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Universities in Wales are notified by staff and students if they test positive for COVID-19, these statistics show the average trend for 27 September to 6 December 2020.

The Welsh Government has been collecting data on positive COVID-19-cases from Welsh higher education institutions (HEIs) since the start of the 2020/21 academic year. This information has been collected to inform Ministers and Welsh Government officials of the current levels of infection in Welsh HEIs, to be able to make informed, timely decisions on higher education policy.

The figures include both staff and students and refer only to cases made known to the HEI’s faculty. The numbers of positive cases in university staff and students may therefore be higher than the figures reported here. Reporting practices are likely to vary between institutions so comparisons should be used with caution. Please see ‘Quality’ section for further information.

Main points

Each university shows a peak in positive cases at different times over the last few months.

Note: The peak in Cardiff University cases is the result of 600 students being tested by the Cardiff & Vale LHB Nursing Team over the weekend of 10 and 11 October, and a further 700 being tested by the Mobile Test Unit over the following week.

(r) Data for UWTSD was revised on 11 December 2020 following the identification of a small number of duplicate cases. This has affected the time series between 29 November and 6 December 2020. No other institutions were affected.

  • Overall, the numbers of cases reported to HEIs have been small, with each HEI experiencing a peak in cases at different times.
  • Cardiff University has seen the largest peak but this was the result of mass testing and so should be interpreted with caution.
  • Over the last two weeks, all HEIs have had a 7 day rolling average of fewer than 8 positive COVID-19 cases.


This update revises all statistics previously published here on positive COVID-19 cases in Welsh HEIs.

This data is management information collected by Welsh Government on a daily basis from HEIs in Wales. To allow the timely release of the data, these statistics have not been through the same rigorous quality assurance processes as other Welsh Government statistics, but we have made every effort to validate figures with HEIs before publication. Each day, HEIs have the opportunity to revise submissions for previous days. As such, figures are considered provisional and subject to change.

HEIs report all known new positive COVID-19 cases to the Welsh Government each morning. These are positive cases reported to the HEI by students or staff and are not an extract from the testing or contact tracing administrative systems.

The date of notification is the date the HEI was notified of the positive case, not necessarily the date the test was taken or the result received.

The figures are not limited to students on campus and so can also include students studying remotely from home.

Due to the fact that the lateral flow test currently requires a confirmatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, there is a possibility of double counting during the period of the mass testing pilot. The way in which institutions have accounted for this varies, with some institutions having systems in place that can account for these duplicates and others that do not. There is also the possibility of a delay in case reporting where some institutions choose to wait for the PCR test result before reporting the figures. Where possible, any double counting and time lags in reporting due to these reasons will be caveated.

Further information about the coronavirus pandemic in Wales can be found on Public Health Wales’ data dashboard.

National Statistics status

These are not National Statistics and have been produced quickly in response to developing national and local events.

Next update

This is currently a weekly statistical release. It will be published at 9:30am every Tuesday. We will review the frequency in line with changing user need.

The next release will be on Tuesday 15 December 2020.

We want your feedback

We welcome any feedback on any aspect of these statistics which can be provided by email to 


Datasets and interactive tools

7 day rolling average of positive cases in Welsh universities, 27 September to 6 December 2020: tables , file type: ODS, file size: 7 KB

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Katherine Green

Telephone: 0300 062 2587


Telephone: 0300 025 8099