Cardiff University plans to reopen gradually over the coming months

Cardiff University: Vice-Chancellor Riordan today announced plans to gradually reopen the University. Source: Jeremy Segrott (via Flickr)

By Tirion Davies

In a statement made today by Cardiff University’s Vice-Chancellor regarding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Cardiff University announced it will be reopening the University gradually.

The statement made by Vice-Chancellor Colin Riordan expresses that there will be a limit to the numbers allowed on campus at any one time.

Cardiff University announced:

“the broad thinking is that we should initially begin to open our research facilities and plan to reintroduce face to face teaching where there is no realistic remote alternative from September”.

Working from home will continue to be the “default position” for students and staff who do not need to be on campus for research or teaching purposes. The University has expressed that re-opening Cardiff University throughout each school will be a gradual process.

Vice-Chancellor Riordan noted unrestricted access could take at least a year to eighteen months, although it may take longer.

What happens next?

With a number of unknown factors still to be determined by the Government, close liaising with Public Health Wales will be important to the University moving forward.

A task force headed by Vice-Chancellor Riordan will be created in order to co-ordinate the gradual reopening.

This task force will determine building capacity, priorities for access, as well as hygiene facilities and expectations of students returning to campus (which includes facemask wearing and compliance with social distancing).

What is Cardiff University prioritising?

The Way Forward 2018-23, (the strategy created by Cardiff University to outline the ways they aim to improve the University standing) was this week revised.

Due to the emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the University has needed to revise the strategy, by taking account of the changes already experienced and those we can expect in the future.

COVID-19 has had a major impact already on teaching and research, with the statement announcing that the University will not prioritise league table position and performance indicators.

It will, however, continue to prioritise the health and wellbeing of all students and staff members.

Today’s statement expressed:

“we will need to focus on student satisfaction and experience in these unprecedented circumstances, on how to deliver research grants and contracts, and how to reformulate our civic mission to ensure that we contribute effectively to the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.”

Staff and students will be informed in the coming weeks of ways they will be able to express any views they may have about the way the University has reformulated The Way Forward 2018-23 strategy.

Cardiff University is continuing to encourage everyone to work in tandem in order to get through this difficult period as a unit.

To read the full statement made by Vice-Chancellor Riordan, see here.

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