Most of the universities across Germany are not planning to fully return to face-to-face teaching during the winter semester, according to the latest survey by the “Welt am Sonntag” involving 113 of all 116 universities in the country.
92 percent of universities participating in the survey claimed they plan to continue mixed teaching, delivering face-to-face and online lessons. On the other hand, the remaining eight percent pointed out that they are planning to return to the normal academic year, Erudera.com reports.
According to the survey, among the reasons why universities are not planning to return to full-time in-person teaching include the hygiene rules, which do not allow the full presence yet.
Rectors of several universities have urged to lift the distance requirement, adding that they are expecting a high vaccination rate among students and teachers by winter, so restrictions will no longer be needed.
In June 2020, the Federal Government of Germany adopted the COVID-19 emergency package of €100 million to help students who have been experiencing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The aid program was then extended until the end of September this year considering students’ need for financial support.
However, student representatives from ten federal states in Germany have asked for more support to be allocated to students in the country through the emergency package, claiming that the amount that has been offered so far is insufficient.
Earlier this year, a survey by the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW) and AG Hochschulforschung showed that nearly 28,600 students from 23 state universities in Germany asserted that study conditions at their educational institutions have worsened amid the pandemic.
In addition to universities in Germany, the University of Manchester announced a permanent move to “blended learning,” which has triggered deep concerns among university students, pushing more than 3,000 of them to sign a petition calling on the university to return to full-time in-person teaching.
Among others, the university has also stated that although it is planning to switch to blended learning, there will be no tuition fee reduction, which according to students, is unacceptable.
In the meantime, in the UK, 44 percent of students claimed that their degree is “poor or very poor” value for money this academic year, according to a survey carried out by the Advance HE and the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) about the COVID-19 impact on student academic experience where 10,000 full-time undergraduate students in the UK took part.