A message regarding our response to COVID-19

In these unprecedented times, our thoughts are with all communities around the world.

Here at Bristol, the health and wellbeing of our students and colleagues is our top priority. 

For some weeks, we have been working intensively with colleagues across the University, and with Public Health England (PHE), the NHS and other partners to plan for all scenarios. This work will help prevent the spread of the virus, support affected staff and students and limit the impact of the outbreak on our academic activities and operations.  

It is for this reason that today, Wednesday 18 March, will be the last day of face to face lectures, tutorials and seminars and the end of teaching for this current term (brought forward from Friday 27 March).  

Importantly, the University is currently not closing, although many of our operations will be substantially reduced. We continue to house and care for students, we continue to research and plan for next term’s teaching, and support our students and staff.  

We expect and hope that term will start again on Monday 20 April 2020, although there is no doubt that the term will feel markedly different. We are transitioning to online teaching and assessment – an enormous challenge and opportunity for many colleagues, but one that I know we will embrace.  

For now, our main library will be repurposed as a study centre with appropriate safety protocols in place to create a safer study space. Some research facilities will remain open. I also want to assure our staff and students that our wellbeing support for staff and students will remain available throughout the extended Easter vacation.  

We are also dedicated to supporting our international staff and students to help resolve any additional concerns they have, and who may feel particularly isolated at this time. 

At the University of Bristol, we are proud to have friends, colleagues, collaborators and alumni all over the world. During these challenging times, it is important that we all pull together. As so many of us work remotely or find ourselves in isolation, let’s make the effort to reach out to each other, to offer support where we can and stay connected.  

This is indeed a very worrying time for us all, but I am confident we can harness our collective ingenuity, resolve and passion to navigate the choppy waters ahead. 

Students and staff can continue to keep updated on the latest developments through our Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage