Sumary of Awaiting a ‘tsunami of Covid’: UK lecturers fear students’ return:
- Dr Stephanie Coen, assistant professor in health geography at Nottingham University, is eager to get back to teaching in person.
- But she fears that with students not required to wear masks when classes start in a few weeks, squeezing them like “sardines” into her tiny room for seminars will be unsafe.
- “Some of our Covid safety material talks about respecting people’s choices.
- ”On Thursday the education secretary, Gavin Williamson, reiterated instructions for universities to give students the return to normality they want, with face-to-face teaching this autumn.
- But academics say the government has not ensured this will be safe, failing to give clear guidance that masks, social distancing and proper ventilation should be compulsory in classrooms.
- Last week, two of the government’s scientific advisers warned that freshers’ week events this month could lead to “very large spikes” in Covid cases.
- Now branches of the academics’ union are holding emergency meetings to address staff fears.
- Naomi Waltham-Smith, Warwick University: ‘Universities are hampered by a lack of firm guidance’Yesterday the Independent Sage group of scientists published a report recommending that masks should be required in class at university, rather than merely suggested, among a list of 10 safety measures.