19th March 2020

Technology Coronavirus: Six Oxford University students diagnosed

Technology Coronavirus: Six Oxford University students diagnosed

Technology

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Oxford University will use online teaching and assessment from April

Oxford University “intends to remain open until instructed otherwise”, despite six students having contracted coronavirus.

Vice-chancellor Louise Richardson said all British undergraduates should go home for the Easter break “unless they have a compelling reason to stay”.

The university, which has about 24,000 students, will use online teaching and assessment from next month.

It said all students affected by coronavirus were “recovering well”.

Prof Richardson said the university’s Medical Science Division had now cancelled all clinical teaching until further notice “to release clinical teachers to the wards”.

She said staff and students would suffer “severe disruption” but that she was “confident [the university] will be a stronger institution when it is all over”.

International students who cannot travel home for the Easter break “are welcome to remain”, while taught postgraduates are being “encouraged to stay and study in Oxford”.

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The university’s Hilary term ends on Saturday and its Trinity term is scheduled to start on 26 April.

All exams scheduled to take place over the break have been cancelled or rearranged.

“The university intends to remain open until instructed to do otherwise but we will have to develop new ways of working together,” Prof Richardson said.

“In particular, we will have to adapt to using technology for meetings, teaching and assessment in ways we have not done before.

“This will not be a smooth transition but a great many committed colleagues are working tirelessly to make it as effective as we can. We will use the Easter break to prepare for the transition to online teaching and assessment.”

All of the university’s museums and gardens will remain open “for now”.

Other staff working in services, including libraries, are working on contingency plans so services can be access digitally “should they be required to close”, Prof Richardson said.

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