Time for some truth at universities

Universities must not lure new students with promises of normal campus life if their lecturers are all online, says Office for Students CEO Nicola Dandridge.

She stressed that applicants must have absolute clarity on what is being provided and ‘where’. And, that has to happen before they accept their places this autumn.

Dandridge explained: “What we don’t want is to see promises that it’s all going to be back to usual and an on-campus experience when it turns out that that’s not the case.”

The UCAS deadline for accepting places is currently 18 June, and this is being put forward as the date when applications are told how they would be taught.

To date only Manchester University and Cambridge have said what it plans. Manchester’s lecturers will be online-only for the first term. Meanwhile Cambridge said all lectures will be online-only for the entire 2020-21 academic year. Both have said other teaching, such as seminars and tutorials will remain face-to-face.