QUB announces online teaching for the next academic year

So far it’s only for students studying English

Queen’s University Belfast has announced that remote learning will be facilitated within the School of English for the beginning of the next academic year.

The move comes as part of the campus long term strategy in eliminating coronavirus from campus, following the national lockdown which has seen student’s test positive on campus, as well as the closure of campus and virtual graduations scheduled too.

In an email to students and prospective students within the School of Arts, English and Languages, Professor Moyra Haslett said that it was looking likely that semester one would be taught ‘entirely online’, stressing however that whilst plans are being made, these are provisional for now.

Professor Haslett added that ‘effective teaching’ would still be possible through a number of mediums. She said that Discussion boards and online lectures would be the main way of facilitating this.

Adding to this, in an email to students from David Grant, a Senior Lecturer in Drama at QUB said that the university is making ‘every effort to minimise the impact of any continuing restrictions on your learning’.

With this some modules for Drama Students which require face-to-face teaching are being moved to Semester 2 in Spring, to ensure that they can go ahead successfully.

Humanities subjects are the first to be moved online, with more faculties expected to follow suit

Criticising the move, Robert Murtagh, president of NUS-USI, said students needed more information about how they would be taught.

He said that ‘incoming students are concerned about what they’re going into next year… we want decisions to be right with reflection that quality isn’t going to be the same’.

However, some students are not happy with the move, particularly as there are no reassurances of wavered tuition fees.

Speaking to The Belfast Tab, 2nd year English Literature and Drama Student Ethan Kenny said, ‘this year has been disturbed frequently and I feel like I’ve missed out on almost a full semester of teaching’.

He added, ‘I’m questioning the ‘value for money’ of going to university as I have paid to sit at home and scroll through Canvas’.

QUB will be making the move following the same decision from a number of other universities, including Cambridge University.