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Safe and welcoming campuses

We’re preparing our campuses in line with Government COVID-19 guidance to ensure we provide safe learning and working environments for our students and colleagues. All students and colleagues are however reminded to stay off campus should they develop any COVID-19 symptoms, and book a test via the NHS Test & Protect.

We have introduced:

  • Distancing signage
  • One way systems
  • Hand sanitiser available
  • Maximum numbers in rooms and lifts
  • Increased cleaning
  • Self-cleaning stations
  • Touch-free access to campuses
  • Face masks in libraries and reading rooms

Please be assured that we are working with governments, funders, health professionals and others to ensure UWS is compliant with national guidance in our planning for a welcoming and COVID-19 secure learning and campus experience for all students and colleagues.

It is important to remember to follow NHS Scotland and Scottish Government advice on COVID-19 and adhere to the guidance regarding self-isolating if you test positive, develop symptoms, or think you may have the virus, in order to keep you and the whole University community safe. 

In the event someone develops symptoms on one of our Scottish campuses and is unable to immediately get safely home by themselves, the following procedures should be followed:

Protocol for those developing covid-19 symptoms while on campus 

 

Enhanced safety and hygiene measures on campus

Scroll through the below to explore a range of adaptations we have made on campus to ensure a safe environment for our students and staff, and familiarise yourself with the latest guidance and documents:

Signage

You’ll see lots of signage across our campuses to remind you to safely keep your distance from others, in line with government and public health guidance. Throughout our campuses, you’ll also notice floor markings in our cafes and canteens, in order to help with queuing.

One-way systems

Within our thoroughfares and buildings, you’ll see that one-way systems for pedestrians have been put in place. However, we are asking students to please be patient when moving around and exercise your judgement when navigating through the campuses.

Maximum numbers

We have implemented maximum numbers for rooms – and even lifts – to ensure that, no matter where you are on our campuses, social distancing can be adhered to as much as possible.

Campus hygiene

We have been preparing our campuses in line with national guidance to ensure we provide safe learning and working environments for our students and colleagues.

In addition to physical distancing and one-way system signage – as well as introducing maximum numbers in rooms and single occupancy in lifts – we are making hand sanitiser and self-cleaning stations available, increasing the frequency of cleaning and expanding touch-free access to campuses. We have also made physical adjustments to our campuses, such as the installation of screens in reception and catering areas. Our measures are also designed to reduce unnecessary movement between buildings.

Face coverings

Face coverings should be worn in libraries and certain indoor spaces where 2 metre social distance cannot be guaranteed. The University has put arrangements in place to ensure most campus locations can accommodate 2m physical distancing: however, where that is not possible – such as in corridors – face coverings should be worn. This includes where people are interacting face-to-face at less than 2m for a sustained period (about 15 minutes or more) or for any amount of time where there is close contact within 1m.

Face coverings should also be worn in the following circumstances (except where someone is exempt from wearing a covering – further information on these exemptions can be found in wider Scottish Government guidance):

  • where people are moving about campus corridors, confined communal areas (including toilets), and other areas of campus where physical distancing is particularly difficult to maintain; and
  • in line with the current arrangements for public transport, when you are travelling on public and dedicated UWS transport
  • in UWS libraries and certain other indoor spaces on campus

It is important to note face coverings should not be used for the purpose of reducing physical distancing requirements on campus, and you are required to comply with local guidance and instruction throughout our campuses. As ever, we would encourage colleagues and students to be respectful, as some people may be exempt from wearing a face covering.

UWS Together

It’s vital that each of us plays our own part, by following the guidance and being respectful of our fellow students, colleagues and visitors. Remember to keep your distance wherever possible, wait to let people pass in parts of the campus where one-way systems aren’t possible, and plan ahead if you need to move location.

Please note: this isn’t a complete list, and the content it is likely to change in line with evolving Government and public health guidance, but we hope it gives you a steer as to some of the enhanced health and safety measures we will have in place on campus for your arrival at, or return to, UWS for the new term.

 

Official guidance

Scottish Government guidance

The Scottish Government has published updated guidance which explains how the current restrictions on social gatherings apply to students living away from home.

We strongly encourage you to familiarise yourself with the new guidance, which sits alongside wider Scottish Government essential advice. The guidance provides detail on:

Documents and protocols

Covid-19 forms 

As part of broader efforts to manage the covid risk amongst the University community, a simple form has been created to give an overview of cases and potential cases across the campuses. As well as supporting broader Test & Protect efforts, this will help inform actions on campus such as further enhanced cleaning, decisions on contacting Public Health, and also allow an offer of support to be made.

