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Universities: Remote Education

Question for Department for Education

UIN 57336, tabled on 15 October 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate his Department has made of the number of universities that are continuing to run classes remotely, rather than returning to in-person learning.

Answered on

20 October 2021

We expect all universities to continue to deliver excellent learning, in line with guidance from the Office for Students (OfS), to provide students with a full experience. The OfS, as regulator of Higher Education in England, will be monitoring to ensure this is the case, and universities should be open about what students can expect.

As autonomous institutions, it is for HE providers to determine their own provision, taking account of government guidance. However, as we have now lifted restrictions on HE, providers should not be limiting access to face-to-face teaching based on COVID-19 controls.

Online learning should only be offered to enhance the student experience, not detract from it, by making learning more accessible for students, including those who cannot yet attend face-to-face lectures. It should not be used as a cost cutting measure.

Any policies and terms, or changes to existing policies and terms, must be clearly communicated to students. If students have concerns, they should first raise them with their HE provider. If their concerns remain unresolved, students at HE providers in England or Wales can ask the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education to consider their complaint.

Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.