A 19-year-old student at Northumbria University has died from meningitis.
Public Health England said the female student died on 11 September from meningococcal meningitis (group W).
Very close contacts of the student are being offered antibiotics as a precaution.
All young people starting university are being encouraged to get vaccinated.
Health experts say mixing with lots of new people, some of whom may unknowingly carry the meningococcal bacteria, puts new students at an increased risk of infection.