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.
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.