FURTHER STATEMENT FROM THE COMMISSION IN RELATION TO COVID
Since the Commission’s statement on March 20, both the UK and the US have been seriously impacted by Covid and the measures taken to deal with it. Sadly there has been a significant loss of life in both countries, many individuals have been seriously unwell and for all of us there has been a material disruption to our way of life. The situation is by no means fully resolved.
Within the Scholarship Programme, the Commission has relaxed the normal UK residence requirement for the rest of the academic year and has supported all current Scholars, both those who have chosen to return to the US and those who have remained in the UK. All have had to adapt to new ways of continuing their studies remotely.
Whilst the overall situation in the UK is evidently improving, elements of uncertainty remain and a return to full normality is not just around the corner. Nevertheless, there is the prospect that the new academic year will have more of a normal feel to it than the current position as individual British universities and colleges develop more of a ‘hybrid’ model of teaching and learning to create a safe but stimulating actual environment in which to study. Accordingly we are planning on both our continuing Scholars and our new Scholars all joining us after the summer to take up their courses at their chosen British universities. We will, of course, remain responsive to the unfolding of events in the meantime.
We recognise that we are likely to have to modify our normal travel and induction arrangements for our Scholars and that, at least initially, their experience in the UK and at university will be different from the usual pattern. We believe, however, that their experience will still be very worthwhile and that both the global and national challenge posed by Covid underline the importance and value of international cooperation, in which the continuing vitality of the Programme has a meaningful part to play.
In an appropriate format, I am very much looking forward to welcoming our new Scholars to the UK after the summer, to welcoming back our continuing Scholars to the UK, to bidding farewell to those Scholars concluding their studies with us this summer and to encouraging another round of students, with all the attributes of talented young America, to apply to become Scholars next year. Above all, our purpose is to support the promise they all represent for a better future.
11 June 2020