Newsletter sent on 26 February
Here in Leeds, the first signs of spring are everywhere – the crocuses in St George’s field, the buds on the trees in Clothworkers Court and there’s light in the skies at nearly 6pm above the Business School.
This feeling of new life and growth is echoed in the news too – a plan for moving forward from the restrictions of lockdown here in the UK, the promise of seeing friends and family and spending time together again.
Over the next days, the University will receive further guidance from the UK Government and has already begun making its own roadmap too, based on the changing restrictions, and we’ll keep you updated on what it means for you, your studies, your campus, and your time at Leeds.
One thing is clear – the first date for any changes is 8 March. Until this date, campus and the libraries remain closed, unless for essential use. You can find out more on our study spaces page.
Arrangements from 8 March
On Monday we let you know that we were reviewing the Government’s guidance for universities about arrangements from 8 March. For most students the current arrangements will remain in place until at least the Easter break.
We are in the process of identifying which groups of students can resume face-to-face practical teaching for the last three weeks of this term (from 8 to 26 March) and how we can do this safely.
If you are in one of the groups of students can resume face to face teaching your school will be in touch as soon as possible about when you can return. Please do not return to campus until you hear from your school.
Libraries and study spaces
A petition has been received about the number of study spaces available and the speed in which they are getting booked out. We want to share a summary of our response to this with the whole student community.
Over the next couple of weeks we will be increasing the amount of study space we are providing inside and outside the library as soon and as safely as we can. We are also improving the booking system to provide you with more flexibility about when and where you can book a space.
Please remember the Government has requested that our campus facilities, including libraries and study spaces are provided for ‘essential access’ only at the moment and that we are doing all we can to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff. Thank you for following the guidelines supporting our many colleagues who are working hard to provide covid-secure library services for our community.
Testing if you’re an essential library user
The library is only available for essential use at the moment. If you are coming on to campus, you’ll need to be taking two asymptomatic tests a week – and they’ll need to be negative in order to use this. Find out how to book your test. If you have had a positive coronavirus test, find out what to do next, from support available and how to report this.
You may have experienced unexpected financial pressures, being stuck in debt or facing financial difficulties, and that’s a worrying experience for anyone. But there is help available, including financial support. The hardship funds are available to everyone whether in university or privately rented accommodation, and whether taught students or PG researchers
Leeds Hardship Fund - The Leeds Hardship Fund (LHF) is a university funded scheme for UK students and PGRs who are facing genuine or unexpected financial hardship to help towards the payment of essential living costs.
International Leeds Hardship Fund (ILHF) - The primary purpose of the International Leeds Hardship Fund (ILHF) is to assist students facing particular financial hardship to continue to participate in Higher Education and reach a successful outcome and completion of the academic year.
LUU Emergency Hardship Fund - The Leeds University Union operates an emergency hardship fund to assist students who are in immediate financial hardship. To be eligible, you must be a current registered student at the University and be able to show that you are unable to meet essential costs such as rent, bills, food over the next 4 weeks or so.
This is the time of year when we usually publish the schedule of graduation ceremonies due to take place in July. Although we expect lockdown restrictions to have been removed, the current indications are that we will still have to practise some social distancing in the summer, and therefore we are not expecting ceremonies will be able to take place in the usual format this July but we are exploring other ways of celebrating students’ achievements, perhaps over a longer period, to ensure that everyone who has graduated has the opportunity to attend a celebration.
Studying from home
For many of you, you’ll be approaching a year of studying from home. Whilst the promise of restrictions lifting give us all much hope, it’s likely we’ll continue to need to spend some time studying online. We’ve put together a guide on how to evaluate how you’re doing, and also included some practical steps suggested by you on how to improve. Find out how to study from home like a pro.
Looking for alternative file formats in Minerva? You can download files in audio, ePub, HTML, electronic Braille, etc. in your modules and organisations in Minerva. This means if your lecturer has uploaded a Word doc, but you prefer audio, you'll have the option to download it in that format. Look for the 'A' Ally download icon next to files in Minerva; see the quick guide on Ally to find out more.
A new version of the Virtual Windows Desktop is being released early March. You don't need to do anything – you'll automatically have access to the new version which is faster and more resilient and has a number of new features, including access to Office 365, better integration with OneDrive and better access to library resources and journal websites. Find out more about VWD on the IT website. If you need to discuss any issues you might have with technology or about some of the loan laptops we have available, speak to your academic personal tutor.
