Bolton has invested more than £1m in making their campus Covid secure. Huge sums have been spent on redesigning how the whole campus operates so that it is safe for the thousands of students and staff that will shortly arrive.
To explain the measures in advance, the University has created an engaging YouTube video so that everyone is clear on what will be expected of them whilst visiting campus.
The video explains that the university has purchased thousands of bicycles so that all full time students can travel into campus safely without using public transport. Each of the entrances will be fitted with temperature scanners and hand sanitiser, masks and gloves will be available. A one way system has been developed across the campus including in the library and classrooms will only be able to hold a maximum of 5 students with special screens installed to separate students and staff.
Of particular interest, is that they have taken a blended learning approach to teaching and have rolled out online learning materials as well as access to more digital resources alongside traditional paper documents and face to face teaching. Students will be allocated specific times of the week when they will only be able to visit the campus. This will reduce campus congestion and allow tutorials to continue.
Bolton was one of the first Universities in the UK to announce back in April that it would do everything possible to make its campus Covid secure. They believe that visiting campus is an important if not vital aspect of student university life. Students seem to also be very keen on face to face teaching as in the week that the Bolton Covid secure YouTube video was published, applications grew by 30%.
We believe that it is a fine and difficult balancing act between ensuring some kind of normality in student’s university experiences on one hand and keeping everyone safe on the other. In these extremely challenging circumstances, it’s clear that Bolton has got this balance right. Other Universities should learn from the example Bolton has set and consider taking a similarly blended approach to their reopening.
Vice Chancellor George Holmes said “Students really want to come to the type of University where they feel they can engage face to face”.
RISE Director Andrea Jenkyns said “It’s great to see institutions like the University of Bolton stepping up and making sure that even in times such as these, students can carry on progressing and getting the education they deserve.”