Impact on Universities

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FlammableFlower
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Re: Impact on Universities

Post by FlammableFlower » Tue Jan 05, 2021 2:06 pm

Turdly wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 1:48 pm
I'm waiting for info from senior management at the moment.

The move to online exams meant we had control over the timetable so we had planned to have level 2 in labs from 18th Jan (no exams) and levels 1, 3 and 4 back in labs from 25th Jan. Realistically, we are now looking at mid-Feb at the earliest (as per official guidelines) but I'd be surprised if it is this side of the Easter holidays.

I'm expecting that UG projects will now go remote which means more planning/design rather than doing for the majority.

The non-lab teaching that was F2F was L1 tutorials and that was abandoned long ago due to more of them self-isolating than attending so, apart from possibly needing to bring it forward rather rapidly, online is not much of an issue.
Trying to work out if this in the gov guidelines (cheers for the link, I could find sod all on the gov pages last night that about unis and returning that hadn't been posted by them just before Christmas):
Courses which require Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) assessments and or mandatory activity which is scheduled for January and which cannot be rescheduled (your university will notify you if this applies to you).
Covers Chemistry lab hours...?

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Re: Impact on Universities

Post by Turdly » Tue Jan 05, 2021 2:34 pm

FlammableFlower wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 2:06 pm
Turdly wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 1:48 pm
I'm waiting for info from senior management at the moment.

The move to online exams meant we had control over the timetable so we had planned to have level 2 in labs from 18th Jan (no exams) and levels 1, 3 and 4 back in labs from 25th Jan. Realistically, we are now looking at mid-Feb at the earliest (as per official guidelines) but I'd be surprised if it is this side of the Easter holidays.

I'm expecting that UG projects will now go remote which means more planning/design rather than doing for the majority.

The non-lab teaching that was F2F was L1 tutorials and that was abandoned long ago due to more of them self-isolating than attending so, apart from possibly needing to bring it forward rather rapidly, online is not much of an issue.
Trying to work out if this in the gov guidelines (cheers for the link, I could find sod all on the gov pages last night that about unis and returning that hadn't been posted by them just before Christmas):
Courses which require Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) assessments and or mandatory activity which is scheduled for January and which cannot be rescheduled (your university will notify you if this applies to you).
Covers Chemistry lab hours...?
I was hopeful of that as well, particularly as that was what was in the previous guidance. However, I think that will be dependent on individual university management and ours have been pretty good at f.cking up lab teaching for no benefit so far (e.g. the pause in F2F teaching to change the arrangements in lecture theatres that meant we couldn't continue labs that weren't affected by the changes).
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FlammableFlower
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Re: Impact on Universities

Post by FlammableFlower » Tue Jan 05, 2021 3:53 pm

Well, separate emails from our VC and HoD indicate we'll lose at least the first two weeks of semester. Although Pharmacy Year 3 are allowed back. I think a quick email is required just to check.

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Re: Impact on Universities

Post by FlammableFlower » Tue Jan 05, 2021 4:31 pm

Doh, wrong form of professional body!

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Re: Impact on Universities

Post by Turdly » Tue Jan 05, 2021 5:42 pm

Yep, confirmed no F2F before 22/02/2021 but we'll plan for no F2F before Easter.
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Re: Impact on Universities

Post by snoozeofreason » Tue Jan 05, 2021 6:09 pm

FlammableFlower wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 2:06 pm
Turdly wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 1:48 pm
I'm waiting for info from senior management at the moment.

The move to online exams meant we had control over the timetable so we had planned to have level 2 in labs from 18th Jan (no exams) and levels 1, 3 and 4 back in labs from 25th Jan. Realistically, we are now looking at mid-Feb at the earliest (as per official guidelines) but I'd be surprised if it is this side of the Easter holidays.

I'm expecting that UG projects will now go remote which means more planning/design rather than doing for the majority.

The non-lab teaching that was F2F was L1 tutorials and that was abandoned long ago due to more of them self-isolating than attending so, apart from possibly needing to bring it forward rather rapidly, online is not much of an issue.
Trying to work out if this in the gov guidelines (cheers for the link, I could find sod all on the gov pages last night that about unis and returning that hadn't been posted by them just before Christmas):
Courses which require Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) assessments and or mandatory activity which is scheduled for January and which cannot be rescheduled (your university will notify you if this applies to you).
Covers Chemistry lab hours...?
The Office for Students had a more detailed list of of subjects where in-person teaching was to be prioritised. I think it was sent out to students at the end of last year. You will be reassured to know, I am sure, that it includes alternative medicines & therapies, complementary medicines & therapies, chiropractic, and nutrition.
In six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them. The human body was knocked up pretty late on the Friday afternoon, with a deadline looming. How well do you expect it to work?

