Nottingham University
Image: Geograph / Stephen McKay

Face-to-face teaching returns to UK university campuses

Students have returned to face-to-face teaching on UK university campuses for the first time since lockdown began. 

While most students won’t resume face-to-face teaching until the autumn, veterinary students have returned to the University of Nottingham. 

The cohort returning are 150 trainee vets who will live in a ‘bubble’ system of small groups kept separate from one another, according to the BBC.

Within a ‘bubble’ of between three and ten students, no social distancing or mask wearing will be required, although when different ‘bubbles’ meet, they will have to maintain social distancing.

Veterinary lectures will take place online while in-person teaching will occur in small groups. 

Bars at Nottingham will remain closed, though the university is trying to create a sense of involvement for its students. 

The registrar of the University of Nottingham, Paul Greatrix, said: “The social experience will be more limited, but these are unprecedented times.”

The social experience will be more limited, but these are unprecedented times

– Paul Greatrix

Nottingham University have stated that they will be pleased if more than 50% of overseas students attend, with many universities likely to suffer financially because of cancellations. 

University students will be faced with strict new guidelines for their return in the autumn. 

Parties and overnight stays are likely to be banned at many universities to reduce the risk of coronavirus being transmitted.

University College London will only have virtual parties and no social gatherings will be allowed in halls of residence. 

Cambridge University requires students to apply if they would like visitors and Aberystwyth University has banned students from having guests overnight at all.

Face masks look set to feature as part of university life. The University of Manchester has provided two washable face masks in their welcome pack. 

Students studying on the same course may also be kept in small groups to minimise contact with others, as well as universities reducing the capacity of their accommodation residences.

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