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Forget freshers’ week: universities prepare to teach new first years online

Sixth formers, whose A-level exams were cancelled because of coronavirus, may miss out on freshers’ week too. Universities have confirmed they are making plans to start the next academic year online if social distancing continues. Vice-chancellors are braced for potential huge losses from the lucrative international student market from September, following disruption to end-of-school learning…

The government must protect universities in this crisis or job cuts...

Colleges and universities deliver vital opportunities and drive economic growth. Yet the current coronavirus crisis is now creating huge financial uncertainty in post-16 education. As the general secretary of the University and College Union, I have today written to the government setting out a plan that will protect universities and colleges so they can play…

Hundreds of university staff to be made redundant due to coronavirus

Hundreds of university staff on precarious contracts have been dismissed by their employers in a drive to cut costs due to the coronavirus pandemic. Staff on fixed-term contracts, including visiting lecturers, researchers and student support workers, at Bristol, Newcastle and Sussex universities have been made redundant or told their employment will or may end prematurely,…

Lecturers went on strike over insecure jobs – now we fear...

It’s no secret that around half of university teaching staff are on temporary contracts. While they feel anxious and insecure at the best of times, they are now doubly so due to the threat coronavirus poses to their future careers. This has been compounded by reports about academic job losses in Australia and hiring freezes…

Young people have paid enough – spare them from footing the coronavirus...

The kids are boomeranging back again. Up and down the country, overgrown children are shuffling home to roost, refugees from a virus that has stalled their adult lives mid-launch. University lectures and supervisions have all been moved online, so there’s no point student children moping around deserted halls when they could be home ransacking the…

UK students’ union calls on universities to cancel summer exams

The National Union of Students has called on universities to cancel or postpone this summer’s exams to avoid further stress and disruption to students’ lives during the coronavirus pandemic. The NUS said disabled, international and poorer students would be significantly disadvantaged if universities go through with plans to hold online exams and assessments next term.…

Covid-19 is our best chance to change universities for good I...

March is normally one of the busiest months in the academic calendar. Lecture theatres bulge, coffee queues lengthen and library shelves empty. The interactions are multilingual and non-stop. This year, silence. Buildings are in lockdown and staff barred from their offices. Those students who remain are mostly unable to go home. But learning goes on,…

Concern for A-level students over cap on university admissions

School leaders are urging the government to ensure A-level students who have had their exams cancelled this summer because of the Covid-19 crisis do not face further disadvantage by losing university places because of a cap on student numbers. The warning came after the Guardian revealed that strict limits on the number of students each…

Government set to cap university admissions amid Covid-19 chaos

Strict limits on the number of students that each university in England can recruit are set to be imposed by the government in an effort to avoid a free-for-all on admissions, with institutions plunged into financial turmoil as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the Guardian has learned. A government source said each university would…

‘I’m very nervous’: student nurses on the frontline against Covid-19

Health secretary Matt Hancock has announced that up to 18,700 final year student nurses “will move to the frontline” to aid health service staff during the Covid-19 crisis. We spoke to some of them about starting their careers during a pandemic. ‘You have to be positive, or you’ll lose your head’ Michelle Magadada, 22, is…

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