Go back

Coronavirus developments at a glance: 5-11 September

This week’s coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic from Research Professional News

It is still too soon for universities to be certain of even the near-term impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on their operations and finances, the European University Association has warned.

Sweden’s Council for Higher Education (UHR) has cancelled the autumn raft of bi-annual university entrance exams, the hogskoleprovet, known in English as the Swedish Scholastic Aptitude Test (SweSAT).

French universities preparing for la rentrée, the annual return to study after the August holiday, have warned they are facing budget cuts caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The government has detailed a series of tiered restrictions for universities during the Covid-19 pandemic as part of its updated guidance for higher education institutions. Prime minister Boris Johnson has told universities not to send students home in the event of a Covid-19 outbreak on campus, as he banned social gatherings of more than six people in England in a bid to prevent a second lockdown.

Scientists have blasted the prime minister’s mass coronavirus testing “moonshot” as “fundamentally flawed”.

A report on Covid-19 transmission in universities from the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies has been met with mixed responses from higher education experts.

United States
Fears have grown that regulators in the United States could come under political pressure to approve a vaccine against Covid-19, after president Donald Trump repeated his suggestion that a vaccine would be ready before the US presidential election on 3 November.

The national vice-chancellors’ group Universities Australia has said the nation’s research capacity is at risk and has called on the federal government to offer an “immediate intervention” in the upcoming federal budget.

For universities already hit hard financially by Covid-19, the full force of the coming “brutal” recession may hit sooner than expected, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has warned. It also says universities must find a way to appeal to lucrative international students despite the switch to online learning.

Africa’s Covid-19 research should focus on testing and on building sustainable partnerships with global partners, according to a United States global health expert.