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Cambridge University moves law lectures online until summer 2021

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COVID-19: Prestigious institution first to set out measures for full academic year

The University of Cambridge has announced that all of its lectures, including those run by its law faculty, will be conducted online until next summer in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

The prestigious institution is the first to set out measures for the full 2020-21 academic year. This week we reported that Manchester University’s law department will deliver all of its lectures virtually from the start of semester one in September.

“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,” a Cambridge University spokesperson said, adding that lectures will continue to be made available online, and that the decision has been taken now to facilitate planning but will be reviewed as official advice changes.

The spokesperson said, however, that “it may be possible to host smaller teaching groups in person” if they meet social distancing requirements.

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University campuses across the country have been closed this term due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Teaching and assessments for the most part have moved online.

With social distancing measures likely to stay in place for the foreseeable future, it seems a number of other universities will follow Cambridge University’s call. Students applying this year will be waiting to see whether courses will be taught on-campus or remotely, or a combination of both.

On Monday the university watchdog said students applying for uni places must be told with “absolute clarity” how courses will be taught — before they make their choices for the autumn.

Universities can charge students full fees even if courses are taught online.

Nicola Dandridge, chief exec at the Office for Students, cautioned against promises about an “on-campus experience” if courses are to be taught online.

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50 Comments

Anonymous

I would defer a year. Paying those fees to get open university experience? What’s the point of getting into one of the best schools in the world and doing it online.

(27)(7)

JDP

Fuuuarkkkk, somebody offer this banterdemon a job!

(1)(0)

Hmmmm

Because you are forced to write two or three 2,000 word essays a week after a ton of reading, then you discuss your ideas directly with a leading professor in the field during supervisions.

College rent is far lower than in most cities and the richer colleges heavily subsidise the price of on-site meals. In most colleges, you don’t need to take public transport to get around or to buy books as there are over 60 well-stocked libraries at Cambridge.

That’s a bargain for £9k a year.

At any other uni, you get a reading list and one essay a month for £9k.

This is why other unis will never close the gap with Oxbridge – they refuse to set and mark the same level of work that Oxbridge students HAVE to complete.

(55)(170)

Sam J

Other unis will never ‘close the gap’ because they are nowhere near as elitist as oxbridge. The main thing which separates oxbridge and other unis isn’t this superior excellence and amazing things you’re talking about – good Russel group unis offer pretty much the same – the thing which divides oxbridge and the rest is privilege

(17)(44)

Anonymous

How was it at Durham after you failed your interview at Oxbridge?

(31)(7)

Samyukta J

I’m a student at Cambridge actually, Girton College to be precise. I’m talking from experience as someone who is aware of the privilege I have to be able to go here and this is coming from an ethnic minority

Anonymous

I suppose you might think that way if you went to Girton rather than a proper college.

Anon

They don’t offer the ‘same’ – they are not prepared to pay tutors to deliver 1-to-1 supervisions/tutorials to their students.

Absolutely nothing is stopping RG unis from doing so.

(15)(5)

Greg

RG unis don’t technically have formal 1to1 tutorials/supervisions but they basically get the same thing in office hours. You can request the lecturers to deliver a more detailed ‘office hour’ in the form of 1-1 tutorials, which is why I’m assuming that Sam person said it’s pretty much the same

Realist

Sounds like you went to a comp, followed by Warwick.

It must hurt to be badly educated and stupid.

(27)(2)

Anon

The best 10% at Cambridge or Oxford are the best and only maybe 1% at most of the next tier unis are in that class. The rest are relatively fungible with the top half of the next tier down.

(2)(3)

Anon

@Anon “The best 10% at Cambridge”. Given that over a third of students get a first in most humanities subjects at Cambridge, and are these people actually bright or ‘fungible’, as you put it? Why would Oxbridge even bother interviewing their applicants if just anyone with AAA* will do?

Anonymous

The point was not about just getting a first. Lots of people get firsts, and a lot of those are just hard workers. The best 10% are a level above that. The interviews are intended to filter the rest of the 90% better, but really they are not sufficiently different from the best of the next tier down.

Let's be honest here...

