BOURNEMOUTH University has confirmed a “small number” of its students have coronavirus.

The educational establishment said all affected students are self-isolating.

Anyone who came into contact with those who have tested positive will be made aware by NHS Test and Trace, the university said.

A letter was sent out to students on Tuesday to make them aware of the situation.

The statement, jointly from BU vice-chancellor Professor John Vinney and student union president Naomie Lebe, said the safety and wellbeing of the university’s community was their “top priority”.

It went on to say that the university is aware of student parties and gatherings that had taken place recently in breach of the rule of six policy.

The letter added that BU will support any action taken by the local authority against those who do not comply with the law.

The university warned it will consider disciplinary action against those of breach the rules under the terms of the student agreement.

“You may have seen the news coverage over the last few days of outbreaks of Covid-19 at other universities across the UK,” the letter said. “To avoid BU experiencing a similar situation and moving from a small number of positive cases in our university community to significant numbers we all need to play our part.

“We take our responsibility to keep staff and students safe very seriously. We certainly do not want to stop you engaging with your studies, meeting and making friends and having fun, but you do need to do this in a responsible manner.”

A BU spokesperson said all of the current student coronavirus cases are unrelated, so it is not defined as an outbreak.

“We can confirm a small number of cases of Covid-19 among our student population,” said the spokesperson.

“All affected students are self-isolating as per Government guidance, and we are supporting them as necessary. We are also working with Public Health England on any required next steps.

“All those who have come into contact with cases will be informed by NHS Test and Trace, so there will be no action needed for the majority of our community.

“There is no need for concern at this stage as all cases are being closely managed, and our campuses remain safe for staff and students planning on attending. Our student wellbeing team is on hand to support these students, and any others who may be worried about this.”