13 January eNews

Campus safety and services, student updates, wellbeing and support, digital developments and new awards

13 January eNews: Campus safety and services, student updates, wellbeing and support, digital developments and new awards

  • Coronavirus
  • Campus life
  • Wellbeing and support
  • Digital developments
  • Brexit
  • Research
  • Training and development
  • Celebrate
  • In case you missed it
  • Keeping up to date


Safety on campus

We’ve spent a significant amount of time ensuring campus and all activities taking place there adhere to the Government’s covid guidelines, working closely with our local public health team. Risk assessments, with corresponding operating procedures, are in place for all activities on campus, to reflect the fact the health and safety of our community is our top priority. Please ensure that if you’re on campus, you follow the coronavirus measures in place, including taking a weekly lateral flow test (as outlined below) and maintaining the ‘Hands-Face-Space’ guidance.

Asymptomatic (lateral flow) testing 

We’re encouraging all staff and students who are on campus during the national lockdown to take a weekly lateral flow test. Book a free test via the coronavirus website

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.

Student updates

Today, in an email to all taught students, we have reiterated current arrangements and campus safety measures, and outlined some key updates:

  • Degree classification 2021: we’re working closely with LUU and course reps to ensure degree classifications are not negatively affected. Further communications about this will follow.
  • Rent refunds: students who live in University-allocated accommodation, who are not required to be on campus for face-to-face teaching and have decided not to live in their University-allocated accommodation, will be able to apply for a rent refund covering the period 11 January until 19 February. Affected students will receive details of how to apply.
  • Hardship fund: we’re making a contribution of up to £2m to the student hardship fund, to supplement the £109,534 being made available by the Government for the current financial year. The fund is open to all students, including those living in non-University of Leeds accommodation. Leeds Hardship Fund application and eligibility

Campus life

Free parking

Free parking is available on campus to staff and students at any time of the day this month. Before you can park on campus, you must ensure your car is registered for out-of-hours parking (you will need to log in via the Virtual Windows Desktop from home). Students should register by emailing their vehicle registration details from their University account.

Reopening buildings

Following the national lockdown announcement, there will be limited access to buildings on campus. Information on the current access status of our buildings is available on our dedicated coronavirus website.

Cafés and The Refectory         

In line with government policy, it’s mandatory to wear face coverings prior to entering Great Food at Leeds (GFaL) outlets, including The Refectory. See the GFaL website for a full list of opening times together with a short video explaining what to expect when you visit.

Changes to Library services

Due to the new lockdown, the Brotherton and Health Sciences Libraries are currently closed. The Edward Boyle and Laidlaw are open, with reduced hours, for essential study. Click and collect is also available at the Edward Boyle. Full details of changes to Library services are available online.

Edge memberships

Edge memberships will be frozen while the centre is closed during the national lockdown. You also have the option to freeze your membership until the end of April 2021. See the Sport and Physical Activity website for full details, including cut-off dates by which to do this. In the meantime, keep active and healthy at home with a range of free live classes, workout videos and healthy recipes

Bayfields Opticians and Audiologists

Bayfields has temporarily relocated its campus facilities to its Headingley practice. Colleagues can book appointments at Headingley or any other Bayfields practice. Staff benefits still apply.

Residential Services Annual Sustainability Report

Read about all the hard work Residential Services has undertaken during the past year to help deliver our Sustainability Strategy. The Annual Sustainability Report (2019-20) focusses on the team’s efforts across a number of key themes, including embedding sustainability through collaboration between staff and students, building knowledge, making the most of resources and being a positive partner in the Leeds community.

Wellbeing and support

Carer’s leave extended to March 2021

In March this year, to support colleagues who are balancing caring responsibilities, we increased the standard entitlement of paid carer’s leave from five to 10 days for 2020 (pro rata for part-time staff). We’re now extending this provision to the end of March 2021. These 10 days include any carer’s leave already taken within the past 12-month period.

Vice-Chancellor’s blog | The importance of listening

“There’s a time for talking and a time for listening, but we don’t always find the right balance. We have to get better at listening in a world that favours people who talk.” Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, shares her latest blog, which focuses on the importance of listening.

Balancing Life Survey results

Results of Sports and Physical Activity’s 2020 Balancing Life Survey have been published. Findings will help the team work with facilities and individuals to create opportunities for colleagues to be more regularly active, with the survey this time focusing on the impact of covid-19 on habits and attitudes towards physical activity. 

Virtual Resolutions Run Relay

Start 2021 on a high and join Get Out, Get Active’s Virtual Resolutions Run Relay, exclusively for colleagues at Leeds. Registration closes at 10am tomorrow (Thursday 14 January) with the event starting on Monday 18 January. Each relay team consists of six people. You’ll be allocated to a mixed ability team – you don’t have to run or jog quickly; the emphasis is on participating, having fun and connecting with other colleagues.

Virtual Step Challenge

Start off the New Year on the right foot and join Get Out, Get Active’s Virtual Step Challenge. You will be randomly assigned to a team of six, with walkers of all abilities welcome. There are photo bonuses up for grabs and a lively Microsoft Teams chat to keep you motivated. Registration closes at 5pm on Wednesday 27 January, with the challenge beginning in the week commencing Monday 1 February.

Digital developments

Inside Track | Preparing for digital transformation

In his latest Inside Track article, Professor Neil Morris, Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Digital Transformation, provides updates on a range of activities in the digital transformation portfolio. You can access a series of Inside Track features from Professor Morris on For Staff, including his reflections on the challenges of last term and plans for 2021, as well as answers to questions raised during the Leeds Conversations sessions in December.

