Most Oxford undegraduate students will not return to face-to-face teaching until mid-April at the earliest, the University has told students today via email.
The University noted that because the first potential date for the easing of lockdown restrictions, March 8th, comes at the end of Hilary term 2021, “teaching will continue to take place online for the rest of this term for most undergraduates”.
Only some taught postgraduate students will resume in-person learning from March 8th at Oxford in light of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown this week.
For Trinity term, however, some students may start to be taught in-person again in ‘catch-up’ classes from April 12th (-1 Week). Which subjects this would pertain to was not mentioned in the email. Also, for “some other courses, particularly those with a practical element and those which are practice-based, in-person teaching will start from Monday 26 April (Week 1 Trinity term).”
It was hinted that undergraduate finalists would be able to return to Oxford from April 12th as they would fit the criteria for extenuating circumstances that make studying from home unfeasible in the run up to “important submissions and final assessments”.
Many students on non-practical taught courses and without other exemptions, though, will remain uncertain as to when they can return, which the University acknowledged would be “disappointing”. The email stated that the University was “committed to reviewing our arrangements as soon as possible after we get more guidance from the Government”. This was said to potentially not be until around the Easter period, when another Government review is due.
Oxford Student Union reacted to the update by pointing to the Student Union’s success in lobbying the University to make the bounds of their Covid-19 hardship fund wide enough to potentially encompass covering the costs involved in returning to Oxford, such as “testing or quarantine”. The Student Union also encouraged students returning to Oxford to make use of lateral flow testing available through the University.
Meanwhile, students already in Oxford have been told that it is a legal expectation that they stay at their term-time address “unless you have a legal exemption” meaning that they can move. The University said that this “currently includes during the Easter vacation”.
This article was corrected at 15:17 on 26/2/21, to reflect the fact that most undergraduates not be returning until mid-April at the earliest; some PGTs can come back from 8th March.
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