With the fear of contracting the novel COVID-19 virus, many educational institutions across the UK have decided to place social distancing norms and regulations to ensure the safety of their students, faculty and staff. A research study from QS Quacquarelly Symonds suggests that nearly 98% of UK universities plan to offer a blended form of learning in the new academic year.
The blended form of learning includes both online and face-to-face teaching methodology, which will be followed by a large number of universities across the UK. Reports also state 7 out 10 universities expect to offer education in online mode mostly.
While most universities expect to offer education in the new blended form, a handful of the educational institutions expect to provide face-to-face teaching with a slight inclusion of online delivery as well.
When and How will the Classes for 2020 Academic Year Begin in the UK?
As per the survey, which was conducted by surveying 104 staff members at different UK Universities, the following norms and regulations are expected to be put in place to ensure quality education while maintaining social distancing norms:
70% of the Teaching is expected to be done in online mode, with few face-to-face classes held now and then.
1 in 5 participants, (nearly 19%) predicted that classes will be equally split teaching modes, i.e. Online and face-to-face.
8.6% of staff members at universities offering blended learning modes also expect to deliver teaching as a face-to-face methodology with some online delivery as well.
Over 54.4& of the staff members, including Vice-Chancellors, Deans and Registrars expect to see their campuses to be operational for students from September or October 2020.
A little over 38% of the survey participants anticipate the commencement of campus operations for students from January 2021.
What Social Distancing Norms will be Followed in UK Universities?
Keeping in mind the implications of being exposed to the virus, UK Universities may implement certain regulations to ensure social distancing norms for those wishing to study in the UK. The QS Quacquarelly Symonds survey reveals that many institutions will be introducing certain social distancing norms, which have outlined below:
Nearly 83% of the participants claimed their institutions have set up “hand-gel stations” across the campus.
However, only 25.9% of the participants revealed that face-masks will be mandatory for the staff and students inside the campus.
Almost 38% of the participants stated that personal protective equipment will be offered to the staff at their institutions as well.
To ensure a minimum distance among the students, 65.5% of the respondents also stated that the lectures and seminars will be held in larger rooms.
The Marketing Director of QS, Paul Raybould commented that such data will help students in understanding the various measures taken by universities and educational institutions across the country, to ensure the safety of the students and staff alike.
Living in unprecedented times, such insights are crucial more than ever before. Insights like these can help the education sector is creating a path where an excellent balance between quality teaching and student experiences are maintained while also maintaining social distancing norms, claims Paul Raybould.