All staff and students are asked to complete the form if they either:

  • Experience covid symptoms (a new and continuous cough, fever, and or loss or change to sense of taste of smell)
  • Have received a positive test from the NHS
  • Have been asked to self isolate for another reason (such as a member of their household having a positive test)

Information will only be held for 21 days in line with existing Test and Protect guidance, and will only be available to a very small number of colleagues.

The form can be accessed via this link which will prompt you to sign into Microsoft Office 365 using your normal log in details.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have further questions about what you can expect on campus at UWS in the new term, please read the FAQs below:

Safe campus and student experience

Q: What safety measures will be in place on campus?

A: Please be assured that we are working with governments, funders, health professionals and others to ensure UWS is compliant with national guidance in our planning for a welcoming and COVID-19 secure learning and campus experience for all students and colleagues. The slightly later start date to the academic year will give new and returning students, and UWS colleagues, more time to effectively prepare for the start of term.

Enhanced safety and hygiene measures you can expect on campus include one-way systems to ensure social distancing is adhered to, hand sanitiser stations and hand washing facilities located across the campuses, availability of PPE where appropriate, enhanced signage, installation of various screens and cleaning regimes which will ensure all shared study, teaching and social spaces are cleaned and sanitised in line with national Public Health guidance.

Q: What do you expect students to be able to do on campus?

A: While on campus, students will still have access to a range of dynamic teaching, learning and social experiences, in line with public health guidance. This will include access to the library and to study areas, as well as pre-approved access to practical learning spaces, such as the labs or clinical areas. Small group sessions, such as seminars or tutorials, and activities from the UWS Students' Union, and outdoor activities will be available. What you are able to do on campus will continue to increase, in-line with Government and Public Health guidance.

Remember, you don’t have to be on campus to access Student Services and other support services. We’re delivering our services remotely so you can access these from anywhere.

Q: When can I access my campus?

A: From Monday 5th October, all Scottish campuses will be accessible Monday - Friday from 8am to 9pm, with the exception of Dumfries, which will close at 5pm Monday - Friday and will be closed at the weekend.

London Campus will be accessible Monday - Friday from 9am to 6pm and will be closed at the weekend. 

From Monday - Friday, 5pm - 9pm, there will be further limits to campus access, as shown below:

  • Ayr Campus – library / atrium open 

  • Lanarkshire Campus - library / The Street open 

  • Paisley Campus - library / The Hub open 

  • Dumfries Campus - closed after 5pm

  • London Campus - closed after 6pm

Weekend opening hours 

Weekend access to campuses will be limited to the following:

  • Ayr Campus - 9am - 1pm for the library / atrium (Saturday only, closed on Sunday)

  • Lanarkshire Campus - 9am - 1pm for the library / The Street (Saturday only, closed on Sunday)

  • Paisley Campus - 9am - 5pm for the library / The Hub (Saturday and Sunday)

  • Dumfries and London campuses - No weekend opening 

General student access

Students will have timetabled campus access, and will be able to book study spaces, gym access and also use coffee shops / catering facilities on campus, which will be offering a take-away service only. At the moment, students are being asked only to come on to campus for one of these pre-arranged events.

Campus access maps 

Q: What facilities will be open and available for me to access on campus?

A: It is our aim to provide as much in-person and peer-to-peer learning and teaching as possible, and as many support services and extra-curricular activities on our campuses as public health advice and government guidance will enable. You can expect high-quality, accessible and engaging teaching and learning at UWS – and you can look forward to a positive student experience, with wide-ranging support. Based on current national information, we do expect to be able to deliver some on-campus student experience at the beginning of the academic year, in line with national guidance.

Students will still have access to a range of engaging teaching, learning and social experiences. This includes access to the library and to study areas, as well as pre-approved access to practical learning spaces, such as the labs or clinical areas. Small group sessions, such as seminars or tutorials, and activities from the UWS Students' Union, and outdoor activities will be available. What you are able to do on campus will continue to increase, in-line with Government and Public Health guidance.

Remember, you don’t have to be on campus to access Student Services and other support services. We’re delivering our services remotely so you can access these from anywhere.

Q: How do I access my campus and study spaces safely? 

A: From Monday 5th October, students will be able to download a new Study Spaces app, which combines scheduled on-campus timetabled activity with the ability to locate and book available rooms and study areas (including the library) across our campuses. You should normally only access campus for pre-arranged activity or bookings – as noted in your timetable, or booked by you through the app.

Students on campus for booked/scheduled activity will also be able to use our social spaces, such as the Hub, Atrium, Neuk and Crannie. Campus residents can also use these spaces, as well as accessing the catering outlets – which will be offering a take-away service only.

