By Tara Rippin • 27 March 2021 • 11:42
Union warns call for full campus return risks safety of staff, students and the public.
UNIVERSITY and College Union (UCU) said Universities UK (UUK) was risking the safety of staff, students and the wider public with its call for a full return to campus and resumption of in-person activities for English universities
UCU was responding to UUK’s request to the UK government not to delay the final phased return for students at English universities, which is due to begin from April 12.
Jo Grady, UCU general secretary, said: “This latest call by Universities UK to push students back onto campus from April 12 smacks of self-interest and risks the safety of staff, students and the wider public.
“It comes during a global pandemic and after a year in which vice-chancellors lured students to university with the promise of a relatively normal campus experience, only for them to be left facing long periods in lockdown.
“Universities should not now be asking hundreds of thousands of students to return for in-person teaching after Easter when most courses will only have revision classes and exams left.
‘University staff are burnt out from the chaotic and unsustainable demands which the sector has placed on them this year, and we will not let universities sacrifice their well-being on the altar of short-term financial incentives.
UCU is calling for courses to be taught online until the end of the academic year wherever possible.
“It will be much safer to remain online until the start of the next academic year when many more people will have been vaccinated. Universities must work with us to protect staff and student safety,” added Grady.
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Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.
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