Message from the Principal 30th March 2020

With each passing day the advice from Government causes us to pause and reflect on the actions we have taken, the ones we have yet to take and the ones we may need to modify. Whatever else it is, even keeping up to date is a full-time job.

Somewhat slowly, every aspect of our lives is changing – meeting and greeting friends and colleagues, the frequent hand washing, queuing before entering supermarkets, you name it, it is probably different, and key amongst these is “social distancing”.

The sad thing is, as some have been pointing out – is that it is a misnomer and that it is physical distancing that is important. What is ironic in this is that what we need and crave - it is after all the human condition – is social closeness. And as is becoming increasingly evident is that the trick to getting through the next few weeks or, more likely, months is how we can keep that physical distance at the same time as maintaining the essentials of social closeness.

I am sure we all now get the fact the virus is transmitted from one person to another either directly in coughs and contact, or indirectly on contaminated surfaces. I am sure we all now understand that keeping distance and washing hands - and soap and water is best – are the essentials of ensuring we either do not become infected ourselves or infect others if we are carrying the virus. And, as outlined in my previous postings, keeping the number of people who acquire the virus from an infected individual to ideally 1 or less on average is the aim of the control measures we have in place.

But what about social closeness? Always remembering the two-metre rule and the need to self isolate when necessary, we are, however, largely social creatures. So, phone calls, emails, WhatsApp, FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, Teams, even ordering small gifts online are all becoming so important in keeping the fabric our social lives going and holding the feelings of loneliness and isolation at bay. There will be occasions when you will feel that you can’t be bothered to make that call or send that text or message but it is almost certainly in that moment when you should do just that – you never know how much it will be appreciated nor how much it will keep you engaged with your circle of friends and acquaintances.  So, whether you have got as far as playing online Yahtzee or watching synchronised Netflix episodes or even just smiling and saying hello to someone out walking albeit two metres away – we can and will make a difference and help each other through this awful time.  

The updates will be continuing for this week daily as information becomes available and I will be writing a little bit more on the tests that hopefully will be emerging in the near future and how they might play into controlling the epidemic. But in the meantime, thank you for your continued patience and commitment to doing the right thing for the RVC but more importantly for you and yours.  

Now make that phone call/email/text.

As ever,


Message from the Principal 26th March 2020

As we go about addressing the very many issues that we now face, we are doing our best to provide assurance wherever we can. There are many aspects that are outside our control and the pronouncements of Government are requiring us to change and even reverse some of the decisions and actions we have put in place. We are committed to transparency and timeliness in all that we do recognising that the world changes around us.

Following feedback from you, I am aware that late afternoon and evening emails - such as this one – are not arriving at the best time for us to address the queries you may have. I am also acutely aware that each communication often raises a number of additional questions, depending upon individual circumstances. For that reason, the next detailed update will be issued tomorrow morning and it will be a lengthier communication as we seek to address some of the more complex issues.

What follows is more of a personal comment:

Keeping the whole community addressed and totally assured is impossible and we have been working through a list of priorities over the last 11 days; first, trying to ensure that those who are at greatest risk of infection are protected; second, advising action for those who are away from our campuses; third, putting in place plans that led to the  depopulation our campuses; fourth, focusing on the needs of those graduating this summer, fifth ensuring those in non-graduating classes receive the education they need to graduate in 2021 and beyond….and so on. We cannot deal with everything at the same time and any responsibility for the order of those priorities rests with me.

The challenges at the RVC are significant but must be seen in the context of the issues being faced by others and especially our health care systems. It is worth remembering that as I write there are around half a million cases worldwide and 22,000 people have died globally; in China, Italy and Spain the numbers are numbing; in the UK, we have c.10,000 cases and 500 people have died; in the USA there have been over 75,000 cases, 1000 deaths and the unemployment rate is the highest in history. A third of the world’s population is in lockdown and 90% of all schools are closed globally. These are extraordinary times; tens of thousands of people are losing loved ones and millions of people are losing their livelihoods.

