Biology Faculty moves first three weeks of Hilary Term online
Image Description: a picture of the Department of Plant Sciences and Zoology Faculty Building
The Oxford Student can exclusively reveal that MBiol students and Biology College Tutors were this morning sent an email regarding a “necessary change to the teaching arrangements for the start of Hilary Term”. This comes following the University’s recent decision to move to Level 2 of its Business Continuity Plan in response to the increase in reported COVID-19 cases in the University. As such, the Department of Plant Sciences and Zoology have decided to move all teaching online only for Weeks 0, 1, and 2 of Hilary Term 2022.
The University of Oxford website states that “Under BCP Stage 2, the University remains open, with as full a cohort of students as possible on-site, and a fully operational research programme underway.” A further description of Stage 2 available on the page asserts that “teaching and assessment taking place with the optimum combination of in-person teaching and online learning that optimises learning and supports staff and students who cannot attend; and a fully operational research programme underway.” Stage 2 still allows “some areas of the University [to be] open to public.”
The email received by MBiol Students and Biology College Tutors goes on to say that “all lectures will be pre-recorded and Q&A sessions will be scheduled”, while lab practicals will be “provided via a mixture of recordings and live sessions on Zoom.”
This news come following a period of “unprecedented growth in cases” in Oxford according to Professor Louise Richardson, the University’s Vice-Chancellor. This was an increase of 33% in a week, with the first instance of Omicron identified at Oxford on 30th November. In a letter to staff the VC said there were 170 active cases at the university, and encouraged staff to cancel Christmas parties and team lunches.
When asked for comment on Omicron-related developments the University Press Office directed The Oxford Student to the publicly available student page mentioned above.