BREAKING: Warwick to scrap social distancing in teaching spaces in Term two

This means a return to in-person lectures

The University of Warwick has announced it is scrapping the 1.5m social distancing restriction in teaching spaces in Term two, meaning a return to in-person lectures for many.

The announcement was made this evening via an email sent out by the Student Communications Team, who explained: “It means there is the opportunity for more face-to-face learning and interaction, which will be valued by many of you”.

Whilst they stated that the change in social distancing restrictions will vary at an individual level according to academic departments, years of study and module choices, they are “confident this relaxation of restrictions will allow more larger group teaching to take place face to face.”

The announcement follows efforts by the uni to review the blended learning experience adopted for Term one “using the latest data and guidance”, incorporating student feedback from an SU survey. From this, they found “a majority of students would value more face-to-face learning and interaction”.

The email also noted the positive progress of student vaccinations, as 84 per cent of students are double-vaccinated, and explained that making the change to restrictions in Term two would “allow a little more time for the uptake of the second vaccinations”, as this is projected to rise to 97 per cent by the end of November.

The announcement has been praised by Put Warwick Students First, a campaign group who petitioned Warwick for in-person teaching. The group released the following statement: “We see this announcement as a huge step in the right direction. Students may finally be allowed to use the lecture halls they spend so much money on.

“Whilst, we are of course pleased with the announcement, we do think that some work needs to be done. We will continue campaigning for Universal Lecture Capture, to allow lectures to be as accessible as possible.

“We will also carry on campaigning for in-person lectures for all students. We are concerned by the lack of commitment in the university’s statement – with the university only stating that it is likely that there will be ‘reductions in the amount of online delivery’; while also committing itself to blended learning and ‘certain types of online delivery’.”