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Return to campus experience for students


University of Bradford campus

A fresh start for September 2021 and a 'best of both worlds' approach

From September 2021, the University of Bradford will offer a full return to the campus experience for all its students. 

This means you’ll be able to attend lectures on campus, meet friends to study and socialise, talk with tutors face-to-face and take part in a range of activities. 

The full campus experience will include: 

  • face-to-face lectures 
  • indoor and outdoor sports 
  • use of on-campus study areas to meet friends and tutors in person 
  • use of the library and other facilities 
  • an expanded range of activities 

We know the last year has been tough; we also know how much our students value the campus experience. 

While we’re still in the process of finalising the details for individual programmes, we’re working hard to ensure every student gets full access to campus, its people and facilities and to take advantage of the opportunities that it offers. 

Best of both worlds 

As we return to this ‘new normal’, we also want to learn lessons from the past year and take advantage of the huge technological leaps made during the pandemic - this means our programmes will adapt their delivery to create a ‘best of both worlds’ scenario, for example by being flexible in the way lessons are taught. 

How programmes are delivered will depend on what works best for students. The pandemic signaled a step-change in the way we all use technology and we’re keen to build that into our learning programmes, ultimately for the benefit of our students. 

This means that while our primary focus is for students to enjoy a full campus experience, including face-to-face teaching, some lectures may be available either live-streamed or ‘on demand’. Our goal here is to ensure technology enhances your experience. 

Why are we returning to a full campus experience? 

We recognise there is a real and tangible desire from students to return to campus, and we know how important that experience is to them on a number of levels. 

How will we support students? 

We also recognise undergraduate students who join us in September 2021 will have experienced two years of disrupted schooling/education, and we are prepared to support them to succeed. 

We will provide high quality pastoral support to all students, through Personal Academic Tutors, mentors, student services and peer support schemes, ensuring students are able to choose how they engage with the support available to them. 

Step Up to HE is open to all new undergraduate students and is free of charge. It includes online resources and activities, and live workshops that offer you the chance to meet members of staff and other students. The online resources will be made available during August - you can find out more about this programme here: 

What if students missed elements of their coursework? 

If your studies have been disrupted and/or you have missed elements of learning due to disruptions because of the pandemic, we are offering a range of options to help you get back up to speed - this is part of what we call our ‘transition offer’ and it will enable students to have confidence that they have the necessary skills to begin their university course. We’ll be able to provide more details about this closer to your enrollment. 

Will it be safe to return to campus? 

We are committed to providing an environment where meaningful and safe on-campus interactions can take place between students and staff. We want students and staff to make use of University facilities as part of a holistic approach to the delivery of teaching and creation of a vibrant and rich learning environment. 

How will we make better use of technology?  

We have learnt a tremendous amount from our students during the pandemic, especially in relation to how we can best use educational technologies and digital platforms to support your learning. We know, for example, that we can make some aspects our teaching more flexible and more engaging for you if we use technology to help us deliver it. We also know, however, that our students really value the campus experience and, in particular, the formal and informal face-to-face interactions with your tutors and fellow students that cannot be replicated online. 

In light of this, where we know it adds value, we will continue to embrace the use of high-quality educational technologies to deliver some of your teaching while making sure that we offer you a full campus-based student experience. To put it another way, our aim is to use technology to enhance the campus experience in new and creative ways. 

Because subjects and programmes are different, we are currently designing precisely what this will look like for your particular course. We are working hard to make sure we get this right and as soon as we have more details on how we intend to use technology in your course, we will let you know. 

What if things change? 

In line with the national roadmap, we are planning with confidence for a year in which the physical and social restrictions we have experienced through the pandemic are removed. However, our plans will also allow us to flex our approach with agility if circumstances change. 

What else will be happening on campus? 

We will promote co- and extra-curricular activities and events, including vocational learning activities, through the provision of a vibrant programme of events and activities, working in partnership with our Students’ Union and University services. 

Retail outlets, student services and social space that allow everyone a chance to refresh, hang-out and talk to people and generally provide an environment that’s makes people feel proud and good to be part of Team Bradford. 

In summary... 

We’re excited about the prospect of welcoming students back onto campus. We think the campus experience is crucial to engagement and meeting longterm learning goals. This is an exciting opportunity for the University, as we create a distinctive and compelling student offer  designed around you. 

It will be campus-based and yet will take what we have learnt over the last year to building in technology, to promote a high-quality teaching, learning and assessment experience.