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Breaking: Cambridge announces that it will reopen ‘to all students’ next academic year with term dates unchanged

An email sent out today outlined a seven-point plan on how the university will run in Michaelmas term

The University of Cambridge has confirmed that students are expected to return to Cambridge in time for the start of Michaelmas term on the 6th October, in a statement sent out to students today. 

It has also been confirmed that the University will operate with a blend of in-person and online teaching: “Where possible, teaching by seminars, practicals, and supervisions will be delivered in person, and it may even be possible for lectures to smaller groups to be given on this basis. In any case, all lectures will be recorded and made available online.” 

Moreover, students will have access to research laboratories, libraries, museums and other facilities, subject to social-distancing restrictions.

The University has promised to adapt this blended approach dependent on Government guidelines, stating: “If large-scale lecturing in person becomes permissible, the university will reintroduce it as soon as possible.”

The email also stated that colleges were not only thinking about academic plans, but also those for “welfare, social and extra-curricular activities”. Plans are being made for college life to continue, with as many students as possible will be accommodated within their own colleges. Students can expect more detailed guidance about returning to Cambridge and the practicalities of student life in the autumn. 

Meanwhile, the Student Counselling Service, Disability Resource Centre, Careers Service and support for mature students, student parents and care leavers will continue to be provided, with services either in-person or via face-to-face technology. 

The University has also confirmed it will accommodate the needs of any students who, for individual reasons, cannot attend any in-person teaching.

This comes as a relief to current students and offer-holders, as this marks the most concrete statement made by the university since the start of the pandemic that Michaelmas term will go ahead in October, with all students in residence. 

Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor Graham Virgo, however, does warn that “where official guidance or concerns for the health of students and staff demand it, we will review our approach”.

Students are told to expect further information from the University by the end of July, confirming any course-specific changes intended to be made. “Any such changes will be notified to current and prospective students through our established processes for making changes to our courses as set out in our Terms of Admission for undergraduate students and applicable contractual terms for postgraduate students.” 

Feature image credit to Ella Fogg