Sheffield Universities to return to face-to-face teaching from March
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement of the ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown yesterday, February 22, some university students will return to face-to-face teaching as early as March 8.
As part of the ‘roadmap’ outlined by Boris Johnson, university students on practical courses that need ‘specialist facilities and equipment’ could return to face-to-face teaching inn as early as two weeks.
The students returning to Sheffield’s universities will also be asked to take tests, and there will be testing available on both campus’.
The Gov.uk website states that any university students on practical courses who need to access specialist facilities and equipment can return to in-person teaching and learning from March 8, and twice weekly testing will continue to be available.
The definition of ‘practical courses’ has not been directly defined, and students from a number of courses at both Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield could fall into this bracket.
Medicine, dentistry, other science courses, and engineering students all have considerable ‘practical’ elements to their courses, and specific university buildings focused on their equipment and needs.
The notorious Diamond building on the University of Sheffield campus focuses on high-tech equipment for engineering students, including electronical engineering, and students from these courses could be back in the university in two weeks’ time.
Professor Julia Buckingham, president of Universities UK, said: “Universities look forward to welcoming these students back to Covid-secure campuses from March 8, where safety measures including serial asymptomatic testing and social distancing will be in place to ensure the risk of transmission remains low.
“While today’s news is positive for some students, it will be disappointing for others that had hoped the Government would have allowed them to return.
“There will also need to be a further focus on supporting students’ mental health and wellbeing in the weeks ahead.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock added: “We have rolled out rapid testing to schools and universities at great pace to help drive down transmission rates among school age children, college and university students.”
The Government will review the return of all other university courses at the end of April, and students and university staff will be given a week’s notice to return to face-to-face teaching.
They must remain teaching online for the time being.