The University of Gloucestershire has decided to stop using the word “freshers” for the week when new students move into the county. The reason for this action is the association of the word as a “negative connotation”.

The event will have “Welcome 2020” as a replacement. Incoming first year students will be provided with online events as a measure to keep each other safe and stop the spread of coronavirus.

There are arrangements for outdoor events including a cinema, comedy night and the welcome fayre.

University of Gloucestershire Students’ Union President, Luc Brown, said: “We know that for some people the term “freshers” has particular, negative connotations.

“We wanted to move away from that and towards what the first few weeks of the year should be about – welcoming our new students to the University and to Gloucestershire, so that’s why we’ve gone for ‘Welcome 2020’.”

“The safety, health and wellbeing of our students and the wider community is of course the most important thing to us when we’re thinking about events for the start of next year.

“We think our outdoor cinema, comedy night and Welcome Fayre along with a host of online events will give new students the opportunity to meet new friends for life whilst keeping one-another safe.

“We’re also working with our societies to be able to host some of the physical events online too, to give our students an option when it comes to Welcome.

“At times it’s easy to forget that we’re still in a global pandemic – it would be really wrong to hold in-person events that we thought were high risk and that’s why we’ve made the changes we have.

“We’re pleased to hear about the steps that venues in Gloucester are making to become ‘Covid-19 safe’ following a really tough period for those in the night-time economy.

“As a Purple Flag city, we know Gloucester is a destination safely enjoyed by a number of students and we hope that this continues to be the case in these really difficult times.”