to-face and online activities, adhering to social distancing requirements. Hall accommodation has also been adapted to ensure students are able to follow distancing guidance. You can read more information about how we have adapted teaching and accommodation on the webpages we have prepared for students and watch a short video message from the Vice-Chancellor.
New and returning students will begin to move into hall accommodation from Tuesday 15 September until Sunday 20 September. Please download a letter to local residents with full details about student arrivals.
Staff are being supported to continue working from home where appropriate, with safe provisions being made for essential research, teaching, cleaning, catering and other staff who need to be on campus. We will aim to hold a mixture of virtual and on-campus student events, subject to social distancing. Currently all community-based events will be virtual.
Watch our short film on what measures we have put in place to ensure campus is as safe as possible. We have also created a short film on how we are keeping the wider community safe, including neighbours in Reading and Wokingham (filmed 6 October 2020). This includes information on how we would manage a local outbreak and plans to establish a testing centre on campus.
Supporting students to socialise safely
The University and Reading University Students' Union (RUSU) have adapted their bars and venues in line with government guidance and we are regularly communicating with our students about the need to socialise in a safe and considerate way. RUSU is not holding any 3sixty nightclub events this term and instead has adapted its venue to allow students to socialise in a safe environment with seated tables of no more than six. You can see all of RUSU's plans on their events webpage. You can also see how the University campus bars and cafés are operating at this time on the hospitality webpages. We have recently sent an to all students, jointly signed by the University and RUSU, reiterating the importance of socialising safely and working together to keep everyone safe.
Reading Borough Council has been working on safely reopening the town centre. Venues in the town centre are also at reduced capacity and enforcing social distancing. We are keeping students updated with information, including that they need to book venues in advance of visiting. The University Street Wardens will be patrolling residential areas around campus, including Christchurch Road, Erleigh Road and Whiteknights Road, and will advise students about staying safe and being considerate to others. There are also a number of officials and volunteers in the town centre giving information and advice about venues and social distancing (including police teams and Street Pastors). The University is regularly meeting with Reading Borough Council, Wokingham Borough Council and police teams to coordinate activity and ensure students are made aware of the measures in place to keep everyone safe.
Plans for supporting student tenants and their neighbours
We are committed to doing all we can to support student tenants who are living in Reading. We have written to landlords to advise them on what support is available to tenants who are self-isolating or are struggling financially. We have also advised landlords on plans to work more closely together to support both student tenants and their neighbours. Download a copy of the letter.
We will not be able to deliver the usual 'move in' packs to student households this year, but we are converting these into video content and will use social media and other digital channels to promote these to student tenants. This content will include advice on being a considerate neighbour.
Breaches to social distancing in local neighbourhoods
The University will investigate any breaches of social distancing by students living in local neighbourhoods, working with police authorities. Please do report any concerns or complaints to email@example.com. You should also report social distancing breaches to Thames Valley Police.
We will also take disciplinary action against students who are being repeatedly anti-social to their neighbours. We cannot oversee or closely manage privately rented student households in the same way we can with hall accommodation. However, we will liaise with the student tenants, the landlord (if known) and the police and council authorities. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0118 378 6813 if you need our assistance with nuisance or anti-social behaviour.