UCL News


Important update on Term 2 teaching

17 December 2021

In line with UK Government guidance, UCL campus will remain open for face-to-face teaching in Term 2, with most larger lectures continuing online.


I am writing to you with an important update following recent announcements from the UK Government on the Omicron variant and new COVID-19 safety measures. 

UCL’s University Management Committee has met to discuss the recent changes in government rules and how this may impact UCL.  

Face-to-face teaching in Term 2 

Our priorities are to keep you as safe as possible, minimise the risks on campus, and follow the UK Government’s guidance. These are uncertain times, and the scientific and public health data are still unclear as to the impact and consequences of the Omicron variant. What we can be sure about is that the start of term will be anything but normal with all of us, staff and students alike, facing some disruption. 

The advice from government is that universities should remain open for face-to-face education and learning support. That is also the advice from our own Public Health experts. This means that all of you, including those based overseas, should plan to travel to campus for face-to-face teaching in Term 2 unless you are on a remote learning pathway. 

Whilst the number of COVID-19 cases is rising throughout the UK, the UK has a highly vaccinated population of staff and students and recent data show that having a booster increases your protection against the Omicron variant of COVID-19. Everyone aged 18 or over in the UK is encouraged get a COVID-19 booster dose before the New Year. Please get your vaccination or booster dose as soon as you can.  

UCL’s International Student Support webpages have more information on the advice and support available as you prepare to arrive to London, including quarantining information, the information about student vaccinations, as well as orientation activities available to you as a new or returning international student. 

Anticipated disruption to campus-based learning 

It is likely that there will still be considerable COVID-19 disruption globally at the start of January. Some students based overseas may struggle to join us in London in the first few days of term due to coronavirus travel restrictions and disruptions. We also expect there will be some disruption for many already in the UK, who may become unwell or need to self-isolate for short periods of time. If you are affected by these circumstances, we will support you as best we can to keep up with your studies through a range of resources until you can join or re-join us in person.  

Your department is working hard to ensure your programme will have these plans in place to minimise disruption. They anticipate that they will be able to provide some flexibility for the first 2-3 weeks of term in most programmes. They will be in touch with you early in the New Year to let you know how you can keep up with your studies if your arrival is delayed or you are unable to attend face-to-face activities in person for short periods of time.  

Keeping safe on campus 

You can still access facilities and services on campus, including UCL Libraries and Support & Wellbeing, although some will be operating reduced hours over the winter break. See what support and services are open during the holiday period 

You must not come to campus if you are unwell or have been asked to self-isolate. 

Please remember: 

Further support 

The health and wellbeing of everyone at UCL is our top priority. Our own Public Health experts are meeting regularly and we will continue to follow their advice and ensure we implement the appropriate measures to best protect staff and students. 

We understand that this is an incredibly uncertain time for everyone and the rising number of coronavirus cases will make people anxious. If you would like to talk to someone in confidence about your situation or how the pandemic is affecting you, please get in touch with UCL’s Student Support and Wellbeing team. 

Please check the UK Government and NHS websitesas well as UCL’s coronavirus information hub, for the latest information, especially if you are planning to travel over the winter break. 

Wishing you a good festive break, 

Professor Deborah Gill,
Vice-Provost (Education & Student Experience)