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Universities Seeking Clarity Over in-person Teaching

Posted by Richard Ward in

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Universities in Scotland are seeking clarity from the government on arrangements for in-person teaching for the next academic year.

The industry is arguing that it needs more detail to help timetable the education of students from September.

The Scottish government has said it was hopeful that the student experience in the autumn would look more normal.

According to Universities Scotland, 73% of students recently surveyed felt the restrictions on in-person teaching had a strong or slightly negative impact on them feeling anxious.

Director of Universities Scotland, Alastair Sim, said: "University students have shown tremendous resilience in spite of all the disruptions to their education and wider way of life. But we're concerned that we're reaching a tipping point in regard to student wellbeing, and risk to progression unless we can move ahead to a more normal student learning experience in the early autumn."

"Students need clarity that they can expect a step-change in access to safe in-person teaching."

"It's not a case of simply throwing open the shutters. Universities have to timetable the education of over 250,000 students and hundreds, if not thousands, of different degree programme configurations and then set up classrooms and labs according to whatever distancing is required. It's a gargantuan operation."

Whilst most university applicants have already accepted offers for September they do not know how much in-person teaching there will be.

Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said it was the government's intention to enable in-person teaching, as long as it is safe to do so and in line with Scotland's overall response to Covid-19.