Professor Wendy Thomson CBE, Vice-Chancellor of the University of London, has a message for all our alumni.
As the impact of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic continues to be felt extensively in many areas around the world, the importance of community cannot be over-emphasised. I wanted to reach out during these unprecedented times and provide you, as a valued member of the University of London alumni community, with an update on the University’s response to this rapidly evolving situation.
We know that some of our alumni have been affected by COVID-19 since the beginning of the year, and more are being impacted, either directly or indirectly, each day. Our thoughts are especially with all those who are unwell, or who have lost loved ones.
We want to express our sincere gratitude to the large number of alumni around the world who do so much to contribute to society, especially during difficult times. Some of you will be involved with the pandemic more directly, as healthcare professionals, researchers, scientists and policymakers, or in other key roles. We are incredibly grateful for the vastly important work that you are doing. We also applaud the work of the University’s member institutions whose academics and researchers are playing key roles in supporting the response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The University’s response to COVID-19
Here at the University's London HQ, the health and wellbeing of our students and colleagues is of paramount importance. In line with the latest WHO recommendations and UK government guidance, the University has taken the decision to close all central London administrative buildings, including Senate House and Senate House Library, as well as the University of London Institute in Paris. The closure will be in place until further notice and will be subject to ongoing review.
Our academics and colleagues continue to support our global community of students by working and delivering instruction remotely. As a pioneer in flexible learning for more than 160 years, we are fortunate that the University already has robust systems in place to enable online and distance study. It is what makes the University of London unique. We are therefore also able to provide advice and support to some of the University’s member institutions, who are moving their programmes to online teaching and learning during the pandemic. At times like these, the positive and collaborative nature of the University of London Federation has never been more important.
We have set up a dedicated webpage to reflect the University of London’s position on COVID-19 and to provide guidance to our community, including information for students and their families. Here, you will also find links to resources related to the pandemic, which may be of interest, such as a free, online course offered by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSH&TM). LSH&TM have been on the forefront of helping to combat the disease, using their predictive modelling and other research skills. The School is offering this course, designed for those without a medical background, as an opportunity to learn more about COVID-19, and how we respond to it going forward. You are welcome to share this with colleagues, friends and family; the course is open to all those with an interest in learning more about COVID-19.