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Coronavirus: Information for Current and Prospective Students

Coronavirus: Information for Current and Prospective Students  main image

This page is being regularly updated with new information.

The global spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) is already having a massive impact on universities and business schools around the world. If you’re a current or prospective student concerned about the impact the coronavirus may have on your studies, this page will regularly update with the latest information and advice. 

Discover where to study with QS 

Concerns about whether you need to change your study plans are understandable, but we remain committed to helping you discover the right university for you. We are continuing to run QS World Grad School Tour and QS World MBA Tour events where it is feasible and are also planning some digital events for people who are unable to travel. These will allow you to meet with school representatives and engage in one-on-one conversations, just as if you’re in the same room! 

Our events planned for China and Asia in May have been rescheduled as digital events. Our ConnectMBA events in Austria, Switzerland and Germany are now being run as Virtual Interviews. Information about our planned events for Europe, India and Africa will be confirmed soon. 

If you need to take a GMAT, GRE or TOEFL exam for your application, many test centers around the world have closed. INSEAD recently became the first leading business school to allow MBA applications without test results.

Please also take our survey to let us know if coronavirus is affecting your study plans or not. We’ll be sharing the results of the survey here on a regular basis, so you can learn more about how other students are being affected.  

QS advice 

Not sure what coronavirus is or what the symptoms are? Start with our helpful primer that covers everything you need to know. 

We’ve also produced this helpful guide for anyone attending a QS event, and some top tips for working from home and setting up a home office.

We also have a first-hand report on how coronavirus is affecting campuses in the US.

Will Covid-19 affect your university application?

Want to know what universities and business schools are doing about university admissions? While the full extent of the Covid-19 pandemic remains uncertain, many leading universities have reassured students that they are continuing to accept applications for degree programs starting later this year.

We've created two new hub pages to track the latest admissions news from top universities and business schools. Find out how university admissions are affected, as well as how top business schools are affected.

Latest World Health Organization information 

The World Health Organization has published their advice for members of the public. Read it here. Covid-19 has now been classed as a pandemic by the World Health Organization.

You can also find their latest travel advice here. 

The latest World Health Organization statement, dated April 1, can be read here. An excerpt is also posted below. 

"WHO’s priority is that frontline health workers are able to access essential personal protective equipment, including medical masks and respirators.

"That’s why we are continuing to work with governments and manufacturers to step up the production and distribution of personal protective equipment, including masks.

"There’s an ongoing debate about the use of masks at the community level.

"WHO recommends the use of medical masks for people who are sick and those caring for them.

"However, in these circumstances, masks are only effective when combined with other protective measures."

Want to learn more? 

If you want to learn more about coronavirus, Imperial College London have compiled a free, online course which over 19 hours teaches you more about the outbreak. The syllabus is constantly being updated with the latest information. Find out more here. 

Also, if you live in San Jose, Lake Elsinore, Sacramento or San Mateo in California, you can use this new website set up by Verily to get information about coronavirus testing.

UK residents are encouraged to download the free Covid Symptom Tracker app. Even if you don't have any symptoms, the data you provide will help researchers map the spread of Covid-19.

Latest news 

UK - Hundreds of university staff are facing redundancy as universities try to cut costs. Guardian, April 2

Australia - Australian universities are expected to change their admissions policy for domestic students whose final school exams have been postponed. Guardian, April 1

UK - UK universities may have their student numbers capped for the coming year, to prevent them overloading with students to take in more tuition fees. Guardian, March 30

UK - PhD and master's students are asking for research councils to confirm funding extensions after their studies were delayed by coronavirus. Guardian, March 26

UK - Nearly 250,000 students at UK universities have called for a tuition fee refund in an online petition. Guardian, March 25

Ireland - Students will be asked to self-certify rather than take end of year exams. RTE, March 24

US - Concerns have been raised about the ability of students in rural communities to access online education. ABC, March 24

Global - Minecraft has made a range of educational lessons and tools available for free. Washington Post, March 24

Global - GMAC are devising an interim GMAT test which students will be able to take online from mid-April. GMAC, March 24

UK - Oxbridge is replacing summer exams with online assessments. Guardian, March 21

UK - Students will be given estimated grades if their exams were cancelled. BBC, March 20

