Author Topic: New university academic year & covid...  (Read 3271 times)

New university academic year & covid...
« on: May 01, 2020, 11:38:53 am »
How do people think the new university year, perhaps the autumn term particularly, will play out disruption wise for students in different subjects, with possible continuing social distancing, if not lockdown.   Perhaps also first years in accomodation, groups in flats, living together, going home periodically etc.

mini ao will be starting an art/design degree in Sept, which is hands on, use of core workshops etc, and not so amenable to youtube tuition.   
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.

S2L

Re: New university academic year & covid...
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2020, 11:54:00 am »
I don't know and I teach at University.

A lot of planning has happened to deal with the online teaching right now, but very little thought seems to be ongoing about next year.

One of the problems is that the University wants to deal with this centrally, so you get told how things are going to look without much of a say... it's very much a top down approach, but without the daily updates at 5 PM.

As things are, it will be very difficult to operate social distancing...

barakta

  • Bastard lovechild of Yomiko Readman and Johnny 5
Re: New university academic year & covid...
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2020, 11:59:12 am »
I'm seeing some academic staff told to design 2 courses, one for in-person, one for online with the expectation of a mixture of the two. No one seems to have thought of practical courses which really can't be done in person; whether they defer start to January or try and frontload with theory online first (v hard as many practical studes learn best by doing, hence the course type).

Every uni seems to be different, some are more competent with comms to staff and or students than others.

It's going to be "dunno" for quite some time; very anxiety inducing for your poor daughter's cohort.

Clare

  • Is home
Re: New university academic year & covid...
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2020, 12:04:23 pm »
I have no idea, I am admin at a University.

S2L

Re: New university academic year & covid...
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2020, 12:08:03 pm »
I keep pressing the HoD for a plan and have made a lot of suggestions on how we could restructure teaching, so that practicals don't happen until January or don't happen at all in the 2020-2021, with the idea that the following year is basically only practicals, but the governance seem to be reluctant to plan, before they hear from the bigger wigs the central plans...

It will be a mad rush in August/September, I fear

And then there is the issue of shortfall in revenues... I estimate roughly 20-25%, as no student from Asia will show up... we'll see how that is dealt with centrally

Clare

  • Is home
Re: New university academic year & covid...
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2020, 12:11:15 pm »
Has mini ao sorted out her accommodation yet? If not they would be well advised to get university owned accommodation if at all possible, unis in general are more amenable to changing plans than private landlords (particularly the big boys who can really be complete c*nts).

Re: New university academic year & covid...
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2020, 01:30:13 pm »
Has mini ao sorted out her accommodation yet? If not they would be well advised to get university owned accommodation if at all possible, unis in general are more amenable to changing plans than private landlords (particularly the big boys who can really be complete c*nts).

Thanks. Yes, but for some reason the uni releases accomodation before before all the students have even had interviews for certain subjects.  So that by the time the unconditional offer came through, literally all the uni accmdn had gone.  We had to go for private, though the booking was administered through the uni accmdn office, so that she would be with other 1st yrs from the same uni.  You're right there is no explicit break clause for before attending, although the email says "Once the tenancy starts on 24/09/2020, you become legally bound to the terms and conditions of the tenancy."
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.

S2L

Re: New university academic year & covid...
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2020, 01:52:54 pm »
Has mini ao sorted out her accommodation yet? If not they would be well advised to get university owned accommodation if at all possible, unis in general are more amenable to changing plans than private landlords (particularly the big boys who can really be complete c*nts).

Thanks. Yes, but for some reason the uni releases accomodation before before all the students have even had interviews for certain subjects.  So that by the time the unconditional offer came through, literally all the uni accmdn had gone.  We had to go for private, though the booking was administered through the uni accmdn office, so that she would be with other 1st yrs from the same uni.  You're right there is no explicit break clause for before attending, although the email says "Once the tenancy starts on 24/09/2020, you become legally bound to the terms and conditions of the tenancy."

Unconditional offer?

Russell Group don't do unconditional offers and I've got the feeling the clearing season will be particularly hot this summer, with bargains to be had... it's going to be a "buyers market" and maybe worth her having another look at places she thought she couldn't get an offer from?

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: New university academic year & covid...
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2020, 02:10:41 pm »
Surely they do unconditional offers if you've already got your A-level results?
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

S2L

Re: New university academic year & covid...
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2020, 02:18:51 pm »
Surely they do unconditional offers if you've already got your A-level results?

Well yes, but among young students it's almost unheard of and our courses don't have mature students

Re: New university academic year & covid...
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2020, 03:06:17 pm »
MrsC works in accommodation in a uni and they have no clue yet.

