Institution declares that lectures will be provided in online-only form
The University of Cambridge plans to deliver all lectures online for the entirety of the 2020/21 academic year.
The institution moved to online teaching models in March and is also conducting end-of-year exams remotely. In a move it said was designed to “facilitate planning”, Cambridge has now declared that all lectures will be delivered virtually throughout the academic year due to begin in September.
“The university is constantly adapting to changing advice as it emerges during this pandemic,” a spokesperson said. “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.”
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In addition to continuing to offer online lectures, the university said that “it may be possible to host smaller teaching groups in person, as long as this conforms to social-distancing requirements”.
And, while is acted early in setting out a digital-only plan, Cambridge said that its approach “will be reviewed should there be changes to official advice on coronavirus”.
Earlier this week the House of Commons Education Committee heard evidence on the impact of coronavirus on higher education. Evidence presented to MPs included information from a survey conducted by the National Union of Students that suggested that as many as 20% of students cannot access online learning, with a third reporting that their education has suffered as a result of the current restrictions.
Regulator the Office for Students has also indicated that, to ensure learners’ needs are being met, it will be keeping a close eye in the coming months on learning outcomes and feedback from students.