Concerns, Costs, and Caution: How Can We Safely Reopen UK Universities?

By: Where The Trade Buys
 
HAMMERSMITH, U.K. - Sept. 7, 2020 - PRLog -- For both university staff and prospective students, the future looks daunting. Universities across the UK are still going through a period of transition, adapting to the 'new normal' and negotiating the most safe and productive ways to reopen their establishments in the autumn. Recently, many British universities have admitted severe funding concerns, with some being criticised for their over-reliance on fees from international students and many at risk of going bust.

It's a difficult time for everyone, and as much as been left to the discretion of individual universities, meaning there have been some huge decisions to make. Despite a number of universities, such as Cambridge, committing to a full year of online teaching, one UK-wide survey revealed that 97 per cent of universities would in fact offer face-to-face teaching from the start of term this year. The same survey also revealed that 78 universities (87 per cent) are intending to offer in-person social activities, including outdoor events and sporting activities.

While discussing the plan for reopening universities in the coming months, Alistair Jarvis, Chief Executive of Universities UK, said: "Although their first term will be different from previous years, most students can expect significant in-person teaching and a wide range of social activities and support services. Universities are committed to providing an engaging academic and social experience for all while ensuring the safety and welfare of the whole university community."

It looks like many students can expect to attend their next academic year in person, which will relieve the stress that was felt by many. In conversation with The Tab, one student expressed her concerns about returning to a university culture that just wasn't the same:

"I have no idea what uni experience I'm going back to. Third year is the biggest year of my university life — what I graduate with will help me to shape my entire life. It's my opportunity to give myself the best possible chance of a good graduate job which means I'll have to study hard. But how can I do that if university facilities are still shut?"

The same student also expressed some serious concerns about the quality of education she would receive in relation to the tuition fees she is set to pay: "I know that the virus isn't anyone's fault, but a lack of facilities and online learning is not the quality of education I'm paying nine grand for."

Gary Peeling, CEO at UK commercial print company: Where The Trade Buys (http://www.wherethetradebuys.co.uk/), currently producing PPE for UK education spaces, workplaces, hospitality venues, retail stores, charity shops, the NHS and more. The company has also been involved in manufacturing face visors for NHS essential workers in the fight against Covid-19.

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