Live online session 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 Wednesday 20 January. Further information about all the support and training available for online teaching is available on the Digital Practice website, as well as via the Digital Education Service Helpdesk

Retiring Desktop Anywhere

Desktop Anywhere will soon be retired and most colleagues should already be using the Virtual Windows Desktop (VWD) to access campus services. A few people still have access to Desktop Anywhere as the VWD doesn’t yet provide the specific access they need. If you cannot access something you need for your role via the VWD, please submit a request to the IT Service Desk as soon as possible, including details of the resources you need to access.

New partnership for Learning Analytics

We’ve chosen Solutionpath as our institutional provider for Learning Analytics. The platform will radically transform the academic personal tutoring experience, enabling staff and students to work in partnership, ethically and transparently, to further understand individual learning experiences.

New mandatory supplier framework

Our new mandatory supplier framework for production services goes live from Monday 1 February. Designed to bring professionalism and consistency to the University’s digital, print and video assets, you’ll be able to choose from 21 approved external companies, providing services in strategic thinking, graphic design for digital and print, and video production. More details to follow.

Unlimited free access to online courses

FutureLearn Campus and University of Leeds on Coursera have announced free access to both online platforms has been extended indefinitely, so courses from participating institutions can be accessed for as long as staff and students have an @leeds.ac.uk email address. FutureLearn and Coursera offer a wide range of subject-specific courses, as well as those designed to improve digital literacy and support mental health and wellbeing.


Latest updates

Read the latest updates on our Brexit In Depth page. It contains a host of information on what Brexit means for colleagues and research funding, including links to helpful resources. Please note this page is being updated as new information becomes available, so be sure to check back regularly for the latest details.

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 Thursday 21 January. 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.


Apply for research funding

Applications are open to the White Rose Collaboration Fund, which encourages emerging research partnerships across the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York. Grants of up to £15,000 are available. The deadline is midnight on Thursday 28 January.

Research Development Fund applications

Applications to the next round of the Research Development Fund are open until Tuesday 2 February. Awards of up to £600 are available to support patient, public or stakeholder involvement or engagement in the research design stage.

Are you a part of Engaged Research?

Join the Engaged Research Microsoft Team, a more than 600-strong community and the go-to place for all things related to engagement with research, with channels dedicated to public engagement, policy engagement, resources, training and – new for 2021 – a patient involvement channel.

New academic publishing initiative

Plan S, which came into force on Friday 1 January, is an initiative to move more quickly to full and immediate open access publishing for research funded by organisations including Wellcome. See the Library’s website for the Plan S-compliant publishing routes or contact the Research Support Team for further information.

Training and development

Interim 2021 Leaders and Managers Support Programme

Book your place on one of OD&PL’s new Interim 2021 Leaders and Managers Support sessions, offering a range of courses, surgeries, masterclasses and workshops for those who need support at different levels. They include: a suite of management essentials sessions, surgeries dealing with individual challenges, leadership development programmes plus wellbeing and resilience workshops. The mid- to senior-level leaders programme is being developed for launch in the spring.

LinkedIn Learning’s most popular courses

More than 11,000 staff and students at Leeds logged on to LinkedIn Learning last year. Find out more about the most popular LinkedIn Learning courses of 2020 and access your account for free.


Women of Achievement

Entries are now being accepted for our Women of Achievement Awards 2020, recognising the significant contribution and impact women at Leeds are making across our institution and beyond, academically or professionally. Completed forms should be submitted by Friday 22 January.

Honouring women in research

There’s still time to enter the Water Woman Award 2021, recognising the achievements of women in research and their power to inspire others. Organised by water@leeds in partnership with faculty Athena SWAN teams, the award closing date is 2pm on Friday 15 January.

University Teaching Awards 2021 

You can now submit nominations for our University Teaching Awards 2021, celebrating and recognising excellent practice in student education at Leeds. Open to colleagues involved in teaching or supporting the student learning experience, winners receive a cash award to support professional development and scholarship, a certificate and an invitation to a celebratory event.

New University Librarian

We’re pleased to announce that Masud Khokhar has been appointed University Librarian and Keeper of the Brotherton Collection. He will join us in April from the University of York, where he’s held the role of Director of Library and Archives since 2018.

Earthshot Prize nominations

We’ve been selected as one of just 100 organisations across the world to submit nominations for a prestigious new global environment prize. The Earthshot Prize encompasses five categories aimed at finding new solutions to the world’s biggest environmental problems – Protect and Restore Nature; Clean Our Air; Revive Our Oceans; Build A Waste-Free World; Fix Our Climate. Email the Priestley International Centre for Climate with your suggestions for solutions that we, as an organisation, should nominate. Closing date is Monday 18 January.

Special award for learning technologists

The announcement of a special Association for Learning Technologists (ALT) award recognises the extraordinary efforts of all members in facing the challenges of 2020. There are ALT members at Leeds across a number of roles, in faculties and schools as well as in the Digital Education Service (DES) and Organisational Development and Professional Learning (OD&PL) teams. Congratulations to each of them!

In case you missed it

Launch of ePortfolio tool PebblePad

Religious Festivals and Events Calendar 2021

Leeds Alumni Voices recordings

Keeping up to date

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, together with guidance on how to request an eNews entry. Please keep checking our dedicated coronavirus website for the latest information and advice as we get it.

Please note: As of today (13 January), this regular Wednesday enewsletter moves from fortnightly to weekly. We’re changing the frequency and format to further help you keep up to date with the University’s key strategic priorities, activities and information you need to know. We’ll no longer be issuing the Friday newsletter – eNews extra: coronavirus. Where there’s urgent information we need to share with you, particularly on issues relating to coronavirus, we’ll continue to email you directly.

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