25 November eNews

End-of-term arrangements, flu vaccinations, student messages, digital developments, festive fun and more

GFaL picture for eNews. November 2020

End-of-term arrangements for teaching and asymptomatic testing centres

Further to the Government’s recently published guidance, colleagues were emailed on Thursday 19 November with the latest information about end-of-term arrangements at Leeds:

  • Face-to-face teaching will end on Wednesday 9 December, two days before the end of term (Friday 11 December). Online teaching will continue as planned until the end of term.
  • Asymptomatic covid-19 testing centres for students will be available in the Refectory and in The Edge between Monday 30 November and Wednesday 9 December to enable students, if they wish, to leave their term-time address for the winter break in the designated ‘Student Travel Window’.

You can also view the email sent to students outlining end-of-term arrangements

Flu vaccinations

Winter flu virus season is here and we’re encouraging and supporting all colleagues to get vaccinated. If you’re not eligible for a free NHS flu jab, you can still protect yourself by booking a private flu jab and the University will reimburse you up to £14.

Updated data | Coronavirus cases among staff and students

The health and safety of our staff and students is our absolute priority. To support this and to ensure transparency, we are publishing a weekly update on the numbers of positive covid-19 test results, along with a graph that shows the number of active cases during the past two weeks.

Meet our LGBTQ+ role models and allies

To mark the recent Trans Awareness Week and to further raise awareness of trans equality, we’d like to introduce you to some of our LGBTQ+ role models and allies. Read about their personal stories and advice on the small steps you can take to help LGBTQ+ staff and students feel more welcome.

Student messages…

Inside Track | A place where all students belong

Ahead of an online launch event on Friday 27 November, Director of Educational Engagement, Louise Banahene, writes an Inside Track about our new Access and Student Success Strategy 2025, titled ‘A place where all students belong’. A recording of the launch will also be available to all colleagues on For Staff after the event.

Supporting the wellbeing of students

More information about our support for students who may be displaying signs of personal difficulties or distress can be found on the Student Education Service website. You can also access information about our student support services on the coronavirus website.

Student Ideas Fund

We’ve launched a Student Ideas Fund to help bring to life any ideas they may have about making improvements at Leeds. Through this, students can access support, resources and financial help, and it’s a great opportunity for them to become co-collaborators in their education and experience. Please encourage students to take a look at the information on the Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence (LITE) website.


Staff survey responses

Nearly 2,000 of you kindly completed the recent staff survey, which asked how you’re managing and where you might need extra assistance. The Wellbeing, Safety and Health team is currently analysing the responses, and we will email you soon to share the findings and the actions we will take based on your feedback.

Remote access feedback

Do you use the VPN (Junos Pulse) to remotely access University services? We need your feedback to help us understand what it’s used for and why people use the VPN rather than other remote access methods, such as the Virtual Windows Desktop. This is important as we have a limited number of VPN licences and we need to make sure they’re available for colleagues who cannot access the services they need any other way. Please take part in the short VPN survey, which will only take a couple of minutes to complete.

Education Outreach appeal

Are you a parent, carer or key worker of a student in years 11-13, or at college, who’s interested in applying to university? If so, please complete the Education Outreach survey so the team can better understand concerns you might have given the current pandemic, as well as any required support. Anonymous responses will help improve a video for parents on the Education Outreach webpage.

Digital Developments…

Inside Track | Exploring the potential of online education

As part of a new series of Inside Track features, Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Digital Transformation, Professor Neil Morris, looks at exploring the potential of online education. Other features in the series include how we can improve our ways of working by using digital technologies and enhancing our research and innovation through digital transformation

Live online sessions support

The Digital Education Service will continue to support teaching colleagues with the delivery of their live online sessions into semester two. This is designed to help those unfamiliar with teaching virtually or who are delivering particularly complex sessions. Submit your requests for assistance by Monday 30 November.

Register for online workshop

There’s still time to sign up for a special online Share, Adopt, Adapt Workshop on Friday 27 November exploring the use of Virtual Laboratories and Simulation software for teaching and learning. Organised by Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence (LITE) and Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Digital Transformation, Professor Neil Morris, there will also be an appeal for volunteers to help run a new special interest network on the topic.


EU Settlement Scheme deadline

The UK is leaving the European Union on Thursday 31 December and, if you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who lives in the UK, you and your family must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, if you haven’t already done so. The scheme is part of UK law and will mean you can continue living and working in the UK, as well as accessing benefits and public services like the NHS. This applies even if you were born in the UK (but you’re not a British citizen) or you have been here for many years and/or you have a Permanent Residence document. The deadline for applications is 30 June 2021.

One-to-one immigration solicitor appointments

International staff can book a free and confidential 30-minute appointment with an immigration specialist from Freeths Solicitors on Friday 27 November or Thursday 21 January 2021. Sessions take place on Microsoft Teams or over the phone and provide an opportunity to discuss anything relating to visas, Indefinite Leave to Remain and British Citizenship issues. Please note appointment availability may be limited.