Uni has signed contracts with private providers for accommodation and faces not getting all the students they expect.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: New university academic year & covid...
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2020, 03:44:10 pm »
Has mini ao sorted out her accommodation yet? If not they would be well advised to get university owned accommodation if at all possible, unis in general are more amenable to changing plans than private landlords (particularly the big boys who can really be complete c*nts).

Thanks. Yes, but for some reason the uni releases accomodation before before all the students have even had interviews for certain subjects.  So that by the time the unconditional offer came through, literally all the uni accmdn had gone.  We had to go for private, though the booking was administered through the uni accmdn office, so that she would be with other 1st yrs from the same uni.  You're right there is no explicit break clause for before attending, although the email says "Once the tenancy starts on 24/09/2020, you become legally bound to the terms and conditions of the tenancy."

Unconditional offer?

Russell Group don't do unconditional offers and I've got the feeling the clearing season will be particularly hot this summer, with bargains to be had... it's going to be a "buyers market" and maybe worth her having another look at places she thought she couldn't get an offer from?

Yes, most prospective art & design first years will do an art Foundation yr, prior to starting degree, so will already have A-level results at portfolio interview.
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.

Re: New university academic year & covid...
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2020, 12:18:28 am »
I'm a Head of Subject in a Russell Group Uni and the latest intell is the usual Sept/Oct start with blended learning, with the mix of online / on-campus tbc but will vary from course to course depending on a) class size (easier to social distance a lecture of 30 than 300) b) on campus safety (temp checks, on-site testing, distancing etc) c) room/timetable contraints. Some post-grad programmes might yet do a Jan start. We have a lot of lab based, practical and placement learning and have outline planned about half a dozen different scenarios, but won't go much further until we have more clarity from senior management. Objective is for all students to experience some face to face learning in first semester so we might have students attend labs alternate weeks etc. Of course new outbreaks etc. would knock this for six. Anyway, a lot of planning is going on and Uni's are trying to coordinate and agree on the big stuff, such as semester start dates, so sit tight and cross your fingers.

Re: New university academic year & covid...
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2020, 11:03:16 am »
Miss Dan the Elder is due to start first year of Music in September. Her offer became unconditional when it became clear that A levels as we know them weren’t happening. That was a nice touch by her uni, creating certainty just as she’d been hit with chaos. Probably reassuring for them too.
We haven’t got into applying for halls yet and if there’s been much in the way of updates I haven’t heard them. I dare say university central plans are a bit at the mercy of government planning :rollseyes:

S2L

Re: New university academic year & covid...
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2020, 12:21:48 pm »
Miss Dan the Elder is due to start first year of Music in September. Her offer became unconditional when it became clear that A levels as we know them weren’t happening. That was a nice touch by her uni, creating certainty just as she’d been hit with chaos. Probably reassuring for them too.
We haven’t got into applying for halls yet and if there’s been much in the way of updates I haven’t heard them. I dare say university central plans are a bit at the mercy of government planning :rollseyes:

Probably not a lot of urgency... regardless of government decisions, I expect a fall in numbers around 15-30%, depending on the institute's reliance on foreign students... in this scenario, there should be more accommodation available than it's needed.

I seem to remember that last year at this point we had 10 secured students from China, this year there are 2 (and they might not come)... this trend will continue, so as a department we are likely to lose about 20-30 first year UG and probably almost all the PGT

Re: New university academic year & covid...
« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2020, 12:23:06 pm »
I have no idea, I am admin at a University.

Same here.

caerau

  • SR x 3 - PBP fail but 1090 km - hey - not too bad
Re: New university academic year & covid...
« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2020, 09:02:55 pm »
I'm a lecturer at a Russel Group Uni also.... no clue yet - same as the others.


We are anticipating a very reduced intake in September.
It's a reverse Elvis thing.

S2L

Re: New university academic year & covid...
« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2020, 06:43:19 am »
I'm a lecturer at a Russel Group Uni also.... no clue yet - same as the others.


We are anticipating a very reduced intake in September.

... although I don't share the view that UK students will defer their places. If I was 18, with an A level, what else could I do? There are no meaningful jobs around, no fruit picking in winter and travelling is not an option... Staying in education seems the least worst.
The real issue is obviously our reliance on students from the far east

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: New university academic year & covid...
« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2020, 02:23:17 pm »
I'm a lecturer at a Russel Group Uni also.... no clue yet - same as the others.


We are anticipating a very reduced intake in September.

... although I don't share the view that UK students will defer their places. If I was 18, with an A level, what else could I do? There are no meaningful jobs around, no fruit picking in winter and travelling is not an option... Staying in education seems the least worst.

OTOH, sitting on your arse for a year seems like a wiser financial decision than getting massively into debt for a hastily-bodged-together online course when you're fighting over one crusty computer and don't have any sibling-free workspace.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

S2L

Re: New university academic year & covid...
« Reply #19 on: May 03, 2020, 04:29:45 pm »
I'm a lecturer at a Russel Group Uni also.... no clue yet - same as the others.


