During times of crises, communities have the magnificent tendency of coming together and creating wonderful initiatives. The university scene in the UK is no exemption, with its awe-inspiring initiatives bringing to the forefront collective action, enlightening research and a hopeful attitude to counteract a challenging situation. We are dedicated to not only applauding their efforts, but also celebrating their thoughtfulness and charitable approach at a time when much of it is needed in the world! The #WeareTogether campaign by Universities UK sheds light on a number of great endeavours of universities across the UK, bringing to the forefront the power of academia in a capacity that transcends that of research.
In dissecting the efforts that are based in London’s largest campuses, it becomes evident that knowledge sharing is a key element of the support efforts. From Imperial College London’s 280 final year medical students, who took their final exams remotely so as to qualify as doctors and support the efforts of health professionals, to Middlesex University’s estimated 1,500 students studying nursing and midwifery who have been taking part in the response, the staffing mobilisation that stems from London’s leading academic institutions is admirable. So is their inventiveness in finding novel ways to support the crisis, in the form of training efforts and educational activities. The University of Greenwich is one example of forward thinking, as it has created video material for frontline King’s College Hospital staff, alongside conducting up-skilling and additional training sessions for district nurses and returning NHS staff. To a similar end Middlesex University is offering NHS staff and retirees that are joining the efforts to battle Covid-19, professional development sessions, whereas City, University of London is lending their expertise towards educational efforts for ExCel centre’s field hospital. An ensemble of original and resourceful efforts by London’s leading universities, that centre around knowledge sharing and the power of collective efforts; demonstrating vigilance towards current events and readiness to support our community during these strange times.
The contribution, however, moves beyond skill sharing and professional contributions, to include current research with real time impact. King’s College London’s scientists are working towards a prototype for a rapidly deployable ventilator, aiming to contribute to increased ventilator manufacture in the UK. The university has also launched an application, which enables the tracking of symptoms and consequently, self-reporting. Simultaneously, a vaccine candidate has been developed by Imperial College London’s team, one aimed to look towards human trials in the near future. On a forward thinking note, University College London is delving into social distancing measures, via a study that examines their psychological and social effects of Covid-19, working therefore toward an asset for the future.
The efforts of universities across the UK come together creating an inspiring and hopeful ensemble of actions, that lead the way for a brighter future. Our team, dedicated to offering a quality service to the international student community that we welcome year after year in our buildings, is proud and thankful for these efforts, that spark positivity during an unprecedented situation. #WeAreTogether!
*Case studies from the #WeAreTogether Universities UK report. For more, please click here.