Important All guidance is continually under review. Please contact your branch or regional office if faced with an urgent issue.

Covid-19 HE

Information for HE members

Covid-19 crisis information and advice for member working in higher education.

HE-specific advice for members

Branch health and safety briefing:

Read the full UCU advice here

Key member news on the crisis and its impact on higher education

UCU issues legal challenge over Westminster government's decision to ignore SAGE advice

UCU takes legal action against on campus health and safety

UCU launches petition demanding universities move online as campus Covid-19 cases hit 20k

Sign the petition.

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Government ignored scientists' advice to move university teaching online

UCU Scotland says new measures don't go far enough

UCU and the National Union Students issue joint statement calling for action over university Covid crisis

Gavin Williamson 'clearly wrong' to say universities are well prepared for Covid crisis

'Move universities online now': UCU's demand to PM

UCU response to potential Christmas lockdown for students away from home

UCU response to prime minister's new Covid restrictions statement

UCU puts government and employers on notice as it launches Covid monitoring in colleges and universities

Jo Grady tells TUC a second Covid wave can be prevented, but unions must lead the way

Latest government university guidance and young people infection rates prove case for online learning, says UCU

PM's 'ridiculously irresponsible' plan to force students to stay in event of Covid outbreak

UCU response to SAGE report on Covid in higher education

UCU comment on Scottish government guidance on reopening university campuses

Is it safe to reopen universities and colleges? Catch up with our online event held in advance of colleges and universities reopening:

Universities must not become the care homes of a Covid second wave

UCU Scotland calls for face coverings to be mandatory indoors on university campuses

Students support caution as universities plan return for new academic year

New study demonstrates huge local economic impact of universities
Study shows Scotland's universities support tens of thousands of jobs and generate billions for the country

​​​​​​​UCU members to defend most vulnerable staff as universities refuse to come clean on job cut plans

Labour Party's seven tests for higher education and demand for government support

Westminster government must follow Welsh lead in supporting colleges and universities

UCU and NUS condemn government using Covid-19 crisis to impose restriction on universities

UCU accuses ministers of using looming financial crisis to try and impose severe restrictions on universities

Voters in marginal seats fear local damage from university cuts and want government to intervene

Gavin Williamson speech response: Road to recovery must not involve cutting access to education

Government must back universities as report warns of financial crisis

Latest government support package fails to put students and staff at the centre of recovery plans, says UCU

UCU Scotland has produced a new report which looks at the findings from the London Economics analysis of the scale of the likely impact of the Covid-19 crisis on Scottish higher education:  Protecting jobs in HE in Scotland from the impact of Covid-19 [176kb]

Economic recovery group says Scotland's universities and colleges need protection from financial hit of Covid crisis

UCU launches 'Fund the Future' campaign to secure universities and colleges
Anger as University of Portsmouth restarts process to slash jobs during Covid-19 crisis

Covid-19 scientists' outcry at Imperial College's plans to axe vital staff

Need for government to underwrite universities as report warns of huge loss in income from international students

UCU has published five tests for a safe return to on-campus working [156kb]. See the perspective from UCU Scotland.

Also today, UCU reports that almost a quarter of prospective students fear their university could go bust as a result of Covid-19 crisis..

UCU response to plans for student number controls
UCU Scotland disconcerted over English student number cap

​​​​​​​Universities' reopening plans are only adding to confusion
UCU calls for government support as poll shows students may defer study and consider changing university

UCU calls for government support as poll shows students may defer study and consider changing university

New UCU report published which looks at the findings from the London Economics analysis of the scale of the likely impact of the Covid-19 crisis on higher education. It includes guidance for branches on how to use the findings at a local level: Protecting jobs in HE from the impact of Covid-19 [160kb].

See also the London Economics' impact report for Wales only. [1mb]

Government support package for universities doesn't provide protection the sector needs

New guidance for academic-related professional staff issued: UCU is aware that some ARPS staff in areas such as IT and facilities will need to attend on-site as part of skeleton staffing teams, to ensure that their institution can continue to function and to provide and maintain essential services eg, IT support for online teaching and learning. Please read our guidance for ARPS members here. [152kb]

University of Manchester under fire for job loss plans

Universities' £2.5bn 'black hole' will cost economy £6bn and 60,000 jobs, warns report

Durham University must halt plans to slash teaching by 25%, says UCU

UCU says Universities UK's proposals to support universities do not go far enough

Protect universities and colleges now so they can lead recovery, UCU tells minister

UCU general secretary Jo Grady has updated members on the situation with regards to the ongoing USS and HE 'four fights' disputes in light of the Covid-19 crisis.

Research Excellence Framework postponement announced: UCU said the cancellation of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) is an opportunity to reform how research is reviewed and funding is allocated, and welcomed the news  saying it was the only sensible move in the circumstances.

UCU calls on UK Research and Innovation (on behalf of all the research councils) to be flexible regarding deadlines for funding bids but more importantly to get them to support the continuing employment of fixed-term contract researchers during the current period: UCU letter to UKRI: retention of fixed-term workers, 24 Mar 20 [202kb]

Reballots postponed due to Covid-19; pickets cancelled but action continues