St Andrews unveils plans for socially distanced Freshers’ Week

online learning will only be used as a back-up

coronavirus covid covid-19 freshers Freshers Week online september st Andrews teaching

Freshers’ will be socially distanced and some events will be online, the University has confirmed.

Teaching in September “will be a blend of traditional, in-person classes, pre-recorded content and live, interactive online provision” and online classes will only be used “as back-up support for those students who require it”.

Teaching will begin from 14 September, but Halls of Residence will be open from 24 August and Freshers’ will take place from 7 September.

In an email to students this morning, Principal Mapstone laid out the University’s plans for teaching in September.

While face-to-face teaching will resume wherever possible, the University has decided that  larger lectures “will be delivered only online while public health restrictions remain in place”. They have also said that “in-person classes will take place under physical distancing regimens”.

However, its good news if you don’t fancy getting out of bed for your 9 am because all online classes will be recorded and made available to access remotely.

This “dual mode delivery” will only be used “for as long as is necessary” and will act “as a stepping stone towards a comprehensive return to the traditional approaches to learning and teaching” in St Andrews. Principal Mapstone stressed that “all students can expect the same high level of teaching quality, academic attention, and support, whether online or in person”.

When it comes to Freshers’ Week, the “unique and creative events” that will make up Freshers’ 2020 will be available both online and in St Andrews. They will include “socially-distanced society events” and “online showcases for student talent”.

For those in Halls next year, they will be “open as normal” and everyone will have their own room. Also, for those in Halls who need to quarantine as per government requirements, the University “will provide your accommodation free of charge for the quarantine period from 24 August”.

Principal Mapstone said the University “will be in lock-step with the Scottish Government’s programme for exiting lockdown” to ensure the continued safety of both students and St Andrews residents. The approach of the University is “founded on a vision of St Andrews as safe, supportive and Scottish, where people come first”.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

St Andrews is officially the best uni in Scotland and third in the UK

• Over 2,200 sign open letter to St Andrews Principal demanding action over diversity policies

• St Andrews student gets over 43,000 to back school curriculum change