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Durham University has scrapped plans to introduce 8am lectures

The U-turn comes after negative feedback from students, staff and the national press

Plans for the introduction of 8am lectures for Durham University students in the next academic year have been scrapped by the university, it has been announced.

Announced via an internal email, as reported in the Palatinate, the U-turn was made following negative feedback from students, staff, and the national press.

In the email, Professor Thom Brooks, Dean of Durham University Law School, informed students: “Durham’s preliminary timetable for 2018-19 included four modules in Business and Law whose lectures were to be taught at 8am.

“Both students and staff expressed concern at this possibility. We have listened and responded. Working closely with students and departments, the Student Registry explored all alternatives.

“Thanks to their hard work, I am pleased to report that there will be no 8am lectures scheduled next academic year.

“The new Teaching and Learning Centre is scheduled to open in September 2019. In addition to 400 new study spaces, it will provide additional lecture space and help relieve pressure on the timetable.”

The initial decision to introduce 8am lectures was a response to the lack of suitable lecture theatres to house the extra students arriving in the upcoming academic year, with a record amount of Law students reported to be enrolling in the next year alone, while the university has plans to have a total of 21,500 students enrolling by 2027, per their "Masterplan".

Following the initial announcement, which was met by a front-page slot in The Times and criticism from SU President Megan Croll, who said "the student experience is consistently being damaged" as a result of the University's plan to expand student numbers, the university released a statement to the Tab Durham, in which they stated that the decision to hold 8am lectures was "provisional" and "not final"

Currently, it remains to be seen how the university intend to accommodate the influx of extra students, with lectures at 6pm, Wednesday afternoons and Saturdays rumoured to be potential time-slots until adequate facilities have been constructed.