UWS Students and Staff face nervous wait for COVID-19 update

By Gordon McColm

Last Friday, UWS students were sent an email that advised them “not to attend our campuses from Monday 16 March 2020”. The information was also posted online. Staff also received the email but they’ve been asked to remain on campus and provide support to their students. We’ve reached out to some of the staff working on campus today to hear how they’ve been affected by the changes.

Today has been the first day with the new measures, so what has campus been like? “Pretty quiet” is the verdict from Chris Gilgallon. He’s a lecturer for the Broadcast Production course ran by UWS. He tells me he’s spent the weekend trying to work out what he could do to change some of the upcoming assessments for his students. Guidance is a buzzword that came up frequently in our discussion, the university is yet to provide clarity and additional measures since the announcement on Friday. It means staff and students are still waiting to hear any changes not only to assessments but also for upcoming exams or what support is available to international students.

The situation is a fluid one though, at the time of writing University Management is meeting to discuss the next steps for dealing with the outbreak. The UK government only yesterday announced a daily briefing on the spread of the virus. In all likelihood the discussions have been held back until this afternoon in order to await any new measures announced this morning. None have been made.

For now, students and staff are faced with waiting to hear what the current and any new measures could mean.

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