Half a bus and a thirteenth of Hive: How many people can fit in an Edi in-person class?

Edinburgh Uni have introduced a cap on in-person teaching of 50 students but what does this actually look like?

After the announcement that Edinburgh Uni will be capping in-person teaching this semester at 50 people, you might be wondering what this will look like in practice.

It’s hard to visualise what 50 people will look like, especially as lots of us haven’t been in large crowds for nearly 18 months.

So, here’s a rundown of the amount of people allowed into other spaces around Edi your might be more familiar with. And how they stack up against the numbers now allowed for in-person teaching.

PS: each of the following examples are all legally allowed to open at full capacity after the relaxation of Covid-19 rules on 9th August. 

1. One person more than Ting Thai when full

An Edinburgh Uni institution, the Thai restaurant on Teviot Place sits exactly 49 people.

You might not be able to come here for lunch during those annoying two hour gaps in your timetable between lectures anymore.

But, at least you can Deliveroo yourself your fave Thai dishes and eat them at the desk in your room to recreate that authentic yah lunchtime experience from the comfort of your own home.

2. Half a Lothian bus

The seated capacity of a Lothian bus is 100 people – and 131 once you account for standing.

This should be a familiar example for commuting students as your regular means of getting to campus.

But in September, you’ll be stepping off your bus (where you’ve been sat with 99 other people) to go watch your online lecture in the lib.

3. A fifth of the Festival venue on the Old College lawn

When it was announced earlier this year that the Old College quad would be hosting events for the Edinburgh International Festival before in-person graduations were confirmed, one Edifess described it as: “the biggest, most blatant, fuck you to students”.

I wonder what the person who wrote it would think now that in-person teaching is being capped at a just over a fifth of the 230 person capacity of the Festival venue in Old College.

4. A sixth of the courtyard at Pear Tree

Directly opposite Appleton Tower and the rest of George Square, the Pear Tree courtyard sits 300 people.

I could definitely think of worse ideas than holding some of the larger first year lectures here…

5. An eighth of the inside space at Three Sisters

With a combined total capacity of 380, the inside space at Three Sisters on Cowgate fits nearly eight times more than the 50 student cap for in-person teaching.

But let’s look on the (Mr) Brightside of things, at least you can head to the Cowgate pub to unwind after a long day of Zoom uni.

6. A tenth of the Gordon Aikman Lecture Theatre

Gordon Aikman is the biggest lecture theatre on-campus and it holds a staggering 481 people.

This means in September, just over a tenth of the seats in it will be filled.

However, this is probably still more full than a normal Week Seven lecture in a pre-honours module held at 9am. Or, to be exact, 46 more people than once turned up to this second year history lecture.

7. One thirteenth of Hive

The sticky-floored student fave on Niddry Street holds 650 people – exactly 13 times the amount of people who will be allowed in an in-person class at Edinburgh Uni.

Because what screams 2021 more than heading to Trash Tuesday with 649 other people, then rolling out of bed the next morning to sit at your desk and watch some narrated PowerPoint slides because an in-person lecture is too much of a Covid risk.

8. Five per cent of the Potterrow Dome

I don’t know about you, but I was far more excited at the thought of Big Cheese coming back than I was at the thought of in-person lectures.

It’s a good job then that the Potterrow Dome holds 1000 people.

This is exactly 20 times the number of people that will be allowed in an in-person class.

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