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Vice-Chancellor's report to Senate: June 2021

Vice-Chancellor Robert Van de Noort

Vice-Chancellor Robert Van de Noort updated the Senate this Thursday on the key developments at our University. Topics featured in his update included:

  • Our COVID-19 response – including testing, the delay to the government’s roadmap, impact on research and plans for the Autumn term
  • Racial and gender justice
  • Climate action and the Planet Partners Campaign
  • Ethical investment in the Middle East
  • Strategic Foundation Programme

On the delay to the government’s roadmap the Vice-Chancellor said, “While plans for more colleagues to return to campus are delayed until at least 19 July, this gives us more time to plan the phased transition.” Regarding the Autumn term he added “we will no longer be requiring social distancing measures for teaching. The University Executive Board is considering other possible options for the year ahead particularly with regard to our international students and we will update as decisions are made.”

In response to the recent publication of our Race Equality Report, he said, “This is very important work and I look forward to working with all our community to implement the 20 recommendations.”

The full transcript is available to read online via this link.

Colleagues interested in keeping across discussions at the University Council and Senate can now request papers of their meetings. This decision follows an agreement with UCU and Staff Forum as part of the Phase-1 discussions. The papers can be requested once they have been distributed to Senate and Council members. Senate papers can be requested by contacting Louise Sharman (, and Council papers by contacting Eleanor Saxon ( 

Senate is the University's main academic administrative body. Reporting to the Council and meeting at least four times a year, the Senate advises on areas such as student entry, assessment and awards. 

With around 100 members, the Senate comprises Deans, Heads and elected representatives of Schools, as well as professional staff and students. University Boards responsible for developments and innovation in research, teaching and learning report to the Senate.

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