De Montfort University moves classes online due to coronavirus

By Ben Sanderson

De Montfort University has suspended all classes until further notice, with classes moving to an online format.

In a bid by the university to minimise the scale of the effects of the coronavirus among students and staff, the university issued a statement to students on Monday, March 16, making clear that classes were going to be taught online.

It said: “As the number of cases of COVID-19 has increased and become more widespread we have taken the decision to move our classroom teaching online.

“From Wednesday morning (18 March), all teaching of this type – which includes face-to-face lectures, seminars and tutorials – will be suspended as we transition to online provision. This means that any scheduled classes and lectures that you have will not be offered Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week.

“Then on Monday 23 March, we will begin delivering our classroom teaching and lectures online. The online delivery will include any material missed as a result of the suspension of teaching activities this week. This will carry on until we break up on Friday 3 April.”

Image result for coronavirus
Image courtesy of US National Park Service: The coronavirus

The university has cancelled classes, but some buildings will remain open albeit subject to reduced hours.

“The campus will remain open and the library, food and drink outlets and other buildings will remain open and available. The library will open between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday, 10am-5pm on Saturday and 11am-6pm on Sunday, but please keep an eye out for details of the opening hours of other buildings,” the statement said.

“Workshops and practical sessions will continue as scheduled this week and studios and laboratories will remain open for students requiring those facilities. But there will be no more classroom-based teaching or lecturing until further notice.

“We know that many of you have been asking for this for a number of days and we are pleased that we are now in a position to announce this move.”

De Montfort University pledged to follow “national guidelines” as it becomes part of a national effort to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Coronavirus has gathered pace in the UK in the past few days, with cases steadily growing to a current number of 1,543, including 1 in Leicester.

A total of 55 people have died nationwide.

The latest government advice has told people to avoid public buildings and “non-essential” travel.

Universities have since been casualties of the cull in places open to visitors, with DMU following the lead of Durham University, the London School of Economics and the Manchester and London Metropolitan Universities, the first to announce the moving of lectures to an online platform.

Classes are definitely off until the Easter Holidays, but it is unclear whether they will begin afterwards, as the coronavirus and uncertainty around it continues to spread.

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