Campus life…

The Edge reopening

Facilities at The Edge will now reopen on Friday 11 December. Latest updates will feature on the Sport and Physical Activity website, including details of what to expect when using the centre from this date.

#2023PlasticFree: The story so far

It’s been two years since we pledged to remove single-use plastics from campus by 2023. Despite the added complexity of the covid-19 pandemic, our commitment is as strong as ever. Read the latest PlasticFree success stories and see how you can get involved in the campaign.

Get involved…

Final call for scholarship project proposals

Academic staff can still submit project proposals for the Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Scholarship 2021. The programme aims to develop a new generation of leaders, while providing supervisors with an opportunity to mentor ambitious students who could make a lasting contribution to their School’s research output and reputation. Closing date for submissions is Sunday 29 November.

Christmas collection to support foodbanks

We’ve joined forces with LUU to support local foodbanks Rainbow Junk-tion and Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (PAFRAS) this winter – and we need your help! Please donate non-perishable items at the collection points on campus and across the community between Monday 7 and Wednesday 9 December. Any excess donations will be delivered to Love in a Box at Leeds Grand Mosque, St Aidan’s foodbank and the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

Health and wellbeing…

Free help to quit smoking

If you would like to cut down or quit smoking in time for Christmas and could do with a helping hand, take advantage of the free remote quit smoking support offered to all colleagues. It’s your last chance to access available services before the New Year, so please sign up for the programme by Wednesday 9 December to be sure of your place.

Keep active and healthy at home

Check out the free live classes and on-demand videos on The Edge hub. Available to all, they include Les Mills Body combat, Bodyjam and GRIT, as well as Zumba and HIIT sessions.

Festive fun…

Dashing through the snow, in a Virtual Run Relay!

In the run-up to Christmas, we Ho, Ho, hope you can join us for some festive fitness fun by lacing up your trainers to take part in Get Out, Get Active’s Virtual Reindeer Run Relay, exclusively for colleagues at Leeds. Registration closes at 10am tomorrow (Thursday 26 November) with the event starting on Monday 30 November. You’ll be allocated to a mixed ability team – you don’t have to run or jog quickly; the emphasis is on the taking part and having fun. Just believe in your elf – you’ll sleigh it! So, don’t get your tinsel in a tangle and sign up today!

Walking back to happiness!

If running isn’t your thing, why not sign up for Get Out, Get Active’s first ever Virtual Winter Step Challenge instead? Colleagues will be randomly allocated to a team of six, with walkers of all abilities welcome. Registration closes at 5pm on Wednesday 2 December, with the challenge beginning in the week commencing Monday 7 December.

Christmas crackers!

Christmas has come early with a range of seasonal promotions presented by Great Food at Leeds (GFaL). Try some of the festive fare offers, including sandwiches, mince pies and homemade Rudolph shortbread biscuits, or the winter warmer drinks, such as Hugo’s Gingerbread Latte – all available from those cafés currently open on campus. Noel doubt about it… yule love them!


Forecasting Our Future

Join the Priestley Centre for Climate Change on Thursday 3 December for a virtual conversation with award-winning climate scientist, Dr Katharine Hayhoe. Register now for the Forecasting Our Future event to hear more about climate change risks, translating the science and taking transformative action.

Live, interactive covid-19 discussions 

Join leading academics for a series of live, interactive sessions on YouTube to discuss society’s response to covid-19 and what recovery might look like. Starting the week commencing Monday 7 December, these will explore crucial subjects, such as inequalities in healthcare and the impact of the pandemic on disabled people, as well as the role of the community and the knock-on effects for the criminal justice system.

UK Disability History Month 2020

We’re supporting UK Disability History Month 2020 – the annual initiative focused on the history of disabled people’s fight for equality and human rights. Running until Friday 18 December, this incorporates the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Thursday 3 December, when the Parkinson Building will feature in the #PurpleLightUp campaign. See the full list of events we’re hosting and the support available for disabled staff and students on the Equality Policy Unit website.

You can also read how we’ve been working hard to improve the accessibility of campus, as well as making equality of access a key consideration in planning new buildings.

Caroline Gooding Memorial Disability Law Lecture 2020

Pioneering campaigner and adviser on disability rights, Baroness Jane Campbell, will deliver this year’s Caroline Gooding Memorial Disability Law Lecture on Friday 11 December. Baroness Campbell will reflect on the impact of covid-19 on disabled people in the UK and its implications for disability rights. The free online event is jointly hosted by the Centre for Disability Studies and the School of Law’s Centre for Law and Justice.

In case you missed it…

December payday and deadlines for payroll

Mentoring scheme relaunched

Coming soon: New information security system

Revised personal data retention schedule announced

Sign up for the Digital Education Systems Team newsletter

Research Round-up

Meet our new Police Higher Education Liaison Officer

This enewsletter is brought to you by the Communications team. You can keep up to date with our latest news on the For Staff website and by following the staff Twitter account. Our previous staff email communications can be found on our dedicated In Depth page, so there’s no need to trawl your inbox!

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