World

UK’s Cambridge University to hold all lectures online next year

LONDON: Britain's Cambridge University yesterday became one of the first in the world to announce that all its lectures would be delivered online over the next academic year because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The university, which shut its campuses to students in March after the British government introduced a strict lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19, said teaching would be delivered virtually until summer 2021, although it was possible some smaller teaching groups might be able to occur in person.

"Given that it is likely that social distancing will continue to be required, the university has decided there will be no face-to-face lectures during the next academic year," the university said in a statement.

It said the decision could be reviewed depending on official guidance on the virus.

"We must all be realistic ... about the worldwide challenges posed by the pandemic,"Cambridge's vice-chancellor Stephen Toope said last week.

"University life here, as everywhere, will need to adapt."

A spokesman for Universities UK said the Cambridge announcement appeared to be the first in Britain to apply to the whole year.

Britain's official coronavirus death toll is at least 41,000, according to a statistical update released on Tuesday.

In a separate development, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said yesterday that a programme to track and trace those suspected of having been in contact with people who have tested positive for Covid-19 would be in place by June 1.

He said the government would have recruited 25,000 trackers by the start of next month, capable of tracing 10,000 new cases a day, when the overall number of daily tests would have reached 200,000.

"We have growing confidence that we will have a test, track and test operation that will be world-beating and yes it will be in place by June 1," he told Parliament. - REUTERS

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