This message is sent on behalf of Professor Cara Aitchison, President and Vice-Chancellor
Tuesday 17 March 2020
You will be aware that the UK Government has now announced a series of further measures relating to the suppression of the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) and that these measures came into force across the UK today, Tuesday 17 March 2020.
The Vice-Chancellor’s Executive Group held an extended meeting this morning attended by the Deans. We have, where possible, adopted and adapted UK and Welsh Government guidance, and been informed by Public Health Wales guidance. We have worked through a series of issues making decisions which continue to prioritise the health and wellbeing of our students and staff. These decisions, and the accompanying guidance, are given below.
Classroom-based and Face-To-Face Teaching (Undergraduate and Postgraduate)
All classroom-based and face-to-face teaching will cease today and all teaching will move on-line from Monday 23 March until 1 May inclusive in the first instance. Some specialist facilities will remain open for a small number of final year undergraduate students who require access to complete their degrees. These facilities and access to them will be managed through a physical distancing risk assessment. Further information and updates will be provided by your School.
Assessments, Exams and Exam Boards
All assessments and exams will move on-line from Monday 23 March and all exam boards will be held virtually. Further information and updates will be provided by your School.
Postgraduate Research Students
All research degree supervision meetings will take place virtually until 1 May inclusive in the first instance. Arrangements are now being made for all forthcoming PhD vivas to be conducted virtually until at least 1 May inclusive. All arrangements relating to data gathering, field work or interaction with research participants will be covered by our university guidance on social and physical distancing that will be issued later today. Further information and updates will be provided by your supervisor.
International students wishing to travel back to their home country will be able to seek an authorised leave of absence from their School to meet the requirements of their Tier 4 visa compliance while their programme is delivered on-line. All leave of absence requests made as a result of the Coronavirus will be granted and this can be done retrospectively if required. Students who remain in the UK will have their attendance monitored digitally through their engagement with their on-line programme materials. Further information and updates will be provided by your School.
Open Days scheduled for April have been cancelled and work is ongoing to hold virtual Open Days.
The Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay is now closed and Graduation ceremonies, scheduled for the week of 13 July, will be postponed. Details of new arrangements will be notified to staff and students when the situation becomes clearer.
Varsity and Sporting Events
The annual Varsity match, scheduled for 1 April at the University of Bath, has been cancelled and all BUCS and league matches for all sports have also now been cancelled for the rest of the 2019/20 season.
All University events are now cancelled until the end of May.
Any changes to advice and guidance will be communicated to students via email and The Student Room.
Students are advised to give very careful consideration to any leisure travel they may be planning over the Easter period and be mindful that the UK and other Governments have imposed restrictions on travel.
All staff and student car parking charges will be lifted from the beginning of April 2020 and on-campus parking will be free of charge.
Preparing to Run the University with a Core Staff Only
Plans are being made to ensure the University remains open to those who require our services. Further details will be provided as soon as possible.
Life on Campus
As previously, please continue to exercise very strict hand hygiene, use the hand sanitizers around campus and cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow and dispose of any tissues immediately using the nearest bin.
I would ask that you now ensure your own health and wellbeing by following the latest guidelines issued by Public Health Wales, knowing that we are now in a situation that will last months rather than weeks.
This is clearly a worrying time for students and staff, and it is important that we continue to work together as ‘One Cardiff Met’, albeit at a physical distance, to support each other during this challenging time. Please continue to show kindness to each other. Please also keep in touch with your fellow students and with your Personal Tutor, Programme Director and seek support from Student Services as and when you require it. We may not see you face-to-face for a while, but we will always be here for you.
With my very best wishes.