Support for those observing Ramadan

New advice to support staff and students observing Ramadan this year over the period Sunday 5 May – Tuesday 4 June has been produced by the Equality Policy Unit (EPU).

We are keen to provide a safe and inclusive environment, as well as appropriate facilities and arrangements, to ensure Muslim staff and students are able to observe Ramadan alongside their studying, working and living on campus.

The briefing on the observance of Ramadan 2019 has been written in response to requests from colleagues asking for guidance on how to support staff and students during Ramadan – a period of fasting expected to run from Sunday 5 May to Tuesday 4 June. The exact dates could vary one day either side, depending on the moon sightings based on the lunar calendar.

The briefing provides practical information on the significance of this period, what it involves, arrangements in place on campus, contact details of relevant staff and further sources of information, advice and guidance.

The arrangements we have in place this year include:

  • two main Islamic prayer areas in the Green Room (located beside the Edge Sports Centre and Cemetery Lodge, adjacent to the Faculty of Engineering buildings), which are open 24 hours a day during Ramadan (access is controlled by key codes, which can be obtained from EPU)
  • support from our Chaplaincy Team
  • talks, information, advice, guidance and support from our Muslim Student Adviser, Farhat Yaqoob, who can also be contacted on 0113 343 5071
  • support from the Muslim Staff Network, chaired by Sharif Patel who can be contacted on 0113 343 0757; and
  • advice, support and guidance to managers, staff and students from the Equality Policy Unit, which can also be contacted on 0113 343 6973.

Facilities and services are also available at the nearby Grand Mosque in Leeds.

This year, we also have an overlap of the Muslim festival of Eid – celebrated at the end of Ramadan – with our summer exam period (expected to be 4-6 June). Where students or Schools have already notified us of their preference for the timing of exams during Ramadan and/or their celebration of Eid, we have accommodated as many morning exams as possible and also avoided scheduling them for Muslim students on the 4 and 5 June.  

If any student has further concerns, please direct them to their Taught Student office, which will liaise with the Exams Office to see what can be done. Please be aware the exam timetable is now set and is very tight, so we are unable to guarantee a favourable position.  

The Equality Policy Unit has developed a range of other guides on the major faith communities in the UK, as well as a religious festival and events calendar.

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