19 May 2020 | Binfield, UK [Newbold communication]
New and returning students are to be offered a broad online student experience this autumn.
Newbold College of Higher Education has announced an extension of their remote online learning experience for the 2020 autumn semester. As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and following thorough consideration, the decision was made to ensure that the health and safety of both students and staff remain a top priority.
The decision is in line with the pathway being taken by a number of other universities and higher education providers worldwide.
Given Newbold’s close community setting, its blueprint cannot guarantee full compliance with current social distancing requirements. “It is vital that as a College we do all we can to honour the trust that our students, their families and our owners and stakeholders have placed in us as we prioritise health, safety and continuing academic quality”, says Principal, Dr John Baildam.
Newbold is an international college. With students coming from over 50 countries across the globe the issues of closed embassies, airlines not operating and local regulations changing daily, mean that it would not be fair to put additional stress on them, and to ask them to make difficult decisions that could potentially put themselves and others at risk.
The College has put out a statement that explains the positive options for September that could potentially reach an even larger number of students:
Returning students and incoming first-year students can expect a comprehensive online learning experience across all degrees and courses, one that will adhere to Newbold’s value of offering academic excellence across the board. With student wellbeing at the core of every difficult decision we have had to make, the College will ensure a level of support and quality in the delivery of teaching that will not compromise, in any way, the educational journey for our students.
The next few weeks will see academic and student support staff working on an exhaustive plan to move online, addressing all aspects of our holistic approach to education – fusing academic, spiritual, social and physical wellbeing into one all-encompassing online experience. Newbold will still be your community and we will explore ways to engage, learn and grow together.
Newbold remains committed to bringing all students back to campus as quickly as possible for the unique traditional experience for which we are world-renowned – with a timeline goal of the spring semester in late January 2021. The College’s Senior Leadership Team will continue to take into account current and developing health guidelines and best practices and will communicate further decisions as soon as possible. The College remains committed to clarity and transparency throughout this process.
Though the College strives for no significant changes to be made to the academic curriculum for September 2020, full details about all courses will be available by 1 June 2020.
Once we are in a position to welcome our students back to our campus, we plan to launch a range of outstanding additional learning experiences such as study trips, workshops and campus events to counteract the physical constraints which the autumn semester will bring.
Newbold will reach out with more details and answers to difficult questions at the beginning of June.
tedNEWS Staff: Victor Hulbert, editor; Deana Stojković, associate editor
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