I cannot adequately express my thanks for the efforts very many people are making – it is easy for nobody. Moreover, the emails of thanks and appreciation that many of you – especially those in our student body -  have sent are both moving and humbling, particularly when I know that those who have written are, like the rest of us, inconvenienced, unsure and concerned. We all are. 

I can say a few things without any risk of contradiction.

  1. The next two years will be different for everyone – both in the short term and in the longer term as we address the aftermath of the epidemic.
  2. We are all working to ensure that the RVC remains a place where students can learn and where people can work in an organisation that emerges from this global crisis solvent and sustainable.
  3. We will do all we can to ensure those who study here leave well trained, meet the standards expected of them and do so in line with their original schedule.
  4. You have my absolute commitment, and those of my senior colleagues, that we will do everything within our gift to see you through this.

I ask for your patience and understanding.

More tomorrow.


Message from Principal 25th March 2020

With our campuses all but closed save for the continued sterling efforts of those dealing with essential functions and those working in the clinics – and a huge thank you to those who are dealing with the clients and animals in need of emergency and urgent care - there is a surreal feeling to both campuses.  I know they will return to normal and our job is to ensure we all do our best to adapt to the temporary arrangements without losing sight of the bigger picture and a vision of the RVC to which we all want to return. So, wherever you now find yourself and whether you are staff or student, we must focus on doing whatever it was we were doing before but now doing it at distance, remotely and online, as far as is possible. For a time, this must be our new norm.

Today’s meeting of RVC Council was an important one – the very first held by video and teleconference – and there were important updates to be provided and decisions to be taken. A quick aside for those less familiar with our structure: Council is a group of people largely from outside the RVC, who give their time for free and hold me and my colleagues to account for our actions. Council also has amongst its numbers two elected members of academic staff and the President of the Students’ Union. It was a good meeting.

Baroness Young, our Chairman, asked me to convey to you all - staff and students - her heartfelt thanks, and those of Council, for all the efforts that you are making and for the way you are dealing with the hardships the current situation is inflicting upon us.  There is no doubt that we have made huge strides in remodelling our day-to-day and Council was good enough to endorse what we have been doing. We will need their continued support and patience as we come to terms with our new normal and I can assure you that we could not ask for a more understanding group of individuals.

Todays’ update….


Council have taken a position on this but we are still speaking with third party providers. More information cannot be provided now, but will follow. We will endeavour to update you by the end of this week.


In common with other universities, the question of tuition fess has been raised.

  1. As it stands, the Office for Students requires us to find alternative means of providing the teaching and learning opportunities that will lead you to your successful graduation
  2. For most, this is transforming the learning aims and interactions into online modalities which will include LectureCapture, Personal Capture, digitally enabled interactions, tutoring, webinars, forums and video conferencing.
  3. We are investing heavily, both in terms of staff time and resources, in ensuring our infrastructure and materials are fit for purpose.
  4. We are not considering tuition fee reduction as we provide you with a commensurate, if not identical, educational experience.

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)

The Home Office issued a press notice yesterday (Visas extended for those currently unable to return home due to COVID-19) which covers various visa-related issues:-

  1. Visa extensions  - now available until the end of May (from end of March initially). An extension can be obtained by simply emailing to provide your personal and visa details with confirmation that your visa has expired
  2. In-country visa switching is now permitted across all routes for those who are currently in the UK and whose visa expires/d between 24 January 2020 and 31 May 2020

Students and sponsors will not be found non-compliant if they undertake online provision.  “In light of the current advice on self-isolation and social distancing, the Home Office is also waiving a number of requirements on visa sponsors, such as allowing non-EU nationals here under work or study routes to undertake their work or study from home

RVC doing its bit  

We will be discussing tomorrow how best we an assist the nation and our communities at this time of need.

No doubt there will be more from Government this evening but, again, I provide reassurance to you that we are ready to adopt new directives and adapt our existing practices for our common good.

