Independent SAGE recommends that universities immediately implement these five key recommendations:
Transfer all teaching and learning online by default.
Make essential in-person teaching and learning (e.g., components of laboratory or practice-based courses) contingent on the regular testing of students and staff, with a ‘dashboard’ approach as adopted by US Colleges, and with stringent adherence to face coverings, handwashing, physical distancing, and ventilation mitigations.
Offer students the choice whether to live on campus / in their university accommodation or at home elsewhere (e.g., with parents and caregivers) and review at the end of the calendar year (i.e., December), and avoid numerous journeys between home and university.
Ensure that students who choose to remain at university while learning online maintain the right to return home for the rest of the term at any point, with accommodation fees refunded, and with testing before doing so.
Ensure full and generous support to students both to self-isolate and to access online learning resources, including practical needs (e.g., food, laundry), learning (e.g., IT, connectivity), and social and emotional needs (e.g., buddy systems, regular wellbeing checks, online events).