Our response to Coronavirus

These are extraordinary times. In these pages you’ll find out how Marjon is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and how we’ll ensure that no matter what comes our way, we will always put students first. We will prioritise your safety, your belonging in our community and your long term success.

For the last 180 years we’ve offered personalised, innovative teaching that puts students first. We’re not stopping now.

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A message from Professor Rob Warner about the academic year 2020-21

Dear students and future students,

We are really looking forward to seeing you on our fabulous campus this September.

Marjon is an extraordinary community, and this year is going to be an extraordinary academic year. I’ve been endlessly impressed over the last few months by the positivity and resourcefulness of our community of both staff and students.

I know you will have questions about what your experience at Marjon will be like this year, and I want to reassure you with three important messages.

  1. Firstly, we are ready for you. We are planning to start term at the normal time, with students back on campus, for undergraduate students from Monday 20 September, and for postgraduate students in week commencing 7 September.
  2. To keep you safe on campus, we’ve prepared many of the measures that have become familiar in other settings, such as hand sanitiser, increased cleaning, one-way systems and social distancing.
  3. You’ll be learning through a hybrid approach of on-campus activity, such as socially distanced tutorials, seminars and workshops, and online lectures. This means if you need to stay shielding or isolate at any point, you’ll be able to continue your studies online.

Our five levels of operation

At all times we will be flexible and ready to respond to new government guidance, ensuring that you remain safe. To make our operations clear, we will work to five levels of campus operation. These relate to the government’s Covid-19 scale, and we will always inform you which level we are on.

We are currently planning to be at ‘level 3’ for September, which will mean we have a vibrant, exciting campus but with appropriate safety measures and social distancing in place. Our expectations of what this will look like at level 3 are below, and you’ll find a link at the end of this message to explore how this would change depending on the level of operation.

Your learning

Marjon is ready to offer you a fantastic learning experience this year. Students have for many years used an online platform to capture their learning, to review work and to submit assignments. This enables our students to study whenever and wherever they can access the internet, and keeps all their learning in one place. Lecturers have now combined this platform with small group activities online and with online one-to-one conversations. In many cases, such as where students commute to campus, they tell us they prefer an online option, as they find lecturers even more quickly and easily accessible now.

Your learning from September will include small group, socially distanced sessions on campus, and larger group sessions online. Lecturers have always been very approachable and available at Marjon, and this will not change, though the methods of communicating with lecturers will be much more varied than before. Placements will be able to continue in locations which are ‘covid-secure’ according to government guidelines, and where we can be sure of your safety. Practical sessions and experiences will be delivered in line with government and professional guidance, which is likely to mean with social distancing in place and with appropriate PPE.

Your wider experience

Our support services will be reopening on campus, with appropriate safety measures in place. Our library will be open, with social distancing in place. You will be able to order books from the library with an appropriate quarantine period before picking them up. Counselling, student support, study skills and the Futures team will be back on campus, offering one-to-one conversations both on campus and online as appropriate.

We are finalising induction sessions for all years at the moment, and these will include some online learning sessions as well as small group sessions on campus.

We are aware of how important peer support and friendships are to university life. We are working closely with the Students’ Union to plan a huge variety of social activities to ensure you can make and retain close friendships.

Our campus is a fantastic benefit to us, which many universities would be envious of. We have open green spaces, plenty of fresh air, woodland, beautiful views and even a herd of deer. To make the most of this, we are installing more outside social spaces such as gazebos and marquees to enable more socialising - with social distancing - in safe environments.

For those living on campus

For those living on campus, you’ll be joining your new households from Wednesday 16 September through to Sunday 20 September. You’ll be sent an arrival slot of either a morning or afternoon, to enable you to move in safely.

Your flatmates will become your new household for social distancing purposes, and you will be able to mix freely within that household. We will expect you to follow government guidance over mixing within and outside of your household. We are planning activities within and across households to help you to make friends and socialise safely.

Our priority is that you have a safe, fun and enormously successful time at Marjon, whether you are joining us new or returning. You’ll continue to grow beyond your own expectations and experience wonderful moments that you’ll remember forever. You will experience the first-class, high quality learning environment that has seen Marjon ranked the top university in England for teaching quality[1] for the last two years, and the top university in England for student satisfaction[2] in April.

Your future is important, and no matter what is happening in the world, we will help you to make a success of it. We encourage you to come to campus enthusiastic to take every opportunity and to make this year incredible.

With all best wishes,

Rob

[1] The Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2019 and 2020
[2] The Complete University Guide, 2020