As of tomorrow, RGU will be closing its doors to all staff and students for the foreseeable future in order to meet guidelines set by the UK Government.
As government guidelines are becoming more and more restricted - a lockdown seems inevitable for the UK.
In order to meet the restrictions regarding unnecessary travel and social contact RGU's senior management has taken action for prevention and reducing risk to its faculty and student body.
The university will be closing its doors as of 5pm tomorrow.
Students have already been given forewarning via email.
The student body has already experienced all classes, tutorials and meetings being canceled as of Monday this week as well as seeing RGU Sport and catering services closed as of yesterday.
The computer labs and University Library were allowed to remain open under strict social distancing arrangements but will become closed to everyone as of this Friday at 5pm.
Students received a university-wide email sent on behalf of Professor John Harper, Principal and Vice-Chancellor detailing the imminent closure:
"We will still be introducing our alternative teaching arrangements from Monday 23 March. A reminder that course-specific details will be available on Moodle by Thursday 19 March at 5pm. Assessment arrangements will be confirmed by Friday 27 March.
We recognise that some students wish to return home. This is a decision that students can take themselves but I would advise you to consult with your course leader first who will be finalising the alternative teaching and assessment arrangements.
You can keep up to date with the latest information and guidance on the university’s COVID-19 Q&A webpage for staff and students: www.rgu.ac.uk/coronavirus
I realise this is a significant development but it is a necessary step to safeguard the wellbeing of us all. I can assure you that the University will ensure that students are not disadvantaged and can complete their studies and graduate or progress to the subsequent stages of their courses."
Preparations have already been put in place for students to receive their final weeks of teaching through campus moodle in the forms of recorded seminars and have been urged to contact their course leaders if extra provisions are needed.
Many students are already receiving details of extensions being given to coursework and research projects - with as much as two weeks being added to their deadlines.
Further questions in the forms of exams will be answered by the school as of Friday 27 March.
Student President of Educate and Welfare, Emmanuel Akerele shared this statement via Facebook:
"I want to assure you that there’s a lot of work going on in the background by the University and the Student Union. I also encourage you to keep an eye on the COVID-19 webpage www.rgu.ac.uk/coronavirus-guidance which provides guidance and answers to Frequently Asked Questions.
In all of these, please keep safe and continue to follow all the Health advice about social distancing, hand washing, and proper hygiene. Remember that this is a time to remain cautious, and absolutely no reason to panic.
Tough times never last, but tough people do. STAY SAFE, STAY STRONG."
The student representative has raised concerns to the university such as increased aid and support for students struggling due to loss of jobs, reducing costs for students who have already left student accommodation to return home and means to reduce those who are disadvantaged by the move to digital learning.
Akerele urges students to get in touch if they require any online learning facilities and will be providing recommended solutions by the University by this Friday.