UCL students demand referendum on online learning in call for more face-to-face teaching

The petition reached the needed signatures in just six days


A new petition in favour of increased face-to-face teaching has rapidly gained traction amongst UCL students.

In only six days, more than 300 students have expressed dissatisfaction with UCL’s proposed approach to learning for the academic year of 2021/2022.

The demand for more emphasis on face-to-face teaching has garnered enough support to mandate a university-wide referendum on online learning.

Despite easing restrictions, UCL announced plans to continue offering online learning alongside limited in-person teaching earlier this year.

However, according to petitioners, education that is based predominantly on pre-recorded lectures does not justify current tuition fees. Whilst students acknowledge the benefits of online learning, many also feel their requests for increased face-to-face lectures have largely gone ignored by institutions of higher education.

Members of the UCL student body are now demanding that “the best of both worlds” be achieved through the combination of more in-person lectures as well as the distribution of high-quality Lecturecasts.

Creators of the petition told The London Tab that, above all, the petition aims to promote inclusivity and offer students a choice. They said: “We want a solution that benefits as many UCL students as possible. Students who benefit more from in-person teaching can attend in-person lectures, whilst those who prefer watching lectures online can continue doing so.

“On a broader scope, we also hope UCL students can use this opportunity to voice their opinion and have their voices heard.”

Having met the required threshold, the petition will be sent to UCL Students’ Union later this week, which will mandate a university-wide referendum on the topic of online learning.

To sign the petition, click here.

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