University of Leeds Cancels All Physical Teaching To Combat Coronavirus

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Following the Government’s recommendation that all educational settings remain open, the University of Leeds have announced their practical steps to ensuring that staff and students are protected from the spread of COVID-19. 

With effect from 6pm on Wednesday 18th March, all physical lectures and classes for taught undergraduate and postgraduate programmes at the University of Leeds will be cancelled and delivered solely online. The University has stated that this includes seminars, laboratory and other practical lessons. Where technically possible, synchronous online interaction is to take place with students in timetabled slots. 

Updates for Final Year Undergraduate Students and Postgraduate Students

Dissertations are to be submitted and marked online. In addition, where technically possible and practical, in-course assessments will continue online. 

Examinations will be amended to be issued as open-book examinations (or replaced with alternative forms of assessment), except where closed book examinations are absolutely required for professional or accreditation purposes. In such exceptional cases, students will undertake online proctored examinations remotely. 

Updates for Undergraduate Students in their Penultimate Year:

All timetabled learning and teaching activities will be cancelled and no live online classes will take place. Instead, students will receive access to appropriate learning opportunities and content via Minerva. 

All examinations will be cancelled. All coursework assessments will be completed where technically possible and practical. Further guidance will be issued so that Examination Boards are able to formulate module marks based on the component marks available, with reference to existing policies about exceptional circumstances and special cases.

Further guidance will be issued in relation to the progression of Students but the expectation is that, unless there are specific criteria associated with accreditation requirements, all students will progress to the Final Year.

Updates for all other Undergraduate students:

All timetabled learning and teaching activities will be cancelled and no live online classes will take place. 

The University has stated that students will receive access to appropriate learning opportunities and content via Minerva. 

All examinations and in-course assessments will be cancelled. Further guidance will be issued in relation to the progression of students but the expectation is that, unless there are specific criteria associated with accreditation requirements, all students will be progressed to their next year of study. 

All open days, conferences and other major events that are scheduled to occur before Monday 27th April will be cancelled and, if possible, postponed to a later date. 

The University is now making an orderly transition so that only essential services and activities will be delivered on campus, this should be in place by 6pm on Friday 20th March. This is in line with the government’s suggestion of ‘social distancing’ since there will be minimal staff and students on site, with as many as possible enabled to work remotely. 

The University has stated that they are still assessing a complex range of issues so that they can define what is meant by ‘essential services and activities’. The list will include:

  • Protecting the health and safety of those staff and students who have to be on campus
  • Providing appropriate support to students in halls of residence and on campus, and the online delivery of academic material and other support to all our students, wherever they are
  • Maintaining the vital infrastructure of the campus- including security, communications and utilities
  • Ensuring that the University can continue to pay staff and suppliers and meet all financial obligations
  • Recruiting and eventually admitting the next cohort of students
  • Essential research and associated support activities, including research on COVID-19

The University has agreed a new approach to examination and assessment in the summer term which is explained on their coronavirus website. New arrangements have been put in place so that academic progress will be protected if assessments have to be carried out remotely. 

A helpdesk has been established for all staff and students with questions about online learning and teaching. The email is: digitaleducation@leeds.co.uk

The University will continue to review their current position and will ensure that clear guidance on the arrangements for next term will be sent out to all staff and students by email as well as on the website by Friday 17th April. 

In an email sent to all students today, the University stated:

“If you are a Tier 4 student, you may now return home to continue studying online. This will not affect your Tier 4 visa. You do not need to let us know if you are leaving unless you intend to withdraw permanently from your programme of study. Other students may also leave campus now.”