What Goldsmiths is doing around Covid-19

Goldsmiths has been planning for the impact of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) since January.

Primary page content

See our changes to provision and facilities page for details of what is happening at Goldsmiths.

Teaching and assessment planning

On 16 March, the Critical Incident Group leading Goldsmiths' response met with Heads of Departments and Professional Services. A number of important decisions are being implemented regarding teaching, assessments and the operation of the university.

See the changes to provision page for details of these changes.

Critical Incident Group

A Critical Incident Group of senior managers has been meeting regularly, monitoring the situation and looking at what needs to be put in place. A procedure for looking after residents in our student accommodation was an early piece of work for this group. 

We already had a Business Continuity Plan, which covers how Goldsmiths should operate in extraordinary situations. This was officially put into action on Monday 9 March.

Working with Public Health England (PHE)

We are in regular contact with Public Health England, the UK’s official organisation for protecting the public’s health, and speak to them at least once a day. We have been following their guidance and ensuring they know what is happening on campus.

PHE have given us specific instructions on how to look after the people with Covid-19 and those self-isolating, which we followed. Read more about how we're looking after students in self-isolation in our interview with Head of Accomodation Services, Rocchi Acierno.

Cleaning and hygiene

We are going beyond the public health actions required by PHE. Our Estates and Facilities team have done the following:

  • Keep cups are temporarily not being accepted at our outlets
  • Food is not displayed in open counters but is now either pre-packed for self-selection or provided from behind hygiene screens and served on request
  • Increase in frequency of spot checks on bathroom/toilet facilities and replenishing of soap and paper towels
  • Hand sanitizer provided at main reception points during open hours
  • Cleaning staff provided with appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for their task
  • Posters on clean hands and hand washing display around campus
  • Cleaning disinfection packs are prepared for issue to students if they need to self-isolate
  • Daily checks on high volume bathroom/toilet facilities by maintenance team to ensure no system failures
  • Cleaning team using appropriate disinfection for specified tasks
  • Increase in disinfection cleaning of touchpoints i.e. lift buttons, tables, door handles etc
  • Additional consumables procured to ensure supplies are maintained
  • Where possible, air handling units have been configured to 100% fresh air to minimise cross contamination

Communications

We added a Covid-19 information page to our website and Goldsmiths App on 24 January and have reviewed and updated it daily. On 5 March we expanded it into a section of pages.

We had planned to send Covid-19 specific emails to students and staff on 5 March, but this was brought forward when our guest was diagnosed with Covid-19. We then emailed students and staff over the next three days to give them important information about what was happening on campus and everyone needs to do to help delay the spread of the virus.

We will continue to email students and staff to tell people important health information or when there is a significant development around Covid-19 at Goldsmiths. This will include changes to our provision.

Our website will continue to be regularly reviewed. We will use the Goldsmiths App to send vital notifications.

Planning for the impact

Workstreams have been drawing together staff from across Goldsmiths. They have been looking at steps we can take to mitigate the impact Covid-19 has on Goldsmiths.

HR and staffing

Including review of policies including absence and sick pay, frontline services and how we can support individuals with caring responsibilities.

Business critical services

This group is identifying and reviewing priority services, including student and research services.

Infrastructure

This is focusing on students and staff being able to work from home and access the materials they need.

Teaching, learning and student support

This is a major area looking at assessments and alternative platforms for learning.

Immigration and international

Looking at visa arrangements for current and potential students, as well as supporting our students who are abroad.

Communications

How we keep everyone informed about what is happening.

Facilities and estate

Ensuring our buildings are clean and services are in place for good hygiene, planning for how we can keep buildings open and what to do if we have to close them.


Last updated 16 March, last reviewed 16 March.