We asked Edi students what they think about limiting in-person teaching to 50 people

One student simply replied with the poo emoji

Earlier this week, Edinburgh Uni announced that they were capping in-person teaching at 50 people.

In practice, this will keep most lectures online and prevent a full return to “normal” uni life. Although, in-person tutorials, seminars, and some smaller lectures should (in theory) be able to go ahead.

But what do Edinburgh students think about the plans?

Nearly 3,000 students responded to a series of polls on our Instagram story and we received over 70 responses to a question box encouraging students to share their thoughts.

Here are the results:

Nearly two thirds are unhappy some teaching staying online

Out of the students who responded to our Instagram story, 64 per cent (1,277 people) said they didn’t agree with the decision to keep some teaching online.

One student replied to our story she thought it was “very unfair that we will be forced through another year of online learning!”. And then added: “Some individuals are more visual, active learners who need to separate work from home”.

However, another said they were “in the minority who preferred online teaching” and some said they thought capping in-person teaching at 50 was too still many.

Just 22 per cent are happy with how the uni have communicated plans for next year

78 per cent of students responded with “of course not” when asked: “are you happy with how Edinburgh Uni have communicated plans for next year?”.

We received several replies complaining students had “no fucking clue what’s happening” and the uni had been “p disorganised” but they weren’t “surprised in the fucking slightest”.

Some students also said, once again, their modules were delivering less in-person teaching than the uni was promising. One English Lit student said she was “frustrated that most of my modules are all online despite what the uni is saying”.

Lots compared lectures to nightclubs, festivals, and Fringe

We had dozens of responses saying it “made no sense” to keep large teaching events like lectures online when festivals and nightclubs have been able to open without restriction.

Many used personal experiences of going to festivals and being “fine”, whilst others were “confused” that “we can watch lectures online all day then fuck off to a nightclub”.

One student questioned: “Why can I go to a nightclub and snog the whole of Edinburgh but not sit in a lecture?”.

Some pointed out that the uni had hired out spaces for both the Fringe and International Festival – and one said they thought: “entertainment > education for the university”. Others said they thought the motivation for this was “£££”.

88 per cent think Edinburgh Uni should be refunding tuition fees

A staggering majority of Edi students think that the uni should be refunding tuition fees in light of some classes staying online.

One of the 88 per cent who thinks refunds should be given said the uni was “scamming ppl”. A second student told us: “we need refunds or 100 per cent in person teaching – with vaccinations there is no excuse”.

Another said: “if I wanted online uni I’d have paid 9k for a degree from the Open University not 37k here”.

Only 3 in 10 are worried about on-campus Covid transmission

70 per cent of students we asked say they are “not really” worried about Covid spreading on campus this semester.

Many of the direct replies we got from those not concerned focussed on preventative measures like masks and vaccines being given a chance to work.

Some advocated for mandatory vaccinations and tests for students to go to lectures and others said the decision to put a vaccine clinic in Pollock Halls has made them feel safer.

Even amongst the 30 per cent who are concerned, some agreed that masks and vaccines made them less worried – including one who she was “scared” but added: “if face masks are in place then I do feel safer”.

Others said they were “really uneasy about Covid transmission” rates as they currently stand and one said they agreed with the decision to limit in-person lectures because “the amount of times I caught colds from lectures is unreal”.

But one student admitted they were “shocked by how little students are worried about Covid transmission on-campus”.

Students are looking forward to uni starting but think there will be more online teaching

Lots of students told us they “cannae wait” to be back at uni and were hopeful they’d initially have more in-person teaching than last year.

But many are apprehensive about the prospect of even more online teaching later in the semester – including one who is “calling it now” that it’ll be “all online by November”. Some even thought it was “pretty sure its gonna be the same as the past year”.

Many students “just want to go to lectures” and “cba with more online” after finding the past year “isolating”.

What do you think about the decision to cap in-person teaching at 50 people? Follow us on @TheTabEdinburgh on Instagram to have your say.

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