UON coronavirus update: Suspension of face-to-face teaching

Date 17.03.2020

**Update 20 May 2020 – the provisional date of reopening of 29 May is no longer in place. Reopening will resume at a date to be confirmed.**

As the circumstances surrounding the ongoing pandemic unfold – and in the interests of following official advice regarding social distancing – the University has taken the difficult decision to restrict access to the majority of its buildings and suspend face-to-face teaching from 5pm on Friday 20 March. This is in an effort to control the spread of Coronavirus/COVID19 and in line with official guidance. While we regret this action is necessary, the safety of our community is our first concern.

What will this mean?

From 5 pm on Friday 20 March the University will close all buildings except for the following on Waterside campus:

  • All halls of residence – which is necessary for students without alternative accommodation. Residents in University accommodation will receive an email with details of their options.

Please be aware that due to changes to the government’s ‘stay at home’ notice, the Learning Hub will be closed from 9pm on Monday 23 March. We will be regularly reviewing this decision in line with government guidance. The Nursing and Midwifery Council has made the decision to temporarily close the Competency Test Centre test centre as of 24 March 2020 in an attempt to reduce the risk of spreading of the Coronavirus.

Buildings at St George’s Avenue will close from the same date. At present the University does not intend to close the Podiatry Clinic in Cliftonville Road.

Students in halls of residence who are not able to return home can stay in their accommodation and the following services will remain available for use:

  • Onsite security and Campus Police support;
  • Housekeeping and waste removal facilities;
  • Residential Life;
  • GP Surgery at Waterside; (This has now been closed. Please call 01604 644126 to make an essential telephone appointment booking.)
  • Limited catering provision in the Market restaurant at Waterside.

If a student is required to self-isolate and is currently living in halls of residence please contact safety@northampton.ac.uk and we will contact you to make appropriate arrangements.

If you choose to return home we would ask that you dispose of perishable food, take as many of your belongings with you as possible, secure your bedroom and notify us via email using accommodation@northampton.ac.uk so we can direct support and resources to students remaining on site.

What about teaching?

Provisions have been made to ensure that staff who are able to can continue to work and teach students remotely to avoid physically gathering in groups. We are also making provisions for alternative assessment.

Your course tutor will be in touch with you directly regarding the circumstances that will allow you to continue your studies. These may include, but not be limited to:

  • Provision of online learning and teaching;
  • Review of practical sessions;
  • Alternative assessments and exams – details of these will be available by the beginning of April. Please check NILE for details as this will be a central resource for individual courses.

The University is in discussion with providers of student placements to ensure as much continuity as possible in line with their own protocols. The University has added FAQs for students on placements to its Situation Updates page.

When will the buildings reopen and normal teaching resume?

The University will continue to update the Situation Updates pages of the website with the latest information and timescales for when the closed facilities will reopen but our provisional date is Monday 20 April. However, this is subject to change depending on circumstances and guidance.

Please know that this is not a decision arrived at lightly, and we are doing all we can to ensure you continue to receive the highest possible standard of education while safeguarding your health and wellbeing.


Note for media

Please note this information has been sent to students, and also forms the University of Northampton’s media statement about the suspension of face-to-face teaching. For further media enquiries, please email news@northampton.ac.uk.