BOURNEMOUTH’S universities are working together to protect students and the wider community during the coronavirus pandemic.

Bournemouth University (BU), Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) and AECC University College (AECC) have been addressing student behaviour expectations as well as testing and safety measures.

They have been working alongside other agencies including Public Health Dorset, BCP Council and the Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group as well as the police.

Moorlands College and Bournemouth University International College are also actively involved.

Most students are no back at university campuses despite the lockdown.

Jim Andrews, Chief Operating Officer at Bournemouth University, said: “A key part of our Covid-19 response has been the way that lots of organisations have come together to share best practice and support one another in implementing guidance to ensure we are doing all we can to stop the spread of Covid-19.”

A spokesperson for Arts University Bournemouth said: “Since the onset of the pandemic, AUB has been keen to work with other key local organisations to ensure the safety of staff, students and the wider community and prevent the spread of Covid-19.

“Working together with Bournemouth University, our joint rapid testing facility has enabled students to travel, study and live safely in the local area while continuing their studies either on campus or via blended learning online.

Professor Lesley Haig, Vice-Chancellor at AECC University College said: “AECC University College has continued to deliver teaching and patient services safely onsite since August 2020 and operates an onsite Covid-19 testing centre for staff and students.”

Jane Horne, Consultant in Public Health at Public Health Dorset, added: “Throughout the pandemic, we’ve kept in regular contact with colleagues at the universities and colleges to review our local situation, plan our response and ensure we’re communicating clearly with students and the wider public.

“This has meant that collectively we have been able to adapt quickly to new developments like rapid testing and national restrictions, helping to keep everyone safe.

“We know that the past year has been a difficult time for students so we’d like to thank all members of the university community who have followed the rules and helped stop the spread of Covid-19.”