As you’ll be aware, the University is planning to be open to students for the 2020/21 academic year. The information on this page provides an overview of the College’s preparations for the autumn (Michaelmas) term. As we approach the start of the academic year, more detailed updates are being circulated to students by email. These are being placed on the College’s intranet so that students are able to find and reference them easily. The information provided here and on the intranet and should be read alongside the details published and updated regularly on the University’s website.
The College is following government and health and safety guidance and will continue to do so.
We hope that restrictions will ease over time and that it will be possible for most of our students to be with us in person. We are, however, mindful of the wide range of our students’ circumstances and are planning to ensure that provision can be adapted, for example so that those who are not able to be present in Oxford can also join us, even if not initially in person.
What steps is Merton taking to prepare for the arrival of students in the autumn?
The health and wellbeing of all our students and staff are our priority. As the colleges and University prepare to welcome undergraduates and postgraduates back into residence, a huge amount of work is being undertaken to ensure that our provision is appropriate for the present circumstances. Merton is very fortunate in having beautiful gardens with lots of outdoor space, large indoor areas (for example the Hall and Chapel) and extensive sports grounds that are a short walk from the College. Together, these give us considerable flexibility for options in the term ahead.
Preparations include the widespread installation of appropriate signage and hand sanitisers, introduction of one-way routes in the busier areas of the College, enhanced cleaning protocols, use of personal protective equipment where this is recommended as good practice, social distancing adjustments (e.g. to teaching and social spaces) and plans for continuing use of IT to provide us with flexibility in the ways in which students can interact with us. More detail is provided below about specific areas of provision.