QMUL ignores government advice and ‘welcomes’ students return to campus immediately
They are the first London University not to adhere to government guidelines and to stagger the return to campus
Bosses at Queen Mary University of London have decided not to change their teaching policy for Term Two and plan to encourage students back despite government guidance not to, The Tab can reveal.
According to QMUL officials, this is due to the exam period, to allow all students access to campus facilities as and when they need them – despite the fact that there are 5,861 patients hospitalised across London with Covid.
Students will be asked to take lateral flow tests to detect coronavirus upon their return to campus.
QMUL has said to students:
“Our campuses continue to remain fully open, and you are very welcome to come onto our campuses to use the study space and other support facilities if you need to.”
Not only are they opening libraries and essential areas but they have also designated catering spaces as “study spaces” allowing students to eat and drink on campus, which is a concern for students, one telling us “It seems to conflict with government guidelines considering they called for restaurants, bars and pubs to shut. Why should we be allowed to eat on campus?”.
Prof Colin Bailey, President of Queen Mary wrote out to staff stating:
“You may have seen media reports following the Government’s announcement saying that universities have been asked to start teaching online for most subject areas and to encourage a staggered return of students who have travelled away from our campuses over the Christmas period.
The Government will review its instruction to universities, in terms of online teaching, during the week commencing 18 January.
Queen Mary University Staff Emails pic.twitter.com/ODOFxrmhXd
— Emily Shead (@emilyhshead) January 4, 2021
Owing to our university calendar, and our planned examination period until 22 January, with teaching starting from 25 January, I do not think this announcement affects our current plans or operations too much. We have heard from Government that university campuses should remain open, including libraries and study spaces, and that all students who need to use study spaces on campus, or wider support facilities, can continue to do so.
Students studying medicine, dentistry and other clinical subjects can start in-person on-campus teaching as planned. Also, any subject that requires face-to-face on-campus examinations or mandatory activity for professional accreditation can continue as planned.”
A spokesperson from Queen Mary University of London said:
“Owing to Queen Mary’s calendar, and our planned examination period until 22 January, with teaching starting from 25 January, the Government’s announcements regarding a staggered return of students up to 25 January do not affect our plans. Our campuses continue to remain fully open, and students who need to use our study space or other facilities are welcome to come onto our campuses to do so.”