The University and College Union (UCU) has declared a formal trade dispute with the University of Birmingham over "serious health and safety concerns" after students returned to campus.
"Our members are increasingly alarmed at the rapidly rising number of infections amongst students," said branch president Dr David Bailey.
"Amongst students at the University, the rate of infection now equates to over 1,000 cases per 100,000 students, in just one week."
The areas with the highest rate of coronavirus infections in Birmingham are Selly Oak and Edgbaston - both areas have large numbers of student accommodation.
UCU is calling on the University to move all teaching online, except where it is "practically impossible", and restrict the number of staff and students on campus to "essential only".
The University said it was "extremely disappointed" with the action and accused the UCU of "persisting in unsubstantiated allegations and inaccurate statements".
"The safety and wellbeing of our staff and students is our priority," a university spokesperson said. "The University adheres to all government and Public Health England guidance."