Uni Life After Coronavirus: What Will It Look Like?

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The Coronavirus pandemic has dramatically changed life as we know it, with every business, organisation and household affected by this potentially fatal virus.

The higher education sector is no exception, and many universities have reduced their services, moved towards remote learning or even closed completely.

While the UK government didn’t officially sanction university closures, it’s clear that they were best for the student population and society as a whole, because they have helped the UK to reduce its Coronvirus cases and fatalities.

Looking ahead, the university landscape seems set to change significantly to accommodate students who need to be protected from the virus until a vaccine is found.
Here’s how universities are adapting, and the changes students can expect over the coming months and years.

Online Learning Will Grow

Many universities have already announced that they will be delivering their lectures and seminars online to combat the spread of the virus. This approach looks set to begin as soon as possible, and continue throughout the remainder of 2020 and further into the future. The aim is to keep students safe and still provide them with the teaching experience they need to earn a degree that will propel them into the career they’ve always wanted.

Campuses That Do Open Will Be Unrecognisable

Any university that does choose to reopen its campus will have to adapt to the social distancing measures in place to reduce the spread of the virus. These include avoiding communal eating, keeping shared areas cleaner than usual and stopping people from being less than 2 metres apart. These measures will change the way that campus feels and will make the university experience completely unrecognisable from what it was before the pandemic began.

Updates Will Be More Regular

Universities are having to make extensive changes to everything from their curriculum through to their campus access policies, so they’ll be sending updates more frequently than usual. Follow your university on social media if you don’t already, so you can stay on top of the latest developments. It’s likely that they’ll also be sending out more email newsletter updates, so keep an eye on your inbox to make sure you’re always aware of what’s going on and able to adjust as required.

Communicating Directly With Your Uni Might Become Harder

While updates will probably become more regular, it will probably be tougher than ever before to reach out to staff directly. With so many students facing an uncertain future, they will be calling and emailing, meaning that phone lines and inboxes will be overloaded. Staffing levels will have been affected by the pandemic, as some staff are self-isolating, and others might be struggling to juggle childcare with their working lives. As a result, you need to be prepared to wait longer for a response when you’re contacting your university directly.

Overseas Trips Will Be Cancelled

Many universities send delegates to attend international conferences, visit other universities or plan international research trips. However, with the travel restrictions in place currently and the increased risk of catching the virus when flying or sailing, it is likely that many, if not all, of these trips will be cancelled. If you’ve already paid for a trip, then communicate with your university and travel providers to find out if a refund can be issued.

Some Universities Face Bankruptcy

The changing education market and move towards online learning may put too much of a strain on some universities. It is estimated that only 20 UK universities are currently in a good position to offer online learning, meaning many others face a costly bill to pivot their learning models and update their systems. As such, they might eventually go bankrupt, putting their students’ futures in jeopardy. Students should stay calm and wait to find out what’s happening, then adapt to the situation as much as possible.

Ultimately, every university will be different, so it’s crucial that you contact your university and watch out for updates to stay informed.

© 2020 All Rights Reserved Grace Murphy

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