Thousands of new university students have moved into halls of residence across the region despite calls to teach from home amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The government has defended students' arrivals, but Labour says it should consider pausing their return as many parts of the country are seeing a sharp rise in infection rates.
Shadow education secretary Kate Green said the start of term should be delayed while an "effective, efficient testing system" is put in place.
The Department for Education said it was working closely with universities.
Earlier this month, public health chiefs in Newcastle said the arrival of 50,000 students in the city would be a serious problem. Universities in the North East said they have measures in place to limit the spread of the virus.