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What Can Students Expect at University in September?

What Can Students Expect at University in September? main image

Sponsored by Queen’s University Belfast

Just four months ago universities all over the world were forced to close their campus doors because of coronavirus.  

Now, they’re working hard to open them again as they hope to welcome students for the new academic term that’s just two months away.

Notable changes and critical decisions will be made as universities map out their plans of action, but many of them, including Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland, are reassuring that while the welfare of its students come first, they can still expect a meaningful and memorable experience at this top-class Russell Group University.

Expect rigorous hygiene measures to be in place

It should go without saying that face masks and hand sanitizer will be as normal to carry around with you as your phone, wallet and textbooks are.

You’ll see more teams of cleaners around campus along with hand sanitizer stations, plastic screens, and one-way systems to help maintain social distancing.

Blended learning will be the norm

With news of some universities moving all lectures online for the entirety of the coming academic year, others like Queen’s are planning to introduce blending learning where students can take part in virtual learning webinars and also attend class.

An induction week you won’t forget

The first week of term is notorious for nights out and exploring your new home. It’s also a time to get to know your flat-mates and try out every student society, club and organization.

This September things will be a little different (and remember this does depend on where you are in the world as official government guidelines will vary).

Currently, mass-gathering restrictions mean no packed lecture halls or fresher’s events but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to meet other students and get to know them or be left to your own devices when it comes to settling in.

First-year students at Queen’s can expect as much face-to-face interaction as possible along with the occasional virtual induction as well as part of their Campus Commitments initiative.  

Student accommodation might feel a little different to start with  

There’s a real sense of excitement when it comes to moving into your new student accommodation, making those four walls feel like home and getting to know your new flat-mates.

It’s important to remember that while universities will go to every effort to ensure minimum levels of disruption; they will all have their own approaches in managing their student accommodation.

At Queen’s, supportive quarantine measures, rota systems and capacity restrictions will allow all shared living, study and social spaces within accommodation to be open for students, giving you the most authentic experience possible. 

New realities of campus life

From the student library to campus coffee shops and the student union, many universities are planning on being able to run full services where social-distancing permits them to do so.

The Student Union at Queen’s will be open, and students encouraged to join one of the 200+ student societies and clubs on campus (all in accordance with social-distancing measures, of course). The university’s McClay LibraryGraduate School and other shared study spaces will be open again with a reduced capacity in early August.

Student support services will still be on hand to help

Even before coronavirus, universities encouraged students to use their support services whenever, wherever they needed them, and this coming academic year will be no different.

Although face-to-face services might be limited, students will still have access to friendly and professional guidance every step of the way.

Sport and recreation will be encouraged (where possible)

For many students, being active and taking part in sport is a massive part of the student experience. While some sports clubs and groups might not be able to go ahead immediately, universities are doing all that they can to ensure some sports facilities are open for students to enjoy where it is safe to do so and adhere to sporting governing body guidelines.

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Written by Stephanie Lukins
As the Head of Sponsored Content for TopUniversities.com and TopMBA.com, Stephanie creates and publishes a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. She attended the University of Portsmouth where she earned a BA in English Language and an MA in Communication and Applied Linguistics.

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