COVID-19: Durham suspends classroom-based teaching

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All classroom-based teaching at Durham University will be cancelled next week following the continued outbreak of the Coronavirus.

The University will remain open but staff have been requested to change the delivery and format of all teaching next week. This means that all class-room based lessons will be cancelled, and alternative methods of teaching such as online learning will be used instead.

Students have been told that if they want to leave Durham tomorrow after their last class tomorrow (Friday 13), they can continue to participate in classes remotely. The University will then break up for the Easter holidays on Friday 20 March, and it is unclear what will happen after this.

The Library and university college accommodation, however, will remain open for the foreseeable future. Colleagues have been advised to explore remote working options so that they can continue to work from home.

Some members of the University community have been taken by surprise as the University is yet to announce any confirmed cases of the Coronavirus. Despite this, the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in Darlington on Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases in the North East to 12 at the time of writing.

This week the University has also advised students on placement in Italy to return home, and has announced that large-scale conferences and events should be cancelled.

On its website, Durham University stated: “Colleagues who are at most risk from the coronavirus will be asked to work from home wherever possible and will be enabled to do so.”

King’s College London has emailed students alerting them that all exams scheduled for the summer will be changed to alternative methods of assessment, Manchester Metropolitan University has told students that face-to-face teaching will not resume after Easter break, and all universities schools and colleges in Ireland were shut down this morning for the remainder of the month.

Last modified: 14th March 2020

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