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Students Are Outraged As Manchester University Officials Announce That Courses Would Be Streamed Online Next Year

It comes after a number of universities revealed plans to resume Zoom lectures in the autumn. About 4000 people signed a petition demanding the university to fully return to campus teaching. Lecture halls will be left unoccupied at the university – even after the Covid pandemic. Manchester University is the first to establish blended learning as a long-term feature.

More than 4,000 people have signed a petition requesting the Russell Group university to fully return to in-person teaching as of this writing.

Despite plans to hold seminars on campus, lecture spaces at the institution will be left empty – even after the epidemic – as part of a strategy to combine online and campus education.

Manchester University is the first to establish blended learning as a long-term fixture, according to Universities UK, and ‘a lot’ of other schools are anticipated to follow suit, with decisions taken on an individual basis.

It’s ‘impossible to predict if this will be forever,’ according to the organization, which alludes to a timeframe ‘possibly beyond the current academic year.’

That comes as a number of universities, including UCL, St Andrews, Leeds, Liverpool, and Edinburgh, announced plans to continue Zoom courses in the autumn term.

According to a survey conducted by The Telegraph, eight institutions, including Nottingham, Imperial, Cardiff, Bristol, and Durham, have stated that courses will be mostly delivered online next year.

Universities UK said Manchester University is the first to announce blended learning as a long-term fixture, and that ‘a lot’ of other universities can be expected to follow suit (file photo) Manchester University committed to preserve an ‘interactive’ element to blended learning (file photo)

‘Students are definitely dissatisfied with the decision because we don’t feel like we were fully informed on the matter, and particularly for humanities disciplines, this move would result in substantially shorter contact hours per week,’ said student Emily Bennett, who started the petition.

‘Furthermore, the university has stated that fees would remain the same, which is unacceptable.’

‘Courses given online by institutions such as the Open University cost significantly less money because they are online, and if Manchester University chooses to place degrees largely or entirely online in the medium term, tuition costs should reflect this,’ said Associate Vice President Dan George earlier this month.

In September last year in Manchester, students’ signs are displayed in a window of their apartment building. He also told The Manchester Tab that it ‘would not be an opt-in’ decision for students.

‘This is not online teaching, but rather augmenting in-person lectures, seminars, labs, Q&As and discussions, and workshops with high quality online materials for self-study,’ a University of Manchester official stated.

‘We’ve been talking to students about methods to boost flexibility and choice for a while now, and we’ll keep doing so to help adapt this activity to their and each discipline’s needs.’

‘As part of the University plan, we are committed to blended and flexible learning.’

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