A statement from Northumbria Students’ Union President, Emmanuel Kabengele

Monday 5 October

The Union is here to represent and stand up for students and we’ve been working hard, alongside the University and the Council, to create an environment where students can not only safely access the education they came here for but enjoy life on campus too.

We’ve adapted the use of our buildings and the services we provide to ensure that students enjoy a great start to their university experience, whilst taking every precaution to limit the spread of the virus.

In cases when students are testing positive we're pleased to be able to support safe isolation, with our student volunteers assisting with grocery deliveries to accommodation and by enabling virtual attendance to our society events!

Wednesday 30 September

Together with the University we have been driving campaigns with our students prior to, and since, their arrival in the City to ensure all of our members are confident that their health, safety and access to education are our priority.

Yesterday, we were pleased that in the Education Secretary’s statement he acknowledged that universities have followed government guidance around COVID-19 in a responsible way, enabling students to begin their studies whilst keeping themselves, their friends and the local community safe.

We are proud to have rolled out a meticulously planned programme of activities for Freshers’ Week, adapting our events to ensure that new students enjoy a great start to their university experience, whilst taking every precaution to limit the spread of the virus.

This included the introduction of a Freshers Fair hosted entirely online, enabling students to join societies and sports teams virtually; running our on-campus bar with 100% table service and online ordering system, and hosting outdoor cinema screenings, keeping attendees safely distanced.

In order to ensure that our campuses are Covid-secure, we have made a number of physical changes, including: measures enabling social distancing, one way systems, defined points of access, signage, socially distanced catering outlets, hand sanitisation points and enhanced cleaning regimes.  To further encourage good hygiene on campus, the University has also provided all students and staff with a care pack, including reusable face coverings and hand sanitiser.

Ultimately the Union is here to stand up for students, providing opportunities for our members to enhance their time spent at Northumbria and in our local community. We know it’s not necessarily the start that they expected but we have full confidence in the measures that have been taken to welcome them and keep them safe.