Next year university tuition arrangements

(48 Posts)
Lunar567 Mon 10-Aug-20 17:48:16

My daughter received an email from her London university that she would have 2 hours of face to face teaching in the first term and similar in the second term.
I told her that I cannot justify paying a lot of money for rent in London if she can commute 1 hour for 2 hours university seminars a week. She is going into her third year.
Our jobs have been affected a lot by Covid and it could get worst.
She is upset and said that she would be isolated at home.
I don't want to sign a contract for a year as I think the economic situation will get worse.
What are arrangements in other universities?
Have any students decided to commute rather than rent?

OP’s posts: |
CatandtheFiddle Mon 10-Aug-20 18:14:39

She'll need access to a research library for her dissertation, there'll be many more things going on than just a 2 hour face to face teaching session.

Universities are doing what they can, but the first concern must be to keep students and staff safe.

What you as a family, decide to do in the light of that is up to you.

I know that I and my colleagues will be teaching around triple the hours we usually do (because each class will now be in very small groups), research leave & any research time is suspended, and our salaries likely to be cut. All this in order to keep students & staff safe, and also educated to a high standard.

JacobReesMogadishu Mon 10-Aug-20 18:18:43

Are you sure it’s not 2 hours a week?

mummymeister Mon 10-Aug-20 18:19:01

I think all unis made a huge mistake when they decided to charge the same fees as normal. even a slight reduction would have been welcomed. Many families will just not be able to justify sending their children off for one (possibly more??) years of this. they might as well do OU or not go at all. Two of mine are at Uni from sept and in all honesty I would prefer them to take a gap year. the fallout in terms of the number of unfilled places and the massive A level cock up thats coming is going to really really damage the sector and I dont think Unis have actually grasped this yet.

DominaShantotto Mon 10-Aug-20 18:22:05

We're getting 4 hours a fortnight but the uni refuses to entertain a distance completely option for students.

Lunar567 Mon 10-Aug-20 18:27:11

@JacobReesMogadishu
Yes, 2 hours face to face a week.
Also the email said that access to the library and other facilities will be severely restricted.

OP’s posts: |
titchy Mon 10-Aug-20 18:29:39

* I think all unis made a huge mistake when they decided to charge the same fees as normal. even a slight reduction would have been welcomed*

Hobson's choice! Neither me nor any of my colleagues are going to volunteer for a cut in our salaries! And we're spending unplanned £££ in providing online and small group teaching.

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errorofjudgement Mon 10-Aug-20 18:31:00

She'll need access to a research library for her dissertation

I read today that Warwick have closed all the libraries and books need to be pre-ordered for collection later.
I’m sure they will revisit this policy and try to
open the libraries if it’s safe to do so, but I’m equally sure they’re not going to be the only university with restrictions like these in place.

mummymeister Mon 10-Aug-20 18:34:49

titchy - you should have been better supported by the govt so that cuts to students fees could have been made. some lecturers wont have a job because cuts will have to made to courses, teaching staff and some unis wont survive. quite a lot of us have had our salaries cut, spent our pensions keeping our businesses going and many in the leisure/hospitality industry are braced for a shit storm in October.

titchy Mon 10-Aug-20 19:05:14

mummymeister

titchy - you should have been better supported by the govt so that cuts to students fees could have been made. some lecturers wont have a job because cuts will have to made to courses, teaching staff and some unis wont survive. quite a lot of us have had our salaries cut, spent our pensions keeping our businesses going and many in the leisure/hospitality industry are braced for a shit storm in October.


Wouldn't disagree!

cologne4711 Mon 10-Aug-20 20:18:55

If public libraries can safely open, academic libraries can, that's a nonsense.

burnoutbabe Mon 10-Aug-20 20:32:52

Most public libraries are not open bar you can collect books reserved in advance.
Sane with my university (and sone pc spaces l)
I won't be going near campus if I can avoid it (commute across London) and they do say first term will be online (else how will international students attend?)

DominaShantotto Mon 10-Aug-20 20:34:39

My uni library's gone click and collect. Not sure if I'm picking up an academic text... or a toaster from Argos.

Lunar567 Tue 11-Aug-20 06:55:33

I think universities' arrangements for the new year are disproportionate to the problem.
For the 6th week running the total number of deaths are below the 5 year average. How can anyone say that were are in the middle of serious pandemic?
After BLM protests, crowds on beaches, hundreds of illegal raves there has not been any increase in hospitals admissions.
In fact the admissions have gone down do much that many hospitals have no Covid patients at all and haven't had for weeks.

I understand why universities closed in March but the situation has changed considerably.

OP’s posts: |
CatandtheFiddle Tue 11-Aug-20 09:54:22

But many university staff are older, and more susceptible to infection, and serious complications from that. I am not prepared to trust my health to the responsibility of 18 year olds - many of whom do not seem to be worried, because they're not catching it or getting very ill - who are more likely to be asymptomatic "super-spreaders."

I want to control the risks I'm taking; not be reliant on others not to put me at risk.

We are being properly & appropriately cautious. If we look back, and think we overreacted, that will mean we did the right thing.

burnoutbabe Tue 11-Aug-20 10:07:24

also, many Universities have many overseas students who may not be able to make it back to campus in September, so they HAVE to have online provision.
i (at nearly 50) would prefer not to be on campus as much as possible (to also avoid commuting across london tubes).

