Information on in-person teaching delayed until after Easter holidays

Image description: A picture of the Radcliffe Camera through an archway 

According to the University’s updated guidance, information regarding in-person teaching won’t be updated until after the Easter holidays.

The new guidance says: “Please remember that if you are on a non-practical or practical based course, the Government will not issue guidance on your return for in-person teaching until after the Easter holidays.”

“We realise it is disappointing for you not to get more clarity at this stage. However, we are committed to reviewing these arrangements as soon as possible after we get more guidance from the Government, and we remain hopeful that a wider student return will be possible in Trinity term.” 

The University says that it will write to all students on Monday morning, 12th April, with an update, and the website will also be updated at that point.

Previous to this, the Government had initially committed to a review of university guidelines by the end of the Easter holidays. They had also said that there would be at least a week’s notice to any changes. Currently only students studying practical and ‘priority’ courses are allowed in person teaching. Return to university for those with extenuating circumstances are still permitted.

Oxford’s guidance also included information regarding new asymptomatic testing sites that will open from the 12th of April. The University has encouraged both staff and students to get tested regularly. 

Universities across the country have expressed their disappointment at the Government’s lack of information regarding return to face-to-face teaching.

Vanessa Wilson, the chief executive of the Universities Alliance mission group, said that she was “disappointed” that the prime minister “has made no commitment for the remaining higher education students to be allowed to return to campus and in-person teaching from 12 April”.

Stephen Toope, Cambridge Vice Chancellor, said that: “It now appears unlikely that guidance concerning in-person teaching at universities will change before Monday 17 May, at the earliest.”

“While we continue to believe that for many students studying at Cambridge will be the best and preferred option, we recognise that others may wish to remain elsewhere. We will continue to support them and ensure they can complete their studies remotely if they so choose.”

Cambridge’s policy remains unchanged.

The Government are yet to announce if and when they will update the guidance surrounding the return of Universities and have not addressed their previous commitment.

Image Credit: Iona Shen, The Oxford Student