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Re: Impact on Universities

Post by FlammableFlower » Tue Jan 05, 2021 8:07 pm

snoozeofreason wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 6:09 pm

...[snip]...

The Office for Students had a more detailed list of of subjects where in-person teaching was to be prioritised. I think it was sent out to students at the end of last year. You will be reassured to know, I am sure, that it includes alternative medicines & therapies, complementary medicines & therapies, chiropractic, and nutrition.
:shock: :evil: :shock:

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Re: Impact on Universities

Post by snoozeofreason » Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:53 am

FlammableFlower wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 8:07 pm
snoozeofreason wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 6:09 pm

...[snip]...

The Office for Students had a more detailed list of of subjects where in-person teaching was to be prioritised. I think it was sent out to students at the end of last year. You will be reassured to know, I am sure, that it includes alternative medicines & therapies, complementary medicines & therapies, chiropractic, and nutrition.
:shock: :evil: :shock:
DfE guidance on return of students is here. The list of subjects prioritised for in-person teaching is at the end of the document called "Students returning to and starting higher education in the Spring term". To be fair, it doesn't say that aromatherapists and Reiki healers will be guaranteed in-person teaching from the start of the semester, but it does seem to imply that they would have precedence over chemists and physicists. I imagine this will raise the blood pressure of a few people on this forum (I'd recommend Hopi ear candles and whale music for that).
In six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them. The human body was knocked up pretty late on the Friday afternoon, with a deadline looming. How well do you expect it to work?

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Re: Impact on Universities

Post by FlammableFlower » Wed Jan 20, 2021 11:05 am

Ooo you swine. Yes you're entirely right, practical science subjects are down the priority. We'll just have to suck it up for now - we're currently aiming for June and Sept catch up labs for the 2nd and 1st years respectively. I'm just hoping that we will get back in by March so the final years can get some more work done. I can only say I'm glad we didn't do what some institutions did - boot everything in Semester 1 to Semester 2 as they thought it'd get better after Christmas. Although we're not in as good a position as those unis that have kept to the 3-term system as opposed to 2-semester system as they've got a bit longer at after Easter to get stuff in.

And yes, it does raise my blood pressure to hear the quacks can get in.

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Re: Impact on Universities

Post by shpalman » Sat May 08, 2021 11:55 am

Last week I did four hours of lecturing in person (in addition to the online teaching all last week and on Monday and Tuesday morning).

Well, two hours to half the students (Tuesday afternoon) and then the same two hours to the other half (Thursday morning).

Well, more like 90 minutes twice with the break and the customary "academic 15 minutes" at the beginning and end.

Well, more like about a third of the students given that others in the subgroup could anyway connect to the lecture hall's audio-visual system and follow along from home, and of course there's also an official recording.

This reduced capacity is so that 210 students aren't all crammed into the same lecture hall at once.

Well, ~160-170 students, haven't passed the exam yet rather than the ones who've basically given up but not officially dropped out yet.

Well, 120-130 students, that's how many are actively following, rather than just hoping to keep trying the exam until they get the mark they want.

So anyway 30-40 students in a big lecture hall, that should be enough to maintain decent social distancing.

Of course they are large "flat" classrooms rather than banked halls and of course they all sit together at the front.

I'm assuming the sore throat I have now is from having talked for 8* hours over the past two weeks.
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Re: Impact on Universities

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sat May 08, 2021 12:06 pm

Seems like the sort of thing a sensible university would have prevented by taping off alternate desks/rows.

Hope your throat improves soon and is nothing nasty, anyway.
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Re: Impact on Universities

Post by shpalman » Sat May 08, 2021 12:20 pm

It was certainly the case back in September/October that seats were marked as to which ones to sit in or not sit in, so as to maintain distancing, but for my masters' course I had at most 3 students in the room so it didn't really matter. (The students basically all chose options which had lectures this term, not last term).

Throat seems fine now, I just have a headache and want to take things easy but I don't have a fever or anything. Not as bad as having the AZ vaccine.
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Re: Impact on Universities

Post by shpalman » Tue Jun 01, 2021 8:02 pm

molto tricky

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bob sterman
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Re: Impact on Universities

Post by bob sterman » Sun Jun 27, 2021 7:36 am

Observer maths: 0.1 + 1 + maybe 1 = 3

UK students want tuition fees refunded as they face third year online
https://www.theguardian.com/education/2 ... ear-online

Article claims "Students are facing a third successive year of online learning"

But in the 19/20 academic year most UK universities cancelled in-person teaching and switched to online delivery in mid-March - with students losing about 3 weeks of in-person teaching in most cases.

So really - it's been one year of major disruption so far.