What i do want, is proper rules about online tutorial etiquette, rather than the free for all we had at end of last term.

monkeyonthetable Tue 11-Aug-20 10:26:43

OP, 2 hours face to face per week is not unusual. On top of this she will have streamed lectures - probably every day, or most days. There will be assignments on the back of the tutorials which she will be expected to research using the uni library and write up during the week - maybe two essays per week, as well as staying on top of her reading list.

In addition to this, she will want to meet people on her course (and other courses) to discuss the subject and to socialise generally. And if she's chosen London, she'll want to explore - the galleries and museums are opening up gradually. The music venues will too, gradually.

As long as she is sensible about wearing masks and keeping social distance and hand sanitation, she will have a far more rewarding time living in situ than commuting from home.

CatandtheFiddle Tue 11-Aug-20 11:50:45

What i do want, is proper rules about online tutorial etiquette, rather than the free for all we had at end of last term

That's interesting @burnoutbabe - what sorts of things would you like?

I'm planning several hours per week online small group teaching & thinking of asking students to develop a code of conduct amongst themselves.

It'd be great to hear from a thoughtful student about what would be desirable.

burnoutbabe Tue 11-Aug-20 12:03:14

well in class, in person, the tutor generally will go round the room to pick people to speak, even if one or two of us keen people will always indicate we have an answer (my cohort are all grads already, rather than shy 18 year olds)
When we started doing it online, you have 2/3 of the people with NO video on, which felt rude. (i get there are sometimes IT issues)
they never spoke. they were not called to speak. there would be long stretched with silence (and i didn't want to speak as i speak too much) - though i'd raise my hand (virtually or physically) and wait to be called. (and generally i think the tutor was glad at least someone was trying to give an answer)
its tough when you have say 1-2 people on screen and 15 hidden people who are silent. There is a total lack of debate really, its just one person giving an answer and then tutor responding.
i think tutors going back to calling names to speak works best.
(using zoom to have break out rooms of 2-3 students to discuss a question also was good)

MarchingFrogs Tue 11-Aug-20 15:30:57

You do realise that some people really don't feel comfortable with the feeling that they are letting a whole bunch of other folk peer into their homes? I've done a lot of whole days on Zoom during the summer term (education-related but not university/ teaching). I eventually found a backdrop that I was happy with and therefore got more comfortable having video on all the time. So it was agreed that we would have our video on unless there were major technical issues. We also asked that those who were only joining us for part of the process put video on initially, but were then free to turn it of at any point. Most seemed comfortable with it on, but some obviously weren't and we just got on with the (admittedly odd) situation of looking at a blank square when we spoke directly to that person, remembering that they could still see us.

DominaShantotto Tue 11-Aug-20 15:47:47

I hate putting my camera on - I find it incredibly intrusive - and usually have kids and dogs wandering into shot (can flame me all you want - if things were proceeding as I'd planned when I started the course - I would have had the kids in wrap around care and I'd be doing lectures on campus so it's not as if I planned it like this - and wrap around care isn't open in September) and I get so distracted by the fact I look like shit on camera that I can't concentrate well at all.

In lectures the only person looking at my face is the lecturer - not the 30 odd other people in the room (it's a small course). Now if you want me to position a camera to the back of my head to replicate the lecture experience I can do that!

Generally we're a very well behaved and keen to engage lot anyway - but I shall be well pissed off if people insist on cameras being on and other nonsense when none of it is what we signed up for and we're just making the best of it. The picture is shit on my video calls as well because I've had to take over the conservatory and the light levels in there are just so high anyway - it's literally the least disruptive place in the house for me to do a year of basically uni from home.

Mind you I do desperately want to ask one of my lecturers what paint it was he's used for his walls as it's the exact shade I really really need for my kitchen...

burnoutbabe Tue 11-Aug-20 16:18:33

tutorials are generally 10-15 people though> not the 350 we have in lectures.

DominaShantotto Tue 11-Aug-20 16:21:52

burnoutbabe

tutorials are generally 10-15 people though> not the 350 we have in lectures.

Our course is only about 30 in the total cohort so in reality there's very little difference between our lectures and tutorials normally. This year there will be as the content with interaction is timetabled and the tutorials are just recorded for us to go through in our own time.

Lunar567 Tue 11-Aug-20 22:28:02

I don't understand what lecturers are scared of.

Pandemic in the UK is over. We don't even have epidemic. Per CDC guidelines the epidemic threshold is crossed when a disease causes more than 7.2% of the total weekly death. Covid stopped being epidemic in mid June.

Are universities going to be online for years now? Then flu season will arrive and everyone will be scared of flu?

If universities are reluctunt to open properly then fees should be redused because the quality of online education in not good enough even though lecturers are working very hard to deliver it.

I listened to a parliamentary review of students petition about fee reduction and students' conclusion was that online tuition was poor quality and not worth the fees they were paying.

OP’s posts: |
titchy Tue 11-Aug-20 22:31:31

* Pandemic in the UK is over.*

You're kidding right? FFS hmm

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