Response to COVID-19: Michaelmas term 2020-2021

Newnham College aims to remain a supportive community for all its members. We need our spirit of kindness, courage and solidarity in these new circumstances, as much as ever.

The latter part of the academic year 2019-20 was immensely difficult for all our members, and the circumstances people faced were very different. Our academics and our staff, our undergraduate and postgraduate students showed their flexibility, resilience, and courage under immense pressure.

As we begin Michaelmas term 2020, we look forward to a year which will continue to have challenges, and that will continue to deal with the global impact of COVID-19. However, this will not be all that we see.

Our studies, research and discoveries will continue. We will continue to work to address environmental sustainability, racism, unconscious bias and all forms of harassment. We are determined that College will be lively and supportive, and that it will build enduring friendships.

This webpage includes useful links and information for Newnham College members regarding the University and College’s response to COVID-19 for the academic year 2020-21.

Key information for all College members is now being sent out on a weekly basis from the COVID Communications email address: please look out for these mails and read them carefully. They will also be archived on the new College Health Information SharePoint site.

University Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpages

Please refer to the University webpages for up to date information for all students of the University of Cambridge.

These pages represent the central definitive resource for University information on COVID-19 – please check it frequently.

We’d also strongly encourage you to look at the #StaySafeCambridgeUni website, and to follow the guidance shared there.

For information about the Disability Resource Centre, please see their own website.

Newnham’s Principles for the pandemic

Newnham’s Governing Body has agreed the following principles to guide us during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will:

      • Govern and organise ourselves effectively.
      • Enable the flourishing of students, fellowship, staff and other members of the SCR in very difficult circumstances.
      • Generate opportunities for intergenerational and interdisciplinary academic conversations.
      • Remain supportive, enabling and friendly.
      • Learn new virtual techniques which we can use going forward, and be open to new ways of doing things where the virtual cannot simulate the real.
      • Plan flexibly in accordance with the University scenarios so that we can respond appropriately to changes in Government rules and advice.
      • Communicate (including listening) well in a time of continued uncertainty.

College Code of Conduct

For everyone’s safety and wellbeing, and to meet our legal obligations, Newnham College must require our students, staff and Fellows to sign up to a code of conduct. We have done all we can to make this appropriate, fair and effective in this exceptional pandemic context. It has been produced after consultation with representatives from all parts of the College. It is a living document, and will develop over the course of the academic year 2020-21, in response to the changing situation and University and Government guidance.

Students will receive a copy of the College Code of Conduct (student version) with their room license.

A current copy of the Code of Conduct, including any updates, will be available on the Health Information SharePoint site.

Newnham Health Information SharePoint site for all members of College

Our Health Information SharePoint site brings together College guidance on COVID-19 for all members of the College.

This includes information on what to do if you feel ill, looking after your mental wellbeing, and copies of all COVID email communications.

It is available from the start of Michaelmas term 2020.

Guidance from the Student Loan Company

For information from the Student Loan Company, please see their guidance for current students and guidance for prospective students.

Information for international students

For questions around travel, visas and immigration matters, please start with the University webpages for up to date information.

The #StaySafeCambridgeUni website has specific guidance for people travelling to Cambridge from overseas.

All students should check their email accounts regularly for information shared by the College, Department or Faculty, and the University.

Newnham College has been in contact with all our international students about their plans for the next academic year, travel, our guidelines and support around quarantine, etc. Everyone’s situation is slightly different, so please continue to keep in touch with tutors and tutorial office.

In the event of a further lockdown

In the case of a second or local lockdown, the University and the colleges will, as ever, be guided by the advice of PHE and the country’s legislation. Within these limits, all colleges are committed to providing accommodation to all students, on a case-by-case basis, who do not have any other home to go to, for example care-leavers, estranged students, and UK or international students who cannot travel to their own home town/country due to local travel restrictions. (These examples are not exclusive; all Colleges would do their best to help every student who have very good reasons for remaining in college.)

At Newnham, we are able to go beyond this and are planning on the basis that we would manage any future lockdown with all those students who wish to stay remaining in college, as long as this is possible under PHE advice and we can manage it safely. Students who remain in college in this event will have to comply with whatever Government lockdown rules are brought into effect.

Information for new undergraduates and graduates

We’re very much looking forward to welcoming you to Newnham College and the University of Cambridge. The Tutorial Office will have been in contact with you about your arrival at Cambridge: please do read over all the information they share carefully.

We’d also strongly encourage you to look at the #StaySafeCambridgeUni website, and to follow the guidance shared there:

You may also find the University webpages helpful for up to date, official information.

Information for supervisors

Useful material and guidelines for all those teaching remotely has been created by Cambridge Centre for Teaching and Learning, including specific guidance for moving supervisions online. This includes useful guidance on the IT choices you might make. If you need support accessing the recommended software and have not been given access via your Department, please talk to the College IT team (helpdesk@newn.cam.ac.uk).

The College will have been in touch via email regarding returning to the College buildings (please see below for the latest risk assessment). You will see some changes to the College buildings, and to our usual ways of working, for COVID-19 safety. Before you return, you will need to confirm via email that you have read and will follow the guidance.

We’d also strongly encourage you to look at the #StaySafeCambridgeUni website, and to follow the guidance shared there.

Information for Fellows and Senior Members

The College have been in touch via email regarding returning to the College buildings (please see below for the latest risk assessment). You will see some changes to the College buildings, and to our usual processes, for COVID-19 safety. These include changes to the way in which we use the College Library, the lunch arrangements and the use of the SCR.

Before you return to use your Fellow’s room, you will need to confirm via email that you have read and will follow the guidance.

We’d also strongly encourage you to look at the #StaySafeCambridgeUni website, and to follow the guidance shared there.

Information for Newnham College staff

As staff return to working in the College buildings, your line manager will share the latest College guidelines and risk assessments with you (please see below for the latest risk assessment). You will see some changes to the College buildings, and to our usual ways of working, for COVID-19 safety. Before you return, you will need to confirm via email that you have read and will follow the guidance.

We’d also strongly encourage you to look at the #StaySafeCambridgeUni website, and to follow the guidance shared there.

The different types of work that people carry out and their personal circumstances mean that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. It’s best to discuss your working practices with your line manager.

If you have queries or concerns, please speak to your Head of Department, Bev Gafney, Head of HR, or Wendy Evans, Domestic Bursar.

Risk assessment

Following Government guidelines, we have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment for those working at the College: Working Safely During Coronavirus – Risk Assessment

Every member of staff, including all the Fellows and Senior Members (SMs), who work in the College are to receive a copy of this risk assessment.