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Re: Impact on Universities

Post by Bird on a Fire » Mon Jun 28, 2021 4:17 pm

Nevertheless it does suggest that students from the 2019 intake will have all three years of their degrees affected - first year exam period, the whole second year and a fair bit of their final year.

I'm not sure that the exact fraction is the important part of the article.

I can understand being miffed at paying £30k to sit in your house watching YouTube, especially when one of the main ways unis compete for customers is on physical facilities. Unfortunately for universities I don't think they've necessarily saved much money either, apart from the ones that have been laying off staff.

The UK's (or is it just England?) world-trailing value for money does look even more sh.t in the current context, though.
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Re: Impact on Universities

Post by Turdly » Tue Jun 29, 2021 8:56 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon Jun 28, 2021 4:17 pm
Nevertheless it does suggest that students from the 2019 intake will have all three years of their degrees affected - first year exam period, the whole second year and a fair bit of their final year.

I'm not sure that the exact fraction is the important part of the article.

I can understand being miffed at paying £30k to sit in your house watching YouTube, especially when one of the main ways unis compete for customers is on physical facilities. Unfortunately for universities I don't think they've necessarily saved much money either, apart from the ones that have been laying off staff.

The UK's (or is it just England?) world-trailing value for money does look even more sh.t in the current context, though.
There was significant strike action in late 2019/early 2020 as well so essentially two years of disruption so far. It certainly hasn't saved us any money in my department. Estates and staffing costs are the same, labs ran so the costs for those were still there and on top of that the university has been spending money on extra IT, software etc. to cope with the demand.

I can understand the student perspective, but fee refunds will kill some course/institutions unless government backed. However, they have been very careful to only offer "guidance" to universities so that they could blame us if we ignored them but don't need to financially support us as we could have stayed open.
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Re: Impact on Universities

Post by FlammableFlower » Tue Jul 13, 2021 11:01 am

Overlapping somewhat with the Unlockdown thread... but due to the government's 19th July plans, I am severely worried for the start of the next academic year...

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Re: Impact on Universities

Post by headshot » Thu Jul 15, 2021 1:38 pm

So, Frau HS's uni have written to their employees.

From the 19th, social distancing and face masks are no longer mandated, only if individual staff want to wear them.

Hand sanitisation stations and deep cleaning of surfaces will remain.

So, the two things that are known to mitigate transmission are thrown out the window, the two things that are known to have no effect on transmission are being kept.

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Re: Impact on Universities

Post by shpalman » Thu Aug 12, 2021 6:30 am

Italy just decided to make the Green Pass mandatory for university personnel too; deciding this in the middle of August maybe was leaving it a bit late but then again we've had priority access for vaccination since March. Anyone who only gets vaccinated now because they have to, but didn't do it before to avoid dying or killing someone else, doesn't seem to be demonstrating the kind of basic reasoning skills you'd expect in a university.

But at least it's being made about as easy for us as possible:
Dear Colleagues,

Given the recent national Green Pass requirements to access university premises starting from September 1 2021, the Lombardy Region has
launched a special vaccination programme for academia.

We have been assigned a reference vaccination hub located at the Fabbrica del Vapore, via G. Procaccini 4, Milan, but you can access
any hub in the region. No booking is required; you will have to declare your affiliation to the Politecnico di Milano.
Further information and full list of vaccination hubs are available on the portal https://prenotazionevaccinicovid.regione.lombardia.it/ ; also staff from our Regional Campuses can access the portal.

All our university staff, including PhD students, research fellows and adjunct professors, both Italian and international, can
participate in the programme as no regional health card is required.
Term actually starts on the 13th of September so there's definitely time to have had at least the first dose 15 days before that, unless you're on holiday the whole time somewhere out of Lombardy (and didn't organize a "temporary residence" which would allow you to get vaccinated in the region of Italy in which you're on holiday) or you're on holiday the whole time somewhere out of Italy in which case, well, you're obviously not that important to the Politecnico if you can just f.ck off for two-three months.

(I think there's still the issue that anyone who got their second dose on the 2nd of June, a national holiday, doesn't seem to be able to get their Green Pass.)
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Re: Impact on Universities

Post by bolo » Sat Aug 21, 2021 2:45 am

The University of Virginia has disenrolled 49 students for the upcoming semester for not complying with its vaccine requirements.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/educatio ... -students/
The campus unveiled its vaccine mandate in May and the overwhelming majority of the campus is in compliance, officials said. More than 96 percent of U-Va. students are vaccinated against the coronavirus and 335 students with religious and medical exemptions have been granted permanent waivers, officials said.

An additional 184 temporary waivers were granted to students who have had trouble getting vaccinated but plan to get their shots upon arriving to campus.

