Durham University has confirmed in an email to staff today that all teaching will be moved online on the 10 December.
This means that for Durham University students, face-to-face teaching will continue up until the final two days of term.
This announcement follows new government guidance released this morning which states that students in England will be given a six-day window, between 3 December and 9 December, to travel home for Christmas. However, this guidance is advisory.
The guidance also states that universities will be instructed to move teaching online by 9 December.
Mass testing will be carried out at universities in England between 30 November and 6 December before students are allowed to leave campus, allowing students to return home safely for christmas. The tests will produce a result “within an hour”, according to a letter seen by the BBC. Students who test positive for the virus will be required to self-isolate for 10 days.
Jo Grady, General Secretary of the University and College Union (UCU), which first called for all face-to-face teaching to be suspended until it is deemed safe by scientific advisory bodies in September, raised concerns about the government’s plans, saying they are “riddled with holes and raise as many questions as they answer”.
“If the government instead told universities to move online now it would provide much more time to stagger the movement of students and better protect the health of staff, students and their wider communities.”
Image: Amana Moore