CLASSES at Queen Margaret University are being postponed from next Monday in response to coronavirus (COVID-19).

The university, near Musselburgh, outlined their stance yesterday (Sunday) and vowed to keep students and staff updated of any future developments.

Dr Richard Butt, deputy principal, said: "Queen Margaret University is continuing to monitor closely and follow healthcare and Government advice from Health Protection Scotland.

"Our campus and halls of residence remain open. We will comply with advice from Health Protection Scotland and the Scottish Government and take any necessary steps if we are advised to do so in the future.

"The guidance on the website will be updated, if required, by 4pm each day."

Learning and teaching will move entirely online by next Monday (March 23).

Dr Butt added: "We will be moving to delivering teaching online.

"Reduced face-to-face teaching will begin from Monday (March 16), and no face-to face teaching will take place from March 23 until further notice.

"If there are any changes to your classes in the week beginning March 16, information will be published on the Hub.

"Academic staff will decide how best to conduct teaching and learning activities, using a range of resources to best support students."

Meanwhile, all undergraduate and taught postgraduate exams and assessments scheduled for next Monday, including those for the Semester 2 exam period (commencing April 20), and reassessments scheduled for the end of July, will be delivered online or by other methods of alternate assessment.

Assessment type will be guided by academic discipline and academic staff expertise.

Students will be notified as early as possible about what online assessments mean in practice.

Individual Learning Plan Adjustments will also continue.

Students wishing to return home can do so.

Dr Butt added: "We understand that some students, particularly those from overseas, may be anxious and you may be considering returning home.

"If you do decide to return home, you will not be penalised for doing so.

"Whilst we are changing our mode of learning and teaching and taking measures to be responsive to an evolving situation, QMU’s campus will remain open.

"We have had no indication from Health Protection Scotland or the Scottish Government that we should close, and buildings, services and facilities will run as usual.

Staff and students can be on campus and our library, specialist facilities, student services, refectory, the halls of residences and Students’ Union are also open.

"We will continue to monitor and comply with advice from Health Protection Scotland and take any necessary steps, including possible campus closure, if we are advised to do so in the future. "

Graduation ceremonies scheduled for July will also be rescheduled, most likely to autumn.