Newsletter sent on 26 March

Welcome to your final newsletter of this term. 

We know the last few weeks have been extremely tough for many. We hope that with lockdown easing in the UK and the days getting longer, brighter and warmer, you’re able to enjoy your upcoming spring break, rest, unwind and recover wherever you are. 

While some of you will be returning home for the holidays, many of you will be staying in Leeds. We’ve published details about the holiday activities and support that will be available during the break. Bookmark the page so you know where to go if you need support or need to check opening hours for campus services. There are also lots of activities you can join during the break, from Easter egg painting and wellbeing classes to candle making, career development sessions and places you can visit in line with government guidance… there’s something for everyone! 

Remember to stay connected with the University by joining our Facebook group for current students, following @UoLStudents on Twitter and regularly checking your emails for the latest updates from the University. We are expecting more information from Government about arrangements for students returning to universities in early April. We will email you in the week commencing 12 April about plans for the new term which starts on 26 April.

Staying safe 

With the Government working through its roadmap out of lockdown, some of you are back on campus for some activities. If you're going to be studying on campus, or are staying in University accommodation, there are a few important steps we all need to take to keep yourselves and others safe: 

  • follow hands, face, space guidance 
  • wear your face covering correctly 
  • only use campus for essential services 

Remember, you can have COVID-19 without showing symptoms but you can still pass it on. So, if you are on campus it’s important to take a lateral flow test twice a week to catch it early. It’s quick, easy and you can book online.  

Travel during the spring break 

A few weeks ago, the Government amended regulations to allow you to return home for the spring break if you choose to do so. But to minimise transmission you are strongly advised to remain in your term-time accommodation where possible, especially if you are among the students who were contacted to return to university from 8 March.   

  • If you do choose to travel you should get tested before you return home.  
  • When travelling back to Leeds after the break, follow the ‘returning to campus’ advice above.  
  • If at any point you test positive, you should self-isolate for ten days, not travel during this time, and let us know you have tested positive or are self-isolating so that we can support you. 

Information on how to book a test and answers to frequently asked questions are on our website.  

Rent refunds for students in University-allocated accommodation  

We are expecting an announcement from Government in early April  about who can return after the Easter break. Once we have received this and digested this information we will make a decision about any further rent refunds we may be able to offer to students in University allocated accommodation and be in touch before the start of term.  

Have your say… 

  • In your final year? We want to hear from you about what matters most to you when it comes to graduating. Complete this survey to have your say – your views will help us shape the graduation experience. 

  • We want to know what you think of the digital learning experience at Leeds so we can make any improvements. Fill in this short survey to share your views. If you log in with your uni email address you’ll be entered in a prize draw to win an iPad Pro.

  • Nominations for the 2021 Partnerships Awards are open until Monday 29 March. If someone has made your time in Leeds extra special, now is the time to thank them by nominating them for an award.  

  • Census Day has passed, but there’s still time to make sure students are included in the census. Wherever you are, request a code online so that you can complete the census for your university address

  • Have you developed new strategies for reading online? Do you prefer reading in printed format? Have you adapted to using ebooks? Here is your chance to share your experience alongside students from around the world - and inform how we provide ebooks. Take the survey now 

  • The Undergraduate Programme Survey 2021 is live! If you are an undergraduate who is not in your final year, make sure you have your say on your time at Leeds. It only takes 10 minutes and everyone completing online can enter a prize draw! It's confidential and the results will help the university take action on the issues that matter. The survey is available online at:  

In case you missed it: 

  • Last week we wrote to you about our hardship funds and how you can get financial support from the University. If you’ve not read the email, you can download a read a copy 

  • Due to essential maintenance, we are planning to upgrade Minerva from 18:00 on Friday 26 March until late Saturday 27 March. During this time, Minerva will not be available and you won’t have access to content. Access to other University systems, such as Outlook, OneDrive and Student/Faculty Services, will be unaffected. 

  • If you are travelling back to Leeds from outside the UK, please read our arrival webpage. You can also find more information, guidance and support on self-isolating on our dedicated webpages. For further advice about planning international travel or returning to Leeds, please read our frequently asked travel questions or contact  

In other news 

Sport is making a welcome return!  

Celebrate the fact our outdoor sports facilities have reopened by taking advantage of free pedal sessions at the Bodington Cycle Circuit for all staff and students, opening on Monday. The sessions are free to students up to the end of May. 

Leeds Sport are now recruiting for their on-campus volunteering roles starting in September 2021. They have roles supporting the activities of clubs and societies with coaching & officiating as well as applied educational roles in Media, Sport Development and Wellbeing. Check out their full portfolio and apply. Volunteering is a great way to develop your skills while also doing something positive and productive in the University community. Applications close Friday 7 May. 

Thinking about studying a research degree?  

If you’d like to know more about continuing to PhD study at Leeds, join our postgraduate Virtual Open Days. From 12-17 April, we’re hosting a week of live virtual events, ranging from subject talk to sessions about funding and how to apply. Register your interest and we’ll send you an email when it’s time to create your account on our portal. 

You can now apply to stay in halls next year!  

Anyone can apply for University halls – they're not just for freshers!  

We’re pleased to let you know that we now have some additional rooms available in September for returning students who are not covered by our accommodation guarantee. If you’re looking for somewhere safe and secure to call home next year then halls could be for you. Remember, there’s lots of great benefits to living in University accommodation:  

  • Rent includes WiFi, energy bills and free laundry credits 
  • Free Edge Club Membership (subject to permitted opening of the facility and contract terms) 
  • Only £200 deposit and no guarantor needed 
  • Shorter contracts – no summer rent to pay!  

Most of our residences have some spaces available, but they are not unlimited so if you are interested, please apply as soon as possible to secure an offer through our Accommodation Portal. For more information, visit our returning next year page.