Some University of Nottingham students studying for a year abroad have recently been informed via email from their heads of school advising they cut their programme short and return home early as coronavirus cases soar.
The announcement follows the rise of UK cases of the coronavirus to 460, including 8 deaths, and the World Health Organisation’s declaration of the virus as a global pandemic. The UK is now expected to move into its delay phase of dealing with the virus as the government conduct a Cobra meeting to decide on the next steps forward.
“There are fears that rapid action from the university could lead to further anxieties”
The email to students states that the university will be flexible about its requirements for ending study abroad courses and will make appropriate adjustments in due course to allow students to finalise their year. It does however offer students the option to stay abroad if they wish whilst awaiting a formal government response, however warns that this is against official University advice. The statement seeks to reassure students who have “very reasonable anxieties” about the coronavirus, however there are fears that rapid action from the university could lead to further anxieties as students try to rush for flights home despite rising travel restrictions. Earlier this week, for example, Donald Trump banned all travel from Europe expect the UK.
“the risk fo the virus in the UK is moderate however they are reviewing their position and courses of action on a daily basis”
This action comes as part of a wider response from the university to try and minimise the risks of the virus as much as possible. It has also meant the cancellation of some public gatherings to curtail the spread, such as an open day that was due to take place on the University of Nottingham’s Malaysia campus. The University currently has incident management teams chaired by Dr Paul Greatrix and Professor Sarah O’Harra and continue to stress that the risk of the virus in the UK is moderate however they are reviewing their position and courses of action on a daily basis.
If you are worried about the coronavirus and how it may affect you, more information relating to the University’s response can be found here.