Student and Staff Wellbeing

Covid-19 Update - 17 March 2020

Message from the Academic Registrar, 17 March

Lucy Backhurst, Academic Registrar shares the latest updates with students.

Dear Students,

Yesterday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced significant new measures designed to manage the spread of Coronavirus. The latest advice is available on Public Health England website, and includes stopping non-essential contact with others, staying at home if you are unwell, avoiding non-essential travel and working from home if you can. On the basis of this advice, we are advising students to do the following:

Go home if you can

We encourage all students, including those studying abroad and on placements, to make plans to go home if you are able to do so. If you are currently self-isolating you should follow Public Health England advice, or the equivalent advice for the country you are resident in, before leaving.

If you are in University accommodation and are unable to go home for any reason, accommodation and other essential services will continue to be open for you if you need them.   A separate communication will be sent to students in University accommodation later today.  If you are an EU or International student and travel bans mean you are unable to go home, then continue to follow the latest advice from Public Health England.

Please be aware that the University is considering options regarding accommodation charges and will update you as and when we can.

Face to face teaching will stop

As of today, Tuesday 17 March, all face to face teaching has stopped.  We are developing online resources, but this will take some time to organise.  Your school or academic unit will contact you with details of the local arrangements that are being put in place. You should be able to contact your academic tutor / module leader and/or supervisors electronically.

Alternative assessments

We are in the process of looking at alternative assessments for all our undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes. Your School / Unit / programme leader will contact you as soon as decisions have been made. Arrangements for assessment for Postgraduate Research Students will be on an individual basis and you should keep in close contact with your supervisor.   

Accessing online resources

An IT services toolkitis available to support students working from home or away from the University. The toolkit highlights the options available for off-campus access to University IT services and software. It provides guidance on which services to use depending on what you want to do, along with advice on the equipment or software you need. 

University events and graduation ceremonies

All University-run and NUSU events will be cancelled until further notice.

Summer 2020 graduation ceremonies will be postponed but please note final year students will be able to attend a graduation ceremony in the future.  Please be reassured that you do not have to attend a ceremony in order to successfully graduate – the ceremony is just the celebration!

Essential services and facilities

We are doing everything we can, within the constraints of the Government guidance, to provide essential services for our students. Our priority is:

·         To keep our accommodation sites open for students who stay with us

·         To provide a basic level of library services, although this is being reviewed daily

·         To provide essential wellbeing and counselling services for those students most in need   

·         To keep King’s Gate and the Students’ Union open, with a skeleton service provided. 

·         Please note that our Sports Services and facilities will be closed until further notice. 

Keeping you safe and informed

We recognise that this will cause massive and unprecedented disruption for you and your studies. Please be reassured that we will do everything we can to ensure that you are able to continue with your studies.

Please follow national and local advice, be kind and help those in our community who are most vulnerable at this difficult time. I will write to you again tomorrow with another daily update.

If you have any questions, please consult the Frequently Asked Questions that are available on the Coronavirus webpages.  If your questions are not answered there then please email them to

With best wishes,


Lucy Backhurst

Academic Registrar

Student and Academic Services