As the COVID-19 lockdown gradually eases across Europe, and the situation evolves in the UK as well as India, universities in UK are weighing teaching options. UK universities have agreed on a blend of on-campus and online teaching for domestic as well as international students. Many universities have announced plans to combine as much face-to-face learning for small seminars and tutorials as possible, with those parts of the university experience which will be difficult to deliver in a socially distanced way, delivered interactively online. This blended approach will allow universities to observe social distancing rules while still ensuring students have access to face-to-face contact with teaching staff.
Although universities will have to make local decisions depending on their own circumstances, a common set of principles have been devised to ensure consistent priority is given to considerations such as the health, safety and wellbeing of students, including effective processes to welcome and support international students. Universities UK International (UUKi), representing 143 UK universities, has asked Indian students to stay in contact with their respective universities for guidance. In the last few weeks universities are working hard to achieve face-to-face teaching with measures to ensure that students are kept safe on campus.
International students currently in the UK have been sharing their experiences of being at university during COVID-19, including how they have found online learning, through the We Are Together social media campaign.
Universities in the UK have taken a mixed approach through the lockdown, with the University of Cambridge and University Manchester planning to move most of its teaching online. The University of Oxford has indicated that it plans to incorporate face-to-face teaching as far as possible.