It's back to face to face teaching for Lancashire's university students say campus bosses

All three of Lancashire's universitites have pledged to resume face to face teaching in the new academic year.

Speaking after Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said such teaching should resume in the new term they stressed their commitment to restoring direct rather than online teaching.

The minister said: "I think if universities are not delivering what students expect, then actually they shouldn't be charging the full fees."

As the Covid-19 pandemic spread lectures, tutorials and seminars were moved online for most students. But there have been calls for fees to be slashed if students have to rely on distance learning.

UCLan in Preston

At Lancaster University a spokesperson said: "We fully expect to return to in-person studies in October thanks to the high vaccination rate and easy availability of testing in the UK. It is likely that we will continue to require mask wearing for in-person teaching and research activities such as lectures, seminars and use of shared labs and offices to ensure maximum safety for everyone.

"We will also retain some elements of online learning which our academic staff, in consultation with current students, feel added value to our teaching. All of our planning is, of course, conditional on there being no changes to Government policy. We have always offered some programmes fully online and these programmes will continue. We are working closely with Public Health England to ensure that our own safety measures meet or exceed the Government advice in the UK. We are following the latest guidance and taking necessary measures in support of the safety and wellbeing of staff and students."

But the university warned: "Our commitments are based on our best understanding of what the situation is likely to be when students arrive. We may need to change or adapt some elements of our plans as the situation changes in the UK and around the world."

Meanwhile at UCLan in Preston a spokesperson said: “From the new academic year the majority of our teaching will be face-to-face, in person and on campus. Where we have learnt it works best and is more beneficial for the students, some small aspects of the learning will be available online too. We look forward to welcoming students back to our campuses as part of welcome and induction week from September 27 with numerous events planned. As always, we will be led by Government Covid guidelines and will adapt if the situation changes.”

Lancaster University

At Edge Hill University in Ormskirk Vice-Chancellor John Cater said: “As the Northern University of the Year 2020/21, providing a high quality student experience for the new academic term is our number one priority. This means business as usual, ensuring we provide just as much face-to-face tuition and support as we did pre-pandemic whilst continuing to offer extra support help and guidance wherever needed.”

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Edge Hill University in Ormskirk Vice-Chancellor John Cater (Photo:©
Edge Hill University campus photo:: Ant Clausen Photography Ltd