In an initial statement on Monday(MARCH16), De Montfort University suspended all lectures including seminars, tutorials and writing workshops, in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
This raised a number of issues for current students, including the obvious concerns about practical workshops, as these were not cancelled.
There were also concerns raised by final year students, who would have normally finished with their dissertations and final assessments in a couple of weeks.
However, in an announcement yesterday (MARCH19), it was said that all laboratories where protective equipment must be worn have been closed since Tuesday, and “All other labs, studios, and workshops (not including computer labs) will close at the end of the day on Friday, 20 March.”
Whilst this is a good move for the social distancing guidelines recommended by the government, deadlines that do not count on using these workshops and specialist resources are still being honoured this week.
This global pandemic coming right after a nationwide strike of university lecturers means that there has been planned disruption of learning conditions since January and now additional disruption from the coronavirus.
Students are also worried about placements, as some courses, including nursing, have requirements about how many hours of placement you must do before you are qualified.
The official advice from De Montfort University is that, “any student who feels uncomfortable at their workplace should contact their link tutor or placement tutor to arrange to withdraw.”
However, this raises further questions about whether these placement hours will still be valid, which is especially a concern for third years.