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Update to staff - 16 March at 7.30pm

Dear Colleagues

I want to start by thanking colleagues for the overwhelming good grace with which they have responded to the difficult situation of the last few days. I am personally hugely appreciative of this. 

As you may be aware the Government have announced daily briefings regarding the country’s COVID-19 response, the first of which was today.

The University’s COVID-19 response group has met this evening to absorb the details of today’s Government briefing.  More detail will follow tomorrow, but we have decided to communicate early and escalate our response in accordance with our pre-prepared plan.  The key points are:

  • Any face to face classes, labs, seminars or tutorials scheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday) will not go ahead and all of these activities are suspended until further notice. Details of the online replacement activity will follow tomorrow.
  • Lectures have already moved online, and students should access these via Learn.
  • We will advise more details of teaching and assessment structures in the coming days.
  • The libraries on both our campuses will remain open but with limited capacity to allow physical distancing.
  • Students should leave the campus if they wish to do so.  Our University’s halls of residence will remain open and function as close to normal as possible.  We know that many of our students are unable to leave or may have an important reason to stay until the end of term. This is a personal decision but leaving now for the approaching vacation will incur no penalty.
  • Some catering outlets will remain open. 
  • Applicant visit days and face to face interviews scheduled before Easter will be postponed but please note that the communication of this to applicants will be managed by Marketing & Advancement, in consultation with the Deans.
  • LSU have informed us they intend to significantly reduce their activity tomorrow.
  • Any non-essential travel should cease.

Colleagues with certain medically diagnosed underlying health conditions, those over seventy and pregnant women should work remotely in accordance with our FAQs with immediate effect. Please can you let your manager know.

Other colleagues should work to their normal pattern or pattern agreed with their manager for now and await further guidance tomorrow.

I understand there will be many questions that you may have. The response team will continue to work tonight so we can update our FAQs as soon as possible in the morning. Current information can be found at

This is an unprecedented and challenging time.  All  I ask of colleagues is that we continue to show  professionalism, support and concern for each other, support the academic studies of our students as best we can, and take care of ourselves. 

Kind wishes at this time 

Richard Taylor 
Chief Operating Officer 


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