THE University of Worcester insists keeping the city safe is a top priority as it prepares to welcome students from around the globe next week.

Professor David Green, the university’s vice chancellor and chief executive, said: “Our priority is the safety and wellbeing of all our students, staff and the wider community.

“We are working in close partnership with the city and county councils, the NHS Health Trusts, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce and other key community and business organisations to do our best to ensure the city and wider region minimises the damage and recovers as swiftly as possible from the pandemic.”

Sharon Smith, chief executive of Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Student spending provides a valuable contribution towards the local economy, supporting local businesses and providing a number of jobs to the city.

“We encourage students to continue enjoying all that Worcestershire has to offer them as part of their full University experience and trust that they will do so safely and responsibly.

Dr Kathryn Cobain, the director for public health in Worcestershire added: “A very warm welcome to all students arriving in our county for the first time or returning for another academic year.

“Our students add to the vibrancy of our region and we are delighted to see you back. To ensure your student life can be productive and enjoyable, I’d ask you all to do your bit, and stick to the social distancing guidelines.

“I understand this will be challenging at times but following these simple guidelines will help to keep you, your university friends and the wider community safe.

“I hope you have a wonderful year ahead.”