King’s College London drops online-only classes after student uprising

In an email to students, seen by The Telegraph, the university said: ‘We are committed to providing a level of in-person contact time on your course of study consistent with that approved before the pandemic.

“We expect all students to be present on campus for in-person instruction, this will include lectures, seminars, tutorials, labs, skills sessions, practical sessions and group work.

“Technology and digital content will be used to enhance, but not replace, in-person instruction.”

Three-quarters of universities – 111 out of 146 – are still teaching parts of their courses online despite all Covid rules being lifted, including all other Russell Group institutions, surveys for this newspaper have estimated. Many have not defined their plans for the fall.

But Keep It Real KCL got the change, which was announced to students last week after he presented Professor Adam Fagan, the university’s vice president for education, with a KCL student union survey of 1,700 students who saw 75% vote for the in-person teacher instead of online.

Students accuse universities of hypocrisy

The group also launched a petition, with 350 signatures, accusing universities of hypocrisy by “advertising in-person freshman fairs, midweek sporting events and nightclubs, while keeping our lectures and number of our online seminars”.

Joseph Wiltshire, 22, who led the campaign, told The Telegraph: ‘We certainly see this as a victory, we initially started the campaign wanting in-person teaching and seminars but quickly realized that the lectures online were going to be prevalent – ​​they were too easy for universities.

“So the new focus has become to get back to pre-pandemic levels of education. We did it, we were in constant discussion for months and months and showed them that students wanted it, we proved the benefits both socially and mentally.

The second-year history student said he and his peers felt ‘dissociated’ during online classes, which cannot replace ‘the atmosphere and buzz of a lecture hall, full of students sharing the same ideas”. He added: ‘It feels like being in a student hostel watching Ted’s online chats.’

This raised hopes that other universities would follow suit. Michelle Donelan, the universities minister, is stepping up the crackdown on digital-only education, accusing universities of “letting students down” by putting them on a “second path to the rest of society”.

Parents fear sixth graders across the country will be misled by college marketing materials.

Complaints to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) rose 6% last year, with many students citing “lack of access to labs, cancellation or modification of projects, traineeships and study opportunities abroad,” said the ombudsman.

A King’s College London spokesperson said: ‘Supporting our students is our top priority, as it has been over the past two difficult years.’

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