Strathclyde departments cancel face-to-face teaching in lecturer-driven move

By Steven Mair

Teaching departments have cancelled face-to-face contact at the University of Strathclyde from next week due to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

An announcement was made from the University on Sunday morning.

But the Strathclyde Telegraph can reveal that the move is NOT driven by university senior management.

Rather, department heads and lecturers disappointed by the lack of action so far have made the call.

We revealed on Saturday morning that there was a disconnect between the University’s “open as normal” stance and sympathetic emails from lecturers urging worried students to stay away from classes – or taking matters into their own hands and jumping the gun on today’s coordinated announcement.

Now those same lecturers have banded together to minimise the risk to themselves and to their students.

The University webpage on Coronavirus before the announcement, despite many classes already closing off contact hours

And staff on perilous contracts are reportedly worried regarding whether they will be paid for classes that are shifted online.

A source in proximity to the decision-making process told the Strathclyde Telegraph: “It’s infuriating for us too.

“This is being driven by lecturers up…it’s not a directive from the executive team.

“If the class is cancelled, we aren’t sure if staff on zero-hour contracts will get paid. They haven’t replied at all on that point.”

Another lecturer told that the delay in announcing the cancellation of face-to-face contact has come from the university preparing software to take classes online, and that staff doubt they will be paid extra for the time-consuming task of transferring learning materials onto the new system.

All other universities in Glasgow and the West of Scotland have already cancelled contact hours and are in the process of shifting learning online.

There are now 31 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Greater Glasgow and Clyde.