Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for students in higher education
Guidance about coronavirus (COVID-19) to help students in higher education.
Information for higher education students
To support the safe return for everyone, it is important that students continue to keep themselves and others safe. And, to continue to follow the public health advice of:
- social distancing
- good hand and respiratory hygiene
- wearing a face covering
- being alert to the symptoms of COVID-19
It is hoped that there will be no restrictions on universities for the new academic year. However, there may still be safety measures in place to promote a safe learning environment for all.
Students can find out about plans for the new academic year from their higher education provider.
Information on the position with regards to wider restrictions can be found at the following page:
To support the safe return of all students to campus, universities and higher education (HE) providers are continuing to offer clinically validated swab antigen test (lateral flow devices - LFDs) to returning students. These do not need laboratory processing and can turn around results quickly.
You should take a rapid lateral flow device test (LFD) before you begin your journey back to University.
Lateral flow device (LFD) tests can be ordered online or from an LFD Collect sites:
Following arrival at University, testing should be done twice weekly (three to four days apart). All Universities and HE providers will issue local communications and guidance to their students advising how and where to avail of testing.
Students must only come forward for a LFD test if they are asymptomatic (that is, they do not have any symptoms of COVID). If students are symptomatic they must book a PCR test in the normal way.
More information on how to book a PCR test for those that have symptoms on the or those who are identified as a close contact of a positive case of COVID-19, on the following page:
Remember to report the result of your LFD test through the following link:
Reporting your result is important as it helps our Public Health services monitor virus activity.
Anyone who gets a positive LFD result should self-isolate and book a confirmatory PCR test immediately. PCR tests in Northern Ireland can be booked online at:
Or, you can telephone to book a test on:
- phone: 119
Information and guidance on when self-isolation is needed is available on the following page:
Information on vaccination can be found on the following page:
Students not vaccinated or who need a second dose
Students are encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Information on how to access the vaccination programme can be found on the following page:
Travelling from England, Scotland, Wales or the Republic of Ireland for university
The latest guidance for travelling to Northern Ireland from within the Common Travel Area is available on the following page:
Travelling from outside of the UK or Ireland
Information for arrivals into Northern Ireland can be found at the following page:
Travelling to study elsewhere from Northern Ireland
Students from Northern Ireland studying at higher education institutions in England, Scotland, Wales or the Republic of Ireland should follow any guidance issued by their HE institution - and the relevant government.
Travelling home from your student accommodation
Students should take a sensible approach and be mindful of the risks of spreading the virus by travel - particularly to others who may be more vulnerable because of their age or underlying health condition.
If you intend to travel you should make sure that you do so safely.
You should not travel if you are have coronavirus symptoms or are self-isolating.
Institutions have a range of effective processes and procedures to care for the wellbeing of learners. They also offer support wherever possible.
Students who are experiencing anxiety and stress may wish to contact their student welfare services at their provider. Or, their student union can signpost them to relevant support.
More support is also available from Lifeline.
Students who are having financial problems should make sure that they have applied for all the financial support to which they may be entitled:
Students who continue to face financial problems should contact the student services team in their university or college. They'll be able to offer information on what support is available. This may include student hardship funds.