University of Sussex suspends teaching

Posted On 16 Mar 2020 at 10:04 am

The University of Sussex has suspended teaching with immediate effect ahead of a move to online classes from next Monday.

The campus will remain open for essential services but the university says it has listened to its community in making this decision.

An email sent to staff this morning said: “The University Executive Group has decided to suspend all teaching for this week and begin online teaching from Monday 23 March. This will take effect immediately today.

“The University campus will remain open and essential services will still be provided.

“We appreciate that some teaching will have already started today and staff will already be on campus so we apologise for any inconvenience.

“Do look out for more information today on email as we will providing more details about online teaching as well as working from home, institutional events and travel.

“We have listened to our whole community in coming to this decision and we believe strongly it is the right one for all.

“The wellbeing of our staff and students will always be our number one priority and we hope you understand this measure has been taken as we believe this is best for our community.”

Students were sent a similar message at the same time. 

On Friday, it said it had established a senior-level Covid-19 working group, to monitor developments, prepare and action the university’s response.

It was also considering policies and practical arrangements for:

  • Working from home, sick leave and caring for others – (such as technology)
  • Delivering core functions – such as food, security, medical and health – in the event of campus closures or part-closures
  • Delivering and assessing teaching and other key institutional activities
  • Extending or making changes to the academic year

In an update published this morning, the University of Brighton said it was remaining open.

The statement said: “The welfare of our staff and students is the university’s highest priority. We are continuously monitoring the situation and liaising closely with Public Health England (PHE), acting in line with their latest advice at all times.

“Based on this advice the university remains open.

“However, as the UK Government has raised the risk level to high and moved its strategy into a new ‘delay’ phase, we are reviewing our current approach and as a result:

  • All non-essential international travel and field trips are being cancelled
  • All UK trips are being reviewed on a case-by-case basis
  • All planned university events are being reviewed
  • We are reviewing arrangements for the delivery of remote learning, teaching and assessment
  • We are ensuring that any impacts of COVID-19 are taken fully into account through our mitigating circumstances processes for assessments”

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