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JoyLouise Report 16 Oct 2020 14:20

I understand what you mean, Sharron, but people movement and spread of virus is what brought lockdown in March.

If unis had put most courses online (which some have now done anyway) they would still have got the £9000+ tuition fee from each student. Staff salaries could still have been paid but perhaps rises would have been curtailed as would the purchase of some non-essential items that some unis buy as a hedge against inflation.

By getting students through the doors into uni accommodation they have ensured spread of the virus to their own staff, both academic and non-academic and therefore to the wider public.

I think it was atrocious behaviour and I do not believe that all academics agreed with their bosses - more now since some have succumbed to the virus, no doubt.

If it had been a company moving more than two million staff around the country there would have been a lot more disquiet, government resistance and horror at such a decision.

It is such a shame that the young were used in this way, I think.


Sharron Report 16 Oct 2020 14:31

Are the young not less susceptible to the virus?


JoyLouise Report 16 Oct 2020 14:41

Supposed to be Sharron but try telling that to my pal's granddaughter who was really ill with it.

Also, the staff in student dining halls are not often young - a similar age to uni cleaners. A lot of them who do such jobs have children and the hours fit around school timetables.

I have to admit to a huge amount of dismay about the decision.


RolloTheRed Report 16 Oct 2020 14:51

The young right down to 0 are just as susceptible to picking up the covid-19 as anybody else. The difference is that in the main children do not express much in the way of synptoms. Unfortunateky they spread the virus very effectively. This was well known before children and young people returned to school/uni in September/October. Hence the fear of many teachers esp those over 55 a good chunk of whom have opted for early retirement - making staffing even more difficult.

There is no prospect of a widely available vaccine for at least a year.

Just how a half baked government with next to no expertise in anything will cope is difficult to see especially with the joys of brexit added in.


Sharron Report 16 Oct 2020 15:01

Cleaners and dining hall staff will be earning with students at uni whereas they would not otherwise be. Another of the many tiny parts of the economy that need to be taken into consideration when drafting legislation through an unprecedented time.


Andysmum Report 16 Oct 2020 16:16

My neighbour's children are both at St Andrews, starting their 3rd and 4th years respectively. Both are doing science subjects, although I don't know exactly which ones.

Both were sent home in March and have only just gone back. They have had online tuition and were doing as much work as if they were actually on campus. I asked their Mum about end of year exams (thinking of practical stuff) and she said they had done those online as well.

Both are "home birds" and think this is a great way to study - like being at school. :-)


JoyLouise Report 16 Oct 2020 16:40

I know what you mean Sharron, but it does not allay my dismay.

I still wish Boris was heeding the advice of people like Jonathan Van-Tam and John Ashton. The longer he delays the inevitable, the longer we'll be feeling the effects of his dithering and the more our critical care staff (like my niece) will feel the effects of his inadequacy.

I may add I am a swinging voter and I feel that currently, by standing up for the few, or so it seems, Andy Burnham is not helping the majority of the people in Manchester (where my niece lives and works) by his reluctance to accept the inevitable. It would be interesting to hear what Mancunians feel about their situation and whether my take is too far out as, up to now, I feel he has done a really good job.


Sharron Report 16 Oct 2020 16:57

Realistically, the dismay would be inevitable whatever action was being taken it's a bloody pandemic!

Whatever mistakes are being made, they are not making the decisions to be deliberately to the detriment of anybody.


RolloTheRed Report 16 Oct 2020 17:27

No one's trying to kill you," Clevinger cried. Then why are they shooting at me?" Yossarian asked. They're shooting at everyone," Clevinger answered. "They're trying to kill everyone."

J Heller
from Catch 22


Caroline Report 16 Oct 2020 17:44

I have to say the standard of online learning has not lower from the in person teaching...the prof are actually finding it's quicker to just tape themselves doing the lecture no interruptions leaving plenty of time for both private and "public" questions from the students...some of whom would never ask anything in front of everyone in the lecture hall. Mine are also finding the lack of travel time lovely saving 2 hours in the day if there's no delay much more if there were. They've done their exams online and there's been no mass cheating from what everyone can tell.


