education

Coronavirus UK: Will universities close to delay Covid-19 outbreak?


Six students at Oxford university have tested positive for coronavirus this week. (Picture: Getty Images)

All exams scheduled to take place over the Easter break at Oxford University have been cancelled or rearranged after six students tested positive for coronavirus at the university.

King’s College in London have also announced they will not be holding ‘conventional unseen exams’ for the exam period between April 27 and May 20 this year due to the coronavirus and Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine yesterday confirmed that Cambridge University medical students will not sit their final clinical exams due to Covid-19.

With an increasing number of universities taking
precautionary measures to protect their students in the midst of the
coronavirus pandemic, will the institutions eventually close?

Will universities in the UK close to delay the Covid-19
outbreak?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said earlier this week that British schools and universities will remain open for the time being, despite the continued risk of coronavirus.

Countires such Austria, Denmark, France and Ireland have announced the closure of their university systems due to the coronavirus outbreak this week.

Some universities
in the UK, including Loughborough, Durham, Manchester Met and the London School
of Economics have already started offering online teaching for their students
in place of face-to-face lectures as a precaution in light of the pandemic.

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Despite this, the University and College Union (UCU) has said:
‘Universities simply cannot shut down and abandon those students who rely on it
for things like accommodation and we trust all these important matters are
being kept under review.’

Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Education, said during a speech at the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) conference today that the government’s advice for schools and universities to remain open at this time should be heeded.

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‘I would urge any educational establishment, whether it be a
school, whether it be an early years setting, whether it be a college or
whether it be a university to look at what the medical and scientific advice
is,’ he said.

‘The medical and scientific advice is that we shouldn’t be closing educational settings at the moment.’

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