Stay safe and well


Message for all staff and students 25th March 2020

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic colleagues are encouraged to participate in the national initiative to self-report symptoms that is being coordinated by King’s College London and other key partners.  This is a self-reporting initiative (for people with and without symptoms) that takes a minute to complete using a free app that can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. 

All of your data is securely protected and will be used only with public health or other research institutions (i.e. universities, scientific organisations etc) doing research on COVID-19 - these include King’s College London, Guys & St Thomas' Hospitals and the NHS. Read about the initiative in more detail at COVID Symptom Tracker

Please consider participating – it is a public good and in the national interest.

Message from Principal 24th March 2020

Last night I commented that the most recent announcements are dramatic but are an extension of what we have been doing as a community at the RVC to limit the spread of the virus. This is absolutely the case.I take you back to one of my early emails where I tried to explain the theory of the science behind the control. Here it is restated.

  • If each infected person during their illness infects only one other person, the infection remains stable in our population. It does not go away.
  • If each person infects only two people, we have an epidemic. 1 becomes 2 becomes 4 becomes 8 becomes 16….
  • That is why we must keep our distance – it is our duty to avoid coming into contact with others where there is a chance that we or they might be infected.  In doing so we stand a chance of getting the average number of people infected per case down to less than 1.
  • Even if we can reduce that average number towards one, it will at least slow the epidemic and give the NHS a chance with those severely affected. This is what is being referred to as flattening the curve.

It is that simple. Stay away from others.  Please.

Here is today’s update….questions as usual to the Advice Centre.

Volunteer rotational students

  • Professor Chan will be writing to all of you who so kindly volunteered to assist in our clinical services.
  • Following the most recent announcement from the Prime Minster, we are now of the opinion that the responsible action is for us to suspend our plans to have student volunteers in our hospitals for at least next three weeks.

To all students currently on placement in the UK

  1.  Due to recent Government restrictions, all placement activity is now cancelled.
  2. If you are currently at a placement and have been unable to arrange continued accommodation at that placement you must return home immediately.
  3. “Home” means your primary UK address; if your only residence in the UK is RVC accommodation you must return to RVC. Please inform the Advice Centre if you have returned to RVC accommodation.
  4. If you must travel because you cannot remain at your placement, please do so in private vehicles wherever possible and avoid using public transport.
  5. Please also advise the EMS, AHEMS, Rotations and Veterinary Nursing Placement team as appropriate of your current placement status.
  6. Of course, as a professional courtesy please ensure that your placement provider is aware of your plans.

To all students currently on placement outside of the UK

  1. Please ensure that you keep up-to-date with UK government advice re: return to the UK.
  2. Please also ensure that you are adhering to local government travel advice.
  3. If you need further information, guidance and support, please contact the Advice Centre.

We cannot at present confirm how this urgent requirement to leave placements may affect your professional programme requirements as we need to consult with the RCVS. Please bear with us whilst we seek further clarification. We will provide a further update on this by Friday 27th March 2020.

  1. Yesterday, there was some confusion around my communications and I apologise for the lack of clarity and in some cases, cross-emailing in the late evening. 
  2. Taking on board your feedback, we are looking to modify the arrangements whereby you need not return to empty rooms yourselves given the Government‘s ruling on non-essential travel.
  3. We also are recognising that there are several different arrangements in place with regard to occupancy. Our current proposal is to offer a sliding scale of reductions from 25% to 100% for
  4. RVC-owned accommodation, or where it was booked through us.
    Given the significant financial impact on the RVC, we are seeking approval from Council which meets tomorrow morning.
  5. Please do not email about this as I cannot provide anything further yet.  I will update you as soon as I can.

We appreciate that the whole situation is causing disruption and hardship for many and that every facet of the RVC is affected. Every new Government announcement brings new challenges, but we will work to ensure we remain sustainable as we support all our community as best we can.

