How long until students will be back to uni - what are your thoughts?

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StrawberryDreams
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https://inews.co.uk/news/education/u...ncement-858553

Uni students have had a really rough time over the last few months.

The government advice has been quite vague on the return of student to uni, with only a few dates given that feel more set in stone.

What do we know so far:

- Students who "would be unable to complete their courses if they did not return to take part in practical teaching, access specialist facilities, or complete assessments”" can return on Monday 8th March

- If you don't fall into those categories the government will be reviewing at the end of the Easter holidays (around the middle of April) the options for returning and how much longer this will take.

- There could be guidelines surrounding extending the rules around wearing face coverings indoors (in lectures and seminars)

There is a fear in government that letting students move around the country again that it will cause a spike in infections, leading to more restrictions having to stay for longer.

What do you think about the news? How do you feel being a student at uni right now? Do you feel forgotten by the government or your uni?

What are your hopes for the future?

Please make sure you're looking after your mental health. Student Minds have some great resources, alongside the charity Mind. We understand that there's a lot of uncertainty around currently, and we're all working to find the right information as quickly as possible. When posting, please be mindful to not share misinformation, not to present your own opinion as fact, and please link to official sources (where possible). If you see a post you believe may be deliberately misleading, just hit the report button. Please be supportive of other students during this stressful time. You can check the government and NHS websites for the most up-to-date advice.
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Anonymous #1
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On a chemistry course and still waiting to hear anything from my uni. I just want to know what's going on .
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Anonymous #2
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I am on Art Foundation (part time over 2 years, now in 2nd year) at a university at present. We have been unable to access workshops since March 2020 and only allowed in studios one day a week from September to Christmas.

Obviously it's Government Policy that we haven't been back since Christmas. Our tutors are great but I think my uni haven't handled it well, and that was the most important factor in my decision to go elsewhere for my degree. In the first term back, other Unis extended workshop hours into the evening and put in a booking system so that people could use them on a first come first served basis. We've had the frustration of seeing workshops empty, but being unable to go in as the slot had been reserved for a different course that weren't actually using it.

What was going to be a key part of my final project has been sat in a workshop since March and I simply can't get in to finish it. I haven't the tools, materials and technician support to work on it at home Even though we are going back a week on Monday, we have been told we will have no access to the workshops for the rest of the year so frankly there's almost no point.

Much as this is frustrating for me, I will get my Foundation Diploma and move on, and hopefully things will be more normal by October. However, there are final year students on a design crafts degree at my current university, specialising in for example ceramics, that haven't had any workshop access for coming up to a whole year. Their ability to develop skills, create a portfolio and use that to get a job has been severely affected. That matters more to them than the piece of paper

Students that do return on the 8th March have just 2 weeks, and then have been told they can't travel home for Easter. If the university isn't opening workshops etc over the Easter holidays they will be stuck away from family and friends and unable to progress their work. My university have been silent on that point.
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As someone who's doing Film & Television degree, its been hard not having the practical spaces too get hands on with the equipment, we missed out on our first year practical in the summer term due to lockdown 1, we were luckily still able to complete our first 2nd year practical during the 2nd lockdown but with severe restrictions so am hoping that all goes well and we are able to return to labs/workshops on March 8th since we are meant to be doing our final 2nd year film in the 3 weeks after easter but need rehearsal and planning time before.

My uni have been great when it comes to the safety and restrictions though, for the short period last term we were on campus masks were mandated everywhere inside a building unless in a cafe/restaurant seated at the table, within our department they had hand santizer upon all entry/exit points in every room and before you touched any shared equipment you were forced to use it plus groups were restricted to 4-5 people rather than the normal 8-10 where everyone was bubbled for practicals.

They have fallen down when it comes to lectures and seminars because they will schedule the seminars but lectures they just record themselves speaking on a video (often for far longer than the standard lecture!!) but there's no structure too when these are released sometimes late on a Sunday night when you have the seminar at 10am Monday morning meaning sometimes no time to prepare.

We still haven't been told which courses can return on March 8th yet but when we do they've continued with the twice weekly testing that was started in December before the xmas holidays and are advising students get tested before resuming face to face lectures to keep everyone safe and minimise the risk of asymptomatic people spreading the virus, they also haven't told us that if we return for march that we can't go home for easter and as the uni labs are all closed over the break there wouldn't be anything for people to do or keep them here, I think it'll be like at Christmas with the 2 negative tests advised before you go home (something I've been doing anyway).
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ToastyBanana
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I am a first year graphic design student. My university confused me with the latest announcement about practical courses returning to campus for teaching. Initially they told me my course could return for face to face teaching from March 8th, then they said that was a mistake and my teaching will resume online, which was pretty annoying and confusing.

