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BREAKING: University of Warwick to develop online teaching amid Covid-19 pandemic

The University of Warwick has announced that they will be developing online teaching and other resources in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

An email from Provost Christine Ennew outlined “three key initiatives” to “protect the welfare” of Warwick’s staff and students.

This includes the “development of online teaching, learning and assessment, including replacement of on-campus examinations, for deployment across term 3”, and “guidance on working from home”.

There will also be “restrictions on overseas travel, including options for students on Study Abroad or mobility programmes”.

Another email from the University seen by The Boar also writes that “students currently on an outbound Study Abroad or work placement” can “repatriate to their home country should they so wish”.

Warwick will “underwrite any legitimate travel-related costs but students will be required to check they are not covered by the University’s insurance in the first instance. Non-insured costs will be met by the department upon the production of receipts.

“You should be aware that if or when the FCO travel status for a country changes to ‘non-but essential travel’, the university’s expectation would be that you would leave the country and return home as soon as possible.”

Guidance “will be provided to heads of department by email on a rolling basis as final decisions are approved”, and the Covid-19 insite will be updated regularly. There will be updates between today and 17 March.

“Please can I reiterate that there are currently no confirmed cases of coronavirus on campus. However, we are prepared for coronavirus to impact us more significantly, and I am grateful for your collective support in working to limit the spread of infection amongst our community,” Provost Ennew concluded.

Today, Warwick UCU demanded for the University to “immediately stop all non-essential, campus-based work” to “prevent the unnecessary spreading of the virus” in a letter addressed to the vice-chancellor, Stuart Croft.

They also asked for Warwick to “ensure that there is no loss of pay to any member of staff as a result of virus-related closures or isolation, regardless of contract type or visa status”.

The University should “engage closely with campus trade unions to ensure that decisions take regarding the the virus have the support of staff” as well, the UCU branch added, while condemning “racial discrimination” against “the Asian community in this country”.

The letter follows advice from the UCU about gathering at the picket line amid safety concerns arising from Covid-19, and “the government’s wholly inadequate response to this crisis”.

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