University of Leeds reveals it is staying online

When Bojo announced that students will return to University back in March after a long year of online classes, we’d presume things would return to normal (except for a few certain things). However, the University of Leeds has decided to permanently move lectures (for certain subjects) online. Here’s everything you need to know about this decision and how it has affected students.

Lectures moved online

Leeds online lectures
Source: Leeds Live

On 27th April 2021, students were due to return to Leeds University following their Easter holiday break. However, the University released a statement on their website which confirmed that physical classes that contain over 100 students will be cancelled and will take place online.

The announcement also notified first-year students that all exams will take place online and these exams are expected to be 2-3  hours long and to be submitted within 48 hours. The University of Leeds also mentioned a ‘hybrid approach’ would see students also having face to face sessions with their tutors and professors each week.

The Reaction from Students

The students of the University have not taken this announcement well (as expected) and have started a petition, addressed to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor, demanding a complete return to face-to-face teaching and lectures. The petition argues that “the online approach is unacceptable, considering the expectations of the university is at a high standard”.

Petition organiser Will Huddie said that “the benefits of in-person teaching are invaluable and we’re not being asked what we want and I’m really angry about it”. A lot of students have also expressed their concerns with not being able to interact with one another (losing the social aspect of learning) and not having the university experience they expected. One student had even commented on their disappointment saying that “I can go to Leeds fest next year but not to my lectures? This is utter bull.”

There is a growing concern over the financial cost, with many students not wanting to pay for accommodation and the university if it is online. We spoke to third-year international student Ethan Zhu who moved from Vietnam in 2019 to study Business. He said that he had little guidance on what to do when it came to accommodation and ending up paying in full for his last year.

“We were told that everything would go back to semi-normal and they can do everything in person. If I had known that, I would have never paid in full.”  The petition received over 2500 votes.

The Outcome

The University are yet to comment on the petition and have not yet made any changes to their decision. A spokesman from UoL has however said that “Health, Safety and well-being is our top priority and we will continue to review our plans and implement any changes”. For now, lectures and exams for some students will remain online and if any changes are made they will be notified as soon as possible (fingers crossed!).

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