As ever,


Message for all Post-graduate Research Students  - 24th March 2020

Further to the Prime Minister’s announcement and the Principal’s email last night, we have taken the decision that we need to close the research laboratories for all activities with immediate effect. I realise this will be difficult for a number of you who are in the middle of experiments you consider essential for completing your thesis work but this is a national emergency to which we must respond responsibly.  We do want to reiterate the reassurance we sent out last week to all research students regarding their degree programmes and advice we gave at that stage, much of which is still relevant. 

  • Please continue to liaise closely with your supervisor over specific arrangements regarding your PhD and working from home as productively as possible.  We fully appreciate that these restrictions will affect each student in differing ways, depending on the nature and stage of your project. 
  • As the labs are now closed, if you have outstanding lab work that is the only remaining aspect of your thesis work that needs completing, discuss how essential this work is to your thesis, how long it will take and how this fits in with the revised time line for your thesis
  • Contingency plans should be discussed with your supervisor and, where necessary, put into place to ensure that you complete your PhD within the stated studentship period.  If productivity is impeded due to the current situation, it is imperative that any delays are well documented and the impact on progress clearly outlined.  This should be shared with the Graduate school at the earliest opportunity.  The College will view such delays sympathetically and ensure that research students are helped to progress to completion and discuss possible options with the funding bodies where needed.  A recent statement released by the UKRI can be found here.    
  • It is our intention that viva voces go ahead as planned.  These will be conducted remotely where the student and examiners are in agreement.

Please ensure that your emergency contact details are current and that you regularly check the information on COVID-19 here on the RVC website and Intranet, each of which is reviewed daily.  

Please do bear in mind that this is a fluid situation that is changing on a daily basis and we will therefore be reviewing all advice on a regular basis and communicate with you and your supervisors as and when appropriate.  Please keep in regular contact with your supervisor over this period. 

Kind regards

Jonathan Elliott and Kristien Verheyen

New requirements for Staff as per PM's announcement - 23 March 2020

You will, I am sure have seen, heard or read the news and the Prime Minister's announcement. It is a game changer in many ways but is also an evolution of the precautions and plans we have been putting in place.

We will have a fuller interpretation tomorrow (Tuesday) but it is clear that if you can work from home you must. There are some exceptions and we are seeking to clarify these.

You can travel to work if your role or activity is essential to the business and you cannot do that activity from home. This would include but would not necessarily be limited to those providing:

  • safety or security roles
  • essential animal care
  • emergency or urgent care to patients
  • essential systems maintenance, cleaning or infrastructure operational support
  • essential transactional and business processes that cannot be done from home

The key in each case is that you MUST maintain distance even if you have to come into work - No sitting, drinking, eating or socialising together.

We will issue more guidance as we can. You should contact your line manager or Hospital Director if you are in any doubt as to whether you should be coming in - but please remember they will be acting, for now, only on the basis of information that is generally available. The default is that you work from home, as per the Prime Minister's direction.

I realise this is a difficult development but one that I am sure will limit the spread of the virus for the benefit of us all. We have a duty to play our part in helping in the control effort and seeing this thing through.

Very many thanks for your continued co-operation.



Message from Principal 23rd March 2020

As I have been saying over the last week or so, our advice will be updated in a number of places. With each issue, I post the new message in my blog and as an email; it also appears on – and the team are doing an outstanding job on the inter and intranet to ensure the latest advice is then transferred to the individual headings that are specific to the different groups in the RVC – you do not need to go fishing through my messages for the most up-to-date information.

Here is today’s update.

Situation at the RVC

Further to my posting yesterday, we have been notified of a second confirmed infection.

  1. The student has not been on campus since 13th March.
  2. The student was in Mary Brancker House until 18th March but had no contact with other students.
  3. The student left the UK on 18th March and was tested positive 20th March.
  4. The student is currently without symptoms.
  5. On this basis we consider the onward transmission from this student to be unlikely. We remain vigilant for other cases, but it is possible the infection was acquired during travel.

