Research and analysis

Isaac Newton Institute: COVID-19 and universities, 13 January 2021

Paper prepared by the Higher Education Working Group at the Isaac Newton Institute (INI).


Higher Education working group: COVID-19 and Universities, 13 January 2021

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.

Request an accessible format.
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.


Report from by the INI Higher Education Working Group on COVID-19 and universities. It was considered at SAGE 76 on 14 January 2021.

The paper is the assessment of the evidence at the time of writing. As new evidence or data emerges, SAGE updates its advice accordingly.

This paper should be read alongside ‘SPI-B: Return to campus for Spring term: risk of increased transmission from student migration’ from SAGE 76 on 14 January 2021.

More details and an updated version of this analysis is available as a preprint on the Isaac Newton Institute website (PDF).

These documents are released as pre-print publications that have provided the government with rapid evidence during an emergency. These documents have not been peer-reviewed and there is no restriction on authors submitting and publishing this evidence in peer-reviewed journals.

Redactions have been made to remove figures containing statistically disclosive or identifiable data.

Published 22 February 2021