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Dear UCO Student,

I’M WRITING to update you following the announcement that England is to enter into a national lockdown. This means that a new set of rules will immediately replace the Tier Alert system and apply to everyone nationwide.

It also means that most people cannot leave their homes, except for very specific reasons, and you can read the Government’s full guidance on all these rules here.

Campus Closed to Students

THIS NEWS also means that no students will be allowed onto the campus for the foreseeable future.

This means you will immediately switch to remote (online) learning from Monday next week (11th January).

What You Need To Do

DO NOT attend or visit campus unless you’re personally contacted by UCO staff and invited to come in.

We know that some students are due to take exams in the next two weeks and we are working with partners on how to ensure these go ahead safely. If you are affected by this, we will let you know the final decision about these exams as soon as we can this week.

If you are due to sit an exam soon, you should continue to prepare as if they will go ahead.

We are also aware that many students will have coursework deadlines in the next two weeks. You should continue to work on these and aim to submit on time in your usual way. If you feel that you may need additional time to complete your work due to the current circumstances, please speak to your tutor as soon as possible.

Please remember that all of UCO’s support services, including the library, disability, well-being and academic skills teams remain available by email.

How Long Will Remote Learning Last?

THE Government has said that if the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine goes well, it is possible – but not certain – that we may be allowed to re-open after February half-term.

Whatever the case, it is vital that you engage with our remote learning as soon as your teaching re-commences next week and are working hard to ensure that you continue to make progress.

If remote learning means that you will need additional help or equipment, please talk to your tutor and they will do all they can to help you, wherever possible.

For now, please follow the guidance above, check your emails for updates, and keep in contact with us. Although this news is disappointing, UCO has lots of experience in delivering remote learning successfully.

Please do ‘your bit’ by committing to working hard – and keep safe by following the new national rules.

We will be in touch ASAP to share more information as soon as we get it. Remember: Wash HANDS | Cover FACE | Make SPACE

Alun Francis
Oldham College, Principal and Chief Executive