I totally understand the need for the slow return to universities with cases still being high and students travelling across the country wouldn’t be ideal but I definitely think the government have forgotten about us way too much for people who are paying over £9000 a year for an education. The fact that in the recent announcement it was clear that all school students could return but university wasn’t mentioned at all until the last minute really reinforced that forgotten feeling for me.

Basically, I understand the need for these restrictions but the restrictions should have a fair outcome for us, and keeping the majority of university students at home with online learning and having to pay rent for accommodation were not allowed to be in and paying a tuition for a poorer quality education (my lecturers are great but there’s only so much they can do) just doesn’t seem fair to me.
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aspalax
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Our uni has told us which courses are returning, but as it's a university largely focused on practical courses, it was likely more of a priority.

The people returning are: most art&design students, all fashion and textiles students; all drama and dance students; all digital art courses; most media students; all engineering students; most computing/programming students, and then journalism and mathematics.

I'm on a digital art course so i'm due to return to in-person teaching on the 8th of March but it was reasonably short notice as we were told we can begin to return from the 1st of March, meaning there was only one weekend it was possible to return in (and as it's about a 3 hour drive it's not really something you want to start in the evening).

I'm grateful i'm going back, especially as i'll be able to access my accommodation again, but I can't help but feel like there have been a lot of people left absent from the government plan, especially as it's down to the individual universities to decide what is and isn't a "practical subject".
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Lshort17
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Any updates on the rest of us going back? We seem to be in the dark again :\

I thought we might be told yesterday as it gives a week til 12th April but does their “end of easter hols” mean we wont hear anything till 12th so could return 19th? Ive also seen that some people dont want us to return til May 17th which i find COMPLETELY pointless. Ive got modules all due beginning of May so it would only be workshop sessions even though it would all be done. That gives me a month left in Uni halls which takes it till 12th June then im back at home again. Really hope we find something soon as i cant go another month of this

What do you all think to the situation?
Last edited by Lshort17; 1 week ago
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CatusStarbright
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(Original post by Lshort17)
Any updates on the rest of us going back? We seem to be in the dark again :\

I thought we might be told yesterday as it gives a week til 12th April but does their “end of easter hols” mean we wont hear anything till 12th so could return 19th? Ive also seen that some people dont want us to return til May 17th which i find COMPLETELY pointless. Ive got modules all due beginning of May so it would only be workshop sessions even though it would all be done. That gives me a month left in Uni halls which takes it till 12th June then im back at home again. Really hope we find something soon as i cant go another month of this

What do you all think to the situation?
I personally think it is pretty appalling that the government has laid out plans for schools, businesses, etc. and has not said anything about HE students. The latest figures (2018/19, published January 2020) showed that there are 2.38 million HE students in the UK, so we represent a not insignificant number of the population! It would be nice to at least have a more precise indication of when to expect plans to be released.
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Chronoscope
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(Original post by Lshort17)
Any updates on the rest of us going back? We seem to be in the dark again :\

I thought we might be told yesterday as it gives a week til 12th April but does their “end of easter hols” mean we wont hear anything till 12th so could return 19th? Ive also seen that some people dont want us to return til May 17th which i find COMPLETELY pointless. Ive got modules all due beginning of May so it would only be workshop sessions even though it would all be done. That gives me a month left in Uni halls which takes it till 12th June then im back at home again. Really hope we find something soon as i cant go another month of this

What do you all think to the situation?
My uni has not told me anything except wait on coming back until after Easter (and 12th April) not heard anything since then. I’m keen to go hack to Halls tbh. When are you’re exams out of interest? mine start from the 19th May
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Lshort17
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(Original post by CatusStarbright)
I personally think it is pretty appalling that the government has laid out plans for schools, businesses, etc. and has not said anything about HE students. The latest figures (2018/19, published January 2020) showed that there are 2.38 million HE students in the UK, so we represent a not insignificant number of the population! It would be nice to at least have a more precise indication of when to expect plans to be released.
Exactly, another thing is they will lose out on a lot of votes in the next election due to the way we have been treated. We dont tend to vote for them anyway so surely they would want to entice us and respect our views a bit more than they are doing. Id at least like a yes or no. A maybe is not enough personally
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Lshort17
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(Original post by Chronoscope)
My uni has not told me anything except wait on coming back until after Easter (and 12th April) not heard anything since then. I’m keen to go hack to Halls tbh. When are you’re exams out of interest? mine start from the 19th May
Yeh weve been told its likely to be back 12th April but that was an if but ive heard so many different things now which im doubting that date. Yeh id like at least some time back as being at home is really grinding us down now. I dont have any exams thankfully, its all coursework but it would have been nice to have been there to get some face to face before the deadline. We have to create a model too and am missing out on proper CAD learning. The deadlines are like between 26th April- 10th May so after that im done :/
Good luck with them!
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Lshort17
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Seems the newspapers have just clocked on, hopefully this is the start of the hounding haha
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