University of Reading

  1. University calls large gatherings 'unacceptable'

    Vice-chancellor Prof RObert Van de Noort

    The University of Reading has told students a number of large gatherings on campus over the weekend was "not acceptable".

    Vice-chancellor Prof Robert Van de Noort said police and the university's security team were called out to ensure social distancing and the rule of six.

    "We all have a responsibility to look after each other during this pandemic," he said, speaking in a video posted on social media.

    "In the meantime, we're working to identify those involved, including several who we don't believe are University of Reading students. We will fully investigate these incidents and take appropriate action."

    Currently Reading is at medium alert level - the lowest risk tier in a three tier system to begin in England.

    The medium alert means pubs and restaurants need to shut at 10pm, and people need to follow the rule of six if meeting indoors or outdoors.

  2. Video content

    Video caption: Reading University elephant skeleton goes back on display

    The Indian elephant skeleton is known as Norman and has been at the university since 1931.

  3. Reading University student tests positive for Covid-19

    University of Reading

    A student at Reading University has tested positive for coronavirus.

    The first-year undergraduate has been self-isolating at home off-campus since developing symptoms, a spokesman for the university said.

    He added that relevant teaching staff and other students on their course have been informed.

    He said: "At the start of the new term, this is a timely reminder of how important it is that everyone continues to follow appropriate precautions and we all do our bit to help protect ourselves and our communities."

    The university said it was supporting local health authorities and Public Health England to reach any close contacts.

  4. Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus: Your restriction easing questions answered

    Dr Simon Clarke, a microbiologist at the University of Reading, has been answering some of your questions.

  5. University of Reading looks to plug £106m funding gap

    Reading University

    The University of Reading has revealed it has a £106m funding gap due to the impact of coronavirus.

    Vice-chancellor Prof Robert Van de Noort said the university - Reading's second biggest employer - needed to save the amount over the next three years.

    He said its income will be affected by a halving in the number of new international students, UK students deferring and a loss in income from conferences, all due to the virus.

    Speaking to BBC Radio Berkshire, Prof Van de Noort said: "The majority [of the lost money] is from the international students who are less likely to come to the University of Reading, and all universities in the UK have seen the same impact."

    He added there could be redundancies, but is understood the university is exploring pay freezes and short working weeks in a bid to avoid 500 job losses. Staff and unions are being consulted.

    Prof Van de Noort added "difficult decisions" might also have to be made about research.

  6. Reading scientists using llamas in Covid-19 treatment trial


    A herd of llamas are part of the University of Reading's research for treatments in the fight against Covid-19, it has been revealed.

    The llamas are being used to produce nanobodies - very small antibodies - which could possibly be used to block the virus from developing Covid-19 in humans.

    Prof Gary Stephens from the University of Reading said llamas were "crucial" as they are one of the animals from which nanobodies can be produced.

    "If we can identify the right antibodies, including nanobodies that will work against coronavirus we can use these to develop drugs or see if they can stop the virus from producing more of itself,” he said.

    The llamas receive targeted injections a few weeks apart and providing samples of blood to see if they produce antibodies.

    The nanobodies will be provided to other UK labs, including the Rosalind Franklin Institute, and the Francis Crick Institute, London.

  7. Sweet smell of success for PPE testing

    Face mask

    Scientists at Reading University have discovered the perfect solution to test whether Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) used by workers at Royal Berkshire Hospital fits properly.

    A team from the University of Reading’s Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences has begun making artificial sweetener that is sprayed onto the outside of a wearer’s face mask.

    A sweet smell or taste will immediately indicate to the wearer that water droplets can get around or through the mask, rendering it unsuitable to protect against infection.

    Team leader, Prof Gunter Kuhnle, said: “We are really glad to have opportunities to support our local healthcare heroes to help them in their work in the pandemic.

    "We have overcome the challenges of finding the right levels of sweetener to use in the mixture and keeping it sterile, meaning we are now able to produce enough mixture on a weekly basis to help our colleagues working to save lives at the hospital.”

    Prof Kuhnle and Dr Sameer Khalil Ghawi, who have been making weekly batches of the solution after Royal Berkshire Hospital. highlighted that there had been shortages of solutions to carry out these ‘fit tests’.

    Dr Janet Lippett, Chief Medical Officer at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Initiatives like this one make such a difference and are a real boost for our teams.

    "The coronavirus pandemic has posed many challenges and it’s really rewarding to have a solution to one of them being produced by our neighbours at the university."

  8. University of Reading exams on campus cancelled

    Reading University

    The University of Reading has cancelled exams on its campus in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

    Instead students will sit "take-home exams" submitted online or another form of assessment, the university announced on Thursday.

    Online teaching will also be extended, after face-to-face teaching was ended on Wednesday.

    The university's summer graduation ceremony has also been cancelled.

    In an email to students, Dr Patricia Woodman, director of student services, said she hoped the decision would give students reassurance to return home if they wished.

  9. University of Reading to end face-to-face teaching

    University of Reading

    The University of Reading has said it will end face-to-face teaching, and instead move online in response to the Coronavirus outbreak.

    In a statement on Twitter the university said online teaching and assessment will start from Wednesday.

    The university said: "Senior staff met this morning to consider developments and agreed that from Wednesday 18 March face-to-face teaching will cease and teaching and assessment will be provided online, other than in some exceptional circumstances where this is not possible."

    "We are doing everything we can to ensure that you are able to complete your studies this academic year as expected," it added.

    View more on twitter
  10. Video content

    Video caption: Brontë King has set up a group to help support female graduates leaving university.
  11. Video content

    Video caption: The University of Reading app helping children to eat the sprouts

    University doctors are trying to help parents encourage their children to eat their greens with an app.

  12. Video content

    Video caption: Scientists research causes of Parosmia

    Phil is taking part in a study to discover what caused him to lose his sense of smell.