Coronavirus: Student accommodation charging to end of April

Posted in Governance and administration on March 30th, 2020 by steve

“Students renting from a UK-wide university accommodation company are being held liable for hefty fees despite the coronavirus outbreak. The Student Roost, which has 20 locations across the country including four facilities in Belfast, is charging students for their digs up until April 30 despite course cancellations and campus closures …” (more)

[John Toner, Belfast Telegraph, 29 March]

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University researchers in Belfast have been awarded a grant to find a Covid-19 treatment

Posted in Research on March 24th, 2020 by steve

“Queen’s University Belfast has been awarded a €315,000 grant in a bid to find a vaccine for coronavirus. The funding grant has been awarded as one of several projects that will receive part of a €21.5 million fund bankrolled by the UK Research and Innovation, and by the Department of Health and Social Care …” (more)

[, 24 March]

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Queen’s University announces further COVID-19 measures

Posted in Governance and administration on March 20th, 2020 by steve

“In order to alleviate some pressure and anxiety for students in what are unprecedented times with the outbreak of COVID-19, Queen’s University has announced a number of measures today. To continue to support our students, Queen’s has decided that those currently living in the University’s residences and who wish to return home, can terminate their accommodation contracts from 27 March at no financial penalty …” (more)

[QUB, 20 March]

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Coronavirus: Queen’s University cancels exams

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on March 20th, 2020 by steve

“Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) has cancelled all exams due to go ahead on campus. The university said it would arrange alternative ways to assess students instead. Both Queen’s and Ulster University closed their campuses to all but some key staff on Tuesday …” (more)

[Robbie Meredith, BBC News, 20 March]

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Queen’s closes campus ahead of advice from UK government

Posted in Governance and administration on March 18th, 2020 by steve

“Queen’s University Belfast has enacted a partial shut down of its campus in response to the coronavirus pandemic, in a decision taken by the university’s Major Incident Team. The closure of the university comes ahead of any official advice from the UK government for schools and colleges to close, although the UK government has said that it is likely to take that measure at some point in the near future …” (more)

[Finn Purdy, Trinity News, 17 March]

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‘Let common sense prevail’: Annual St Patrick’s partying by students in Belfast raises Covid-19 concerns

Posted in Governance and administration on March 17th, 2020 by steve

“The notorious St Patrick’s Day parties in Belfast’s ‘Holylands’ area – an annual source of concern for local residents – are causing particular anxiety this year as Northern Ireland grapples with the spread of Covid-19 …” (more)

[, 17 March]

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Archibald welcomes Queen’s University move on Coronavirus

Posted in Governance and administration on March 16th, 2020 by steve

“Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald has welcomed the move from Queen’s University to deliver lecture material remotely with all face-to-face lectures ceasing. The party’s Economy Spokesperson said: ‘I strongly welcome this action by Queen’s University to protect the health and well-being of students, staff and the public during the Coronavirus crisis …'” (more)

[Sinn Féin, 16 March]

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QUB switches to online lectures over coronavirus

Posted in Teaching on March 16th, 2020 by steve

“Queen’s University Belfast has said it will no longer hold face-to-face lectures from Wednesday due to the coronavirus outbreak. At this stage, laboratory sessions, tutorials and seminars are unaffected – unless advised otherwise by specific schools within the university – but further contingency plans are being put in place …” (more)

[ITV News, 16 March]

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QUB coronavirus expert Broadbent steps back from media after online abuse

Posted in Research on March 16th, 2020 by steve

“A leading virologist has pulled back from speaking to the media about the spread of coronavirus after she was targeted by online trolls. Dr Lindsay Broadbent posted on Twitter over the weekend that she is stepping back from commenting publicly on the health crisis in order to preserve her own mental health …” (more)

[Lisa Smyth, Belfast Telegraph, 16 March]

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Michelle O’Neill calls for Northern Ireland schools to close over coronavirus

Posted in Governance and administration on March 13th, 2020 by steve

“Stormont deputy first minister Michelle O’Neill has said schools, universities and colleges in Northern Ireland should close in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. She claimed the public were concerned and fearful and the difference with the Republic of Ireland’s approach was causing confusion …” (more)

[Michael McHugh, Belfast Telegraph, 13 March]

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North decides against closing schools and universities

Posted in Governance and administration on March 13th, 2020 by steve

“The Northern Ireland Executive has decided against following the lead of the Irish Government and is not ordering the closure of schools and universities in an attempt to limit the impact of the coronavirus. The North’s First Minister, Arlene Foster, also complained on Thursday evening that the Northern Executive was not informed in advance of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s decision in Washington to announce a number of actions to address the Covid-19 emergency …” (more)

