Bristol University confirms that some students will not receive in-person teaching until next year


By Sophie Downes, News Reporter

The University has followed up a government announcement stating there will be no in-person teaching offered to students on non-exempt or non-practical programmes until 17 May.

This means many students will now not receive in-person teaching for the rest of the term, given the teaching block ends before this date.

In a letter addressed to students, the Minister of State for Universities, Michelle Donelan MP, explained that students won’t be able to return to in-person teaching until at least 17 May, in line with Step 3 of the government’s ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown.

The Universities’ also said the decision ‘was made to keep you and the wider community as safe as possible’ and is ‘designed to maintain a cautious approach to the easing of restrictions in the light of public health considerations, to ensure that we can maintain progress towards full reopening.’

Yet the news has incited frustrated responses from students, many of whom now won’t receive in-person tuition until next year.

The decision also comes after pubs and restaurants opened earlier this week for outdoor service.  

Beatrice Fitzmaurice, a second year English Literature student, raised her concerns with the developments, stating that ‘on-campus teaching makes a vast difference to the quality and experience of my degree. In particular, it provides a social landscape in which students can digest and discuss ideas without the limitations of online learning.

‘It is disappointing to think that numerous subjects, particularly those of Arts and Social Sciences, will not receive the same level of consideration as practical subjects. I know I can speak for many on my course who feel like we’ve been forgotten.’

In an interview with LBC news, Siavash Minoukadeh, Epigram’s Deputy Digital Editor, echoed this sentiment.

‘We were left out of all the announcements going into lockdown, he said, ‘We’ve all been watching them and waiting to see what happened. Now we’ve been left out of the announcements of coming back out of lockdown.’

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‘I just wonder if this Government knows we exist or cares about us because frankly, the evidence doesn’t seem to suggest that at all.’

The government’s yesterday came just a matter of hours after Bristol University had already written to students to say that some courses would return to in-person next week following a lack of ‘further clarity from the government’ on students’ return to campus.

Students who are attending campus or returning to University residences are reminded to get regular tests. The university will be updating their testing pages with information on how to access home kits.

Featured Image: Lucy O’Neill

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