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Universities plan for life during a pandemic as Cambridge goes fully online for 2021

The UK university has said it is “likely” that social distancing will continue to be required.

King's College at Cambridge University.
King's College at Cambridge University.
Image: PA Images

THE UNIVERSITY OF Cambridge has confirmed that all “face-to-face lectures” will be moved online during the next academic year.

The UK university has set out measures for the full 2020/21 academic year, saying it is “likely” that social distancing will continue to be required.

Lectures will continue virtually until Summer 2021, the university said, while it may be possible for smaller teaching groups to take place in person if it “conforms to social-distancing requirements”.

A spokesman for the university said: “The university is constantly adapting to changing advice as it emerges during this pandemic.

“Given that it is likely that social distancing will continue to be required, the university has decided there will be no face-to-face lectures during the next academic year.

Lectures will continue to be made available online and it may be possible to host smaller teaching groups in person, as long as this conforms to social-distancing requirements. This decision has been taken now to facilitate planning, but as ever, will be reviewed should there be changes to official advice on coronavirus.

Universities in Ireland have also been planning for college life during the pandemic. 

Dublin City University (DCU) has said it expects social distancing requirements to operate “through the rest of 2020 and into 2021″ and is therefore planning a “hybrid” approach with lectures primarily online.

“Given the constraints of social distancing, it is clear that bringing large groups of students together for lectures will not be possible,” the university has said. 

Consequently, we are planning for hybrid delivery of teaching, with lectures primarily online and students attending campus for face-to-face laboratory classes, practical sessions, and small group interactions, where possible.

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DCU says the hybrid approach will allow the university to pivot back to face-to-face learning “in the event of a positive healthcare development” or to “react swiftly to the re-imposition of government restrictions”. 

Trinity College Dublin (TCD) moved the remaining lectures of the previous semester online on 10 March. Currently, the university has said it is “considering a variety of options for the delivery of programmes in the next academic year”.

University College Cork (UCC) has said that its staff are “working remotely to the maximum extent possible” and the university has a FAQ section on its website for current and prospective students in relation to the response to Covid-19. 

- With reporting by Rónán Duffy

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