20 May 2020 00:47
Cambridge University has announced that there will be no "face-to-face lectures" next academic year. The 800-year-old university said that since it is likely that social distancing measures will continue, lectures will take place virtually instead. Tutorials and smaller classes could take place in person, provided they can "conform to social distancing requirements". It is the first British institution to confirm that it will hold virtual lectures for the entire year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Universities across the country sent students home in March and moved lectures, classes, exams and graduation ceremonies online.
Earlier this month, Manchester University said that it will move lectures online for the first semester of next year. Cambridge has become the first university to set out measures for the full 2020-21 academic year, announcing that it will move all "face-to-face lectures" online for the duration. The institution added that it was "likely" social distancing would continue to be required. The university said lectures would continue virtually until summer 2021, while it may be possible for smaller teaching groups to take place in person if it "conforms to social-distancing requirements". A spokesman said: "The university is constantly adapting to changing advice as it emerges during this pandemic.
However, lectures will be available to students online and "it may be possible to host smaller teaching groups in person" if they meet social distancing requirements, the university said. University campuses have been closed this term by the Covid-19 outbreak. Cambridge will review the decision if advice on social distancing changes. A statement from it read: "The university is constantly adapting to changing advice as it emerges during this pandemic. "Given that it is likely that social distancing will continue to be required, the university has decided there will be no face-to-face lectures during the next academic year.
But Nicola Dandridge of the Office for Students warned against misleading promises about a "campus experience" if courses are to be taught online. ES News email The latest headlines in your inbox twice a day Monday - Friday plus breaking news updates Enter your email address Continue Please enter an email address Email address is invalid Fill out this field Email address is invalid You already have an account. Please log in Register with your social account or click here to log in I would like to receive lunchtime headlines Monday - Friday plus breaking news alerts, by email Update newsletter preferences The University of Cambridge has moved all "face-to-face" lectures online for the next academic year amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It is the first UK university to set out such plans for the 2020/2021 year, with Cambridge adding that it is "likely" that social distancing will be needed until next summer. It may be possible for in-person teaching in smaller groups to continue next year, the university added - provided teachers and students can keep to social distancing guidelines. A spokesman for the university said: "The University is constantly adapting to changing advice as it emerges during this pandemic. "Given that it is likely that social distancing will continue to be required, the university has decided there will be no face-to-face lectures during the next academic year. "Lectures will continue to be made available online and it may be possible to host smaller teaching groups in person, as long as this conforms to social-distancing requirements. Read more Virus death toll tops 35,000 as warning issued over economic recovery "This decision has been taken now to facilitate planning, but as ever, will be reviewed should there be changes to official advice on coronavirus." Teaching went online for all British universities after the Government ordered Brits to stay at home in March to slow the spread of the virus. Some universities had already stopped in-person teaching, but the Government said that closures "could do more harm than good" - just 11 days before the entire UK went into lockdown. But no university had announced plans to maintain distance learning before Tuesday. Cambridge's announcement comes after higher education regulator the Office for Students (Ofs) told universities that they shouldn't promise students that everything would return to normal in the next academic year if this wasn't the case. Nicola Dandridge, chief executive at the OfS, told the Education Select Committee on Monday that students should be told what kind of experience they will receive before they accept offers. The vast majority of Cambridge students due to start their degree in autumn 2021 will have already accepted a place. The University of Cambridge is planning to keep at least some aspects of campus remote for the entire 2020-21 academic year because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has hit the United Kingdom hard. The student newspaper Varsity reported Tuesday that an email from the university's head of education services, Alice Brenton, said because "rigid social distancing" will likely still be required throughout the next school year, "there will be no face-to-face lectures." Cambridge, you might have heard, is a fairly old and prestigious university, and the decision to keep lectures remote for an entire year seems like a historic decision. Gosh. Cambridge University plans an entire academic year with no face-to-face lectures for the first time in close on 800 years. — Trisha Greenhalgh (@trishgreenhalgh) May 19, 2020 For now, campus life doesn't sound like it will completely shutdown, however. Lecture halls will instead host "smaller group teaching" with the idea that the larger space will allow for social distancing. That said, the university has warned that it's possible even these classes could remain remote. In the United States, colleges and universities are still trying to figure out how to handle a potential return to campus. The California State University system has said it will keep classes online for the fall semester, while the University of Notre Dame is planning to re-open with an adapted, accelerated schedule to reduce the risks of students bringing the virus from their homes back to campus. More stories from theweek.com The snake oil salesman cometh Trump spent hours retweeting, slamming Fox News, including profane attacks on host Neil Cavuto CBO estimates leisure and hospitality sector lost nearly 50 percent of its jobs in March and April