University students ‘must get in-person teaching’ says Nadhim Zahawi

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UNIVERSITIES have no excuse for failing to teach students face to face, the Education Secretary has insisted.

Nadhim Zahawi says he expects students paying £9,250 a year to be taught in person despite some top institutions making lessons remote.

He said: “My expectation of universities is that they deliver face-to-face education. They need to. And if students feel they are not getting value for money they should take that up with the Office for Students.”

He said classroom teaching was being delivered “across the education system”, adding: “They are doing it in primary and secondary schools and in colleges. I expect universities to do the same thing. There are no excuses.”

The Daily Express Fair Deal for Students campaign backs calls for a return to full-time in-person lessons.

Universities UK, which represents vice-chancellors, said: “Universities are doing all they can to prioritise in-person teaching, and continue to work closely with health authorities and relevant government departments to keep students and staff safe.”

Durham University will move all lessons online in the first week of term while King’s College London advised some on-campus teaching would be virtual from Wednesday.

More than 100 institutions, including 23 of the 24 in the leading Russell Group, will offer blended learning – a mix of online and face-to-face teaching – this term.

Mr Zahawi did admit Omicron had caused “a bump in the road”.

Former teachers were also asked to help fill shortages at primary and secondary schools.

A King’s College London spokesman said: “We are teaching in person this semester, which begins on Monday January 17. As stated in our latest update to students, we are planning for in-person teaching to take place on campus from that date as originally timetabled.”

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