Skip to the main content

On behalf of all the students at UCL, Students’ Union UCL would like to express our deepest gratitude to the Academic Community at UCL for your response to the coronavirus pandemic and your commitment to delivering teaching and world-class learning opportunities in the most inclusive and engaging way despite the dire situation that the world as a whole is facing in these times.

We know it has not been easy. We know it has been difficult and time-consuming to adapt to new online platforms. We know the amount of time and toil it takes to record and develop our asynchronous materials. We know the scheduling nightmare it is to prepare live synchronous lectures for our students that are in over 100 countries. We see how much work you have done to ensure that now more than ever, UCL is still London’s Global University and still is one unified community.

We are also grateful that you have welcomed the Students’ Union as members of numerous governance bodies within UCL to ensure that the student voice and perspective is factored into every decision that is being made. This is perhaps part of why the policies and decisions that we have made have been cited by the OfS as an example of good practice, other institutions are looking to us as best practice, but most importantly, the student body largely still feels that they are receiving a valuable learning experience this year.

We know that there are issues. We know the demand for, and consumption of, face to face teaching is something that varies in different faculties across the institution and that is something we need to work together at a local level to solve. We know the delivery of practical learning objectives (labs, clinical, and studio time) is something that the ever-changing government guidance makes difficult. But we also know that the commitment shown by teaching staff, and the continuing partnership between the Students’ Union and UCL means that we will continue to have a rewarding learning experience and foster a wholesome community here at UCL.

As part of the Students’ Union’s involvement in the development of our new learning landscape, we have seen the amount of work that is required personally from each and every one of our teaching and professional services staff. The technical upskilling required in anticipation of this year was unparalleled. And perhaps as a result, in addition to their commitment to delivering the best experience to students, academic staff may feel pressured to create and share perfect, broadcast-quality content, which takes even more time and makes their jobs even more difficult. We are also aware that a lot of this work lands on teaching support staff as well, who have all done an incredible job in ensuring this year runs smoothly. We are grateful for this and will like to say that students are very understanding of the limitations and pressure you are working under. They really enjoy the authenticity of your teaching and do not expect technical perfection; they really appreciate everything you’re doing. 

And, just as you take time to prepare the content we need, please take time to care for yourselves too. Your mental and physical health, and the health of those you care about too, is a priority as well.

With our deepest gratitude,

Jim Onyemenam, Postgraduate Students’ Officer

Ayman Benmati, Education Officer

Carol Paige. Democracy, Operations, and Community Officer

And on behalf of Students’ Union UCL