No other unis have regular scheduled 1 to 1 teaching with world experts, or are challenged academically or intellectually in the same way e.g. complex problem solving, debating, abstract exam questions requiring to think on your feet and quickly form new theories from pre-existing knowledge. Plus the workload at Oxbridge is much higher than other unis, which helps give the degrees additional value in eyes of employers.
Other unis could choose to offer these things, especially as many professors at Russell Group unis were Oxbridge undergrads, so have the experience to pass on. I think many more students would thrive under this pressure than there is space for at Oxbridge (and I mean this literally – they can only accept a small number of students because the cities and college buildings are physically small).
But unfortunately other unis choose not to offer this (maybe they underestimate their students), and until other places up their game, an Oxbridge degree is always going to be better value for money.

(8)(1)

Cambridge MA

Imagine being so triggered by the fact you paid £9k for a reading list, that you sat there in front of a screen and pressed the ‘thumbs down’ button 157 times.

Did you cry whilst doing so?

(8)(17)

Harry

What do you mean? You can only like or dislike it once?

(3)(1)

Lauren

I also wasn’t aware people can like it more than once – I can’t on my phone or laptop? Not that I want to I just don’t get what the Cambridge MA was alluding to exactly

Anon

Try doing it on in private browsing then thank me later.

Joe

I checked the articles in the morning and evening yesterday and the number of likes went up quite gradually so I don’t think anyone has glitched the system and spammed the likes lol.

I think that comment about Oxbridge being far ahead of other unis must’ve triggered a lot of people as they probably took it as the person basically telling them their uni is rubbish in comparison

(7)(5)

Oh Dear

I don’t sit here crying that I never went to Harvard or specialised in aeronautics at MIT.

I don’t think anyone at the Bar does either?

Joe

I’m simply making the point that the people who didn’t appreciate the elitist attitude in the comment probably disliked the comment which is why there are a lot of dislikes over likes. That’s all

Kyle

Imagine being that much of a simp you actually came back to check how much likes your comment got at 6 in the morning

(15)(4)

Anon

That’s why they got into Oxbridge – they know 6am is the time to start running in the morning to beat the heat.

It’s not 5 nights out a week at the Students Union and waking up hungover at 1pm.

Life is about choices.

Kyle

I go to Oxford Uni myself you simp hahaha wow

Anonymous

Surprised they let people called “Kyle” into Oxford, especially the sort that use the word “simp” but, they are generous with those social mobility top up places nowadays, I suppose.

Dave

And spend the gap year in your mum’s basement?

(1)(1)

Anonymous

Yes, I spent my gap year in your mum’s “basement”.

(2)(4)

The Open University

And who has a better programme now? The Open University, which has a long and proud history of teaching people online or via mail or an upstart newcomer Cambridge university, which is just starting to teach people now?

(49)(15)

Anon

Cambridge. It’s Cambridge

(7)(56)

Anon.

Hope they offer a fee discount

(3)(4)

Cantab Grad

Would I be out of place applying to a regional firm’s London office with a first class classics degree from. Kings College , Cambridge ? Trying to weigh up my options

(3)(8)

Topkek

Rofl lmao f*ck off mate

(7)(1)

Anonymous

Obviously not. First class degree + Oxbridge goes pretty far at most firms.

(3)(0)

Anon

Though classics at King’s does scream “twat” and a first in that is a 2.1 in a real subject. I’d probably shuffle that CV over into the reject column.

(7)(4)

Truth serum

You can apply, there is no guarantee you will get in. Depends on how socially awkward you are, and whether you can get through the assessment centre without making your disdain for graduate recruitment with their 2.1s from Kingston University obvious. And also if you can speak up in the group exercise without shaking and vomiting. If you can’t do any of these, then I suggest you stay in Uni and become an academic. If you can speak up but are still an arrogant and condescending twat with no common sense, then head to the commercial bar where your clerks will help you function for a small (relative) fee.

(12)(0)

Anonymous

Having done the Law undergrad at Cambridge, I honestly don’t think that this will have a particularly adverse impact. The lectures were all very good, but had to cram in an enormous amount of content just to cover the syllabus. Inevitably, you wouldn’t have noted everything down, and you would have to swap notes with your peers to get a comprehensive set.

By having them online, presumably students will be able to pause and re-wind, whilst taking notes, and may even be able to use the lectures as revision material. So, arguably, they may even get more out of them.

