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Sports Coronavirus: ‘I paid for my student house, now all my lectures are online’

4 min read
Image caption Rhiannon is a student at St Andrews University students have been telling the BBC how they were only told that most of their courses in the coming term will be taught online after paying hundreds of pounds for accommodation far from home.Sara is a third year student from Leeds, studying international development at…
Sports Coronavirus: ‘I paid for my student house, now all my lectures are online’

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sports Rhiannon, a student at St Andrews

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Rhiannon is a pupil at St Andrews

College college students were telling the BBC how they were most productive informed that most of their lessons in the coming term will doubtless be taught on-line after paying an total bunch of pounds for accommodation removed from dwelling.

Sara is a third year pupil from Leeds, discovering out world pattern at King’s College London, at a cost of £9,250 for the year. She says she was once informed her direction would be entirely on-line this term on 1 September – the day she began paying nearly £3,000 for her accommodation.

Sara moved dwelling to Leeds in March, at the initiate of lockdown, She says she has now not steadily had any lectures since February, when college workers went on strike.

In an electronic mail, considered by the BBC, she was once then informed “all teaching for closing year college students” will doubtless be on-line this term – including seminars and dissertation supervisions. In-particular person teaching in her second term “will rely on the Covid-19 topic nearer to the time”.

It is left her feeling short-changed. “If I knew that we were going to be on-line for the main semester I place now not want obtained accommodation for this term the least bit,” Sara says.

She says she’s had puny steering about what campus existence will look bask in and whether she’s going to need to – or be ready to – exhaust any time there.

“Attain I genuinely need to be in London or now not? Attain I need to lumber in or now not? There is no point in [just] sitting in my dwelling,” she says. “I carry out specialise in there must always be some roughly low cost with the total lot on-line. You restful pick up an training however they must always decrease the amount you are paying.”

The College of St Andrews moreover announced at the end of August that some lessons would be fully on-line in the main seven weeks of term.

Many college students entering into halls for their first year had already signed their contracts by the time the announcement was once made, whereas many second and third year college students in non-public accommodation signed contracts months previously.

Lottie, a third-year pupil in philosophy and history of art, says the college had before the total lot encouraged college students to advance to the town.

“In June or July, they acknowledged that one and all college students must always thought to advance wait on to St Andrews at the initiate of term and it will be dual teaching – the total lot they would carry out in particular person they would carry out, with the comfort on-line.

“They did scream they would give folk the answer to thought entirely on-line from dwelling, however if you applied to steal out that you just wished to have a explicit motive.”

Rhiannon, one other pupil at St Andrews discovering out world kin, is paying £525 a month for a room in a shared dwelling.

“Our dwelling has been empty since March. I’d have stayed at dwelling, and cancelled my condo contract. I genuinely tried to barter with my landlord in June due to the uncertainty and the landlord was once entirely inflexible.”

The College of St Andrews blamed the unexpected replace on elevated pupil numbers this year.

“The gradual changes to the map A-level and Elevated examination outcomes were calculated have obliged us to admit severely more entrants than would in another case were the case,” Major Sally Mapstone acknowledged in a letter to workers and college students.

“Our teaching preparations are vastly crucial, however we’re moreover focusing extraordinarily carefully on safety past the lecture room, and the map we beef up and produce lumber the safe behaviour of our pupil neighborhood in city.”

King’s College London informed the BBC it was once “prioritising the safety of our college students and workers, by organising a flexible methodology to the initiate of the unique tutorial year”.

“Where ability, and it’s safe to steal out so, we’re planning for some little neighborhood teaching to settle arrangement on campus,” the college acknowledged.

Students at several diverse universities have moreover contacted the BBC with the same stories. One acknowledged she most productive stumbled on out her direction had moved on-line four days after her enrolment.

Universities UK, which represents 137 universities in the UK, acknowledged it expected the overwhelming majority of universities to protect some in-particular person teaching. “A most modern watch by UUK instructed that 97% of respondents are planning some in-particular person teaching for the unique tutorial year primarily based fully fully on govt and public health steering.

“As well to, the overwhelming majority are offering some in-particular person social activities and beef up and wellbeing. Most faculty students will abilities a blended provide of on-line and in-particular person underpinned by a safety first methodology,” it acknowledged.

Nonetheless the Nationwide Union of Students called on universities to be “correct and certain relating to the practicality of stories resuming” and to “provide beef up with housing, funds, digital studying, beef up products and services and transport if situations replace”.

NUS president Larissa Kennedy acknowledged govt officers wished to provide a “higher equipment of business beef up for pupil renters – a broad range of whom have struggled to pay lease and fallen into arrears.”

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