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QUB move all lectures online to prevent spread of coronavirus on campus

The move comes following a student testing positive for COVID-19


Queen’s University Belfast have this morning announced that all face-to-face classes are to cease this Wednesday 18th March, moving to online teaching as the University continues to develop it’s COVID-19 prevention strategy.

In a detailed and comprehensive document posted to the QUB website, the update answered all questions on how the new strategy would impact the campus community.

QUB have faced increasing pressure to switch to online teaching following similar moves made by Durham and Northumbria Universities

It said, “from Wednesday 18 March, all lecture material will now be delivered remotely and all face-to-face lectures will cease. This does not currently apply to other forms of teaching such as laboratory sessions, tutorials and seminars unless advised otherwise by specific Schools.”

Adding to this, the university said that they are still identifying “alternative modes of delivery” but that again any changes would be advised on a school by school basis.

So what does this mean for assessments? From the statement, The Belfast Tab understands that, “the current examination/assessment schedules will continue as published”. With this however, finalised arrangements are still being discussed but for now, will continue as scheduled.

The statement added that all field trips have been cancelled. QUB have stressed that students restrict their travel as much as possible, but note that students who outside of term time reside beyond Northern Ireland, and those QUB students participating in year abroad initiatives, “will suffer no academic disadvantage”.

Queen’s have encouraged all students who are concerned for their wellbeing in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, to consult with the drop-in Student Wellbeing services which are available 11am-3pm in the Student Guidance Centre.

All external events have been cancelled on campus until 30th April, including the Graduate School’s Postgraduate open day, which was scheduled to happen later in the month.

The Public Health Agency’s advice remains the same to participate in social distancing as much as possible, wash hands for at least 20 seconds, and to self-isolate for a minimum of seven days if showing any symptoms of a fever or cough. Full information can be found here: https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/

It is unknown whether Ulster University or other education institutions will be closed as part of the prevention strategy. The Northern Ireland Assembly is facing criticism over not yet closing schools, following a student from St. Dominic’s Grammar School in West Belfast, testing positive for Covid-19.

Stock image via SWNS