Say goodbye to online learning! Teaching may be in person when students resume their studies this term.
Since the outbreak of Covid-19, we have seen a pause, a change in everyday life. But possibly the biggest and most jarring change, is the transition from our daily tasks, to the online world.
Universities have been offering online teaching and students have had no choice but to adapt to this remote learning environment. But we may see a return to normality in the upcoming academic year. Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said students will be taught “in-person and alongside other students”.
How do students feel about their university education?
Due to the pandemic, for the past two academic years, online education has become the norm. Suffice it to say, students have not been pleased.
Accommodation fees are too expensive
Students who have moved on campus for their studies have had to pay accommodation fees, which was needless if learning is wholly online, and when students have been sent home during lockdowns. Petitions have been created with the aim of compensating students for their fees in university accommodation. However, these petitions have been rejected by the government.
Online learning isn’t worth the price
There have been complaints from students for paying the full tuition fees for online learning. Petitions have been created to overcome this problem and reduce tuition fees from £9250 per academic year to £3000.
The government has responded by stating:
Tuition fee levels must represent value for money and ensure that universities are properly funded. Government is not considering a reduction in maximum fee levels to £3,000.
What do universities say about this upcoming academic year?
20 out of the 24 Russell Group universities have announced recently that they will resume online lessons. Students are displeased with this course of action and feel as if the quality of online lessons is significantly lower than in-person teaching. Gavin Williamson has voiced his sympathy for this situation that many students are currently tackling.
“If they are not delivering what students expect, they shouldn’t be charging full fees.”
Some universities plan to offer ‘blended learning’, which is a combination of online and in-person teaching.
But are universities doing enough to support their students? It is only fair to compensate students- the lack of in-person teaching has meant a lack of progress and disconnection from studies and academic discussion. Not only have students been deprived of fruitful learning, they have also been deprived of socializing, meeting with new people, and university events such as freshers fairs.
In full, students have been deprived of the exciting university lifestyle that makes graduates reminisce on their time studying. If remote learning is still a possibility for the next academic year, some students may never have the true university experience.