Wednesday, May 20, 2020

No more face-to-face lectures at Cambridge University until summer of 2021

News today that Cambridge University, and all its Colleges, are moving all lectures on-line for the 2020/2021 academic year. The immediate questions are: If Cambridge are doing it, should the rest of us follow? If it is good enough for a hallowed and respected institution like Cambridge - is it good enough for the rest of us?

Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.
Image source: Wikipedia.
The start of Semester I in September is just four months away - we will not be out of lockdown for another two months. The European Union coronavirus response chief,  Dr Andrea Ammon, warns us also today that "Europe should brace itself for second wave" of Covid-19 infections after people return from summer holidays. Without wishing to alarmist, I feel that more universities and colleges will follow Cambridge. I guess most third level institutions are already planning for the possibility of no return to face-to-face lectures, but pressure will grow in the next few weeks for clarity. The student accommodation crisis is with us every late summer - so prospective students will want to know where they stand (landlords too). College Faculty will also need to be ready, and will need to know several weeks in advance of a new semester whether they are teaching on-line or in a physical classroom.

I applaud Cambridge for their foresight and being first out of the blocks with this - students and staff know exactly where they stand for the coming academic year.

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