Newsletter sent on the 15 January

Welcome to the first 2021 edition of your student newsletter.  

Wherever you currently are, we hope you are well and the start of term is going smoothly for you, including those of you who have joined us this month – welcome to you!  

It has been snowing in Leeds this week, and with campus covered in a blanket of snow, we realise just how much we miss being in Leeds with you all. We look forward to the day when we can all be together again, and although we may be living with restrictions and lockdowns, the incredible work globally by scientists, researchers, and medical experts to create vaccines and improved therapeutic treatments offer us a real and tangible path forward in the weeks and months ahead. For those of you who are on placements, working or volunteering in the NHS and the community, we thank you and are so proud of what you are doing.  

What the national lockdown means for our community 

We are only midway through January and already there has been so much to tell you! On 13 January, we shared information on a range of topics; returning to Leeds, testing, safety on campus rent refunds, assessments and more. A copy of the email is available online for you to read.  

We know that many of you have shared your concerns and questions with LUU and us and we want to reassure you that colleagues are looking into these and how we can support you. We will continue to communicate further information with you as it becomes available, please regularly check your emails for these. 

Coursework and assessment 

We know that many of you will be halfway through your assessments, and we hope they are going well for you. Detailed information on assessments, systems to use and what you can do if you have technical issues is available. There’s also guidance on our mitigating circumstances process. 

Remember, there will be no penalties for late submission, of up to one week, on all coursework with a deadline between Friday 8 January and Friday 22 January, applying to coursework already set. This does not apply to timed assessments that are scheduled for the assessment period. 

Read our FAQs for further details and information or talk directly to LUU Help & Support Team or your School office if they have any concerns or outstanding questions. 

Struggling to access online learning? We have a limited number of loan laptops available for those of you who may be experiencing difficulties accessing the online or digital aspects of your learning. Please speak to your Academic Personal Tutor or your School Student Support team who can explore this further with you and help you get the support you need. 

Currently in Leeds? 

Remember, you must be tested for COVID-19 – and found negative – before you interact with others or use campus facilities such as libraries, study spaces, computer clusters, laboratories etc.  Find out how to book your test.  

The national lockdown (and snow) currently impacts what is available on campus. If you are coming on to campus, we follow the guidelines to help us work together to stay safe. We all need to work together to help reduce the risk of transmission – please be mindful of what your behaviour while on campus and in the city. 

To highlight, an update on spaces on campus: 

Study spaces on campus: 

  • You can currently only book study space in the Edward Boyle and Laidlaw library. In line with government guidance, please only book a space if you have no suitable alternative. We are regularly reviewing this provision and will continue to update our webpage about study spaces and library arrangements regularly. 

  • If you are booking a space in the library, only book if you are certain you can attend. As a community, we need to support each other by making good use of 'essential use' facilities like the library. If you find you do not need the slot you have booked, please cancel it so that someone else can use it. Currently, a third of bookings are not using the session they have booked, which is unfair on other students who need the space. 

  • Computer clusters are currently closed. 

Other facilities on campus – details are online, but to highlight a few: 

  • The LUU building is open. The Co-op, Bubble Tea outlet and Help Desk are open for you, and you will be able to get answers to questions and help if you need it. 

  • Our Student Information Points are open during the week. Find out where they are, and other ways of getting help if you need it.  

  • The Edge and other sports facilities are currently closed but our online resources are still available – take a look at this article on staying active during lockdown and  places to explore outside in Leeds

  • The Refectory will operate both a takeaway and sit-down service as normal for students in catered halls – remember, face coverings are mandatory.  Great Food at Leeds cafés will remain open for a takeaway service only. Find more details.  

Just arrived? Check out our orientation information to help you settle in, feel at home and get started.  

If you need to self-isolate in Leeds – here’s help on what to do, who to contact, how to get essential food, medicines and more.  

A new way of seeing your timetable 

Yesterday we launched a new and improved view of your personal timetable via ‘MyTimetable’, which can be accessed from Minerva by clicking on calendar icon beneath the ‘Learn’ tab. 

It defaults to a simplified weekly agenda view, but you can change it to a calendar view by clicking the top left-hand icon and selecting ‘Go to desktop site’. Find information about the accessibility of MyTimetable on the University’s website

You have the option to sync your personal timetable to your calendar of choice (Office 365 is recommended). Note different calendar programmes use different ways of controlling the update frequency for pulling in subscribed calendar information, so you may way to check your device sync settings to ensure its as up-to-date as possible.  

Up-to-date information can be found by accessing MyTimetable from Minerva.  

For the moment you will still be able to access existing timetable views. Find further information about the timetable views available to you:  ‘How to access your timetable’

A new year is a perfect time to gain new skills 

If your new year’s resolutions have already failed and you’re surrounded by boxes of chocolate and mounting deadlines, don’t worry! We’ve written an article on things you can do and get involved in to make 2021 a great year for you. With tips on exercise, friends, volunteering and employability, make a plan now and in six months your life could be completely different!  

Over 11,000 students and staff at the University of Leeds used LinkedIn Learning last year to access a huge range of courses for free, find out the top 20 courses of 2020 to inspire your 2021 watchlist as well as a specially curated collection of wellbeing courses. You can log in or download the LinkedIn Learning app from the Google Play or the Apple Store.   

Stay connected 

At the moment, there’s a lot of information that the University is telling you. If you are finding it hard to keep on top of things, you can find copies of all the emails and newsletters we’ve sent to you. If you’ve got a question, check out the coronavirus website or get in touch with our Student Information Helpline by emailing:  

Want to chat with other students? Join our Leeds community through the LUU Facebook group and our current students’ Facebook group.  

Remember, our support services are available, and should you need them Togetherall and Nightline can be accessed remotely.