The new academic year at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) will begin on 28 September with a combination of face-to-face and online teaching.
The announcement comes as Scotland enters the first phase of its easing of lockdown restrictions.
Applications are open for courses at its six campuses across Scotland: Ayr, Barony (near Dumfries), Craibstone (Aberdeen), Edinburgh, Elmwood (near St Andrews in Fife) and Oatridge (West Lothian), while current students have been given details of when they can expect to return to their studies.
To allow high-quality, socially distanced, on-campus delivery of vital practical elements in courses such as agriculture, engineering, horticulture, vet nursing and animal care, seminars and lectures will – as far as possible – take place online during the first semester.
Coupled with small class sizes, the new arrangements will give SRUC greater ability to adapt to changes in social distancing guidance and ensure the best possible experience for students should restrictions come back into effect in the future.
Professor Wayne Powell, Principal and Chief Executive of SRUC, said: “Like everything else, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the education sector and – over the past two months – students and staff at SRUC have had to adapt to new ways of learning and new ways of teaching.
“Prior to lockdown, SRUC had seen an increase in the number of applications for next year. We want to reassure potential and new students that we will provide an outstanding, high-quality experience while studying at SRUC.
“Fortunately, we were already looking to the future by introducing more blended (online and face-to-face) ways of teaching and learning. Under this new approach, students are equal partners in SRUC, and we will empower our students to have more choice in how they learn.
“With lockdown measures being gradually eased, now is the perfect time to look ahead and we are excited and working hard to ensure that our students continue to enjoy high-quality, purposeful learning in 2020-21.
“We are delighted to welcome students on to exciting courses that are designed to support the sustainability of our natural economy and preparing our graduates with new knowledge and skills in areas such as digital technology and new approaches to precision agriculture.”
SRUC’s Edinburgh campus will be holding a number of virtual open days this week highlighting a range of courses, including Agriculture, Horticulture and Environment and Conservation, through online presentations and videos.
To find out more or to book your place, visit: www.sruc.ac.uk/opendays