19:16 GMT15 July 2020
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    The UK's leading universities are looking at ways to continue their daily responsibilities as the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the country. While Cambridge has pledged to move online, other schools have said that face-to-face classes will resume.

    The Vice-Chancellor of Oxford announced on Wednesday that the university has "every intention" of reopening face-to-face classes at the beginning of the academic year in October, as leading universities look to shift to online lecturing amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    Professor Louise Richardson said in an email that Oxford plans to resume "the life of the university next term with as large a student cohort as possible" but warned that "emerging" from the ongoing crisis "will be a slow and protracted process".

    She claimed that a group was looking into ways in which teaching could continue in line with social distancing and safety measures upon starting the Michaelmas term on 1 October, looking for "representation and expertise from colleges and departments".

    "In many ways universities, and especially this one, have come into their own during this crisis", she said.
    "There is also a growing appreciation of the critical importance of our research. It turns out that people cannot get enough of experts, after all".

    Oxford University, which is one of the UK's oldest educational institutions, has been conducting lectures and assessments online since April and has cancelled May and August graduation ceremonies.

    The news comes as Cambridge University announced last week that it plans to conduct all but some small classes and lectures entirely online throughout the course of the next academic year which ends in summer 2021.

    Manchester and Stirling Universities have said that the fall term will see online classes continue.

    The United Kingdom introduced lockdown measures in March in order to enforce social-distancing guidelines to help combat the coronavirus pandemic. 

    Initially, the public was only permitted to leave the house for an hour of daily exercise and essential shopping. Early in May, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that exercise time would be unlimited and people would be allowed to see one other person from another household provided social distancing guidelines were followed.

    As of Wednesday, 265,000 people are confirmed to have been afflicted with the disease in the UK and 37,048 have died.

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    coronavirus, COVID-19, Education, Cambridge University, Oxford University
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