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Update from Vice-Provost/Chief Academic Officer to staff and students

16 June 2021

Dear Students and Colleagues,

I am writing to you following today’s government announcement around the planned comprehensive return to campus in the autumn. 

It is most encouraging and very much in line with our own aspirations that the announced plan for the 2021/22 academic year is for mainly on-site activity for most students and staff. The realisation of these ambitions will, however, remain contingent on the progress we as a society continue to make in combatting this virus.

At this stage, the government has decided that the following activities can take place on campus in September:

  • Laboratory teaching and learning
  • Classroom based teaching and learning
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops
  • Smaller lectures 
  • Research
  • Workspaces 
  • Libraries 
  • Canteens – operational in accordance with public health advice
  • Sports facilities – operational in accordance with public health advice
  • Clubs and societies – operational in accordance with public health advice
  • Bars – operational in accordance with public health advice

At a maximum, large scale lectures will also be allowed with modifications, but this will be clarified at a later stage. 

Here in Trinity, we have already undertaken an enormous amount of planning for the new academic year and further work will take place over the summer to enable this comprehensive return to college. For example, new audio-visual equipment over the summer will be installed in many lecture theatres to provide a better environment for blended teaching and learning.

As announced last week, students will begin term on September 13, with the exception of first year students, who will start their studies on September 27. We are expecting that most staff and students will be vaccinated by this time and we will also be trialling new testing arrangements over the summer. Everything will be done to ensure you remain safe and healthy. This has been our priority over the past year and remains our priority in the year ahead.

Staff will slowly return to their offices over the summer months, but this process will be gradual. Officially we are still at level five and everybody who can work from home should continue to do so.

We will continue to prepare and implement our own plans for safe maximum on-site presence on the basis of the plans outlined by the government and send you progress reports over the summer. 

In the meantime, I want to thank and congratulate both students and staff who have shown incredible resilience over the past year. This has been a uniquely challenging year, but we are looking forward to welcoming you to a much more normal academic life in September. I wish you all a good summer and hope you get the chance to relax and recharge before the next academic year begins.


Best regards
Professor Jürgen Barkhoff
Vice-Provost/Chief Academic Officer