Restaurants and cafés

Further to the warning I provided on Friday, I can now confirm that:

  1. We are moving towards closing café facilities.
  2. Restaurants will remain open but will be for take-away service only.
  3. For snacking and soft-drinks we are advising you to bring your own if you are required to come into work; we intend to scale back vending machines given the risks for transmission of viruses at these facilities.
  4. We will be issuing guidance on prioritisation of cooked food services – those who are in accommodation and those required to attend work will be receiving first consideration.
  5. Where possible and to keep interaction to a minimum please consider eating at home wherever possible.

Working from home

  1. Just a reminder that where possible and in agreement with line managers, people who can work from home should now be doing so.
  2. Note that there will still be a requirement for individuals to attend work where their roles cannot be conducted from home. We ask for your patience and flexibility in keeping the RVC functional – we all need to make an effort in this regard and we will consider all manner of flexible working to allow this to happen.

NAVLE – testing 2020

The International Council for Veterinary Assessment (ICVA) have updated their information regarding the April schedule of the North American Veterinary License Exam NAVLE) testing window.

  1. The latest information can be found on the NAVLE website
  2. Students registered to take the NAVLE during the April testing window can defer taking the test until the 16th November – 12th December 2020 testing window at no additional cost.
  3. Testing Centers worldwide will be closed from now until 15th April.
  4. The ICVA have sent a message to all NAVLE candidates informing them of the current situation and students currently scheduled for 13th, 14th, or 15th April to let them know that they have authorised extensions of the testing window in order to facilitate rescheduling.
  5. For queries or support with NAVLE contact


Thank you to those students who have responded to our surveys with regard to your intentions. We recognise that some of you will choose to stay. We will continue to support you regardless of your decision.

  1. For those of you who are choosing to leave:
    • In line with some other universities, should you choose or have chosen to leave we will not charge you for term 3 accommodation fees of the 2020/21 academic year (1st April 2020 until the end of your contract date), providing you:
      • depart from your room and hall of residence no later than 23:59hrs on Tuesday 31st March 2020;
      • notify us of your departure
      • return your key(s) and/or access keys/fobs and hall ID cards
      • clear your room of all belongings.
  2. For those of you who have already left:
    • For students that have already departed and notified us, cleared your room and handed in your keys/fobs – we will cancel charges from 1st April 2020.
  3. For those of you who have already departed, but could not clear all of your belongings:
    • In order for you not to be charged for term 3 of the 2020/21 academic year, you will need to ensure that you have cleared your room of all belongings by 1st April.
    • Some may wish to give permission for their friends/relatives to clear the room on your behalf – we will work with you to ensure this can happen.
    • We are also happy to assist in clearing your room and putting belongings into storage. Please contact the Accommodation Office. We will work with you to ensure this can happen.
  4. Your deposit (if there are no fees outstanding) will be refunded. We are working on the mechanism and timing for this.

Note that we will provide more specific advice within the next 48 hours.


As we deal with the immediate issues day-by-day we will be moving our efforts to ensure that our contingencies in the mid-term are robust and that our ability to resource the changes required is secure. Clearly, with the pandemic picture changing daily we may have a need to reshuffle priorities and defer some projects as we bring others forward.

Please be assured that we are doing everything that we can to ensure we all remain as safe as possible, that we contribute to the national effort in controlling the epidemic and that we keep the RVC running and ready to respond, providing a “place” of work and study both now and whenever these challenges abate.

With all best wishes


Message from Principal 22nd of March 2020

I am writing to you with several important updates.

Self-isolation, shielding and protecting vulnerable people

  1. There is important new guidance issued by government here.
  2. It relates to actions you are advised to take and arrangements that you should put in place if you belong to one of the groups considered to be extremely vulnerable on medical grounds.
  3. The definition of "extremely vulnerable on medical grounds” is laid out in the advice but the posting also makes clear that it is a decision for the individual.
  4. We cannot provide advice to you on this matter. If you have questions, they should be directed towards NHS 111 or your own medical doctor if they are providing advice.

