Image Courtesy of: Marianne Martin
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Education and Student Experience featured on Radio Kent to discuss the University of Kent’s Covid-19 preparations for the coming year.
In the interview from August, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Richard Reece, was eager to project confidence and stability on the part of the University in the face of a new wave of rising cases as term begins.
Professor Reece said that staff have been planning the layout of the new year since lockdown ended.
Professor Reece assured that lectures will be delivered online, though some academic elements will be in-person including many seminars, lab and performance-based work.
He also expanded on what the living situation will be like for students living on campus.
Students living in a house together will form a ‘bubble’, meaning they can interact as much as they would like to while having limited exposure to people externally.
He also said that bars on campus will be reopening (though not Venue nightclub) and societies will not be obliged to keep all functions online, both presumably under socially-distanced conditions.
Professor Reece insisted, somewhat controversially, that there is evidence to suggest that online learning is just as effective as learning in person, and that there is no evidence of a difference in quality between online and in-person learning.
Professor Richard Reece said that students performed “incredibly well” over lockdown, however there has been little evidence published about the benefits or drawbacks of online teaching.
When asked about A-level results, The Deputy Vice Chancellor for Education said that they should not take away from the accomplishments of the students receiving them.
He also said that, despite there having been no exams, these results have helped “ease the transition” from school to university life.