University status and response | University of Oxford
sitting on the college steps
Status and phasing

University status and response

Information about the University’s current status, and its approach to responding to COVID-19.
The University is acting on advice from sources including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, World Health Organization, the NHS and Public Health England. Our own academic experts in infectious diseases and other relevant subjects are involved in our response to coronavirus.

Current status

(Last reviewed 29 July 2020) 

The University has put a number of key measures in place to keep our community safe.

At present:

  • All non-essential staff members are working from home. The University is running a phased return process to ensure workspaces are safe. Please see our Return to Onsite Working pages for more information.
  • We plan to welcome all students back for the start of Michaelmas (autumn) term 2020. See student pages for more information.
  • Libraries and museums are currently closed, and we are working on a phased reopening during the summer months. A wide range of resources are being made available online and there are additional click and collect services available.
  • The Botanic Garden and Harcourt Arboretum are open; please visit the Garden & Arboretum website for information about how to book. Wytham Woods has started to open and is using a booking system. The University Parks remain open; please practise social distancing while using the space.
  • The Iffley Road Sports Centre is currently closed, but some outdoor sports managed by Oxford University Sport are available elsewhere.

We continue to monitor the situation closely, and to provide as much advice, care and support as we can to our University community.

Emergency response stages

We have worked to identify a number of ways the University and Colleges can operate during the current pandemic. These are intended to allow the collegiate University to remain operating as much as possible, whilst keeping our staff and students safe.

The University will operate at a stage that reflects the broader public health environment. We are taking a phased approach to restarting teaching and research in Michaelmas term, and expect to be in Stage 2 by the start of the 20/21 academic year.

Current status: Stage 3 – moving towards Stage 2

Planning stageDescription
4Physical closure of the majority of University and College buildings. Parks and open spaces open to the public. Departments physically closed. Staff work remotely where possible. Only core support functions continue
3No public access to the University or College buildings (except museums, where allowed to open under the government guidance) On-site activity permitted where it cannot be undertaken remotely, Teaching and assessment are undertaken remotely where possible, and gatherings for staff and students only permitted where essential for teaching and assessment to take place.
2University operates in line with social distancing restrictions with as full a student cohort as possible on site; teaching and assessment taking place with the optimum combination of face-to-face teaching and online learning; and a fully operational research programme underway. Some areas of the University open to public in line with social distancing restrictions.
1Emphasis on face-to-face vs remote learning and assessment, and on-site working vs remote working.  Increased public access including to public spaces; colleges (including conference facilities); and non-teaching and education related events.
0The University operates as usual

For information about the status of individual buildings, colleges and departments, please refer to local websites. 

Was this page useful?*