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University of South Wales announces that all first term lectures will be hosted online

Updated: Jun 11, 2020

Written by Danielle Herbert.

Students are now questioning whether or not they will be returning to university this September, as many are considering a deferral from their academic studies.

Since March, universities across the UK have faced drastic changes, due to social distancing regulations, which has impacted university life for both students and lecturers.

Although many of the lockdown restrictions are beginning to be eased, several universities have announced that it will not be possible for teaching to resume as normal this September.

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The University of South Wales has released a statement, announcing how they plan to adapt their teaching for the first term of the academic year. It reads:

“Your health and wellbeing is our top priority as we prepare to welcome students back onto our campuses in September 2020. With social distancing requirements expected to continue for some time, we are adapting how we run our courses with a blended and phased return to on-campus learning.

“As you will be aware, many of our courses have practical components taught in specialist facilities such as labs, workshops, and creative studios. We plan to run as many as we can on our campuses in small groups, in safe environments, from September. We will also deliver as many other face-to-face activities as we can safely, where it can be done in suitably smaller groups. We will make full use of the teaching day and week to do this.

“For the first term (September to December 2020), we have decided to deliver all of our lectures virtually so as not to breach social distancing guidelines for large groups of people. This blended learning approach, which combines a blend of virtual and on-campus delivery, will ensure you continue to receive good experiences and high-quality education. You will still interact with other students and academics, and you will receive personal support. We will introduce the full range of on-campus activities as soon as we can.

“Blended learning is not new to us, as that is what we have been delivering since March which has enabled you to complete your studies over the last few months. We have taken on board your feedback and are confident that you will continue to have a quality USW experience where you learn effectively, whether you are on campus or learning remotely via your computer or smart device.”

Second-year student, Gareth Williams, who studies BA Journalism at the university, explained how this will impact his decision on returning to university this September. He said: “After seeing today’s news, I am seriously considering taking a year out from my studies.

“That way I could return to university the following year when things go back to normal, not the ‘new normal’ that is constantly being spoken of.

The Abercynon local expressed his concerns regarding the university's teaching plan. He said: “I am struggling to see how social distancing guidelines will work for my course in particular, due to the fact it is so practical.

“I am concerned that this new way of teaching will void me of the proper experience I was looking forward to having in the third and final year of my degree.

“I really miss the proper face-to-face contact with my lecturers and peers, which is largely part of the university experience.

“This will now be limited which is devastating news.”

The university plans to provide students with further detail on the impact of these changes before the end of July.