Information regarding Coronavirus COVID-19
Last revised: August 11, 2020
Winter 2021 Programming at the BISC
Welcome to the incoming class of 2024!
I hope you have been having a productive and safe summer, and have had the chance to participate in the online SOAR programming and course registration processes. Now that we are approaching the start of our Fall Term academic online programming, I wanted to give you an update on where we sit with planning for Winter Term 2021. As you know, our plan is, and remains, to have in person classes taking place at the BISC starting in January.
At this time, we are putting our plans in place to ensure a safe environment for all students, faculty and staff on the Herstmonceux site starting in January. In order to ensure everyone’s health and safety:
- All students will be assigned to single rooms.
- Physical distancing will be in effect in the classrooms and lab settings, including appropriate PPE.
- The midterm and experiential learning trips will be restricted to southern England, and in the local area whenever possible.
As with everything involving the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation changes constantly, and we will continue to monitor public health and quarantine regulations as well as travel advisories. As the Winter Term approaches, we will provide further updates.
Vice Provost and Executive Director, BISC
A message from Patrick Deane
Dear Members of the BISC Community,
I am writing in the first instance to thank everyone at the Bader International Study Centre for rising so admirably to the challenge posed to the whole Castle community by the COVID-19 crisis. Although I have not been with you to experience first-hand the difficulties particular to your situation, I can understand very well the entirely reasonable anxieties you must all be feeling. It is ordinarily a challenge to be so remote from each other, but in these new circumstances there is an increased danger of feeling disconnected as well.
I want to tell you that Queen’s University remains fully committed to the success of the BISC. Indeed, despite current public health issues and their unfortunate consequences for programming in the summer and possibly enrolment levels in the fall, we will not cease to think ambitiously about what we hope to achieve at Herstmonceux. The BISC is an extraordinary asset for Queen’s and an integral part of the bold future I envision for our institution. That potential of the BISC is further fueled by the admirable and talented team of people we are privileged to have working there.
It may seem a cruel irony that, in the very month the COVID crisis took hold, Queen’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously to forgive the debt owed by the BISC since 1994. Please see the latter decision for what it is: a vote of confidence in the future of the Castle, in the vision of the Baders, and in the work of the Castle community over the last twenty-six years. As I hope you all know, I am deeply committed to your success, and despite the challenges of our immediate situation, intend to see the BISC thriving on its own terms and also fully integrated into a pan-university strategy for internationalization at Queen’s.
To that end, Provost Mark Green and I have agreed that, effective immediately, primary strategic responsibility for the BISC will be transferred to the Principal. I will assume the Chair of the Board of the BISC and of HCE, and will work closely with all of you on future directions for the BISC and on your role in relation to our university’s long-term goals. The Provost’s Office will continue to provide operational guidance and support for the BISC.
I hope I can count on your continuing commitment and support. An opportunity is being arranged for us to talk about all of these issues by Zoom a week from today. Please do join the call. I am very eager to hear your thoughts. I also sent a note to our campus community in Kingston today. In it I asked the community to use this time to demonstrate the values without which our university could not succeed, even in the best of times: compassion, understanding, trust and selflessness. I ask the same of all of you, as together we will face the challenges that lie ahead, and I am confident we will not just survive this crisis but emerge better and stronger for the future.
Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Queen's University
Queen’s University and BISC administrators are actively monitoring reports on the evolving outbreak, originating in Wuhan, China, of Coronavirus COVID-19 that can cause acute upper respiratory illness and pneumonia. Protecting the health and safety of our students, staff, and faculty is a primary concern, and we are continuously assessing what may be required in response to any spread of the virus.
Latest Public Health updates
- For health information on the coronavirus (COVID-19), including preventative measures, symptoms, and seeking medical assistance, visit the National Health Service (NHS) website.
- For the latest information on the UK government’s response to coronavirus (COVID-19), including the number of cases, risk level, travel advisories, and more visit the government’s public health website.
The BISC has implemented a new protocol of more frequent cleaning and sanitizing, placing sanitizing stations in public areas and encouraging their frequent use. However, prevention remains the best defense and there are measures you can take to protect yourself. To help prevent all respiratory illnesses, including coronavirus COVID-19:
- Clean your hands often with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Cough and sneeze into the bend of your arm, not into your hand.
- Avoid touching your nose, mouth or eyes with your hands.
- Stay in your room or home when you are sick and avoid contact with other people until your symptoms are gone.
- Clean objects and surfaces that a lot of people touch, such as doorknobs, phones, and television remotes.
- Get your influenza vaccine.
- Eat healthy foods and stay physically active to keep your immune system strong.
- Get plenty of rest or sleep.
- If you suspect you are sick, avoid visiting people in long term care, or individuals with health concerns.
Many symptoms of coronavirus COVID-19 are similar to seasonal influenza. If you are experiencing:
Fever, cough, difficulty breathing…
- AND have travelled to an affected area in the 14 days before the start of illness
- OR have had close contact with a person with an acute respiratory illness who has been to an affected area within 14 days prior to the onset of their illness
- OR have had close contact with a case of Coronavirus COVID-19
Please do the following:
Queen’s University is suspending all university-sponsored travel outside of England for the duration of the term. Due to the evolving situation across Europe, and under an abundance of caution, the university feels it is prudent to limit travel and ensure that students, staff, and faculty do not find themselves unable to return to BISC should they have visited affected areas. We will be monitoring the situation carefully and will inform the community if any further restrictions are to be imposed.
Queen’s cautions all members of the BISC community to think carefully about any personal travel outside of England. Travel at this time carries risks and the situation with the virus changes daily