In an email sent today by LSE Director Minouche Shafik to staff and students, LSE announced that it will be delivering the majority of its teaching in-person, combined with online lectures, and set out plans for returning international students.
According to the email, LSE expects all students to be on campus from the start of term on 27 September. All compulsory teaching and learning will be carried out in-person, without mandated social distancing in classrooms. This includes “seminars, tutorials, workshops, classes, and Harvard-style teaching sessions”. Students and staff should also be able to meet on campus for office hours, academic mentoring sessions, and dissertation supervisions.
However, lectures will largely continue to be delivered online, with only a small number taking place in-person, to reduce community transmission. All lectures, synchronous or not, will be recorded and posted to Moodle. Shafik states:
“This approach towards lectures means that, should we need to reintroduce social distancing measures, we would be able to continue providing face-to-face class and seminar teaching for a much larger number of courses in-person on campus. This will also enable us to use these spaces for community building and networking activities, as well as peer and faculty engagement, while these measures are not in place.”
Shafik did not rule out extending current measures that ensure a “low-risk environment” on campus, such as mask-wearing in classrooms and lifts and negative testing requirements to enter LSE buildings. The School also plans to offer vaccination on-campus via the St. Philips Medical Centre.
Regarding support for students arriving from overseas, whilst LSE cannot provide managed quarantine accommodation, the School will be introducing Day 2 and Day 8 testing. For those who cannot join on campus for the start of term, they will be able to access hybrid teaching. Shafik states:
“We expect that some students may not be able to arrive for the start of term, due to circumstances beyond their control, such as visa issues or local COVID challenges. We will aim to offer hybrid teaching to support these students in these early weeks. Students who are delayed must enrol by 22 October.”