SylviaInCanada Report 16 Oct 2020 17:56

Universities and colleges here in BC are doing the same as those in Toronto ............

online courses for all subjects that can be taught that way, an absolute minimum of students AND others on campus.

In fact, going out to one of the university campuses near where I live last week was like going to a ghost town, literally.

In term time, that campus has so many residents living there that it counts as the 5 the largest town in BC. In a "normal" year, there are over 61,000 undergrads, plus over 10,000 graduate students. Then faculty, staff, cleaners, workmen etc. The streets are full of people rushing around, long queues at the bus stops, etc.

Last week .............. I saw about 25 people walking around in the central area during a 20 minute period at close to lunch time. No-one sitting around, coffee shop empty, take-out sushi shop with 2 people inside.

No international students unless they happened to have stayed here after March, not even from the US ................. but they are studying online. Exams given online.

All students have paid their tuition fees, and yes, some (?many) are complaining because those fees include charges for things like the Student Union fees, club costs, etc etc, ie, things that they cannot enjoy because they are not on campus. Residence fees would have been on top of tuition fess, so not paid unless they are in residence.

Elementary and secondary schools have a mix of students attending class with online available if required, the mix depending on the local School Board decisions


RolloTheRed Report 16 Oct 2020 17:57

You can learn to fly, do brain surgery and program a computer online. Then comes along day 1 of the real thing. Students who believe that future employers will buy into online degrees no hands on are kidding themselves. Employers asked to choose between desk learning and real experience will pick experience every time.

'When I think back
On all the crap I learned in high school
It's a wonder I can think at all
And though my lack of education
Hasn't hurt me none
I can read the writing on the wall
Paul Simon


JoyLouise Report 16 Oct 2020 18:32

Rollo, a slight exaggeration there. No would-be pilot or brain surgeon would expect to learn online, nor would we expect them to.


RolloTheRed Report 16 Oct 2020 20:25

Not at all airlines spend a fortune on flight simulators and pilots have to be signed off before flying the real thing with trainers on board. Flight sims are especially good for training in exceptional situations. Remember capt Sully?
Surgeons increasingly train using 3d reality systems.
in the end though day 1 of the real thing arrives.


Caroline Report 16 Oct 2020 22:21

Actually you can do computer programming online or I'm paying for my son to sit and do nothing this may not be able to programme a computer elsewhere but you can write programmes etc. As you say many jobs can be learnt to some degree online and then you have to do the really hands-on stuff....those would be the small number of students going into the Uni...or do some people know more about the uni courses than the ones actually taking them currently??


SylviaInCanada Report 16 Oct 2020 22:37

Caroline ..................

or those who HAVE taught on-line courses????????????

Let's belittle everyone while we're at it

University and Grade school teachers

University and Grade school students


Computer programmers and software developers

Language specialists

Doctors ans surgeons



All of those, and more, teach and learn by taking courses online or by simulated 3D models.


RolloTheRed Report 16 Oct 2020 22:47

I work part time teaching aspects of programming at a uni. Cos of covid I have suspended my classes.

In the context of this thread programming is very much a team effort with sophisticated systems for designing, checking in code and validating. Not something commonly done in the commercial world at a distance even though it seems an obvious candidate.

As with most professions the gap between standard teaching paradigms and everyday reality is deep and wide. Lack of access to real live teaching is essential.


maggiewinchester Report 16 Oct 2020 23:01

Please explain how "the gap between standard teaching paradigms and everyday reality is deep and wide".
And why /how "Lack of access to real live teaching is essential" ?


Linda Report 16 Oct 2020 23:34

My youngest grandson is finding it very hard to settle back in school he is seven and I think it was because he had so much time off school and in that time his mum was very I'll with the virus and off work for six months only just gone back to work but still suffering so this might be on his little mind hard times for us all


SylviaInCanada Report 17 Oct 2020 03:27

Gawd, we have a bloomin' Renaidsance Man!!

How many lives does one have to live to do everything and go everywhere??