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Covid-19 and Face-to-Face Teaching 

Statement from Durham University, 11 February

A Durham University spokesperson said:

“Durham University is delivering fully face-to-face teaching and wider student experience activities as planned.

"For the first two weeks of this term only (Term 2), we implemented temporary adjustments to our teaching and learning, but continued to offer face-to-face laboratory and practical classes and small group teaching. This was agreed with the local Public Health team due to infection levels to ensure a safe return to campus following the winter break.

“In a few cases, we have some classes online because some staff have vulnerabilities or are self-isolating, and some students who have not yet been able to return from overseas.

“Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have worked to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff, students and the wider community, while also delivering the best possible educational and wider student experience.

“We have carefully taken into account a wide range of information and perspectives, including the latest Government guidelines, prevailing conditions and advice from local Public Health colleagues, always working on the basis of authoritative and informed advice and guidance.

“Any precautionary measures we have introduced have been proportionate and kept under constant review, and have allowed us to deliver more face-to-face educational and wider student experience activities than would otherwise have been the case.

“We pioneered the use of Lateral Flow Testing from autumn 2020 and the Test to Participate scheme to enable a return to face-to-face wider student experience activities in summer 2021.

“Our approach to the management of the pandemic has been validated by independent assessors, including the British Safety Council which undertook a health and safety audit and confirmed that all required measures were in place.

“We have also received much positive feedback from our students. In the latest National Student Survey we improved our ranking for teaching quality and student experience, and in the International Student Barometer student satisfaction at Durham was higher than the Russell Group average on both how the university was managing the pandemic and how it was communicating with them about it."