The University of Cambridge is planning to keep lectures online for the entire 2020-2021 academic year due to the coronavirus, becoming the first globally-known university to announce plans beyond only the fall term.
According to a story in The Guardian newspaper, a university spokesman said: “Given that it is likely that social distancing will continue to be required, the university has decided there will be no face-to-face lectures during the next academic year.”
The university said that while lectures would continue virtually until summer 2021, smaller, in-person teaching groups may take place if it “conforms to social-distancing requirements.”
In March, Cambridge pivoted from in-person classes to online, and exams are being taken virtually.
The higher education sector globally is currently weighing concerns over the safety of students and faculty should campuses reopen this fall against substantial financial losses should doors remain shut.
Already, enrollments are expected to decline, with a drop in international student numbers in particular a concern for UK higher education institutions.
In recent years, the number of students from China enrolled at UK universities had increased significantly, creating a considerable revenue stream as international students pay higher tuition fees than domestic students.
In contrast, the University of Notre Dame in Indiana announced Monday it would welcome students back to campus on August 10, two weeks earlier than originally planned.
In addition, the university cancelled fall break and will end the semester before Thanksgiving, in late November.