Live and Learn bubbles

At Leicester this September, we want to keep things safe and fun, that’s why we are introducing live and learn bubbles for first year students. Your 'bubble' will be the other students you share living space with, who may also be your new course mates. Staying within a household bubble will help keep you safe by reducing the number of different contacts you have in both accommodation and small-group teaching.

students walking on campus

Students in live and learn bubbles will not need to keep a social distance from one another, as you have created a new household.

Just so you know, it may not be possible for all accommodation groups to be set up in this way, for example if there are insufficient students from some courses living in University-managed accommodation, or insufficient students from a single course selecting the same accommodation price point/room type. In this case you will be allocated accommodation closest to your preference and form a household or group with your new flat mates, and can then also form a second, socially distanced group with your course mates, all in line with the latest government guidelines.

Living with other students on your course will help you to make friends initially with students you can also study with, and there will still be plenty of opportunities to meet other students too.

If you are an international student living in University-managed accommodation and need to quarantine on arrival, our accommodation will be available early, enabling you to quarantine before the start of term. 

Whilst at University, your household will be the people you live with at your term-time address, for example:

  • The other students in your flat within University-managed or privately-run accommodation, but not everyone in the whole accommodation block
  • The other people in your house or flat if you live in shared, privately rented accommodation
  • The other people in your family home if you live at home during term-time. 
 

Frequently Asked Questions

If I am in University accommodation in a live and learn bubble with other students on my course

How will live and learn bubbles work? What will my live and learn bubble be allowed to do?

Your bubble will become your ‘household’, and much of the UK Government’s guidelines on what social activity is permitted is based on households. So your bubble will be able to do as a group any activities that the guidelines permit people to do with members of their household, without needing to socially distance from each other. What you will be able to do is likely to change over time as the guidelines are updated but may include:

  • Travelling to and from campus and around the city together
  • Sitting and eating together in your accommodation and other venues
  • Socialising together within your accommodation, outside and within any bars, restaurants or leisure facilities that are allowed to be open
  • Studying together in your accommodation and any University open learning spaces.

You can then also mix, with your other friends whilst maintaining social distancing, all in line with the latest government guidelines.

At the start of term, new students will come from all over the UK and from other countries to live in University accommodation together, how will I know my live and learn bubble is safe? What if one of the other students brings Covid-19 into our bubble?

When you are preparing to arrive at University, if you experience symptoms of Covid-19 in the days leading up to arrival, we ask that you let us know and that you delay your arrival until it is safe for you to move into your accommodation. If you or anyone else in your live and learn bubble develops symptoms after arrival, everyone in your bubble will need to self-isolate in line with UK Government guidelines.

When you move into your accommodation, only one person will be allowed to come to the University with you, and they will not be allowed to enter your accommodation. Only you and the other students you will be living with will be allowed to enter your flat, to minimise the risk of infection to you and others.

Will I be able to move to another flat/bubble if I don’t get on with the other students I live with?

Yes, you will be able to make a room transfer. To ensure your safety and the safety of the new household you are joining, we may ask you to isolate in a temporary room for a short period before you move to your new permanent room and household. We will clean and disinfect the room you are moving into before you transfer.

Will I also have all my face-to-face teaching with the other students in my live and learn bubble?

No, the students in your flat will not necessarily be with you in your tutorial or seminar groups even if you are all studying the same course. Teaching groups will vary because of option choices within programmes, differing group sizes across modules, and modules accessed by students on different programmes. However, we will use group allocation in the timetable to limit student contacts as much as possible, so that the different groups you are in for your modules are likely to often include some of the same students.

What happens to our bubble if one of us needs to self-isolate?

If you or anyone else in your live and learn bubble develops symptoms of Covid-19, everyone in your bubble will need to self-isolate in line with UK Government guidelines. Studying Safely guidance will be provided to all new and returning students before the start of term and this will include details of now how notify the University if you develop symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who has symptoms and are required to self-isolate. If you are well and self-isolating, you may engage with your studies remotely. Our student Welfare Service is available to support students who are self-isolating, and students isolating in University-managed accommodation will also be provided with support by our Residence Life team.

