Over 1300 students have signed a petition pleading for Newcastle University to cancel all classroom-based teaching amid the Coronavirus outbreak.
The petition was created by final year student Alice Galatola andhas already amassed great online traction despite being live for less than 48 hours.
The petition highlights concerns that “Newcastle University has a total population of circa 32,000 students and staff, moving to and from a city-centre campus covering an area of approximately 1 square kilometre in area, daily.” It states that there is consequently a “disproportionate and unacceptable risk to teaching, professional services and estates colleagues who are in close contact daily with high numbers of students in lecture theatres, offices and halls. We also note that the decision to maintain face-to-face teaching provision priorities university income over the health of staff, students and their loved ones, including those in high-risk categories. We note that staff are particularly vulnerable in these circumstances.”
Over half of Russell Group universities have announced that lectures and seminars will be suspended for the foreseeable future in favour of online and distance learning, but so far Newcastle University has expressed its intent to continue teaching on campus. The University has announced that it will be sending updates to all students at 4pm each day while its develops mitigation measures in case teaching does have to be moved online.
UPDATE (16 March): classroom-based teaching to be suspended at Newcastle
Last modified: 26th May 2020