Message from the Principal 3rd July 2020

Is it just me, or are the weeks passing even more quickly? What does appear to be happening is that the Government is making more and more changes to many of the restrictions under which we have been operating and that means we must consider each one as it applies to us. Making life even more complicated, is the need to take into account the rules being laid down by various administrations - Scotland, Wales, the EU, the USA etc. We will need to develop positions on how we will deal with, for example, travel abroad and this we are doing.

I have written a bit about the Reproductive number, Ro, previously – that is, the number of new cases a single case gives rise to during the time the person is infectious. Another concept, the force of infection - the rate at which susceptible people become infected - is a function of both the Ro and the number of infectious people out there, or prevalence. At the moment, we are trying to establish what the prevalence of infection is in different parts of our society as this will give us an idea of the rate at which new cases will arise, given we have a good idea of Ro. And, that means testing. More on this another day, but in essence, for all that the force of infection may be low, it does not mean that the infection cannot take off again. It is truly like a forest fire being brought under control – one spark on to dry grass and away we go … and as we know it can take some weeks for this to be evident, as many infections are asymptomatic. There is a great piece in the New York Times about how the infection spread in the states. Fascinating and concerning… here.



On Tuesday 7th July we will be celebrating with more of our newest graduates who are formally marking their transition to the ranks of alumni of the RVC.

  • At 11am, the celebration of our FdSc and BSc Vet Nursing class of 2020 will take place.  
  • At 3pm the celebration of our BSc, MSci, GradDip, PGDip, MSc, MVetMed, MRes, MPhil, PhD students at.

Both ceremonies will be hosted on YouTube and will be available to view at

We had great feedback from our previous ceremony on so please do try and ‘join us’ in celebrating the classes of 2020.

Let us know….

A massive thank you to the students who responded to the survey on accessing remote learning and student support services. This was conducted earlier this term via the Advice Centre and was designed to assess how you were adapting to working off-campus in the very early stages of lockdown, as we made the emergency transition to remote delivery.

The focus now turns to how we can provide you with a flexible and engaging educational offering this autumn. We are committed to welcoming you back to the next academic year with a quality programme tailored to the curricula, needs and circumstances specific to your course and year. We can only do this with your feedback.  Each and every one of you has a voice, so do let us hear it by completing the short survey emailed out last week from the Vice Principal for Learning, Teaching and Assessment. We plan to follow up with a survey of post graduate and research students in the near future. Thanks! 

And finally…

I am so grateful for all your efforts in observing both the national restrictions and our own preventive measures. We need to keep vigilant and ensure we do not undo all the good and negate the sacrifices we have all made. I have every confidence that we will continue to place the highest priority on our own health and the wellbeing of others.

Have a good weekend; you don’t have to go to the pub just because you can. Just a thought.

As ever


PS I am considering having one more end of session Quiz - I will canvas opinion next week.

If you would like to read earlier messages see Previous messages from the Principal.

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