Live updates as universities across the UK start to take measures to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
Universities across the country are taking steps to move all teaching online following a step-up in coronavirus measures.
The Mancunion understands that the University of Manchester are planning to use Week 8 (commencing Monday, March 16th) as a transition period between face-to-face and online teaching.
Durham University and Liverpool University are among those ending face-to-face teaching and telling students that from next week, they will not be expected to attend classes. Earlier today, it was announced that all schools and colleges in the Republic of Ireland would close over the virus.
An email sent to Durham students says that, starting next week, all classes will be moved online in order to “reduce the risk of immediate infection”. A source from the University of Liverpool told The Mancunion that students on non-clinical degrees will also not be expected to attend lectures and seminars next week.
King’s College London (KCL) have sent an email to students confirming that all exams scheduled for the summer examination period will be changed to alternative methods of assessment, saying they “will not hold conventional unseen exams over this period”.
Manchester Metropolitan University have told students that face-to-face teaching will not resume after Easter break, but could halt “potentially sooner, if requested by the government.”
However, university vice-chancellors have told the government that a complete shutdown of UK universities would be “impossible” as it would leave thousands of students stranded.
Speaking to The Guardian, vice-chancellor of the University of the West of England (UWE) Professor Steve West, said: ““My bottom line back to government has been that they can’t treat universities like big schools because we aren’t.
“I’ve got 4,500 students living on campus: some of them are care leavers or estranged from their families and many are international students. We can’t just shut down as they would have nowhere to go.”