This is an open letter from Mr Martin Lupton, Vice-Dean of Education to taught students in the Faculty of Medicine and their loved-ones.
Dear Students and their friends and families,
My eldest son has recently returned to University in the UK and, even though I work in both the health and education sector, I have to acknowledge that I have a certain level of anxiety about him. It is very difficult to read the news about all that has happened during this time of COVID and not to worry.
I am telling you this because I want you to understand that I have some inkling of what you may be feeling right now, particularly if you come from overseas or your daughter, son or relation, has just started their university life. The first thing I want to say is “Welcome to the Faculty of Medicine”. We are very proud of what we have achieved during this global pandemic; the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College has been a key player contributing to the world’s understanding of the virus, the mapping of the virus, teaching people about the virus and developing a new vaccine. However, that is not all that we have been doing.
Early on in the pandemic, we made the decision that we should try and deliver as much of the practical elements of our courses, through face-to-face teaching, as was safe given the current UK government guidance. We have also worked exceptionally hard to create programmes of education that deliver the learning objectives that are critical to our degrees whatever the circumstances. In other words, if we have to, we have ensured we can deliver our courses in the face of periods of total lockdown. We have already written to all our students about this setting out the details.
Alongside the College, we have also worked to ensure that our campus is as safe as possible as well as our Halls of Residence. There is a great deal of information about these plans and it is available on the following web pages, which are continually updated: imperial.ac.uk/about/covid-19
These are going to be challenging times, but if we respect and care for one another and follow our code of conduct, I am sure “all will be well and all will be well and all manner of things shall be well” (a quote from Julian of Norwich (1342-1416) who was credited with being the first woman to write a book in English).
The year ahead will definitely be memorable and I am sure it will be worthwhile. Please be confident that the entire Faculty and I are committed to the wellbeing of our students, not only in terms of their safety but also their education and learning.
With every best wish,
Mr Martin Lupton
Vice Dean (Education)
Faculty of Medicine