Q: Will I be able to use the University’s catering facilities? If so, what safety measures will be in place in canteens and cafes?

A: University catering facilities will be open for a limited take-away service. New queuing systems are in place, cashless payment is required and a new click-and-collect system will also be in place. In line with Scottish Government advice, you will be encouraged to take your own food to campus and we are currently planning to maintain 2m social distancing in these areas.

Catering opening times are:

Ayr:

8am – 4.30pm

Lanarkshire:

8am – 4.30pm

Paisley:

Coffee Shop 8am – 4.30pm

Hub Café 8am – 6pm

Q: How do I access the gym? 

A: Users will be able to contact gym staff to find out about availability and book sessions at the Ayr, Paisley or Lanarkshire gyms directly: there will be restricted access and all gym users will be required to follow new covid-related regulations.

Gym opening times are:

Ayr Campus Gym:

Mon, Tue, Thurs, Fri: 1030-1945*; Wed 0830-1945*;

(*Closure for Cleaning 1430-1600);

Lanarkshire Campus Gym:

Mon-Fri: 0800 – 2000*

(*Closure for cleaning 1400-1500)

Paisley Campus Gym:

Mon-Fri: 1130-2000*

(*Closure for cleaning 1430-1600)

Q: What clubs and societies will I be able to take part in?

A: We have been working closely with our UWS Students' Union partners to ensure that you have a vibrant and dynamic extracurricular experience. We have a dedicated team who are exploring a range of on-campus and online events to ensure you still have the rich student experience you have been looking forward to. More information will be available soon.

Q: What will my induction week look like?

A: It is extremely important to us to give you the very best start at UWS. Colleagues from across the University, including the UWS Students' Union, are committed to ensuring your induction week is a fantastic, memorable experience, and that it gives you the best foundation to get a real sense of life at UWS and create new, long-lasting friendships and connections. We are currently planning your start of year experience, making sure we are meeting Government and Public Health Requirements. More information will be available soon.

Q: Will there be a Freshers Week?

A: Freshers’ will be a bit different this year as we are not able to host traditional Freshers’ Fairs. Instead, we have a six week Freshers’ programme of online events and social activities for students across all five campuses where you will have the opportunity to get to know other students and find out how to get involved in activities and societies. This will include events for:

  • Societies
  • Academic societies
  • Peer support groups
  • Liberation groups
  • Volunteering

This programme will be delivered online but we are also planning some additional face to face events at our Ayr, Lanarkshire and Paisley campuses. These will be organised in adherence to ongoing government guidelines. See our website for our Freshers’ programme.

Q: What steps would the University take if there was another peak or a second wave of COVID-19?

A: The safety and wellbeing of our staff and students is our number one priority. The University is continually monitoring Government and Public Health advice which currently supports a return to certain on-campus activity for staff and students. UWS has been undertaking detailed planning regarding the return to campus, in line with official guidance, and should this change, UWS is ready to act quickly to safeguard the wellbeing of staff and students. Via our new hybrid approach, UWS can ensure that - whatever the scenario - students are still able to access high-quality learning and teaching.

Q: How is the University supporting the broader Test and Protect efforts?

A: As part of broader efforts to manage the COVID-19 risk amongst the University community, a simple form has been created to give an overview of cases and potential cases across the campuses. As well as supporting broader Test & Protect efforts, this will help inform actions on campus such as further enhanced cleaning, decisions on contacting Public Health, and also allow an offer of support to be made.

All staff and students are asked to complete the form if they either:

  • Experience COVID-19 symptoms (a new and continuous cough, fever, and/or loss or change to sense of taste or smell)
  • Have received a positive test from the NHS
  • Have been asked to self-isolate for another reason (such as a member of their household having a positive test)

Information will only be held for 21 days in line with existing Test and Protect guidance, and will only be available to a very small number of colleagues. Further information, including links will be made available shortly.

Q: Where can I find more COVID-19 information relating to my local campus area?

A: Each local authority area provide the latest info on COVID-19 on their websites below:

www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk

www.dumgal.gov.uk

www.southlanarkshire.gov.uk

www.renfrewshire.gov.uk

www.towerhamlets.gov.uk  

Q: What happens in the event of a fire alarm?

A: Although one way systems are being introduced, in the event of a fire alarm activation,  people should continue to use the nearest fire escape route regardless of the one way system. In an emergency, e.g. an accident or fire evacuation, people do not have to stay 2m apart if it would be unsafe. However, social distancing should be maintained upon arrival at the evacuation assembly point.

Last updated: 08/10/2020