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Universities: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Education

UIN 91767, tabled on 18 September 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make it his policy to mandate universities to publish publicly their covid-19 risk assessments.

Answered on

25 September 2020

Higher education (HE) providers have a legal responsibility to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of their employees, students and other people on site.

As part of the process of opening buildings and campuses to staff and students, HE providers should produce risk assessments for both working and communal environments. These will vary significantly based on the needs and circumstances of individual providers. Risk assessments will inform the risk mitigations to ensure all areas of the institution are COVID-19 secure.

HE providers are autonomous institutions and it is not for the government to mandate publication of these risk assessments. However, on 10 September, the department published updated guidance for providers on reopening buildings and campuses which states that providers should share their risk assessments with staff and staff unions. The guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses#risk-assessments.