The supervisions are where you actually have to converse with your teachers. So long as they continue to have these face-to-face, which shouldn’t be hard as there will be 4 people (max) in a room, the course will still be a good investment.

(15)(0)

Ox humanities grad

Finally a comment from someone who has actually done the course!
I was thinking the same, that the most valuable teaching is in 1to1s or small groups which are presumably still going ahead as in line with social distancing rules? Plus all the library resources are really valuable. I don’t think many people at Oxbridge think they are paying for the mass lectures, and its probably more convenient to have these online. You may actually get more people listening in if they can choose when to do this.

(2)(0)

Who gives a ****

Who cares most lecture slides are online. In some universities entire lectures are recorded and put online. Most students dont attend lectures after the first term anyway.

(9)(1)

Darryl

I have a career’s based conundrum.

I was always bottom of my class up until the age of 10. I was far more interested in eating crayons and crying for my mother. As I hit double figs I grew up a little, but I was a complete menace. I would often be quite violent and was expelled from two schools. By the time I completed my GCSE exams I was really behind the other students and achieved grades of DDD,CC,BB,A. The A was in Travel & Tourism. I was a bit spoiled and was taken on many family holidays.

I didn’t end up doing any A levels and it follows that I didn’t go to university. I mainly do manual work for my father’s business, but I occasionally do some bar work. I have recently started watching Suits which has sparked a very keen interest in a career in corporate law. I want to be like Harvey Spector. He gets all the women. He looks sharp in his suit. I want the same in life. I think I could be a glamourous lawyer. I am reasonably good looking.

My question is – where does somebody with a background like mine begin?

(9)(0)

LC’s Next Sensation

Firstly, get an uncle to reinvent himself as an ‘Innovation Consultant’ with a website, logo and professional headshots.

Next, get your uncle to draft and publish books about ‘Interplanetary Law’ with lots of really cool concept drawings imagining life on other worlds.

Remember, he won’t be criticised, because who really knows what laws they have on planet HCXGGFGgff anyway? We’ll arrive there eventually in a few decades, so who can TRULY say the books are ‘fiction’?

It’ll be a runaway success. Every law firm (at least on this planet) will want to know how to best prepare their partners and associates for the future rigours of Interplanetary Law. They NEED to be prepared, right? Soon, your uncle will be booked solid for speaking tours, Instagram hashtags, podcasts and training courses.

That’s where you’ll come in. You line yourself up to publish a ‘companion’ book series to your uncle’s Interplanetary Law series. Maybe ‘Spaceship Torts’ or ‘Criminal Laws of Interplanetary Bounty Hunting’?

Remember, we’re only a few decades away from needing enlightening literature on how much space is going to completely transform our lives as lawyers. We must be ALERT and PREPARED.

You will now have ‘bestselling author’ to brag about in your applications. That is SO much cooler than A Levels or a degree anyway.

You’ll be able to bag ANY training contract you want. Heck, maybe even become a commercial barrister!

(24)(1)

Tech Skeptic

Don’t give the Susskind clan any ideas!

(3)(0)

Anon

Being expert futurologists, I’m sure they’ve drafted those books already

(2)(0)

Anon

A+ effort, you should write these for Alex. I’ll give you a sympathy 👍

(0)(0)

Final year student 2021

Will RG unis follow?

(0)(0)

gertrude

Slightly off topic, but have you noticed the growing trend to criticise law firms for recruiting trainees from Oxbridge.

That can’t be right.

Law firms need smart, well educated lawyers.

(11)(7)

Libeturd Leftie

Are you implying that smart and well educated lawyers can only be Oxbridge Grads?

(5)(4)

Anonymous

Oxford students would not notice if lectures were cancelled.

(6)(0)

Oxford alumna

Lol someone once said to a friend of mine, “I think I know you from a lecture.” My friend said, “That’s impossible.”

(3)(0)

Dumbfounded

Good grief. I did a part-time Psychology degree at a third rate Uni as a mature student but reading through some of these Beavis and Butthead type comments from the supposed Oxbridge intelligentsia I realise it matters not one jot. What a bunch of utter tools 😂

(2)(36)

Anon

Still, look at your CV. It is shit.

(7)(1)

Comments are closed.

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