US - Face-to-face Advanced Placement (AP) tests will be replaced by a shorter online version this year. Washington Post, March 20

UK - Schools in the UK and Ireland to close for most students at the end of this week. BBC, March 19

UK - Exams in Scotland have been cancelled for the first time in history. BBC, March 19

Global - Majority of international students are open to the option of studying online, according to a new QS survey. TopUniversities, March 18

UK - Cambridge University has been criticized for causing international students to panic after they were told to leave their colleges at short notice. Guardian, March 18

UK - Cambridge students in their final year have called for the university to allow them to retake their entire final year. Guardian, March 18

UK - University campuses remain open for students to use despite lectures and classes being cancelled or moved online. Guardian, March 17

UK - UK government advises people to work from home where possible but schools will remain open. BBC, March 16

US - 24 US states have now announced school closures in an attempt to limit the spread of the virus. Guardian, March 16

US - Millions of students could be home for the rest of the academic year, according to officials in Ohio and Texas. Washington Post, March 16

New Zealand - The Ministry of Education is calling schools to confirm if they are capable of providing online education, should they need to close. New Zealand Herald, March 16

UK - A teachers' union has warned that every school in the UK could be affected by the virus. Independent, March 15

UK - The coronavirus epidemic in the UK is expected to last until Spring 2021 and as many as 80 percent of the population could be infected. A peak is likely to coincide with exams in May and June. Guardian, March 15

UK - The number of UK universities cancelling teaching and exams has grown, with Bristol, Edinburgh and Nottingham among those joining the list. BBC, March 13

Australia - Australian universities are preparing for a shutdown after the Prime Minister said mass gatherings of more than 500 people should be cancelled. Guardian, March 13 

UK - Some UK universities have begun to cancel face-to-face lectures and/or end the term early. Online teaching is being offered by Loughborough, Durham and others. BBC, March 12

US - President Trump announces all travel to the US from mainland Europe is to be suspended. Guardian, March 12

Global - Coronavirus spread could lead to rapid growth in the EdTech field. TopMBA, March 11

Europe - Students have shared their experiences of life under quarantine. TopUniversities, March 11

UK - Vice-chancellors of UK universities have said a complete shutdown is 'impossible' as it would leave students with nowhere to go. Guardian, March 11

US - Georgetown and the University of Virginia are the latest US schools to move classes online until further notice. Washington Post, March 11

Global - Concerns have been raised for poor, rural students around the world who will be unable to access online education if schools and universities close. Politico, March 10

Italy - Entire country is placed on lockdown and schools and universities must remain closed until April 3. Guardian, March 10

US – Ohio State University joins the list of US universities cancelling in-person classes. CNN, March 10 

US – UC Berkeley announces in-person classes are mostly suspended until the end of Spring Break. UC Berkeley, March 9 

US – MIT classes with more than 150 people will now be conducted online. Midterm exams will still go ahead. Boston Globe, March 9 

US – Several West Coast universities – including Stanford University – have moved to remote learning, although campuses remain open. Inside Higher Ed, March 9 

US – A faculty member at Stanford School of Medicine has tested positive for coronavirus. Stanford Daily, March 7 

UK – Most UK universities are planning to delay entry of new Chinese students until January next year, with online teaching offered. Guardian, March 6 

Italy - All Italian schools and universities have been ordered to remain closed until March 15 in an attempt to limit the spread of the virus. Guardian, March 4 

US – Students from at least 12 universities have returned to the US after their study abroad programs in Italy were cut short. Affected universities include Elon University, Fairfield University, Florida International University, Gonzaga University, Loyola University Chicago, Miami University-Ohio, Penn State University, Stanford University, Syracuse University, University of Maryland-College Park, University of Miami and Villanova University. ABC News, February 26 

Asia & Europe - Coronavirus expected to have widespread impact on hospitality industry around the world. TopMBA, February 14 

China - Chinese campuses are expected to remain closed into March, including international campuses of British universities. Guardian, February 9 

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Written by Craig OCallaghan
As Head of Content, Craig is responsible for all articles and guides published across TopUniversities and TopMBA. He has nearly 10 years of experience writing for a student audience and extensive knowledge of universities and study programs around the world.

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