[Gerry Moriarty, Irish Times, 12 March]

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How ‘cold house’ for unionists at Queen’s lifts veil on world of Irish cultural nationalism

Posted in Governance and administration on March 12th, 2020 by steve

“Grian Ni Dhaimhin, a student from Strabane, is the incoming president of the Students’ Union at Queen’s University. She was elected to that position by her fellow students and will take up office later this year. Most Students’ Union presidents get elected and serve their term in office without generating major controversy, but Grian is different …” (more)

[Nelson McCausland, Belfast Telegraph, 11 March]


Why I can’t sign the petition condemning anti-Protestant bias at Queen’s University

Posted in Governance and administration on March 11th, 2020 by steve

“My esteemed colleague and friend Ruth Dudley Edwards has called for signatures for a petition that speaks of ‘the continual alienation of Protestant and unionist students at Queen’s University Belfast and all other universities’. Once again I find myself on the other side of the fence from Ruth on issues as diverse as Brexit, Europe and the Orange Order …” (more)

[Professor Liam Kennedy, Belfast Telegraph, 10 March]


Universities must divest from fossil fuels – Archibald

Posted in Governance and administration on March 10th, 2020 by steve

“Sinn Féin’s Climate Action Spokesperson, Caoimhe Archibald MLA, has written to the senior management of Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University seeking a commitment from both institutions to divest from fossil fuels. The East Derry MLA said …” (more)

[Sinn Féin, 10 March]

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We must be welcoming for all, says QUB vice-chancellor Professor Ian Greer amid ‘cold house for unionism’ row

Posted in Governance and administration on March 6th, 2020 by steve

“The vice-chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast has called for assistance from politicians to change the perception of the university as a ‘cold house for unionism’. Addressing the Economy Committee at Stormont on Wednesday, Professor Ian Greer said there were concerns over the way the university is viewed by some sections of society and that he did not wish for Queen’s to be seen as an unwelcome place for any group …” (more)

[Mark Bain, Belfast Telegraph, 4 March]

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RCSI to bring forward exams amid concern over spread of coronavirus

Posted in Teaching on March 5th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The RCSI is to bring forward final examinations for medical students amid concerns over the spread of the Coronavirus, Covid-19. The examinations which were to be held towards the end of April will take place this weekend. The Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland said on Thursday that it had taken the move to avoid any delays in the graduation of the final year class this year as a result of any restrictions that could be put in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19 …” (more)

[Sorcha Pollak, Martin Wall and Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 5 March]

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Coronavirus: Queen’s University student is one of two new cases confirmed in Northern Ireland

Posted in Governance and administration on March 4th, 2020 by steve

“A Queen’s University student is one of two new cases of coronavirus diagnosed in Northern Ireland. Both patients are adults and the two cases are not connected. One individual recently travelled from northern Italy. The other had recent contact with a person elsewhere in the UK who has subsequently tested positive for the virus …” (more)

[Gareth Cross and Andrew Madden, Belfast Telegraph, 4 March]

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Thousands of QUB students apply for hardship funds

Posted in Governance and administration on March 4th, 2020 by steve

“Thousands of Queen’s University students have applied to for a hardship support fund in recent years, new figures show. Figures released to the student newspaper The Scoop show that more than 12,360 applied to the Student Hardship and Student Support funds, which typically award up to £700 in the form of a non-repayable loan for those in financial difficulty …” (more)

[Eimear McGovern, Belfast Telegraph, 4 March]

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Union Theological College in Belfast to partner with Catholic university

Posted in Governance and administration on February 26th, 2020 by steve

“A Presbyterian-run college in Belfast plans to link up with one of the UK’s oldest Catholic universities. Union Theological College (UTC) is seeking to partner with St Mary’s University Twickenham to award undergraduate degrees …” (more)

[Robbie Meredith, BBC News, 26 February]

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Belfast’s students backing university staff as 14 days of strikes begin over pay and pensions

Posted in Governance and administration on February 21st, 2020 by steve

“Students joined forces with university staff in Belfast yesterday as staff started 14 days of strike action. Members of the University and College Union (UCU) from Queen’s University, Belfast, Ulster University and the Open University were among those calling for action yesterday on pay and pensions …” (more)

[Allan Preston, Belfast Telegraph, 21 February]

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