New and returning students are being welcomed by Perth College UHI staff this week as the academic term for 2020-21 begins.

But to significantly reduce the number of people on campus at any one time, principal Dr Margaret Cook insists studying from home remains “the primary option” where possible.

Dr Cook explains: “We are all genuinely delighted to be welcoming students to our campus for the new academic year and supporting them on their learning journey, albeit in different circumstances than usual.

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“It’s been a busy summer of concluding the last academic year - staff demonstrated impressive resilience and flexibility in continuing to successfully deliver learning throughout the pandemic.

“We then carefully prepared for the new semester, whilst adhering to the latest public health guidance.

“Our priority in planning the new academic year focuses on ensuring the safety of our students, staff and communities, whilst providing high-quality educational opportunities and support services.

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“In order to ensure the safest possible environment for students and staff, the new academic year looks different than usual.

“To significantly reduce the number of people on our campus at any one time, studying from home remains the primary option where possible, and any face-to-face teaching will be in small groups.

“Face coverings should be worn in areas on campus where physical distancing cannot be guaranteed and students will need to sign into each building they enter, using QR codes to help Track and Trace efforts.

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“Everyone on campus and in student accommodation must also follow the rules around quarantine, self-isolation, hygiene protocols and physical distancing.

"Students can support this further by downloading the NHS Scotland Protect Scotland contact tracing app at www.protect.scot

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“We are also supporting students who need access to digital resources through additional funds from the Scottish Government.

“College resources and the Student Support Fund established by the Perth College Development Trust.

“We very much look forward to giving our students the opportunity to start or continue their studies in our friendly, supportive and welcoming Perth College UHI community.”