Professor Colin Bailey CBE, President and Principal of Queen Mary University of London, addresses our global alumni community about the University's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch Colin's video to alumni .
7 May 2020
I'm Colin Bailey and I'm President and Principal of Queen Mary University of London.
Firstly, I hope you and your family and friends are keeping well. As we started 2020, we had no idea of the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic would have. Wherever you are in the world, you will be coping with the effects of the virus - you may be looking after and worrying about loved ones, dealing with loss of income, working with children at home, or indeed fighting the virus on the medical frontline. Our very best wishes and thoughts, from all of us at Queen Mary, are with you during this challenging period.
I wanted to give you an update, as a valued member of our alumni community, on your University’s response to the pandemic.
Our University remains open and continues to support world-leading research, including contributing to the fight against COVID-19, as well as continuing to deliver world-class education. All our education is now online and much of our research activity is being carried out remotely. We still have some students living on our campuses who weren’t able to get home, and our staff go in to work every day to look after them and keep critical research and other facilities running.
We are doing everything we can to support the international effort to fight this pandemic. We are exceptionally proud that Charles Knight, Professor of Cardiology at Queen Mary and Consultant Cardiologist at Barts Health NHS Trust, has been seconded from his role as Chief Executive at St Bartholomew’s Hospital to lead the new NHS Nightingale Hospital in London, which is a specialist hospital purely for COVID-19 patients. Professor Sir Mark Caulfield, a world-renowned medical genomics researcher and Director of our William Harvey Research Institute, also has a leading role in developing the research infrastructure at the Nightingale. Our academics are contributing their expertise and insights to build global understanding on issues around the pandemic and all our clinical staff have been released to help the NHS. In addition, we have donated important diagnostic and personal protective equipment to hospitals, and have released accommodation and space on our campuses for use by the NHS and the local council.
The response from our students to the pandemic has been incredible. Hundreds have volunteered to be trained to support frontline healthcare professionals in hospitals and GP surgeries and are now being deployed. Many other students have volunteered to help in the community, and are supporting vulnerable people and those who are self-isolating or suffering from the virus. The response of students and staff makes me feel incredibly proud: do keep an eye on our home page for the latest updates about our contribution to the fight against coronavirus.
I know that large numbers of you, our Queen Mary alumni, have also been using your skills and compassion to support the global fight against coronavirus. Whether you are on the frontline, volunteering in your community, utilising your expertise within your organisation or in other ways, please do share your stories and initiatives with us. We are really keen to hear what you are doing, and share your stories where you are happy for us to do so.
Finally, I wonder if I could ask for your help to support our current students. In these uncertain times, our students need your help more than ever, through mentoring and careers guidance. Many of you already contribute your time to help in this way, and if you haven’t in the past do please consider signing up to the Queen Mary Network.
Do keep an eye on our home page for the latest developments and information about contributions from our University to the fight against coronavirus. And do please look after yourselves, and stay in touch.
With kind regards
Professor Colin Bailey CBE, FREng, BEng, PhD, CEng, FICE, FIStructE, MIFireE
President and Principal
Queen Mary University of London