Skip to main content

A message from the Vice-Chancellor to the University of London community


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. In these unprecedented times, I wish to provide the University of London community with an update on the University’s response to this rapidly evolving situation.

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 (LSHTM). LSHTM 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. 

These are challenging times, which have required an enormous amount of rapid decision making, planning, and understanding from all. I am sincerely grateful to the entire University of London community: students, staff, alumni, donors, friends and partners – for the part they are playing in the University’s response. 

Professor Wendy Thomson CBE
Vice-Chancellor of the University of London