Universities told not to offer online learning as a "cost-cutting measure"

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has told universities that they should now be offering in person teaching, as they open for this academic year.

Talking at the Universities UK Annual Conference, Williamson said that online learning should definitely not be used as a cost-cutting measure. He said: " I do not expect to see online learning used as a cost-cutting measure. If there’s a genuine benefit to using technology, then it should be done – and Sir Michael Barber’s Digital Teaching and Learning Review sets out some of the opportunities. But that is not an excuse to not also deliver high quality face-to-face teaching."

Williamson cited the Student Academic Experience Survey, which shows that in-person teaching is now one of the top three areas singled out for improvement by students.

Williamson said: "This is something we cannot ignore. While the switch to online teaching was a necessary and vital way of keeping young people learning in as safe a way as possible, we have now moved on and students quite rightly expect that they can study in person alongside other students."

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