University Executive Board minutes - 6 July 2021



6 July 2021


Professor K Lamberts (KL) (in the Chair), Professor S Hartley (SH), Professor M Hounslow (MJH), H Fraser-Krauss (HFK), J Jones (JJ), Professor C Newman (CN), Professor D Petley (DNP) Professor M Vincent (MV), Professor C Watkins (CW), Dr T Strike (TS), Professor R Sykes (RS)

In attendance:

L Carlisle (LC), L McArthy (LM) and C Hamilton (CH) (all for Item 1)


Professor G Valentine (GV), Mrs T Wray (TW), Professor S Fitzmaurice (SFM), I Wright (IW) and T Wray (TW)


K Sullivan (KS)/Dr E Smith (ES)

  1. Student Recruitment

    • (Liz Carlile, Claire Hamilton and Louise McCarthy in attendance for this item

    • Student Recruitment and Marketing Update

      • UEB considered an update on applications for 2021/22, noting that data was correct as of 15 June 2021 for the University and 20 June 2021 for the sector, unless otherwise specified.

      • Attention was drawn to the suite of current SMRA initiatives at UG and PG level to support recruitment efforts. This included COVID-secure on-campus visits, which had received positive feedback and would be enhanced from 19 July, subject to the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions. Virtual Open Days (ODs) would continue to be offered during this period and were proving popular.

      • During discussion, it was highlighted that, in terms of barriers to overseas recruitment, key issues included quarantine capability and capacity, messaging regarding mask wearing and the move to face-to-face teaching. The Government was aware of issues regarding quarantine capacity, the UK Government’s Immigration Minister was expected to make an announcement in due course about the extension of COVID-19 immigration concessions, clarification about which could inform planning.

    • Confirmation and Clearing Strategy 2021

      • UEB considered a paper that made recommendations for shaping the University’s approach to confirmation, adjustment, and clearing for 2021/22 entry. These recommendations were premised on the current forecast summary and outcomes from Faculty scenario planning activities. With regard to the former, members noted the forecast intake pre- and post-Clearing for UGH, UGO, PGTH, and PGTO cohorts.

      • During discussion of the current position and recommended approach, UEB raised the following points:

        • The uncertain impact of centre assessed grades (CAGs) made it difficult to assess the tariffs that Departments/Schools would need to.

        • Potential political pressure from the UK Government for institutions to accept suitably qualified students.

        • Given the level of uncertainty around CAGs, quarantine restrictions, UKVI guidance on study options and easing of Covid-19 restrictions, it was important to ensure as much flexibility as possible at this stage.

    • UEB:

      • Noted the forecast summary and Faculty confirmation planning scenario outcomes; and

      • Approved the recommended approach to confirmation, adjustment, and clearing for onward consideration at UEB:

      • Noted that these steps should enable the University to consider the undergraduate position at bulk confirmation alongside the updated postgraduate taught forecast position, the national/international COVID position at that point, and the national A level results position and political landscape. Decisions on the borderline applicant intake and Clearing strategy could then be taken within this overarching context.

  2. Closed Minute and Paper

  3. Coronavirus Update

    • Update from the Major Incident Team

      • UEB received and noted the update. It was reported that staff and student COVID-19 cases remained low and members welcomed the continued success rate of the internal Contact Tracing Service and the take-up regarding the LFD Collect service. UEB discussed the anticipated DfE guidance regarding social distancing and mask wearing from 9 July 2021; an official Government announcement was expected the following week. The University would liaise with the Students’ Union over their respective approaches. It was highlighted that KL had, under advice, recently agreed to a number of support measures for international students with the potential costs of supporting students who are domiciled in red list, amber list and green list countries. It was also highlighted that a suspension of some flights from the UK would have an impact on students returning home. Currently, all students' inbound flights to Hong Kong had been cancelled. This meant that any students who are from Hong Kong would not be able to get home and would need to stay in the UK over the summer.
    • FVP Update
      • With respect to face to face teaching. there were varying approaches being taken by departments. During discussion the following key points were raised:
        • It was important for FVPs to ensure clear and consistent messaging was being passed on by faculty leadership and that messages to students were consistent.
        • Student feedback was that they expected as much face to face teaching as possible, as the norm.
        • The University should follow current social distancing guidelines and mitigate against any situation where there were different rules for different groups of students.
        • It was important to ensure the estate was being managed to ensure efficient use.

4. Closed Minute and Paper

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