Newsletter sent to all students on 13 November 2020

Welcome to the latest edition of your student newsletter.

As we head into the second week of national restrictions here in the UK, we hope you’re doing OK and looking after yourself. We know the circumstances are less than ideal and as some of you safely celebrate the festival of light (Diwali) this weekend, we send our best wishes to all of our community. Remember – campus is open. There are study spaces you can access and we are here to help you – please don’t hesitate to reach out. 

We’re extremely proud of how well you have adapted to circumstances and taken to the changes we’ve swiftly had to make in response to the pandemic and government guidelines. We know the last few months have been challenging and affected us all in different way, and our teams continue to make improvements to your on-campus and online experiences. We can’t do some of this without your feedback though, and yesterday Professor Neil Morris (interim DVC for digital transformation at Leeds) wrote to you all to encourage you to share your views of online learning so that we can continue to improve your digital experience. The survey closes on at midnight on Sunday 15 November, it takes 5 minutes to complete and as a thank you, you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win an iPad Pro. The email also shares other ways you can get involved in the digital transformation at Leeds, so please have a read if you’ve not already done so. 

Earlier this week, the VC also wrote to you to share information about January arrangements, a copy of this is on our website to read again. You may have heard government guidance on students travelling over the over winter break – an update from us is further down in the newsletter.

Thank you again for working with us to keep our community safe – we recognise the contributions and sacrifices you’ve made in recent months and really appreciate all of your support.

We hope you find this edition of the newsletter useful. If you have any thoughts about how we can improve it, send them across to the student communications team

Got a question for our new VC? On Tuesday 17 November LSTV will be live-streaming a Q&A with the VC. Submit a question and find out how you can watch the interview live

End of term arrangements

This week the Government has published guidance on student movement and plans for the end of term. Government advice is that if you are wanting to leave your term time address for the winter break, you should arrange to travel between 3 and 9 December. We are currently reviewing end of term arrangements and will be in touch about this as soon as possible.

We are aiming to have an asymptomatic testing centre open on campus from Monday 30 November and will be sharing more details about this as soon as we can. Please be aware that government advice is that you would ideally have two tests, three days apart, before you leave University and must make your journey as soon as possible after your second negative test result is confirmed. We are still working through the detail, but letting you know this now to help you prepare for your journey. More information about how to book a test will be shared soon.

We will be offering a range of support to students who are staying in Leeds over the winter break – more information about this will be provided soon

Winter break feedback survey

We know many of you will be staying in or around Leeds over the winter break. We’d like to hear your feedback about what social activities you would like us to offer during this time, The survey will take approximately 5-10 minutes to complete – your feedback will really help us to better understand the support you need and what we can do to make the most of the holiday period.

Travelling to campus

Many of you will be arranging travel to join us in Leeds over the coming weeks. You can book free transport to the University from Leeds Bradford airport and Manchester airport and if you need to self-isolate on arrival, you can ask for a free food box to support you through your first days in Leeds. Complete the international arrivals booking form to book your transport and/or self-isolation food box. If you're travelling between 23 – 28 December, you must complete the booking form before 18 December.  If you're booking the transport service, book your flight first, then complete the booking form. You'll receive confirmation of your transport arrangements within 48 hours of your departure date.

Need support? There’s a range of help and support you can access at the University to improve your health and wellbeing, support your online learning and support you while you’re self-isolating. We also know that some of you may be facing financial hardship – support for this available through the University and LUU. You can also speak to your academic personal tutor about a loan laptop if this is something you need.

Don’t forget, if you ever need any guidance on crime prevention or advice on how to stay safe you can check out this handy guide from the University’s Security Services.

Want to help us make improvements across the University?

There are a number of ways you can share your thoughts with us and help improve student experience at Leeds, including:

  • sharing your views on how we can better support - everyone who completes the survey can opt into an Amazon prize draw (first prize £30)
  • shaping our digital education systems by joining our next Digital Education Systems User Group (DESUG) meeting on Wednesday 18 November 2020, 3pm - 5pm. You can email Ellie Dunn for more info and details on how to join.
  • telling us why you use the VPN rather than other remote access methods such as the Virtual Windows Desktop (VWD 
  • volunteering to join a small group of students who will help us test and roll-out Duo Security, a two-factor authentication system for all staff and students that will secure your account. Please contact Sue Cunningham for details.

Get involved and meet new people! Sign up for virtual running, say “hi” and introduce yourself to the rest of our Leeds community through our World map padlet (all you need to do is drop a pin to show where you’re from, say hello and share something interesting about your home), share your online study tips with other students, and get involved with LUU events.  

Stay safe and take care!