Anyone got DC final year science students?

(15 Posts)
viatheapp Wed 13-Jan-21 12:56:09

If so, are any who need to be in labs going back to uni? When the govt guidance came out, it seemed to be the only students allowed back were those doing medicine, dentistry or "some other courses requiring accreditation"

DS is in his masters year (so needs the accreditation) and needs 10 weeks in the lab to complete his project, yet uni seem to just be waiting for more guidance. They are giving no reassurance at all really, his project supervisor is equally in the dark. If they were to say "no you can't come in yet but we will extend the deadline by a month to allow you to get it done" or whatever, that would be ok, but they keep passing the buck and nobody can give any idea what's happening.

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JunoTurner Wed 13-Jan-21 14:29:22

I have no direct experience but wanted to sympathise with your DS being in the situation. A friend of mine works in student support at Imperial and was telling me before Christmas what they were doing with having students in for labs versus supporting those at home. I’ll try and get hold of him to ask him what their plan is for students in your DS’s situation.

ClerkMaxwell Wed 13-Jan-21 14:30:29

DDs boyfriend has been allowed back into labs to complete final year integrated masters project. However he didn't leave his uni city last term and I am not sure whether it is just his supervisor who is allowing it (postgraduates are allowed in with appropriate covid measures). He has a job helping with lateral flow testing also so is in for this too.

Malbecfan Wed 13-Jan-21 16:18:44

Both my DDs are on science courses. DD2 (2nd year) went back last Saturday as she has lab sessions and some face to face work. DD1 goes back this Saturday. She is in the middle of her Masters project and has lab work to complete.

What swung it for us seems to be our dire broadband. It takes them 2,5 hours to watch a 1 hour lecture due to the buffering. They simply can't both work like that so their universities have been fine about them going back and emailed permission.

viatheapp Wed 13-Jan-21 16:36:26

He's been fine doing all his written work from home, but he really needs to be in the lab for the practical. Good to hear some have been allowed back, could I ask which universities they are at?

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viatheapp Wed 13-Jan-21 17:39:36

Incidentally, it's not just DS, the whole department are not in labs at the moment, including phd students.

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Malbecfan Thu 14-Jan-21 17:14:30

DD2 is at Leicester, DD1 at Cambridge.


viatheapp Thu 14-Jan-21 19:47:15

He's emailed someone else today (other than the director of learning for his course) saying that other unis are allowing masters students back in. Will see what transpires. As it is they are reviewing situation mid feb.

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yearinyearout Fri 15-Jan-21 09:41:19

I don't think all science degrees are being treated the same. There's a list of courses being allowed back, and they are all health related (some very loosely) including things like vet dentistry and art psychotherapy!

IMO they should allow anyone in final year who needs access to the lab back in, even if it's on reduced hours.

Decorhate Wed 27-Jan-21 08:37:36

I think it is a real concern for any student with labs/practicals but obviously more so for those in final year who have a limited time to catch up.

Ds1 is doing an engineering degree and lots of his course has been deferred but at least he has 2 more years to go...

If your dc are doing finals and any of the exams are via live streaming (so they are being watched by an invigilator) I would strongly recommend they get together with their classmates to contact the uni to ensure everything goes smoothly on the day.

My Dd has just done her finals and the issues on the day were:

Invigilators not properly trained on Teams/software not updated in advance so exam started 30 minutes late

The time put up for when the exam would finish was incorrect (it was the time if you had extra time). Many people did not realise this so did not complete the paper.

The messaging function was not working so students were unable to say they needed a toilet break.

There were lots of similar issues reported with Med students doing the SJT exam from home this winter & they have been seriously disadvantaged by this. Like we need a shortage of junior doctors because of this.

ofteninaspin Wed 27-Jan-21 13:18:42

DD is third year Biology at Oxford. Not allowed back for labs.

chitchattery Wed 27-Jan-21 13:45:26

DD 4th year at Cambridge. Not allowed back yet. Not sure what they will do about the project which is entirely dependent on access to labs and the software that won’t run on laptops confused

ofteninaspin Wed 27-Jan-21 18:29:53

Current third year biologists at Oxford have the (new) option to proceed to a 4th year to allow them to pursue research projects.

ErrolTheDragon Wed 27-Jan-21 23:00:52

I don't know if any of the accrediting bodies for the sciences have made adjustments for this year - according to my DD (a 4th year engineer) the engineering institutes are waiving usual lab requirement. I'm not sure if they're substituting simulation/calculation type of thing instead (which is mostly what they did for their 3rd year projects last year).

Happycamper78 Thu 28-Jan-21 07:52:34

DD is 4th year Msc Chemistry. She is not expecting any further labs. Her project has become simulation so needs IT skills rather than labs. She's not keen but being pragmatic about it. Labs was the part she loved and not interested in coding.

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