University students are increasingly facing overcrowded classrooms and encouraged to use online services to keep up with lectures.
Institutions in Manchester, Nottingham and Lancaster are running out of seats for people paying full tuition fees, claims The Observer. Manchester University’s solution was to give its maths students the web address to a live YouTube video and watch the lesson somewhere else. This didn’t give them the opportunity to interact with classmates or with professors to solve doubts about the topics.
An anonymous student said that she ceased attending lessons because the number of people distracted her from focusing on the topics explained. To keep pace with the lessons she used the streaming services available.
She thinks that the excessive number of students at higher education contribute to an oversight of teenagers’ mental health struggles. She struggled herself with her anxiety disorder, claiming that “It is possible that my overcrowded degree course contributed to these feelings [of loneliness and isolation]”.
A working position to control overflow live stream at an hourly rate of £9.65 was recently opened by the University of Nottingham. Overflow rooms are often used for a high number of attendees when popular individuals talk at lectures. These were made available to University of Lancaster’s students.
The universities of Nottingham, Manchester and Lancaster claimed to use these measures temporarily due to the hectic initial period of the academic year and the popularity of courses.
A physics student from King’s College claimed to be bringing his own chair to lectures on multiple occasions. Others also say to be standing at the back of the room due to the large number of people.
Another teenager from the University of Birmingham said: “I think it’s ridiculous that we pay £9250-a-year but can’t fit into a lecture theatre”.
Times Higher Education (THE) analysed UCAS figures and showed that Aston University, Coventry University and University of Surrey have increased the number of national and European students by 50% or over.
Furthermore, HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency) confirms this as the number of students enrolled in higher education has steadily increased since 2014. The total number of undergraduate and postgraduate students was over 2,380,000 during the last academic year.
This January, the University of Bristol was encouraging students to do course work at SS Great Britain, a Victorian ship and museum, because there weren’t enough library desks. The location is over a mile away from the campus and individuals were offered reduced prices at its café. As of 2019, the institution offers education to more than 25,000 people.
To cope with the overcrowding problem, various universities have announced expansion plans. For example, the University of Durham will provide new classrooms, facilities and student housing with a £350 million price tag. UCL also revealed its plan to open a new student centre and an East Campus, amongst other objectives, by 2034.
Moreover, the University of Leeds invested in the establishing of new edifices for its business and law students and teachers.
The LUBS and School of Law Expansion project consists of three phases affecting the Charles Thackrah, Newlyn and Esther Simpson buildings. The latter will cost £35 million and will be completed by autumn 2021.