As well as supporting the NHS,
universities are supporting their staff and students to volunteer to help
vulnerable and isolated people, deliver food and fill local skills gaps. Online
courses are either being set or made available to the public covering both practical
advice and a range of topics that anyone could be interested to learn about, from
exercise to museum tours.
Universities are already
engaging with a wide range of local partners to meet their needs including the
NHS, police, local government, businesses and charities. Examples of what
universities are doing can be found on the #WeAreTogether pages of our website and on social media; just search #WeAreTogether.
As well as local activities
and support there are clear national needs and calls for support. There are
many requests, ideas and needs that
universities are doing their best to meet.
To help universities meet national
requests effectively, Universities UK is establishing key contacts in
universities to ensure that requests can get to universities quickly. UUK is
also building a network of national departments, agencies and partners to help
ensure national requests for help are clear, co-ordinated and enable
universities to offer the most effective support as quickly as possible.
UUK will be collating, co-ordinating
and communicating national requests to universities. UUK will also identify, develop
and share additional guidance and information where this is needed to share
good practice and save time.
We are also partnering with the Civic Universities Network, The National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement, the NHS Confederation, The Department for Education and GuildHE to collectively reach out to a wide range of stakeholders to inform and support the university and higher education response.
On 16 April a joint letter from Universities Minister Michelle Donelan MP and Science and Research Minister Amanda Solloway MP was sent to university leaders to express gratitude for their help and support tackling the Covid-19 pandemic. The significant contribution university-based research is making to understanding, diagnosing and treating the virus was acknowledged by both ministers.
The letter highlighted that more support was needed in the areas of:
The full letter, including further details of these requests, can be read as a pdf.
A list of live requests for university assistance can be found below. These will be updated daily throughout the pandemic, and we encourage universities to engage with requests where they have capacity. Full details for each request are included in the linked document including specific requirements, timescales and how to respond.
Identification of accommodation to house NHS staff (R001- 27 March)
Recruitment of qualified staff to support the expansion
of testing for COVID-19 in laboratories in Milton Keynes, Cheshire and Glasgow
(R002- 3 April)
Flyer for R002
Request for identification of possible car parking sites
for drive through Covid-19 testing sites for NHS staff and key workers (R004- 5
Site selection criteria
Photos of example site
Request for solutions and ideas: National Covid-19 testing (R005- 11 April)
For more information, email: Covid19@universitiesuk.ac.uk.