The University of Cambridge has confirmed that all “face-to-face lectures” will be moved online during the next academic year. It becomes the first university to set out measures for the full 2020/21 academic year, as the institution says it is “likely” that social distancing will continue to be required.
Lectures will continue virtually until Summer 2021 while it may be possible for smaller teaching groups to take place in person if it “conforms to social-distancing requirements”.
“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.”
– CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY SPOKESPERSON
All teaching at the university was moved online in March, while exams are being carried out virtually. Independent Cambridge student newspaper Varsity first revealed the university’s plans.
An email sent to staff by the Head of Education services, seen by the student newspaper, says plans are currently under way to ensure that “the delivery of lectures online will be of the best possible quality”. It comes after the Office for Students (OfS), the higher education regulator, urged universities not to make any promises to students that everything will be back to normal in the autumn term if this is not the case.
Addressing a virtual Education Select Committee on Monday, Nicola Dandridge, chief executive at the OfS, said students should be told what kind of experience they will receive in advance of accepting offers.