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Coronavirus Update

Coronavirus Update

We know that you may have concerns or questions about the current outbreak of the coronavirus COVID-19, and how it may affect your summer with Oxford Royale Academy.

Short on time? Here are the highlights:

  • Oxford Royale Academy remains open for business.
  • We continue to accept all bookings and our 2020 summer programmes are scheduled to go ahead as planned.
  • We are closely monitoring expert advice from the UK and US governments and the World Health Organisation (WHO), and will continue to update our guidance as this complex situation continues to evolve.
  • The health and welfare of our students and staff remains our highest priority. We have robust systems and processes in place to provide the best possible care and support to students and staff throughout their stay.
  • We have provided answers to a range of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below.


Latest news

We are pleased to confirm that Oxford Royale Academy is very much open for business this summer. We continue to accept all bookings and our 2020 summer programmes are scheduled to go ahead as planned. We are looking forward to welcoming students to an exciting and busy summer school at our inspiring venues across the UK and USA. Students from over 90 nationalities have already signed up to attend our summer programmes, and we expect to welcome young people from over 150 countries later this year. 

The welfare of our students and staff remains our highest priority, and our well-tested summer school policies and practices, as well as our rigorous staff training, have all been developed to ensure that we provide the highest standards of care to our students and staff. 

As one of the UK’s leading summer schools, and the largest summer school in Oxford, you can book with confidence, safe in the knowledge that you will enjoy a safe and supportive environment during your stay with us. Dedicated Welfare Officers are available to students throughout their stay, and we have long-established links with local health care professionals and General Practitioners (GPs), as well as access to world-leading hospitals and health advice. UK public health measures are world-leading and our excellent National Health Service (NHS) is well prepared to manage and treat any new diseases. 

We want to reassure you that we continue to monitor this complex and changing situation daily, and are following the expert advice of Public Health England, the UK’s Chief Medical Officers, the World Health Organisation and the US government. We are also observing travel-specific advice provided by bodies such as the British Council, the British Educational Travel Association, and Universities UK. Our thoughts are with those individuals and families who are suffering or being kept apart at this time. 

Below, we have provided answers to a range of questions that we have received over the past weeks. We recognise that this is a rapidly developing situation, and we will of course continue to keep you updated. We also recommend that you regularly check for updates on websites such as Public Health England and the World Health Organisation.

In the meantime, if you have any queries, please contact our Admissions Team – we are here to help.


Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Last updated: 24/03/2020


Will ORA be running summer courses in 2020?

Yes! We continue to operate as normal and are accepting all enrolments, although always with the safety, health and security of our students front of mind. 

Following guidance from our host venues (University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, University of St Andrews, Imperial College London, Yale, Uppingham School and St Mary’s Ascot) and Public Health England, we fully expect at this time to operate our programmes as planned this summer. 


I want to change my booking, what are my options?

In 2020, we are extending our summer school period through to late September, and are offering the following flexible booking options, at no additional charge. Specifically, students can benefit from the following four flexibility options:

  1. Switch programme dates within 2020 – throughout June to end of September 2020
  2. Switch city of delivery (e.g. from Oxford to London) 
  3. Switch course of instruction (e.g. from Medicine to Law) 
  4. Switch to ‘’non-residential’’ status (different fees may apply) 

Students may choose options 1) to 4) up to 30 days before the start date of their booked course, subject to availability.


What if I do not wish to attend in Summer 2020, but wish to attend in Summer 2021?

If you do not wish to attend an ORA summer school in 2020 but you have already paid a deposit, you may carry over your deposit to secure a place for summer school 2021, but you must contact us to do so before 15th April 2020.


I wish to cancel my booking entirely. Will ORA provide a refund?

All cancellations are governed by our terms and conditions. All payments made will be reimbursed should you cancel within 14 days of booking. As above, we are also offering:

  • Dates/course/city flexibility at no charge for 2020 bookings 
  • The option to carry over your deposit payment to secure a place for summer 2021, but you must do so before 15th April 2020. 


