All colleges to reopen with safety measures next year

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Durham University announced yesterday that all 17 colleges are due to reopen in line with government advice regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

As well as this, “high value interactions”, including discussion groups and workshops, will continue to take place in physical form.

This information update was released in an email sent out by Pro-Vice-Chancellor Claire O’Malley on Friday following decisions by other Russell Group universities on how they will adapt their education to reduce the risk of virus transmission.

Professor O’Malley included information about three different aspects of university, including education and wider student experience such as college life.

Although these aspects will ensure some sort of normality for Durham students from 2020/2021, the new information warns of significant changes to university life for incoming or returning students.

New ‘5-test’ models are being introduced to ensure each part of the
university can safely reopen. They will most likely follow official government tests for coronavirus safety and are explained as being crucial to allowing Durham to “prioritise on-campus activity”.

The new information also stresses the lack of concrete information the university can provide at this time due to the uncertain nature of the pandemic which has so far killed 250 people in County Durham.

All procedures taken by the university at this time are to be reviewed “on a
termly basis” and students should expect to receive more details of the new plans “in the coming weeks”.

This new news will likely be welcomed by many in the community as several other universities have announced all teaching will be completely online for the new academic year, such as Cambridge and Manchester.

Durham now classes itself as one of the Russell Group universities taking the “hybrid” approach to keeping in line with coronavirus measures along with universities such as Newcastle.

Image: rogbi200 via Flickr

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