We are striving to preserve Oxford’s student life despite the pandemic and will be working with student representative groups to maintain the supportive and enriching environment that contributes to the Oxford experience.
The University and colleges are working together to ensure students are introduced or welcomed back to Oxford life in as full a way as possible, taking the pandemic into account. For example, Oxford’s students’ union, Oxford SU, is planning a virtual version of its Freshers’ Fair, giving new and returning students the chance to engage in their wider student community, and find out about the clubs and societies and local organisations that support students. We also expect Oxford’s wide range of clubs and societies to continue operating.
We are also working to ensure that some of the more traditional aspects of student life continue. For example, new students usually formally become members of the University through a ‘matriculation’ ceremony in the Sheldonian Theatre. This year students will instead attend a Formal Welcome to the University by the Vice-Chancellor event online, incorporating many of the traditions of the existing ceremony, but in a virtual form.
Student services and support
University support services – such as welfare, careers, fees and funding and visa & immigration - will continue to operate – whether that be in person or online. A number of our services operated remotely during the Trinity (summer) term, and feedback from students was very positive. We have now confirmed that Michaelmas (autumn) term careers fairs will be online, and students will continue to benefit from the Careers Service’s wide range of support. Some outdoor sports activities have now restarted, and we expect more to resume in the run-up to the new academic year.
We will maintain Oxford’s exceptional system of welfare and personal support for students – with online resources supplementing in-person services to support students as much as possible.
We are also developing a range of materials to help students settle back into learning following pandemic-related disruption and expect to have these available in time for the start of the academic year.