I want to enrol for a course, but do not want to commit financially yet. What are my options?

If you are not ready to make a decision yet, then please still contact our Admissions Team to discuss your options. We offer a “book now, pay later” option, allowing you to reserve a place for up to 30 days with no payment required. If you do not wish to proceed at the end of that period, we will cancel your reservation for you, with no questions asked.


When is my balancing payment due, and what happens if I am unable to pay?

Balance fees are due as per the terms and conditions of enrolment 60 days before the first date of the course. Your place will unfortunately be cancelled if you do not make this payment by the required deadline.   


Am I insured automatically with ORA?

Bookings made before 15th March 2020 include an insurance policy provided by, underwritten by AXA. Information about the scope of cover provided by this policy is available here. Specific queries should be addressed to (please speak with our Admissions Team to request contact details). 

Please note that AXA is currently unable to offer insurance for bookings made after 15th March 2020. We therefore recommend that you take out alternative insurance at this time. We will provide further updates as this situation develops. 


Can you guarantee a single room for all students?

We will make every effort to meet all specific room requests. Where availability permits, we will provide single rooms to all those who request them. 


How will students be screened to ensure they are free of coronavirus?

We will not be undertaking medical pre-screening of students. It is not within our expertise to conduct such screening, and we have no way of verifying with whom an individual may have been in contact before joining our programmes. We have well-established links with local health professionals, and we will follow all relevant advice provided by relevant local authorities and the World Health Organisation. 

Students and parents must assure themselves that students are fit to travel and make themselves aware of any restrictions affecting travel to and from the UK, including requirement to quarantine. You should not travel if you are unwilling to meet those restrictions.


Can ORA provide any online learning support while students are unable to travel?

Yes! We understand that during a time of school closures and uncertainty around exam arrangements across the world, students and their families are likely to be in need of additional online resources.

Online learning with ORA

We would like to remind you that all students booked into an ORA course for Summer 2020 are eligible for free access to all of our online courses, and will be able to access these until 1st September 2020. This is a great way to keep your mind engaged and to learn more about subjects of interest during a time when you might not have access to all of the resources you normally might.

Browse our range of courses and sign up to as many as you like: Students without an existing booking can choose to sign up to a single course, or take up one of our membership options, giving access to the full suite of courses for a set period of time.

We are also in the process of developing a brand new “Virtual Summer School” for those who find themselves unable to travel this summer. These courses will contain much of the content due to be delivered for the 2020 on-campus summer schools, delivered by the same expert tutors, but will be available to you in the comfort of your home, workplace or school. More information about how this works will be available in the coming days – if this is an opportunity of interest, please email [email protected] to be added to the pre-launch waiting list.

Online enrichment activities

We are compiling an ongoing list of open-access online resources from recommended educational and cultural institutions, from which students (and parents!) unable to attend school might benefit. One of the key features of an ORA summer course is our cultural enrichment programme, and we believe that this is just as important if students are spending more time at home than they are used to!

  • Oxplore – the ‘Home of Big Questions’ is an online learning portal from the University of Oxford, which aims to engage those from 11 to 18 years with debates and ideas that go beyond what is covered in the classroom. Big questions tackle complex ideas across a wide range of subjects and draw on the latest research undertaken at Oxford.
  • The Google Arts and Culture project allows you to take a virtual walk through some of the world’s finest art galleries, and view their collections in incredibly high resolution.
  • The Berlin Philharmonic have made their Digital Concert Hall free for everyone for a month using a code.
  • The Metropolitan Opera are providing a series of free video streams of performances from their archive
  • Project Gutenberg is an online collection of over 60,000 free e-books, which are out of copyright and can be downloaded for Kindle or other readers, as well as just being viewed online.

This list will be regularly updated with new resources, so do keep checking back.


Study in confidence