Dear students,

On Thursday 26th March the UK Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan, published a letter to students, indicating the government position, both in terms of advice on your health and wellbeing in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as support for the completion of your studies whilst ensuring the maintenance of quality and standards of your degrees.

The Minister rightly emphasizes the need to ensure that the quality of your education and assessments needs to be upheld even at a time of remote working. Further, she indicates that the impacts of the virus should be mitigated by appropriate support for students.

As the Vice-Provost (Education), Faculty Vice Deans for Education, Imperial College Union Officers and I have been making decisions to uphold these values, we have held at the forefront of our thinking the need to ensure the wellbeing of our students; the need to maintain the calibre of our degree provision; the need to ensure that our students can demonstrate the learning outcomes of their programmes; our obligations to mitigate the impact of Covid-19, particularly on progression and award; as well as the commitments we have to professional bodies that accredit our programmes and to our regulator, the Office for Students. 

The move to remote education as far as practicable, necessitated by the government mandate for people to remain at home, has required considerable change from normal practice. We know that these changes need to be carefully managed, and have heard from you on the issues you think are critical. We recognise that the College policy is not ideal, and have tried to build in flexibility to accommodate particular needs. 

Even though we have moved to remote working, we are still very much here to support you through your studies.  Government agencies, such as UK Visas and Immigration, the Student Loans Company, the Quality Assurance Agency and the research funders have also been helpful in providing some flexibility in their own policies to ensure that you are supported.

Please keep in touch with your tutors and supervisors and with your colleagues; check the website http://www.imperial.ac.uk/about/covid-19/ which we keep up-to-date with news and information, and use the support available to you not only in your Department but also from across the College.  Useful support information can be found at http://www.imperial.ac.uk/students/.

We are working hard to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on your studies and your wellbeing, and we will continue to work together with you to make sure your Imperial degree is of the high standard you expect. 

Best wishes,

Ian

Professor Ian Walmsley, Provost