DURHAM University’s Welcome and Orientation Week is currently underway, with undergraduates looking forward to their teaching starting on Monday, October 4.

This is the first in-person introductory week since 2019 and with the majority of students choosing in-person teaching over online learning, the University has been working long and hard to plan for a Covid-safe academic year ahead.

The University continues to follow UK government guidance for the Higher Education sector, with the health, safety and wellbeing of the students, staff and the wider community as its top priority.

It has recently launched a ‘Your Actions, Your University’ campaign which highlights the range of safety measures in place and the responsibility everyone has to protect one another.

Safety measures include working with the local Public Health team to ensure robust risk assessments are in place, keeping health and safety precautions under review and continuing to work closely with the County Durham Safety Advisory Group.

On top of this, the University requires all staff and students to wear a face covering when on campus in university buildings, unless exempt, and it has introduced extra ventilation and cleaning of buildings.

With both UK and international students travelling to the City to study, the University has been working hard to ensure the staff and students minimise the transmission of Covid-19 on campus, and the wider community is protected.

For those students travelling from outside of the UK, specific advice relating to the red/amber/green status of their home country and vaccination status has been communicated.

All students have been encouraged to get vaccinated prior to travel, and vaccination clinics will also be held on Palace Green for any who have yet to receive their jab.

A recent survey suggests that over 80 per cent of students are already fully vaccinated.

Once in Durham, students will be asked to take a Lateral Flow Test twice a week, and there will be free testing centres open seven days a week to accommodate this.

While most first year undergraduate students will live in a College, most students in other years tend to live in shared housing in the City and become part of the wider community.

The University is working with local residents’ associations to promote a positive relationship between both students and the wider community, which is supported by the sharing of many University facilities with the local community.

As part of joining the community, the University asks all its students to agree to be responsible citizens by signing up to the Student Pledge, which sets out what kinds of behaviour they expect from its students, and keep in mind the ‘Shh… 11pm-7am’ quiet nights message, part of a campaign led by the City of Durham Parish Council.

For information on how the university is responding to Covid-19, visit: durham.ac.uk/coronavirus.