Coronavirus: Queen's University cancels exams

By Robbie Meredith
BBC News NI Education Correspondent

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image captionQueen's University is also preparing for closure in the coming weeks

Queen's University Belfast (QUB) has cancelled all exams due to go ahead on campus.

The university said it would arrange alternative ways to assess students instead.

The admissions process for students applying to Queen's this year is also set to change, after the cancellation of A-level exams.

The university said it will admit students on "the basis of academic data available to date and projected future performance".

'Student hardship fund'

This is in line with new arrangements to award A-Level and GCSE grades this summer in the absence of exams.

Although halls of residence provided by QUB will remain open, the university said that any student could terminate their contract.

"Queen's has decided that those currently living in the university's residences and who wish to return home, can terminate their accommodation contracts from 27 March at no financial penalty," a spokesperson said.

"A student hardship fund is available for students, including those living in private accommodation who also need support.

"We hope that these measures, combined with the action taken to date, will limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community and help reduce anxiety in these difficult times."

Meanwhile, Ulster University Students' Union student executive has called for greater support for students leaving halls.

"Following the decision of Queen's University Belfast to grant students early termination of their accommodation leases, Ulster University Students' Union are calling on our university to show the same commitment for those students that wish to leave university accommodation early, in resolving this issue immediately and granting them a full refund on the remainder of their rent."

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