UK university students given campus return date, but for many it’s after teaching ends

The UK Government has announced that university students will return to face-to-face teaching on campus no earlier than 17th May 2021.

This date coincides with Step 3 of the UK Roadmap plan, which will also see:

  • Two households being allowed to mix indoors – with the rule of six applied in hospitality settings like pubs
  • Cinemas, hotels, performances and sporting events reopening – though social distancing remains
  • Up to 10,000 spectators being able to attend the very largest outdoor seated venues like football stadiums
  • Up to 30 people being able to attend weddings, receptions, funerals and wakes

In a written statement, Universities Minister Michelle Donelan said the timing was a “cautious approach to the easing of restrictions” and that “the movement of students across the country poses a risk for the transmission of the virus”.

Classes for the majority of courses throughout UK universities have been taught online since Christmas, with only hands-on courses being allowed to go on campuses for teaching.

Many university leaders have been trying to get students back on campuses in April, arguing that it doesn’t make sense to re-open essential retail and gyms (open since April 12th), but not allow face-to-face university education.

The choice of date is a bit confusing, seeing as the majority of university courses’ teaching will have finished for the academic year by or around this date.

Students across the UK appear to be less than pleased at this news…

What are your thoughts on this issue? Let us know @pieradiouk

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