Living in Leeds
LUU and Unipol have put together a Facebook group for anyone and everyone with any concerns about housing. It’s for anyone struggling to find people to live with for next academic year. This is a perfect opportunity to find like-minded housemates and a place to live that you are happy and comfortable with!
We know some of you are in Leeds, in halls and private accommodation. With warmer weather and the promise of restrictions easing in the next few weeks, it’s important that you’re up to date on what the latest rules are. Make sure you’re being a responsible neighbour, be respectful of others and be aware of the latest community rules and sanctions.
Lead LUU 2021
It’s that time of year where every student gets to vote for who runs the Union - your six new Student Exec. With voting taking place on Monday 1 March, it’s a perfect time to read about the candidates and prepare to vote next week. It’s really important to have your say – and don’t forget to vote on Monday!
Your questions: answered
During January and February, we’ve been listening to you – on our social media, or in the emails we receive. We’ve picked out six areas where you’ve got the most to say, and the most questions.
- Feeling lonely – meeting new people
- Mental health
- Money and finance
- Physical health
We’ve put together all of the places you can get answers to these questions in one place. Find out how and where to get answers to your questions.
World Unite Festival is back! Monday 8 – Sunday 14 March 2021
Wherever you are, in the UK or across the world, come together for a week-long festival of intercultural activities, performances and taster sessions that celebrate our diverse global community of students. From dance and cooking tutorials to global café socials and language exchanges, there’s something for everyone. You can meet people from around the world, learn about different cultures and experience LUU clubs and societies. The full programme will be launched on Monday 8 March 2021, visit the LUU website to find out more.
Take part in Food waste action week
#FoodWasteActionWeek, organised by WRAP, will take place on the first week of March and aims at highlighting the impact food waste has on our planet.
You can join us to explore how to buy, cook and store food more sustainably and responsibly by registering online., or take part in the conversation on LUBS’ Twitter, or on Uni of Leeds Sustainability’ Instagram.
If you have difficulty receiving the Zoom link, please contact Ariane, student architect for sustainability at email@example.com.
What do you think about your area?
The Sustainability Service wants to know how they support you to make sure your time in Leeds is positive both for you and the local community. Please complete a short survey to have your say into the educational program and sign up to be involved in the focus groups over the next few weeks. The deadline is 5 March.
What’s your big idea?
The student ideas fund remains open for applications. The fund is a grant scheme that helps bring your ideas for improving the student experience at Leeds to life. Individuals, groups and LUU societies are encouraged to submit ideas that could be related to (but not limited to) building a sense of community, delivering an outreach programme in the local community, organizing a research project to explore the student experience, developing a training programme that can be available to all, developing a positive culture and a sense of belonging at the university, or an idea that that builds understanding and evidence for something the students may need. The fund is open to applications year-round, but the deadline for considerations at the next Ideas Fund board meeting is Thursday March 11th at 2pm. You can find more details and a link to the application form on the Student Ideas Fund website. For more information, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
£5,000 Leeds Master Scholarships
If you are considering a Masters degree starting in September 2021, did you know you could be eligible for a scholarship worth £5,000? Our Leeds Masters Scholarships scheme is now open to UK students. Check now if you are eligible to apply.
We are inviting you to join: The Pandemic Podcast: Student Life During COVID -19. This exciting opportunity allows you to join a team of students, determined to get other students voices heard. We have an active Instagram account where we post support content and daily tips for lockdown. Currently, we are looking for graphic designers and editors to be part of our podcast group. We also want to hear YOUR story!! This can either be done on an interview or sent in as a written account.
Message the team at:
- Insta: @the.pandemicpodcast
- Facebook: The Pandemic Podcast
- Make sure to check out our latest episodes on Spotify: The Pandemic Podcast: Student Life During COVID-19
- LUU Voting – choose your next student exec
- Art Soc – life drawing
- The Lockdown cup – have you won the World Cup with Headingley Harriers? This is for you – show your FIFA skills and go through to compete against other Universities!
- Student Circus – finding jobs in the UK or your home country – webinar from international students
Stay Connected with our community
Join our Global Community online socials to meet new people and take part in fun activities led by student ambassadors. Our Global Community activities are for all students. Socials take place every week throughout the year through Microsoft Teams. Join now using your @leeds.ac.uk email or use the join code loq5x6z by selecting ‘join or create a team’ at the bottom of your Teams list.
If you're in University accommodation, check out Residence Life to find your group chat and stay up to date with events and information