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University releases updated guidance for students in light of May 17th changes

Oxford University has updated their arrangements for students after 17 May, following this week’s Government announcement.  Updated guidance for in-person teaching, returning to Oxford and student life were laid out in an email from Professor Martin Williams, Pro-Vice Chancellor. 

The university has stated that, as many courses have finished teaching for the academic year, “large group teaching and lectures are likely to remain online”, in line with social-distancing constraints. 

However, they have also stated that “where feasible, departments may be able to offer in-person teaching to students on courses which have now been permitted to restart. Colleges are also looking to make tutorials available in-person.”

“Your department and/or college will contact you to inform you if any of your teaching will take place in-person. If you do not hear from them, you should assume that it will remain online.”

In regards to examinations, they will “proceed in the format already communicated to you; with the majority taking place online. If your exam is taking place in-person, it will be listed on the examination timetables page of the Oxford Students website.”

The Pro-Vice Chancellor has said “all students are now permitted to return to Oxford. If you are offered [in]-person teaching, we strongly encourage you to take advantage of that opportunity.” 

Residency requirements remain suspended for Trinity term and guidance for international students has not changed. The Pro-Vice Chancellor has said to international students who “do not have a large amount of in-person teaching or assessment which requires you to be in Oxford, you may wish to take advantage of the residency exemption. If you are in a country that is on the UK Government’s ‘red list’, we advise you to take advantage of the residency exemption, unless you have substantial in-person teaching commitments.”

From Monday 17 May the rule of six will be in place for indoor spaces, whilst groups of up to 30 can meet outdoors. In light of the Government’s change to rules within indoor spaces, the university has said “there may be specific requirements around households in colleges, and your college will let you know if this is the case.”

The Pro-Vice Chancellor has said students “must continue to follow all health guidance to protect the community. While the outlook is more optimistic and restrictions are gradually easing, the pandemic is not yet over”. 

Students have been asked to “enjoy Oxford responsibly as the restrictions ease. In particular, with so many examinations taking place online, it is essential that everyone is considerate and respectful of students taking their exams in their rooms and other locations, by keeping noise to a minimum.” 

Students are expected to get tested before their return to Oxford, twice on arrival and bi-weekly following this. The university have alted their LFD testing scheme: “After 24 May, we plan to offer pre-packed LFD test kits that you will be able to pick up from your college and other locations. Alternatively, the symptom-free testing centres will also be available to you, as well as other Government routes.” 

Image: Tejvan Pettinger/CC BY 2.0

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