News and tips
Posted on Tuesday, 26th May 2020
The coronavirus is still with us, and restrictions are still in place. We can pretty much say goodbye to being on campus until later this year. So, what are the chances of us returning to normal, back to Uni in September? What sort of learning environment can we expect?
Currently, University buildings are all closed to students, and our lessons are via Blackboard. This scenario is different from our lively lectures with catchups over coffee. Discussions over Zoom with fellow students is nowhere near as fun as a get together in a pub or club. One-to-one support and supervision are now delivered by phone, email or videoconferencing.
The advice will probably stay this way for some time yet. June 1st is the date schools will start re-opening for all pupils in reception, year 1 and year 6, alongside priority groups (vulnerable children and the children of critical workers). However, the advice for universities is not so clear. This is because each University is autonomous. This means each University will make its own decisions on how they will operate in the new few months. Cambridge has declared all courses next year through to summer will be conducted online.
Both Sheffield Hallam and the University of Sheffield are looking to review their processes next week.
The good news is all payments for Student Finance, loans and maintenance are going ahead. You should not miss payments. If your parents or partners income has changed, you need to inform them so you can receive any adjustments.
All admissions and student finance applications will be processed and considered ready for the new term. Most Universities will probably take the same route of online lectures and a blend of campus-based activities as lockdown restrictions are eased.
Plans for extensions to courses, finance options and assignment deadlines are all in place, should they be required.
We shall expand more on distance learning skills and techniques, in next months blog, should the situation continue after the June 1st announcements from the Government. Distance learning is a viable option to progress in your studies. Most of the tools are at your disposal already.
The best advice, for now, seems to be ‘carry on as you are’ be prepared for distance learning for at least the first month or two. However, if the situation changes, you may even find yourself back in classes very soon!