By Georgiana Scott, Deputy Editor
Lectures will continue to be taught online for the first term of the next academic year, the University of Bristol has announced.
Professor Hugh Brady, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Bristol has confirmed that all lectures will be taught online-only for at least the start of the 2020-2021 academic year due to Covid-19.
However, seminars and small-group teaching will be taught in-person with new safety measures in place to ensure social distancing requirements are met.
The plan will ensure that large-scale lectures can take place the entire year online if necessary, depending on government and public health advice that is under constant review.
In an email to all students, Hugh Brady announced ‘Our approach will see on-campus teaching through small group teaching - supervisions, seminars, or individual tuition tutorials - coupled with online lectures to ensure all our students can continue to receive an interactive and engaging education.’
The Vice-Chancellor reassured students that the campus will remain open and this will include ‘teaching and study spaces, halls of residence, laboratories, cafes, meeting rooms, sports facilities, libraries, support services and outdoor spaces.’ However, ‘dedicated entrances, one-way systems and distance markers’ will be introduced to ensure students and staff safety.
It was also announced that the start of term will be pushed back to 5 October to enable the various social distancing measures to be implemented across campus and ensure that international students have time to complete a period of quarantine before beginning their studies.
He added that the University is currently developing a welcome week that ensures ‘new students will still get an exciting introduction to living in Bristol.’
Even though students will be receiving a more online experience than anticipated, the University will still be charging full tuition fees as students will still have access to 'quality teaching and support.'
The statement follows similar announcements made earlier this month by other Universities such as Exeter, Warwick and Oxford who have also suspended face-to-face lectures until the Christmas holidays.
The impact the move is likely to have on student deferrals is undetermined. However, a report by the UCU claimed 1 in 5 prospective students plan to defer their studies and 25% of them would consider switching from their first choice University.
He concluded the email by saying ‘we are also working closely with SU colleagues to focus on maintaining and strengthening our bonds as a community, even if we are not able to be physically together as in more normal times. ’
Current students can find out more information here.
Featured Image: Cameron Scheijde
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