The situation at the RVC

  1. Many things have changed in the last week and we are trying to ensure that all our information is timely, transparent, current, consistent and concise, as well as observing our legal requirements with regard to regulation and individual confidentiality. With respect to the status of COVID-19 within the RVC community:
  2. Several people are self-isolating because they believe they have had contact with someone who has COVID-19. 
  3. A number of people are self-isolating because they have mild respiratory signs.
  4. A very small number of people are off work ill with more severe respiratory signs that may, or may not be COVID-19; as the Government is not testing, it is impossible to say whether they are COVID-19 positive or not; there is a good chance some will be.
  5. We have, over the weekend, learned that one student who currently has mild signs has tested positive for COVID-19.
    1. The student has been off campus since 6th March except for a brief visit on 11th March.
    2. The signs began on 18th March.
    3. As far as we can gather, although individuals may be positive for longer, most are only infective in the 1-2 days immediately before clinical signs are evident.
    4. Given timelines and as this is a single case, there is every chance this infection was acquired away from the RVC.
    5. The student has acted very responsibly, is self-isolating, has told friends and contacts, and has alerted us.
    6. To the best of our knowledge, none of those in contact on 11th March – over 10 days ago - have shown signs.
  6. What action do you need to take? None, other than to remain vigilant and follow hygiene recommendations.
  7. With regard to this case please do not contact the Advice Centre or email me as we cannot provide any further specific details.    

Graduation and the Graduation ceremony

We did indicate we’d try and clarify whether or not our July Graduation Ceremony would go ahead and we apologise for being 48 hours late with this advice

  1. We are postponing the graduation ceremony scheduled for this July. This does not affect your ability to “graduate”. In our system, it is the official posting of results that is the event that formally signals you have successfully obtained a degree. We will endeavour to hold a celebratory event at some time in the future
  2. I realise how upsetting this will be for many of you – as it is for us. It was a very difficult decision. Please understand that our priority is your safety and we want to provide you with clarity to be able to plan as best you can.

Professional declaration and registration with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

  1. The RCVS have advised that the declaration and admission to the Register will be carried out remotely/online/digitally-enabled where necessary. 
  2. They are working with the Veterinary Schools Council which represents all the UK schools to establish a protocol suitable for each school.
  3. You will not need to attend in person to register.  

Our gyms

In line with Government statements, with regret our gyms will be closed from 12 noon on Monday until further notice. We will be posting advice on walking, running, cycling and home exercise in the coming days - hopefully, as the weather improves, there will be greater opportunities for getting outside.  Enjoy the sunshine today.

Best wishes


Message from Professor Stuart Reid 20th March 2020


Of all topics, these have been the most complex and created the most confusion. Note that they are not entirely under our control, but we have leave to do what we deem necessary under our own curriculum. Here is the current advice – it is subject to change.  We will issue clarification on any issues early next week.


  1. For all pre-clinical students (BVetMed1, BVetMed2, GAB, Gateway and intercalating BVetMed students): No new AHEMS bookings will be approved for the Easter period.
  2. You are still not permitted to book and attend AHEMS placements for term time, when you should be completing course work online.
  3. AHEMS bookings for summer placements are currently being processed; this situation may change.
  4. Note that we have relaxed our restriction on where AHEMS takes place. You may book AHEMS outside the UK in the summer break if it is safe and convenient for you, notwithstanding any local restrictions.

NB: The intent of all these points is to remove from you any obligation or encouragement to do AHEMS or EMS for the foreseeable future that may place you or communities at risk of viral infection.  The Government guidelines are very clear – non-essential travel is to be avoided and social distancing is a requirement. We need to encourage you to follow these guidelines – they may become law.