We are anticipating a very reduced intake in September.

... although I don't share the view that UK students will defer their places. If I was 18, with an A level, what else could I do? There are no meaningful jobs around, no fruit picking in winter and travelling is not an option... Staying in education seems the least worst.

OTOH, sitting on your arse for a year seems like a wiser financial decision than getting massively into debt for a hastily-bodged-together online course when you're fighting over one crusty computer and don't have any sibling-free workspace.

Quality of what we offer doesn't have to be worse... if anything, this is an opportunity to revise the old fashioned way we have to operate... so far students seem to appreciate the virtual practical environment

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: New university academic year & covid...
« Reply #20 on: May 03, 2020, 10:54:45 pm »
I'm a lecturer at a Russel Group Uni also.... no clue yet - same as the others.


We are anticipating a very reduced intake in September.

... although I don't share the view that UK students will defer their places. If I was 18, with an A level, what else could I do? There are no meaningful jobs around, no fruit picking in winter and travelling is not an option... Staying in education seems the least worst.

OTOH, sitting on your arse for a year seems like a wiser financial decision than getting massively into debt for a hastily-bodged-together online course when you're fighting over one crusty computer and don't have any sibling-free workspace.

Quality of what we offer doesn't have to be worse... if anything, this is an opportunity to revise the old fashioned way we have to operate... so far students seem to appreciate the virtual practical environment

Sure, but with a few exceptions (the OU springs to mind), the student has no way of knowing what the quality will be, so they may defer simply on that basis.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

S2L

Re: New university academic year & covid...
« Reply #21 on: May 04, 2020, 06:04:34 am »


Sure, but with a few exceptions (the OU springs to mind), the student has no way of knowing what the quality will be, so they may defer simply on that basis.

It's their choice, but it would be a stupid choice. One year off education (actually nearly two when you think about it) might lead to loss of motivation and certain loss of skills, I'm thinking maths mainly, which is essential for our courses.

And I disagree with you: students want to move on with their life, typically they would rather get a badly cobbled together degree from Oxford than an excellent one provided by the OU.

The real problem will be the distinct lack of students from abroad and since they pay 2-3 times the fees, it is a massive hole in the budget... and might continue in the years to come

caerau

  • SR x 3 - PBP fail but 1090 km - hey - not too bad
Re: New university academic year & covid...
« Reply #22 on: May 05, 2020, 02:33:26 am »
Depends what subject, I teach chemistry, try doing a wet-lab practical online  :-\
Engineering, Physics, Biological sciences have the same problem.  Humanities not so much... though I'm not so familiar with that, there may also be issues there that I'm not au fair with.



Also, we 're likely looking at very few, if any, international students.


You may not share that view but it's certainly the lead we're getting from up high.... perhaps you're right, I hope so.


Certainly I have found it very educational to do online teaching, it's taught me a lot about different ways to teach - at least on the theory side.  But our students are dead keen to have labs, it's what most want in chemistry.
It's a reverse Elvis thing.

S2L

Re: New university academic year & covid...
« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2020, 05:26:53 am »
Depends what subject, I teach chemistry, try doing a wet-lab practical online  :-\


Same here. For third year students, we have designed a range of experiments where they analyse data and plan for a small research project.
Very difficult for year 1 and 2 when they need to learn the skills. It's either going to be social distancing with fewer people and fewer experiments (phys chem could go virtual) or lab will be postponed to term 2 or even to year two if needs be.

I have to say, it's all eminently possible without compromising quality... I actually see it as an opportunity to finally catch up with the pedagogy out there... after years of half heart attempts at flipped classes, maybe we'll have to be forced to teach like that...

It's quite exciting...

caerau

  • SR x 3 - PBP fail but 1090 km - hey - not too bad
Re: New university academic year & covid...
« Reply #24 on: May 05, 2020, 01:10:29 pm »
Yes indeed, pedagogy-wise - very true - nice one, hello fellow chemist!  :-D


We got a super-big intake in 2019 by a (mammoth) clerical error (shh!, I didn't say that).  We can't fit them all in as it is, especially in the organic labs which is my thing. :(


Got to say, I have some some sympathy with those who think they shouldn't really be paying full fees.  The government yesterday refusing a bailout and allowing us to recruit 5% more students brought out a rather wry laugh in me yesterday.  We recruited about 20% too many students last year... I don't even want to think about 25% more than normal, plus I rather wonder if it's pure fantasy on their part.
Maybe we'll be back to the days of humanities subsidising the sciences from intake fees... or not.


If recruitment is good, as you predict (I can see your point...we'll see I guess) then that will be a massive personal relief on the job-security front at least - if not the volume of marking and hand-holding  ::-)
It's a reverse Elvis thing.