North East Scotland College prepares to welcome students as new session begins

September 6, 2020

North East Scotland College is ready to welcome new and returning students as campuses reopen for the start of the 2020/21 year.

Full-time courses begin from 7 September at NESCol’s main centres in Aberdeen, Fraserburgh and at Altens.

The health, safety and wellbeing of students, staff and visitors is the priority underpinning the reopening plans. A range of measures are in place on campuses:

  • Timetabled access to facilities to ensure numbers are limited. Around one third of the usual numbers of students and staff will be on campus at any one time;
  • One-way systems, distancing measures and clear reminders of the Scottish Government’s FACTS guidance – including the use of face coverings in public areas;
  • The introduction of smoke free campuses, to discourage groups from congregating;
  • Additional provision of hand sanitising stations and increased cleaning of College facilities.

Robin McGregor, NESCol’s Vice Principal Curriculum and Quality, said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming students for the start of the new session. Our teams have been working throughout the summer to ensure the return to campus is as safe, as streamlined and as enjoyable as possible.

“Things will understandably be a little different this year as we respond to the unique circumstances and follow the latest guidance to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus. Students, staff and all those connected with NESCol have a responsibility to help keep each other and the wider community safe. We’re confident in the measures we have in place and are prepared to deliver an engaging and rewarding year of education and training.

“Although the world outside has changed, the commitment to our students hasn’t. We’re excited to be getting started and looking forward to the start of full-time courses.”

Timetables have been issued in advance of the start of term. Courses are being delivered using a blend of practical on-site classes, live online sessions as well as structured learning activities which give students flexibility in their schedule.

Robin McGregor added: “Being able to provide access to our fantastic facilities on campus is a very important step and, particularly for those studying practical subjects or with individual support needs, allows us to tailor course delivery for specific groups.

“With the number of students attending our campuses being carefully managed, online teaching and learning remains at the core of the plans we have in place for 2020/21. NESCol has invested significantly in digital technology, including our Blackboard virtual learning environment, over a number of years and that provided the foundation for our swift move to remote delivery in March. That long-term strategy, coupled with the experience we have gained and skills that have been built in recent months, provides an excellent platform.”

The College has taken delivery of 1,100 new laptops for distribution as part of the Bring Your Own Device programme and to ensure equal access to online learning. The College also provides 4G internet access for students who require it.

Applications for full-time courses starting in September are still being accepted, with bookings for part-time and distance learning courses also open. Further information about the 2020/21 year for new and returning students is available here.