Important pieces on the dangers of reopening UK campuses in September – updated

In the UK, the next academic year begins in September or early October. While most universities have said lectures will be delivered online, they seem to be keen to have some face-to-face teaching of smaller classes. Some important pieces are now being written saying that all teaching – perhaps except for some lab or practice-based classes – should be done online. Experience in the US, where teaching starts earlier in the year, seems to suggest this is necessary.

[updated – new links added at end of list]

Warwick UCU, Five Red Lines Redux: Move Fall Teaching Online

Jim Dickinson, A month to go, and still lots of questions to answer (WONKHE)

Independent Sage, Behaviour Group Consultation Statement on Universities in the context of SARS-CoV-2

– David Batty, Make Covid-19 tests compulsory for students, say scientists (The Guardian)

– Jim Dickinson, Universities get some Indie SAGE advice on reopening campuses in September (WONKHE)

– Anna McKie University teaching should stay remote, says Independent Sage (THES)

Andrew Chitty, Felicity Callard, Warren Pearce, Why universities must move all teaching online this autumn (USS briefs) #USSbriefs99

Covid-19 Open Letter to the University of Essex regarding plans to return to face-to-face teaching in Autumn: Keep Teaching Online! (open letter to be signed by Essex staff only, but the text is interesting)

Steven Fielding, UK universities’ promise of face-to-face teaching is risking academics’ health (The Guardian)

David Kernohan, The start of term is not just a problem for universities (WONKHE)

Update: some US-specific experience is discussed by CNN, especially the section ‘College campuses become new hotspots’ and from Jordan Schachtel here.

Update 2: Charles Knight, Your advanced warning – the possible crisis in student experience (KnighTime)

Devi Sridhar, Strict rules need to be observed as universities return (The Scotsman)

Update 3: letter from UCU St Andrews to managers

Martin Chitty, Staff demand 24/7 face coverings for everyone inside Scottish universities “in interests of safety” (The Herald)

Update 30 August:

UK university reopenings risk ‘public health crisis’, academics warn (The Guardian)

Coronavirus: University return ‘could spark Covid avalanche’ (BBC News)

Update 2 Sept:

Jonathan Wolff, As universities scramble to protect their own interests, inequalities will magnify (The Guardian)

Gavin Yamey and Rochelle P Walensky, Covid-19: re-opening universities is high risk (BMJ – open access)

Update 3 Sept:

What does COVID-19 mean for universities? The New Social Contract: A 10-part podcast series by Impact Studios

Jim Dickinson and David Kernohan, Scotland’s universities get new Covid guidance – but is it too late?(WONKHE)

I will update this post if I find more pieces; happy to have suggestions in comments.

A lot more on covid-19 can be found here – Geographers, sociologists, philosophers etc. on covid-19

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6 Responses to Important pieces on the dangers of reopening UK campuses in September – updated

  1. Nope says:

    Speaking from the US, has any university spoken openly about how dire the financial circumstances will be without persistent fees and full tuition? Seems as if that is being obscured, or at best coded, within the language of student outcomes. How many unis simply cannot afford to reduce fee structures by going online and will open however briefly to get that injection of cash?

    • stuartelden says:

      I’m sure that’s the reasoning behind the decision to have at least some face-to-face teaching. Whether it is a good idea or not, and whether this outweighs the risk to faculty, staff and student health is an entirely different question.

  2. stuartelden says:

    Reblogged this on Progressive Geographies and commented:

    Now updated with some more links

  3. Pingback: SAGE guidance on the risks of covid-19 and teaching at UK universities in 2020/21 | Progressive Geographies

  4. Pingback: SAGE guidance on the risks of covid-19 and teaching at UK universities in 2020/21 – updated | Progressive Geographies

  5. Pingback: Department for Education guidance ‘Higher education: reopening buildings and campuses’ | Progressive Geographies

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