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Coronavirus developments at a glance: 3-9 October

This week’s coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic from Research Professional News

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The European Ombudsman has opened an inquiry into how the European Commission has handled disruptions caused by Covid-19 to the work of researchers funded by the EU’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions mobility scheme, in response to two complaints the ombudsman has received.

The European Medicines Agency has warned it is facing an “unprecedented increase in volume of work” in relation to the amount of side-effect monitoring it will have to do if it approves a plethora of vaccines and treatments for Covid-19.

Nine out of 10 German university courses were accessible online in their entirety during this year’s summer semester, but students are dissatisfied with the overall quality of higher education, a survey has found.

Higher education institutions in Paris are facing tough decisions as the city moves to the maximum alert level for Covid-19 infections.

Northumbria University says 770 of its students have tested positive for Covid-19 and are now self-isolating, along with their flatmates and close contacts. The universities minister, Michelle Donelan, has been criticised after appearing to misunderstand the scale of a coronavirus outbreak among students at Northumbria University.

The University of St Andrews’ decision to allow first-year students to quit any time before December without paying any course fees could lead to a string of similar demands at other UK universities, the House of Commons education committee has heard.

The UK’s strong international position in global clinical research is at risk because of the number of non-Covid clinical trials that were paused due to the coronavirus pandemic and are yet to fully restart, a report has said.

The effects of the Covid-19 crisis on Australian higher education will be deeper and longer-lasting than expected, according to research from the University of Melbourne’s centre for the study of higher education. The study predicts a A$3.8 billion budget shortfall in 2020, with 5,600 full-time positions lost—as well as 25 per cent of casual and research-only staff.

Gaps in South Africa’s research ethics regime put the population at risk of exploitation by foreign researchers, a top bioethicist has warned.