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Community Matters has gone digital!

Welcome to the Summer 2020 edition of Community Matters which is now only available to read digitally.

The first digital only edition was originally scheduled for September 2020 but this has been brought forward due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Please spread the word and if you know of anyone that would like to receive a digital copy of Community Matters by email, please ask them to contact to subscribe. 

Message from the Principal, Professor Paul Layzell

Over the last few months we have all experienced events that are unprecedented in our lifetime and it is at times like these that we all draw on the strength of our extended communities to help us navigate these uncertain times. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you, your family and friends good health.

How Royal Holloway is managing the impact of the pandemic
The university has been closely monitoring the outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19) and following advice from Public Health England, together with guidance from the NHS and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

Following the government's introduction of social distancing measures and the lockdown in March, the university suspended all face-to-face teaching. All classes, lectures, assessments, exams and other teaching and learning support are being conducted online for the rest of the academic year.

The government has briefed the nation on the UK’s Covid-19 recovery strategy. The updated information means that the university continues to remain partially open only for those students who are still on campus, who the university continues to support, and to essential university staff. All public events on campus remain postponed or cancelled at the current time. Where possible, some events and exhibitions are being hosted online and members of the local community can find out more about these in the 'University events' section below. 

For the time being, all capital projects and planned construction work has been suspended. As the situation develops, and in line with the government’s direction, we will update the local community on any plans to develop the university's historic estate.

Looking ahead to the start of the new academic year, the university is planning for its students to arrive on campus as usual in September. However, recognising what is likely to be a sustained period of uncertainty and instability, Royal Holloway is adapting its approach to ensure UK and internationally based students can confidently begin their studies with us even if travel restrictions, or other measures to contain the virus, are in place. 

New COVID-19 resource platform launched

A new Covid-19 resource platform has been launched for the public, health practitioners, and academics to provide the most up-to-date and reliable sources of information about coronavirus through a single platform.

The platform was developed by academics at Royal Holloway and Eldoret University, Kenya, on behalf of the Regional Hubs of The Planetary Health Alliance (PHA).

Find out more
New research could have huge implications for the history of the universe

Research by T2K, an international collaboration of 60 universities, including Royal Holloway and eight other UK institutions, reveals the first real record of the difference between matter and antimatter, which will help us understand how the universe was created.

Dr Asher Kaboth from the Department of Physics at Royal Holloway, and lead collaborator on the research, said: "The most exciting aspect of this development is the unprecedented precision we can now have in this measurement. We're moving from some interesting hints to real statistical power. We're continuing to take data and we hope that we will continue to seek out this fascinating and incredible effect.

"It excites me because we're studying these tiny particles and they have such huge conclusions for the history of the universe."

Learn more

Royal Holloway wins landmark £1m grant to boost quantum technologies in the UK

Royal Holloway has been granted £1 million as part of an award given by Innovate UK to the Oxford Quantum Circuits-led consortium, which the university is part of.

This is the largest ever government grant (£7m in total) aimed at the commercialisation of superconducting quantum technologies, and positions the UK as a global leader in the field.

Together, four companies, Royal Holloway and another university will develop foundry and measurement services which will underpin major commercial developments across the economy.

Read more

New drug could give hope to those with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and help prolong lives

Academics at Royal Holloway have developed a new genetic medicine that has been given the go ahead by the U.S Food and Drug Association (FDA) to be prescribed globally to a subset of patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), a rare genetic disease that causes muscle weakness and wasting.

The drug was developed by Dr Linda Popplewell and Professor George Dickson, both from the Department of Biological Sciences, who are leading the development of various gene therapies for DMD and other muscular dystrophies.

Read the full story

Tree planting at Royal Holloway for Surrey Tree Week

During Surrey Tree Week (1-8 March 2020), local MPs from across Surrey planted trees in their local constituencies. This was part of Surrey County Council's commitment to planting 1.2 million trees throughout Surrey by 2030.

Dr Ben Spencer, MP for Runnymede and Weybridge and Dr David Ashton, Deputy Principal at Royal Holloway (pictured above), planted the tree for Runnymede and Weybridge in the university's Egham campus.

Royal Holloway already has a significant tree collection, including a large proportion of mature trees, both native varieties and an interesting collection of unusual trees. The trees provide an essential role in terms of production of oxygen, storage of carbon, reducing water run-off and are rich habitat for wildlife, and at times, the subject of academic research.

Read more

Royal Holloway's community choir goes online

Holloway Notes, a local community choir in Egham has gone online during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The choir, which is organised and led by Royal Holloway students and seed-funded by LinkAble, is a space where adults with autism, social anxiety or a learning disability can make music together while virtually meeting other members of the community.

Holloway Notes virtual singing sessions are running every Wednesday at 2pm and new participants from the local community are welcome.

The choir recently won the Judge's Choice Award and the National Societies and Volunteering Award at the virtual National Societies and Volunteering Awards held on 6 May 2020.

Read more

Royal Holloway Students' Union ranked in Best Charities to Work For 2020

Royal Holloway Students' Union was ranked seventh in the list of Best Charities to Work For 2020. The rankings were judged by 'Third Sector', the UK's leading publication for the charity and voluntary sector and 'Best Companies Group', an independent workplace excellence research firm.

Find out more

What's on: University events

Royal Holloway holds a number of events each year which are open to the public. Due to the outbreak of coronavirus, all face-to-face public events have currently been cancelled or postponed. Where possible these are being hosted online, please see below.

Singles at Six
At 6pm every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, the Choir of Royal Holloway is releasing videos of their performances from recent years on Facebook and Youtube.

Exhibitions and art collections online
Discover the stories of Royal Holloway's art collections as told by the university's Curators, and experience the exhibitions Royal Holloway has hosted in its Exhibition Space. Find out more.

Online fitness and wellbeing classes
Royal Holloway Sports are offering virtual fitness classes every day of the week on their Facebook page. Join them for pilates, yoga, body combat and more! View the class timetable for more information. There is no need to book, simply go to the Facebook page at the time of the class. 

Community drop-in session - 19 May 2020

Royal Holloway holds a termly drop-in session for local residents and the next session will take place on Tuesday 19 May from 5pm to 6pm.

Due to restrictions in place to help manage the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, it is not possible to hold the session face-to-face or on campus. Instead, we will now be offering individual sessions over the phone between 5pm and 6pm on Tuesday 19 May.

To arrange an appointment between 5pm and 6pm where you can speak to a representative about any concerns you have in relation to the university's activities, please email by midday on Monday 18 May.
To keep up to date with what the students and staff from Royal Holloway are up to during these unprecedented times, follow #RHTogether on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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Royal Holloway Community Matters · Royal Holloway, University of London · Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX · United Kingdom

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