Clinical EMS Update for BVM3 and BVM4

  1. Booked EMS, or EMS that you have commenced, may be completed if safe to do so and this will count towards your total weeks.
  2. You may continue to gain clinical experience, if it is safe for you to do so, but this will not, as things stand, be recorded formally as weeks of EMS towards your total. This recognises that some may have access and others may not.
  3. Therefore, EMS can still be booked, but will be registered as ‘experience only’.  There will be no limit on ‘experience only’ weeks of EMS overseas.
  4. This means for BVetMed 4 students, if you are unable to attend IMR, you can use this time to gain clinical experience.
  5. For BVetMed 3 students, you are NOT able to gain clinical experience during term time, as you will be expected to be engaged in completing coursework online.
  6. Note that we have relaxed our restriction on where EMS takes place. You may do EMS outside the UK if it is safe and convenient for you, notwithstanding any local restrictions.
  7. We will update this as we get clarification and as the advice from RCVS changes. 

NB: The intent of all these points is to remove from you any obligation or encouragement to do AHEMS or EMS for the foreseeable future that may place you or communities at risk of viral infection.  The Government guidelines are very clear – non-essential travel is to be avoided and social distancing is a requirement. We need to encourage you to follow these guidelines – they may become law. 

Please - we don’t have a crystal ball and as the pandemic progresses, these guidelines will undoubtedly change several times.

BvetMed Finals

Rumours surrounding the Finals being “harder” as they may be open book are nonsense.  As I said in my last message, we will get details out as soon as we can.

VN placements

  1. As mentioned yesterday, this has been clarified.
  2. The link to the RCVS statement is here:


  1. If you are in a non-graduating year, you will progress to the next year. Where possible we will administer a formative assessment. Regardless of the formative assessment, those with resits in this position will need to understand that they will need to seek support to address performance in the coming year.
  2. If you are in a graduating year, there will be a summative assessment, but it will be delivered by remote access online. We do not yet know the exact timing or format.

Degree classifications

  1. We have not received guidance on this matter and have not decided how degree classifications will be decided.
  2. We have an emergency paper with Academic Board that will allow us significant flexibility in allowing people to graduate on schedule. 

Campus services 

With the reduced number of people on campus and to protect those working in these services, it is very likely that we will be reviewing how we support those on campus. We will be making these decisions early next week.

  1. People should prepare for the fact that services will be altered or reduced (e.g.  catering and bus services).
  2. People should prepare for the potential suspension of non-essential services (e.g. library and gym access).

US Federal Loans 

  1. We have received advice that those in receipt of US Federal Loans will have these loans honoured.
  2. We have received advice that tuition may be provided at distance and online.


We are working through arrangements to assist those leaving RVC accommodation with no intent of returning before the end of the academic year. Please bear with us on this issue, particularly around finances.


Working from home and other issues

Staff will have received an email from the COO and Heads of Academic Departments with important guidelines for working in the coming months. Based on our values and agreed behaviours, it recognises that this is not easy for anyone and we all must share the burdens and challenges we face as equitably as we can. I commend it to you.


You will have been alerted to a FAQ/Q&A prepared by HR. The really useful resources can be found here  

New curriculum

An email from Professor Boswood outlines why we have decided to defer implementing the significant changes for a year. I am sure no one is surprised given the effort that is being invested in changing the way in which we work and deliver our teaching, as well as anticipating significant staff absences over the coming months.


Safety and security

A wee reminder that we all have slightly altered responsibilities – with many fewer people around on our campuses, we need to be vigilant be that for fire, accidents or security related issues. You will all have received an email regarding fire safety.


It’s been a week like no other in my professional life. One of the busiest, one of the most demanding, one of the most stressful but, ironically, one of the most rewarding. Witnessing the entire community of the RVC pulling together has been a humbling experience; we have a long way to go on this one, but with your continued patience, understanding and commitment, we will be just grand. Enjoy the weekend whether it is self-isolating, social-distancing, with loved ones, indoors, in the garden, online to friends or trying to get Netflix to work properly….  

In your debt,


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