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This will be a September like no other, and we’re sure you’re feeling both anxious and excited about what’s in store. Starting at UCL is life-changing, and this year will be no different. This is a challenging time for a hundred different reasons and every part of UCL has had to adapt and change, including us. Throughout this period we’ve been working hard to make sure that even with everything going on, you’ll still be welcomed to the UCL community in the best way possible. In this article, we’ll outline what we’re planning for September - but like with everything right now, plans may have to change. 

UCL have made it clear that there will be no compromise to academic standards whilst the way you learn changes and adapts to what is possible. We share that no compromise commitment when it comes to your student life - even as the way we do things this year has to change. We’re all about making more happen at UCL, helping you make the most of your time here and we’re excited to get started.

Our approach this year

Welcome week is about bringing people together, fostering friendships, introducing you to all the wonderful things UCL has to offer and helping you settle in. All of this is possible in a safe and responsible way.

Our approach this year will be online first. Our priority is for all members of our community to make the most of their time at UCL - regardless of how they experience it. Guiding everything we do will be the expert advice of UCL and the rules set out by the UK Government. Online first means that what we plan to do this September won’t be affected by changes in Government policy. You’ll still be able to make the most of the start of term remotely, no matter where you are. 

Visit our Welcome 2020 homepage to see the latest news and events. 

Our spaces and buildings

Although our priority is to create an exciting online experience, the campus will still be open albeit with a limited capacity. While all of our services will continue to be accessible remotely, our largest bar, most of our cafes and our gym will be open and ready to welcome you in a safe way. We know how important these spaces are to meeting and connecting with other new students, so if you’re planning to be in London this September, we’ll be ready to greet you. We’ve carefully considered which spaces to open first, with your safety, and the safety of the students who work in our spaces, our number one priority.

How our spaces work will feel a little different to usual so that we can keep you safe. One-way systems, more outdoor service and ordering via an app will become our new normal. We’ll carefully open more of our facilities as term one progresses and inline with the latest advice.

Read a more detailed updates about our spaces here.

Events and activities

Events during the Welcome period are central to meeting new people. We’ll be running a range of different online events aimed at helping you meet new people, find interesting things to do and learn about life at UCL. Term starts on 28 September, but we’ll be running online events before that to help you settle in. 

We’ll be running our first ever online Welcome Fair, this is where you can meet and join clubs and societies, find out about all the different support services at UCL and watch a showcase of student talent. Each year, the Welcome Fair is the highlight of the Welcome period - and our digital event will be the highlight of September 2020. 

Currently, we plan to have access to all of our sporting facilities, like our sports ground, for the start of term. New measures will be in place to ensure compliance with the latest Government and UK Active industry guidance. Social distancing guidelines may reduce the capacity of our sporting spaces, but we’ll be working hard to support students to access sport and physical activity in a safe environment. 

Read what on campus activity will look like here

Student-led groups

Student-life wouldn’t be the same without our incredible student-led groups - the clubs, societies and volunteering projects that bring people together to do amazing things. Our student groups will still be active, and they can’t wait to start the year. 

Their approach, like ours, will be online first. They’ll be doing everything they can to help you make the most of your time here. If you can’t take part in the in-person activity, you’ll be able to join clubs and societies for free with Remote Membership. If you are in London, our student groups will be running events and activities in line with Government guidance throughout Welcome week and term one. 

We’ll always be here for you

Since March our services have been running remotely, and that’s set to continue. We’re still here to help you find ways to volunteer and give back, advise you on housing contracts or money management, represent your interests to UCL and make positive change, or help you form communities of your own. So, stay connected, use the support on offer, do more than study, and make the most of UCL.

We’ll see you in September.