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Colleges plan return to face-to-face lessons for all students

PUBLISHED: 09:05 19 July 2020 | UPDATED: 09:05 19 July 2020

City College Norwich and Norwich University of Arts. Picture: CCN/Owen Richards

City College Norwich and Norwich University of Arts. Picture: CCN/Owen Richards

Archant

Two of the biggest higher education colleges in Norfolk plan to resume face-to-face learning for students from September.

Students in practical workshop at Norwich University of the Arts. Picture: Owen RichardsStudents in practical workshop at Norwich University of the Arts. Picture: Owen Richards

Norwich University of the Arts (NUA) and City College Norwich both said they were putting place measures to allow lectures and workshops to resume at the start of next term.

Degree students and higher education vocational learners have been studying remotely with teaching switching online with campuses closed since the coronavirus lockdown.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson has said colleges and universities should reopen by September.

City College Norwich painting and decorating course students. Picture: David KirkhamCity College Norwich painting and decorating course students. Picture: David Kirkham

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Both NUA and City College Norwich offer courses that involve practical work that make solely online learning difficult.

With almost 2,500 students NUA courses include fashion, textile design, interior design, photography and acting.

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Professor John Last, vice-chancellor, said the university had done everything it could to reduce the risk to students and staff while maintaining our academic standards.

“When students return to the campus in September they will find a blend of studio and workshop experience - adapted to public health advice - and online teaching,” he said.

“This approach reflects the future of work: the quick and seamless switching between remote and in-studio modes of working that we increasingly see in the creative industries.

Visual effects students at Norwich University of the Arts. Picture: Owen RichardsVisual effects students at Norwich University of the Arts. Picture: Owen Richards

“Such rapid evolution is also costly when undertaken in such a short time-frame, but we consider this an essential investment in their future.”

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Jerry White, deputy principal at City College Norwich, which has over 11,000 students, including around 1,000 on higher education courses and 1,500 learners on apprenticeships, said courses in areas like construction and engineering had small groups.

He said: “We are absorbing the latest set of guidance for reopening in September but we have already got well developed plans for our higher education where we are going to be able to deliver some face-to-face tuition mainly because we have small groups for all our courses. We don’t have a group bigger than about 24 on any of our degree courses.

“We are able to say with confidence that we will be able to deliver some face-to-face tuition but we will probably supplement that with some continued online learning.

“But I know that students are confident about coming back and engaging in person we hope from the beginning of next term unless something changes in the next few weeks.”


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