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Our local communities

Keeping communities safe

The health, safety and wellbeing of our whole community is our top priority.

We have campuses in Exeter and Cornwall but our students and colleagues travel and live across the whole south-west region and beyond. We’re proud to be an integral part of all our local communities and have a fundamental role in the areas of education, healthcare, business and supporting local councils and the national government ensure the region thrives.

We’ve been at the heart of the COVID-19 response through our research expertise, and by working closely with the NHS, police, councils and other regional bodies to tackle the virus and support the economic recovery. We’ll continue to do this and strongly believe that universities are well placed to bring people together and support our communities.

Community support and action

We have news, contacts, support and information on our website for our Devon and Cornwall communities. On these pages, you’ll also find valuable contact information including details of our Community Liaison team, Student Community Wardens, Estate Patrol team (Exeter), and our 24 hour community helpline in Cornwall.

Making a difference to our local communities

We’re committed to supporting our communities, partners, and the global effort to combat COVID-19 and our students, colleagues and alumni are working tirelessly to support communities at this time. From supporting businesses to working in unison with the NHS on treatments and care - you can find out about all our work on our COVID-19 response page.

Concerns about student behaviour or safety

We know some people in our local communities have concerns about the numbers of students coming to live in Devon and Cornwall, and that the impact on certain neighbourhoods is significant. We also know that a small number of students don’t always behave in the way we expect and the COVID-19 crisis has accentuated some of those concerns with government guidance being interpreted in different ways.

We’re committed to working in partnership with our local communities on any challenges as they arise and will always do everything in our power to ensure our students make a positive contribution to our communities and that we tackle poor behaviour when it occurs – mindful that many are young adults living away from home for the first time and that sometimes our powers have limitations.

We have a Community Liaison Officer and Student Community Wardens who support the integration of students as active citizens and work with the local Police and City Council to support fellow students living off-campus. You can find out more about their work and useful contacts on our Devon and Cornwall community pages.

Our students make a huge contribution to our local communities and are integral to local businesses, charities, hospitals, care services and schools. The University of Exeter is a top 10 UK university and our aim is to attract the very best talent from around the world to live, study and work in Devon and Cornwall with benefits for us all.

Safe student accommodation

We will ensure that appropriate safety measures are in place in all University student accommodation. We’re following expert advice and are working closely with third party providers to ensure they meet expected standards.

Regardless of where our students are living, they have been asked to follow government guidance on making a one-off move to an alternative residence ; staying safe outside your home and other published guidance, such as on travel and social distancing.

Our students have also been reminded to continue to be good neighbours, respecting those already living in, or adjacent to, accommodation they are moving into on campus and within the communities they are part of.

We work closely with representatives from Devon and Cornwall Police, Cornwall Council, Exeter City Council, the Local Resilience Forum and members of the Safer Falmouth group. You can find out more online about our support in the community in Devon and Cornwall.

Safe campuses

We’re committed to protecting the health and safety of our students, colleagues and communities who access our campuses or may be affected by activity on our campuses. All colleagues and students who feel unwell will be able to request a rapid test for the virus. In addition to this, we have robust plans in place to support our colleagues and students with periods of isolation and the tracing of contacts in order to reduce the risk of further infection.

We are doing everything possible to welcome new and returning students to the University campuses for the start of the autumn term. The start of term will be 21 September for undergraduates and 12 October for Taught Postgraduates.

Social distancing and other restrictions will continue to be in place for as long as they are necessary. We’re planning for a range of scenarios which includes both online and face to face learning, depending on government guidance at the time.

You can find out about the measures we are putting in place, and read the guidance we are giving to staff and students.

Community News on Covid-19

Read our community newsletters in Exeter and Cornwall for information about university actions on Covid-19, including support and contact information.

Frequently asked questions

Please note the advice on this page may change, particularly as there are ongoing updates to the Government guidance.

Following recent changes in the Government’s guidance, we have reviewed our policy on public access to our campuses. Our grounds in Penryn have remained open with social distancing measures in place, and access is now permitted to our Streatham and St Luke’s Campuses. This is so our local neighbours are able to use our outdoor spaces for walking, exercise and other recreational use. Please observe all safety signage and social distancing measures whenever on campus. Access to buildings on either of our Exeter or Penryn campuses is not available to members of the public.

The various works on our campus, undertaken by the University and our partners, are continuing in accordance with the most recent Government advice, issued on 26th March and the Secretary of State letter on 31st March.

The Government has advised that construction activities can continue, provided contractors comply with social distancing requirements and enhanced cleaning measures. All contractors who continue to operate on campus are following the recently published Site Operating Procedures from the Construction Leadership Council.

The University is working closely with our partners to ensure this guidance is followed, and we are putting into place additional measures as appropriate. We are monitoring the situation as it evolves and will provide any further updates here.