SAE UK coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance

14 Apr 2020

This page reflects SAE’s current approach to COVID-19 (coronavirus), based on UK Government and Public Health England advice, and will be updated to reflect any changes to this ongoing situation. 

How is SAE reacting to coronavirus? 

The UK Government escalated the scope of their advice regarding strict social distancing measures, effective from Monday 23 March 2020. Following this announcement, SAE UK made the difficult decision to make our campuses unavailable to staff and students. This will be in effect until such time that the social distancing measures are relaxed and it is safe to return.

Whilst the buildings will not be accessible, SAE UK remains very much open - our students’ learning is our priority and we remain here to support them in completing their studies within the normal timescale. 

When will the campus reopen? 

At this time we are unable to confirm when the campuses will reopen. This is an evolving situation, and this decision has been made to minimise the impact that COVID-19 will have on our students and staff’s wellbeing. SAE students and staff should closely monitor their SAE email accounts for regular updates about the situation. 

How does this affect teaching?

SAE UK have moved all teaching online. Lessons are being conducted via Zoom, and uploaded to Campus Online for any students who are unwell to access at a later date. Our academic teams are working hard to adjust timetables so students can focus on more theory-based content at this point in time, with a chance to practice in the studios and animation labs once they are back on site. Across Europe, SAE are coordinating efforts to acquire and provide software licenses for students wherever possible, enabling them to complete practical project work remotely.

How does this affect 20T2? 

We have decided to delay the start of our 2020 trimester 2 classes for existing students by two weeks, commencing on 18 May. This means that once the campus reopens, students are more likely to have a longer period of time where they can access the studios, PC/Mac labs and equipment on site. The term will run up until Friday 14 August. We have made this decision based on student feedback about their concerns during this unprecedented time, as Student Voice is extremely important to us. 

How will coronavirus impact my application to study at SAE?

SAE UK is still recruiting for May and September and beyond, so despite the ongoing situation with COVID-19 (coronavirus), you should still apply to kickstart your creative future with SAE! 

We understand for many that exams will be affected this year and you may be concerned about how this could impact your place on a higher education programme at SAE. Please don’t worry - we are making every effort to ensure you are not negatively impacted and we will be using maximum flexibility. 

How will this affect assessments? 

Our academic teams have devised alternative assessments so that any disruptions to learning are kept to a minimum. Extensions or deferrals may be granted where it is deemed necessary, but we are not currently looking to postpone any future exam boards at this moment in time. Students are being informed by their lecturers regarding how assessments are being managed for their discipline and class. 

How will this affect international student VISAs? 

The UK Government has advised against all non-essential travel, and many countries around the world currently have travel bans in force. If you need to travel for an essential purpose, as per your visa requirements, you must advise your campus if you have any plans to travel outside of the UK BEFORE you leave the UK.

What should you do about coronavirus?

The best way to prevent potential cases in our local communities is to follow the published NHS guidance, particularly around social distancing and maintaining good standards of hygiene. The best forms of prevention are to wash hands regularly and cover coughs/sneezes, either into your elbow or a tissue that is immediately disposed of. For more information about what social distancing is, and how you should practice it, please visit the GOV.UK website.

Please check the government advice regarding travel arrangements. If you have recently travelled from an at-risk location, you need to self-isolate for 14 days and let the campus know that you are doing this.

If you find you are feeling unwell and suspect you may have COVID-19, go to the website and use the NHS online symptom checker. You will need to inform the campus if the advice from 111 is to self-isolate.

Please remain calm and support your friends or colleagues in following this advice, appreciating that some will have their own concerns about friends and family. 

Additional resources

The Department of Education has launched a new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 specifically related to education. You can contact the helpline via telephone or email between 8.00 am - 6.00 pm Mon-Fri: 

Phone: 0800 046 8687


The government will continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and take further action as needed. You can find the latest information and advice on COVID-19 on the GOV.UK website. 

We will continue to monitor the situation and provide regular updates