When will universities open again? The place of students in the government’s roadmap


Are the student rooms different?

University residences are much less crowded as students generally have to stay at home. Many universities predicted a drop in international students thanks to Brexit. The coronavirus pandemic has taken it even further away, so most of the students are already UK residents.

Most universities clean common areas – kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms more regularly.

Some universities have considered separating the rooms according to course topics, in order to reduce interaction with people from other bubbles.

How much tuition is online?

Most universities have held most of the conferences online. Providers were told not to ask students to return if their course can reasonably be continued online.

In May, the University of Cambridge became the first UK institution to announce that it would be holding all conferences online for the entire 2020-2021 academic year. Tutorials and more restricted classes could take place in person, the university said, provided they can comply with social distancing requirements. The University of Manchester has made its lectures online for at least the fall semester.

In contrast, the University of Bolton has said it plans to install “airport-style temperature scanners at every entrance to the building” and make face masks mandatory to ensure the campus is fully open in September.

Most universities transferred online learning on December 9.

Will this change with each term?

It is difficult to say how long these restrictions will last; it depends entirely on the progression of the pandemic.

Universities UK addresses this uncertainty in its set of guidelines, principles and considerations: Emerging from Lockdown. “The restrictions on Covid-19 may continue for a period of time or be lifted and then re-imposed in response to other national or localized outbreaks,” the document said. “The principles contained in this document will continue to apply, subject to the lifting of subsequent restrictions on Covid-19.”

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Will the fees be affected?

In April 2020, Michelle Donelan, Minister of Higher Education, announced that current students would not be entitled to a refund or compensation for their online learning if it was still of high quality.

“Over the past few months we have already seen courses delivered online and virtually with incredible quality and degree and I am aware of the efforts of the staff in the sector to be able to facilitate that,” she said.

Not everyone is happy with this. A QS survey found that 75% of students believe that tuition fees should be reduced if they are to study online this year.

Can I get a refund of the costs?


The education ministry said if universities “are unable to facilitate adequate online courses, it would be unacceptable for students to be charged for additional periods.”

In order to get a refund, you will need to complain directly to your university. If this is unsuccessful, you can appeal, using a ‘Completion Procedure Form’ from your university to the Office of the Independent Arbitrator (OIA) in England or Wales, or the Public Services Ombudsman Scottish or the Public Services Ombudsman for Northern Ireland, if your university is in one of these countries.

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Thousands of students have demanded reimbursement of tuition fees, fearing the coronavirus could ruin their college experiences.

More and more universities are telling students that all education will be done online.

Many students are disappointed with this, arguing that they are poor value for money, while more than 3,000 students have been trapped in their halls during recent university lockdowns.

Hundreds of thousands of people have signed an online petition to reimburse school fees for 2020-2021 due to Covid-19.

Learn more: Can I get a refund of my university fees due to Covid-19 disruptions?

Is the number of students declining? How many people postpone their place?

Universities have seen a drop in the number of new students this year. A survey from the University and College Union found that 71% of applicants preferred to delay university entry if it meant they would get more face-to-face teaching.

Independent research from the University of Leicester found that 41% of the 2,000 UK students surveyed were considering postponing their place until 2021 due to uncertainty surrounding online courses and security.

Yet the ability to defer was not guaranteed. The University of Oxford, for example, said it was not encouraging it: “ Subject to public health conditions still in place, we expect to welcome a full cohort of new undergraduates. in October 2020, therefore, we will not systematically support postponement requests. Any holder of an offer with specific and verifiable reasons for wishing to postpone their place must contact the college that made their offer or open the offer to discuss it. “

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Every university and college in Oxford or Cambridge has considered postponements on a case-by-case basis, so it’s best to contact your university directly.

If students postpone their enrollment, it could create problems for universities – especially because their admission of international students was lower this year. Universities expect to lose £ 2.5bn in funding next year due to the loss of international students (who pay higher fees), who cannot make it to the UK.

What is happening in the world?

In America, states operate independently: The University of Maryland, for example, all tuition has been transferred online. Ivy League school campuses are still open but their spring sports season has been canceled. The University of Virginia runs in-person classes, but prohibits students from leaving their rooms for most other reasons, except for class, food, individual exercise, and testing for COVID-19.

And in Europe, even as schools have reopened with social distancing measures across the continent, universities have found themselves at the end of the queue in terms of priorities. Part of the reason is that online education at tertiary level has met with relative success. At the University of Paris, tests are offered to students as part of a program to support the gradual resumption of on-site teaching. In Berlin, students are not allowed to return to campus unless their course requires it under the Ordinance on Protective Measures against SARS-CoV-2 Infection, issued on February 11 by the Berlin Senate.

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