Leeds nightlife is back, but so is online learning

Nothing better than meeting coursemates at a bar instead of in Roger Stevens

We have come to the end of a truly liberating summer of festivals, staycations and the reopening of Britain’s nightlife; the world is slowly going back to normal after what has felt like a century of continuous lockdowns.

However, as students transition from festival season back to academic it seems like we are regressing back into the depths of the pandemic.

Festival season was a blast

Freshers’ week is well and truly underway, and Leeds has confirmed that although seminars and tutorials will remain in-person, lectures and exams will be online.

Students therefore face yet another year of technical difficulties, pre-recorded content and consequently, little self-motivation, all in an effort to still scrape a decent degree.

Although it is clear that the university believes these distanced measures are still necessary, students are left frustrated with the lack of communication.

Sophie, a final year Spanish and History student, told The Leeds Tab: “Leeds have not provided a valid reason for this, or tried to help students understand the benefits, especially as the majority do not agree with it, and even made a petition demanding in-person teaching.”

The petition she refers to has received nearly 5000 signatures on change.org, emphasising that the university should be prioritising a return to normality over blended teaching.

Online learning is also much easier for some courses than others. Coco Chernel, an environmental science student, told The Leeds Tab: “A large part of my course was meant to be field work but due to the measures Leeds have put in place, we won’t have that opportunity.

“My main concern is finishing my degree and being ill-prepared for the industry I want to enter. It appears that Leeds has made little effort to try and compensate for this over the next year.”

Leeds students enjoying a night out

This situation is also exacerbated by the fact that the Leeds party scene is once again in full bloom meaning whilst your lectures are online your social life at the very least, is definitely in person.

Leeds clubs and societies are holding all of their regular events; Mischief has returned with a menace to celebrate the notorious winning Wednesdays for all sports and The Leeds Union events page announces that Fruity will be back in full swing.

If that’s not enough, a brand new club night called Shuffle has launched in the middle of campus, and the Freshers’ Fair is bustling with those eager to find their calling under the very same roof of the Student Union, stalls, sign-ups and merch galore.

All of this leads to the conclusion that you’re more likely to meet your course-mate ordering a round of jägerbombs at the bar than you are in a lecture theatre.

Students are on the dance-floor, but they can’t get to Roger Stevens Lecture Theatre 4?

Of course when Coronavirus first plagued the world the overwhelmingly online aspect of our learning could not be avoided. However, it becomes increasingly difficult to accept the extensive lack of in-person teaching, especially when there is no financial compensation.

Surely if the Leeds Party Scene can return to normal under government guidelines, education should follow suit?

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