Over the course of 2020, Alliance universities have been at the forefront of the response to the Covid pandemic, proudly supporting their communities, and the nation, throughout this difficult year.
This includes training a significant proportion of the NHS frontline workforce, contributing to lifesaving research, donating vital supplies and facilities, and supporting local community initiatives. Our universities have also worked hard to keep their institutions open for teaching, learning, and research, moving swiftly to establish blended online provision. They have supported a safe return to campus too; providing Covid-safe facilities and supporting the wellbeing and mental health of students and staff.
This week we’re highlighting their vital contributions to the nation so far, showcasing their stories helping on the frontline, supporting their communities and delivering vital research and innovations in Covid care.
Supporting our communities
Throughout this crisis, our members have demonstrated their deep commitment to serving their communities. Staff and students have been leading volunteering initiatives to support vulnerable groups, and universities have been offering their support to local businesses to help them navigate the uncertainty.
Contributing research and innovation
Alliance universities are central to the hope that this country’s recovery will be driven by cutting-edge research and innovation. Through our focus on applied research, knowledge exchange and innovation, we are working towards ensuring a fairer, greener, healthier, more prosperous, and resilient UK.
Alliance universities are home to some of the most talented, dedicated, and innovative researchers in the country, and many are already working to respond to the immediate and longer-term challenges arising from the Covid outbreak.
Helping on the frontline
Hosting a Nightingale Field Hospital, developing rapid Covid tests, supporting students to graduate early and staff to return to work on the frontline and manufacturing PPE are just some of the many ways Alliance universities have supported the national effort to tackle the pandemic so far.
Alliance universities already play a vital role powering the NHS, training a significant proportion of the workforce and supporting local provision. And if we see an increased need for health services in the coming weeks, Alliance universities stand ready to once again mobilise their communities and hand over facilities and provisions to the front line.
Student mental health and wellbeing
The mental health and wellbeing of students remains the first priority for Alliance universities, who recognise the added uncertainty and distress students are likely to be experiencing throughout the pandemic. They continue to offer a full range of mental health and wellbeing support services, having adapted provision to enable online engagement and have introduced new processes and systems to support those in need.
All students can be assured that Alliance universities are doing everything reasonably practicable, following government guidelines, to create a Covid-safe learning environment. For those who are self-isolating, all universities and have established dedicated processes to support them including delivering food packages, wellbeing check-ins and buddy schemes.