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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update for students – 26 May 2021

Dear Students,

Key points

  • Remember that COVID-19 is still present and we must all carefully observe the Government guidelines and hygiene measures.
  • The Festival of Discovery is here with a wealth of activities for you to join. Check the programme and book your places now.
  • You can also Discover the Students’ Union, Give It A Go with the Students’ Guild or join the Respect Festival on Campus
  • We’re urging all of our students to take up the offer of getting a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can
  • Don’t forget to pick up your COVID-19 home test kit and test yourself regularly at home
  • For the week beginning 17 May, the number of positive cases on our campuses was 0.0
  • We are beginning the process of moving furniture back to our Exeter campuses, which means Car Park B will be unavailable for parking for some time
  • Remember that our Wellbeing Services are available whenever you need them

Full message

This week we have welcomed students and staff to our campuses for the Festival of Discovery and it has been great to see so many of you here. We are also enjoying being able to meet friends and loved ones once again. However COVID-19 is still present, and we must continue to work together as a community to protect each other.

We must follow the Government guidelines and observe the basic hygiene measures:

  • Wash your HANDS.
  • Cover your FACE.
  • Give other people SPACE.
  • Meet in the FRESH AIR.

In the current phase of the Government’s COVID-19 restrictions, we are able to meet in larger groups than previously. However, the restrictions remain in place and we must be mindful and observant of these at all times.

  • Indoors you may meet in a group of up to 6, or of two households
  • Outdoors you may meet in a group of up to 30 people
  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you must get a test and self-isolate at home

Social distancing measures and maximum capacity numbers are still in place in spaces on our campuses – please follow the guidance in each area. By continuing to follow the rules, we protect each other and we can hope to see further lifting of restrictions.

Join the Festival of Discovery

Our Festival of Discovery opened on Monday and will run until Friday 4June. I hope that many of you have already taken the opportunity to come to the campuses to join some of the sessions that have opened the programme. There’s still time to book for some of the fantastic forthcoming events including, keynotes from our Vice-Chancellor Professor Lisa Roberts who will introduce us to her varied career, from Professor Andy Jones on how the 2-hour marathon barrier was broken and from Professor Pete Vukusic on how bio-inspiration is leading to new technologies. 

There’s a wealth of other activities across the campuses too including free gym sessions, wellbeing and mindfulness activities, digital skills sessions and language taster sessions. From workshops about science and communication, visual story-telling and the Cornish language to campus discovery tours and growing your own wild flowers, there’s something for everyone. Over 130 events are also available online so you can join even if you aren’t able to come to our campuses.

To find out more about the events and how to book your place at

Discover The Students’ Union
To coincide with the Festival of Discovery, the Students’ Union in Cornwall are running their student-led ‘Discover The SU' programme for both Falmouth University and University of Exeter Cornwall students. This is your chance to enjoy a variety of on-campus events and discover what The SU has to offer. Many student groups will be hosting activities for you to join, alongside special events from the SU. There’s even crazy golf! 

Give it a Go with your Students' Guild

Your Students' Guild Give it a Go campaign launches this week as part of the Festival of Discovery from 24 May – 4 June. After a long year of lockdowns and zoom calls, your Guild are pleased to offer you the opportunity to meet again in-person for a range of exciting activities and events. From live music and games, to fitness classes and guest speakers, there are lots for you to get involved with! Go to the website for more information and to see all the events that you definitely don’t want to miss.

Respect Festival on Campus 

Join us for the Exeter Respect on Campus Festival, taking place virtually this week, from Monday 24 May to Thursday 27 May 2021. Returning for the third time, the festival marks our commitment to equality and inclusion. To see what's on and book a place, check out the webpage.

COVID-19 vaccinations – virtual student Q&A event with NHS vaccine experts

We’re urging all of our students to take up the offer of getting a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you are contacted by the NHS.

The vaccine is over 80% effective at reducing the likelihood of hospitalisation - it will help protect you and help keep our whole University community safe. It doesn’t matter where you’re registered with a GP, at University or at home, you’ll be contacted as soon as vaccination places for your age range open up.

We’re holding a virtual student Q&A event, with NHS vaccine experts, on Thursday 10 June, 6-7pm, so you can find out more about the vaccination programme and ask any questions you may have. An invitation, which will include a link to join the event, will be sent out shortly so please save the date and look out for this email. We’re also running a short online survey to help us to understand how you feel about getting vaccinated, provide you with an opportunity to raise any questions you have in advance, and understand whether there are any specific areas you’d like us to focus on during the event.

The short survey only takes 2-3 minutes to complete and will be open until 5pm on Tuesday 1 June.

Don’t forget to pick up COVID-19 home test kit
You can now test yourself regularly in your own home by collecting a home test kit from our collection points on our Streatham, Penryn and St Luke’s campuses.

For students in Cornwall, you’ll need to book a time to pick up your kit from the Penryn Sports Centre or Falmouth Camus Reception. For students in Exeter, there are a number of collection points where you can drop in and collect your kit – please check the website for collection points and opening times.

If you haven’t taken a test before, please book three tests at your nearest test centre before collecting your home test kit. This will ensure you understand how to take your test and get the most accurate result.

You must report your home test results to the Government’s online LFD result registration. Details on how to do this and what to do if you test positive, can be found on our testing website.

Remember, if you have any symptoms of COVID-19, the test you need is different. Please contact our Rapid Response Hub to book your HALO/PCR test. For more info on testing and FAQs, visit our testing website.

COVID-19 case numbers

The overall rate of positive results on our campuses and across the region remains very low, and once again there have been no positive cases on our campuses over the last 7 days. The University compiles data provided by Public Health England and HALO to produce statistics on the number of confirmed positive cases for students and staff. The latest data can be found on our COVID-19 statistics web page. For the week beginning 17 May, the number of positive cases was 0.0.

Furniture Returns Project

Over the summer vacation months a large scale furniture moving project is taking place on our Streatham and St Luke’s campuses. Some 10,000 items that were removed in summer 2020 to help with social distancing will be delivered back to the buildings and rooms they came from.

There will be a marquee on Car Park B to house furniture arrival and dispatch. Car Park B will be unavailable for parking from Wednesday 26 May to Friday 24 September. 

Your wellbeing

As ever, please remember that our wellbeing services are available whenever you might need them. Please do contact them if you need support.

The Festival of Discovery includes opportunities for you to rediscover sport by joining us on one of our campuses for a wide range of sporting activities. You can book your events now. Please do get involved with this and the many other wellbeing-related activities on offer.

Best wishes



Mike Shore-Nye
Registrar and Secretary