Ulster University move to online teaching in fight against COVID-19
The Department of Education still faces criticism for not closing schools
Ulster University has this evening announced that classes are to be suspended as of this Wednesday (18th March) as part of their developmental strategy in combatting the spread of coronavirus.
The move comes following intense criticism for institutions to close to maintain public security, following moves made last week by Republic of Ireland Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar
In a statement which was released on the UU website, the University noted that, “lectures will be suspended and material will be made available online over the remainder of the semester”.
Adding to this, Ulster University said that a, “transition phase’ would be implemented in terms of other mediums of learning in the form of laboratories and seminars. From this, students were encouraged to regularly check their student portal and Blackboard to keep updated with any announcements from course coordinators.
The statement continued, noting how whilst the library will remain open as a flexible working space for students, they should remain vigilant with checking their student portal for updates on the library, given the, “rapidly changing situation”.
The moves comes as Northern Ireland now has 52 confirmed cases and when Russell Group member Queen’s University, also announced similar moves this morning.
The statement added that, “assessments may need to be adjusted in the light of these and other changes”. However, the statement confirmed that, “priority will be given to our final year students to ensure that their award decisions are not delayed”.
Building on this, UU acknowledged that many international students may wish to return to their home, and if this is the case, should “feel free to do so”.
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 fourteen days if showing any symptoms of a fever or cough. Full information can be found here: https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/
The full statement can be found here;
Images used: SWNS and Belfast Media Group