If I am in alternative accommodation

If I am living in private-rented accommodation or at home, can I still be part of a live and learn bubble?

If you are not living in University-managed accommodation, unless you live alone, the other people you live with are your household and you are effectively a bubble with those people, which may be the other people in your house or flat if you live in shared, privately rented accommodation or the other people in your family home if you live at home during term-time. If the other people you live with are University of Leicester students, you will also be able to travel, eat and socialise together and use University study spaces as a group, without needing to social distance. If you live alone, you can form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household which could be a household of other University of Leicester students.

International Students

I have travelled from abroad do I need to quarantine before moving into University accommodation?

If you are an international student living in University-managed accommodation and need to quarantine on arrival, our accommodation will be available early, enabling you to quarantine before the start of term. Any quarantine requirements will be in line with UK Government regulations. 

At the start of term, new students will come from all over the UK and from other countries to live in University accommodation together, how will I know my live and learn bubble is safe? What if one of the other students brings Covid-19 into our bubble?

When you are preparing to arrive at University, if you experience symptoms of Covid-19 in the days leading up to arrival, we ask that you let us know and that you delay your arrival until it is safe for you to move into your accommodation. If you or anyone else in your live and learn bubble develops symptoms after arrival, everyone in your bubble will need to self-isolate in line with UK Government guidelines.

When you move into your accommodation, only one person will be allowed to come to the University with you, and they will not be allowed to enter your accommodation. Only you and the other students you will be living with will be allowed to enter your flat, to minimise the risk of infection to you and others.

Will my live and learn bubble be with students on the same course as me?

It is possible that when you arrive and need to quarantine you may need to be grouped with students on different courses who are also quarantining, rather than with students on your course.

At the end of the quarantine period, you could choose to remain as a mixed-course ‘household’ or move to join groups of students on the same course as you.

If you arrive early and complete your quarantine before other students arrive, it would be possible for other students on your course to move into your flat. 

Making friends and socialising

Will I still be able to meet and socialise with other students not in my live and learn bubble?

You will still be able to meet, study and socialise with other students if UK Government guidelines on social distancing for England or the local area permit this. These guidelines are likely to change over time. For example, guidelines for most of England currently permit groups of up to 6 people from different households to meet up outside if social distancing is maintained.

How will I meet and make friends with other students outside my live and learn bubble?

The University is developing an exciting programme of online and socially distanced on-campus activities for you to get involved with, from Welcome Week to regular activities throughout the term, as well as student societies and sports clubs – there will be plenty of opportunities for you to meet new people, make new friends and develop new skills, both digitally and in-person.

There will also be a number of virtual fairs to help you familiarise yourself with all aspects of student life, and our virtual campus tours will help you get to know campus from the comfort of your own room. There will also be virtual and in-person ice-breaker activities to help you to meet new people and make friends, such as the opportunity to meet societies and sports groups, scavenger hunts, quizzes and more.

When I am on campus or in the city with students from my bubble, how will other people know we are members of a household and are not required to maintain social distancing within our group?

If you are challenged, particularly on non-University property, any document with your term-time address on should demonstrate that you all live together as a household. The University issues a certificate of registration to students around the start of term which shows that you are registered as a University of Leicester student and states your term-time address. We are aiming to issue PDF certificates of registration to students shortly after the start of term which you should be able to access on your phone or other mobile device if you need to demonstrate your address.

Where on campus are the open learning spaces we are able to access?

We would encourage you to make full use of the spaces you have available to you, e.g. your own flat and bedroom, as well as the social learning space in your accommodation, and only use space on campus when absolutely necessary.  However we recognise that travelling back to your accommodation between taught sessions may not be realistic.

We will be releasing more information about the location and the times you will be able to access open learning spaces on campus soon.