All undergraduate learning will continue to be held online for the rest of the semester, until April 2, 2021, when the academic year finishes, meaning that students will not return to campus until September when the new academic year begins, Edinburgh University has announced.
Only a small number of students in certain degree programmes will be exempted from the decision, Erudera College News reports.
This decision on continuing to offer teaching in the digital version instead of moving to in-person classes or mixed learning has been taken after the guidance published by the Scottish Government that intends to curb the further spread of COVID-19 virus.
According to Professor Colm Harmon, Vice-Principal Students at Edinburgh University, the university has decided to continue online learning aiming to help the NHS and to protect the health and safety of its community during a national crisis, noting that it has been a difficult decision for the university to make.
“In taking this decision now, the University hopes to provide as much certainty as possible so that students can plan for the rest of the semester.”
In support of online learning continuation, several measures have been introduced, including a new Library service called Scan & Deliver which will allow students and staff to require copies of printed material to be sent to them in the electronic version.
Whereas, as per postgraduate taught students, most of learning and teaching will continue remotely until the end of February at the earliest.
Following this, the university stated that at the beginning of February, they would check circumstances again as well as will remain in contact with postgraduate students.
Other universities are also continuing to hold classes online fearful of further spread of the pandemic or even the new variant of COVID-19. But, ever since the pandemic emerged and learning switched to online, students have expressed dissatisfaction regarding university tuition fees.
A survey by the digital learning platform Quizlet has revealed that 86 per cent of university students across the United Kingdom argue that tuition fees should be refunded fully or partially as due to COVID-19 their studies were interrupted.
For the same reason, the student union at the University of Reading in England has delivered a letter to university leaders recently, asking for reimbursement, but the latter did not accept reducing prices for this year, claiming that the university has continued to offer the same quality education as in prior years.
Whereas, earlier this month, a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesperson said that learning at US universities is likely to continue online during the spring semester 2021 as well.