Communication to undergraduate offer-holders on new dates for MECD opening

Please find below a personal message from Dr Gianpaolo Vignali, Manchester Engineering Campus Development (MECD) Academic Lead for Teaching and Learning, for undergraduate offer-holders regarding new dates for the opening of MECD.

"As you may already be aware, MECD  our new home for engineering and materials science at The University of Manchester  was due to open to students from September 2021.

"Unfortunately, owing to consequences from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the opening has been delayed by 12 months to September 2022. We've made this decision with you in mind to ensure we maintain a high quality teaching and learning experience, with minimal disruption to the completion of your studies.

"While construction work has continued during the COVID-19 lockdown, there has been an understandable impact on productivity, which has led to a forecasted 12-week delay to the main construction work, due to social distancing measures implemented on the MECD site.

"This delay unfortunately has a significant impact on the timing of later stages of work, including the fit out of teaching spaces and laboratories. Simply pushing back this work by 12 weeks would result in staff and students having to undertake a huge amount of move-related activity at busy points in the academic cycle, such as through exam, marking and writing up periods. In addition, the continuing uncertainty regarding the full extent of COVID-19 could potentially further impact the ongoing construction programme through this year. Therefore, moving the full opening of MECD to September 2022 will avoid unnecessary disruption to the delivery of the academic year and will ensure the best possible experience for all of our students.

"We are now actively re-planning the move of our teaching, learning, research and associated support activities to MECD by September 2022. As part of this, we will look for opportunities to see which areas of MECD could potentially be opened up to students sooner. This could mean some areas of the development, such as study spaces, could be made available to small numbers of students at a time prior to the full launch, where this would be beneficial and safe to do so.

"Alongside the phased reopening of campus for the 2020/21 academic year, we will also be looking at what enhancements can be made to North Campus to ensure that we maintain excellent teaching support facilities and an enhanced learning experience for you during the extended use of our buildings.

"Please rest assured our vision for MECD remains the same. We aim to provide an environment that creates a sense of pride in the heritage and achievements of the University, while inspiring you, future generations of engineers and scientists, to continue to innovate and pioneer discovery. Find out more about MECD on the MECD website.

"Finally, I hope you and your loved ones are safe and well and that you enjoy the summer break. I look forward to seeing you virtually, or on the campus, in the new academic year."

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