Joint statement from the Vice-Chancellors of the University of Brighton and University of Sussex
From the end of September, our students will be returning to study on our campuses in and around Brighton and to live in the city.
We know that some local residents may feel anxious about the arrival of students back into the community and we would like to reassure you that the health and safety of our students, staff and local community are our highest priorities.
Over the summer we have been working hard to ensure that our campuses are COVID-secure environments in line with all official guidance and are working in close liaison with the City Council and local public health authority.
Some of the steps we are taking include ensuring that:
- Any students who have travelled from a country where quarantine is required, are fully supported to safely quarantine in university-managed halls of residence.
- Our campuses are ‘COVID-secure’ by social distancing at 2m wherever possible (aided by one-way systems and signage); reducing and reconfiguring building and room capacity; increasing ventilation, regular deep cleaning and disinfection; providing access to hand sanitiser; requiring face coverings where appropriate.
- The numbers of students and staff needing to be on campus at any one time is reduced through changes in the way that teaching is delivered, adjustments to the teaching timetable and requiring staff to continue to work from home where possible.
- The demand for public transport is managed by moving to a blend of online and small group teaching, and extending the teaching/working day. We're asking staff and students to only come to campus where necessary, and are also encouraging walking and cycling safely wherever possible.
- Both universities work closely with the NHS Test and Trace to help identify those who may have been in close contact with a positive case in our communities and react as quickly as possible.
We are also asking all of our staff and students to abide by a community commitment and to act responsibly and in ways that help to keep everyone safe and well. And as we do every year we will be encouraging our students to ensure that their vaccinations are up to date and signposting them to our own and external health and wellbeing services.
We are proud of the way that staff and students at both of our universities have stepped up to support our local community, NHS and social care sector during the pandemic. This includes the thousands of doctors, nurses and other health professionals we produce every year and who play such a vital role in our local NHS.
Some of our academics, including at our jointly-run Brighton and Sussex Medical School, are playing a critical role in global efforts to develop effective treatments for COVID-19, whilst others are carrying out research to help improve the ways in which we manage the many impacts of any future pandemics.
Our universities are proud to be part of our local community and we will continue to do everything we can to help our city to recover from the impacts of the pandemic.
Professor Debra Humphris
University of Brighton
Professor Adam Tickell
University of Sussex