University of Birmingham confirms year abroads may not go ahead

Travel abroad is unlikely for the first semester

The University of Birmingham have given students the option to defer or cancel their scheduled year abroad.

A spokesperson from the University told the Birmingham Tab that travel abroad is unlikely for the first semester.

Some students have already decided to postpone or cancel their year abroad completely.

In an email sent to students this week from Vice-Chancellor Professor Robin Mason, students have been told that they have until the 5th June to tell the university their study arrangements for next year.

For the purpose of the email, degree programmes requiring international study were classified as Set A and can be continued or deferred. Whereas all other degrees not requiring a year abroad to graduate can either be continued, inverted, cancelled or deferred. The invert option gives students the option to complete their final year of study abroad.

Email sent to future year abroad students

Speaking to a spokesperson from the University they told the Birmingham Tab “Study abroad in 2020/21 remains highly uncertain due to reasons outside of our control and the latest FCO guidance advises British nationals against all non-essential international travel for an indefinite period.”

They continued “We are working on the basis that overseas travel to study at a partner institution is unlikely to be available for semester one in 2020-21 for many of our students and have therefore set out a range of options for students, including an opportunity where available to study online at a partner institution until physical travel and study abroad becomes possible; or to delay their study abroad placement to the next academic year.”

San Francisco State University a partner university with UOB, has already confirmed virtual teaching for next semester. Lynn Mahoney, President of the San Francisco State University in California, released a statement commenting “I have made the very hard decision to continue with predominantly remote instruction through the fall semester.”

She continued “Like all CSU campuses, we are planning for a semester that will be primarily virtual. While San Francisco’s mitigation efforts have been successful to date, COVID-19 will be with us for many months. Public health officials have urged us all to continue to be vigilant.”