Less than 1 percent of students enrolled — or 238 students — are not in compliance, “but only 49 of those students had actually selected courses, meaning that a good number of the remaining 189 may not have been planning to return to the university this fall at all, regardless of our vaccination policy,” said Brian Coy, a school spokesman.

Students have until Aug. 25 to get into compliance and re-enroll for fall semester classes, Coy added. Students can also choose to return to campus in the spring, but only after meeting the vaccination requirement.

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Re: Impact on Universities

Post by Herainestold » Sat Aug 21, 2021 2:49 am

bolo wrote:
Sat Aug 21, 2021 2:45 am
The University of Virginia has disenrolled 49 students for the upcoming semester for not complying with its vaccine requirements.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/educatio ... -students/
The campus unveiled its vaccine mandate in May and the overwhelming majority of the campus is in compliance, officials said. More than 96 percent of U-Va. students are vaccinated against the coronavirus and 335 students with religious and medical exemptions have been granted permanent waivers, officials said.

An additional 184 temporary waivers were granted to students who have had trouble getting vaccinated but plan to get their shots upon arriving to campus.

Less than 1 percent of students enrolled — or 238 students — are not in compliance, “but only 49 of those students had actually selected courses, meaning that a good number of the remaining 189 may not have been planning to return to the university this fall at all, regardless of our vaccination policy,” said Brian Coy, a school spokesman.

Students have until Aug. 25 to get into compliance and re-enroll for fall semester classes, Coy added. Students can also choose to return to campus in the spring, but only after meeting the vaccination requirement.
Sounds like vaccine mandates work!
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Re: Impact on Universities

Post by shpalman » Fri Aug 27, 2021 12:57 pm

The letter from the rector of the Insubria University is public so I'm linking it here even if it's in Italian. Basically, everyone (staff, students... everyone) needs a Green Pass unless they have a certificate of exemption, and they need to show one or the other to the porters when they enter "the structures" of the university, I assume that refers to the buildings rather than the campus.

I'm linking this one because we're still not sure how it's going to work at the Polimi, or rather, who's job it is to check the Green Passes. Regarding schools it's been said that checks will need to be daily; I certainly can't imagine university professors having to check all their students in a class of ~120 or there'd be no time for the actual lecture. And we can't store the vaccination status of the students anywhere because privacy etc. I suppose that even if the Green Pass would indicate it, we aren't supposed to know if they got it via infection, vaccination, or negative PCR test, just that the pass itself is valid and corresponds to the person showing it to you. (We already check identities of the students when they arrive to do an exam, so there's obviously no issue with Not BEing a coMPEtenT auTHoriTy to VErIfY SOMEOne'S IDentity dOcumenT.)
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bob sterman
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Re: Impact on Universities

Post by bob sterman » Fri Aug 27, 2021 8:14 pm

In the UK - I think a lot of institutions have their heads in the sand.

Preparations for the first term at many places (including mine) are based on a "back to normal" idea - which may get blown out of the water with the surge in cases likely to follow schools reopening at the start of September.

I've not heard of any major university having plans to check vaccination status - or require regular lateral flow testing to use facilities.

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Re: Impact on Universities

Post by shpalman » Sat Aug 28, 2021 8:12 am

Green Pass for schools and universities from the 1st of September onwards is actually the law in Italy now, the discussion was just about how to implement that (without having to record medical details of staff and students).
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Re: Impact on Universities

Post by shpalman » Tue Aug 31, 2021 1:58 pm

The rector sent an email around. I think the idea is that staff will be able to upload the QR code of the Green Pass onto their personal portal, where daily checks will be carried out. This isn't a breach of privacy, since the only information you can get from scanning the QR code is the name and date of birth of the person, and whether the code is valid or not. What they can't do, for example, is ask for or store our vaccination or infection histories.

A sample of the students' Green Passes will be checked but the main point is that it's not the teaching staff who will have to do it.
... the Administration is setting up a control system for staff using a platform that will be made available in the coming days. Colleagues will be asked to load the QR-Code, read daily by the same application used by retailers and public administrations in compliance with the protection of individual privacy.

I remind you that even for students, the possession of the Green Pass is mandatory, the validity of which can be verified by the staff responsible for controls. These will be carried out on a sample basis, as required by the regulatory framework. It is therefore neither the obligation nor the responsibility of the professors to carry out any verification in this regard during exams and/or lectures.

In addition, the other measures specifically provided for to contain the contagion, namely the use of respiratory protection devices in enclosed areas and the prohibition of residence in rooms with a body temperature above 37.5 degrees, remain active. The distance of 1 meter is also recommended, as long as it does not limit participation in attendance.
Well, the law comes into force tomorrow even if term doesn't start for another couple of weeks; some of the students will have exams before then and of course the rest of us are at work just generally.
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