Universities UK, Independent HE and the Association of Colleges have worked together to publish joint principles to support the continuation of effective collaborative teaching partnerships as the sector responds to the impact of Covid-19 on academic provision.
As the UK begins to recover from the disruption of the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it is imperative that its universities can emerge from lockdown safely and in line with guidance from governments, public health advice and health and safety legislation.
It is not an exhaustive list, nor a prescriptive set of rules, but covers a range of priority issues for universities.
The principles are complemented with examples and guidance of effective practice which others may seek to learn from or replicate. The suggestions are not intended to be exhaustive and given the differences in partnership arrangements, it will be up to partners to consider how these might apply to their contexts and regulatory requirements.
- Student and staff safety and wellbeing should be central to all decisions providers take in respect of their partnership arrangements and they should be informed by public health and governments’ advice where relevant.
- Partnerships should be based on timely two-way information sharing with attention paid to the different levels and departments within providers that are making decisions on the COVID-19 response.
- Partners should seek and develop opportunities to collaborate to facilitate the best possible outcomes for students, protect quality and standards across validated and sub-contracted provision, and develop strategies for maintaining an effective partnership relationship.
- Partners should embrace flexibility where changes to existing processes might be needed to ensure decisions can be taken and communicated quickly and planning commence without undue delay.
- Partners should agree communication plans for students to ensure decisions and any changes to planned provision are communicated quickly and with clarity, and to make sure students know where to access support and information.