The UK's Cambridge University became one of the first in the globe on Wednesday to announce that all the lectures will be delivered online in the next academic year due to the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic.
The university that shut the campuses to the students in March post the British government introduced a strict lockdown for curbing the spread of the coronavirus, stated teaching will be delivered virtually till the summer of 2021, although it was possible few smaller teaching groups might be able to occur in person.
Cambridge to Deliver Virtual Teaching Until 2021 Summer
"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," the university said in a statement. It said the decision could be reviewed depending on official guidance on dealing with the virus. "We must all be realistic ... about the world-wide challenges posed by the pandemic," the university's Vice-Chancellor Stephen Toope said in a statement last week.
"University life here, as everywhere, will need to adapt." A spokeswoman for Universities UK said the Cambridge announcement appeared to be the first in the United Kingdom to apply to the whole year. California State University, decided last week to make fall term classes virtual, one of the first in the United States to do so, amid fears of a second wave of infections.
Britain's universities minister said earlier this month that institutions could still charge the full tuition fee of 9,250 pounds ($11,320) as long as they maintained high standards of online teaching. Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of the university watchdog the Office for Students, told lawmakers on Monday that students needed to know what education they would be offered before they accepted places. "What we don't want to see are promises that it's all going to be back to usual - an on-campus experience - when it turns out that's not the case," she said.
(With agency inputs)