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Student ''bubbles" could be formed as part of Staffordshire University plans to reopen campus

Students at Staffordshire University could have to live with others on their course, as part of plans to create safe housing solutions when they return.

There are set to be fewer people living in halls of residence, so students have plenty of room and to reduce potential risk of infection.

It means allocating accommodation to students undertaking similar courses to create protected ‘bubbles’ or households.

Director of Library and Student Services Ian Munton explained: “While the new controls will restrict movement in and out of student households, they do not limit interactions with other students elsewhere on campus or outside, although we expect all students to observe social distancing guidance.

“We will be ensuring that all students have an opportunity to study on campus and this will be supported by high quality on-line learning. We will update new and existing students as further information and guidance is confirmed.”

Vice-Chancellor Professor Liz Barnes CBE was part of a Universities UK press briefing this week which aimed to inform how universities across the sector are planning for a return to learning and teaching in September.

She said; “The health and wellbeing of our University community has to be our number one priority and in common with other universities throughout the sector, we are creating a framework in which students can live and study in supportive learning environment which limits the risk of infection.

"At the same time we have to ensure a first class University experience and that remains our intention.”

The university has already said that all lectures will be delivered virtually during the first semester in the autumn.

It is also planning to welcome people back onto campus in a phased manner, delivering a selection of on-site activities – such as teaching in smaller groups – within a COVID-secure learning environment.

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