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…
happy to announce that as a university student, the may 17th opening of Unis would give me a grand total of 5 days of classes before we break up, and I graduate
— Bethany Dawson (@bethanymrd) April 13, 2021
My heart goes out to all University students who are yet to return to F2F teaching, being told they now can’t return until the 17th May when exam & revision periods start on the 24th May, what is the point? THESE STUDENTS DESERVE SO MUCH MORE 😠 #forgottenstudents
— Lizzie Rodulson (@alwaysreviewing) April 13, 2021
— Lily (@lilyaxna) April 13, 2021
17th of May means students at my university will spend a total of 12 weeks at university this whole year, half of that being in full lockdown conditions and likely some of it isolated in their rooms.
— connie 🥀 (@conniestitution) April 13, 2021
You can get a haircut, rent a holiday home and go to the pub – but students can’t yet return to campus for face to face teaching.
— Patrick O’Donnell SU (@YUSUPresident) April 13, 2021
What are your thoughts on this issue? Let us know @pieradiouk