The interim Vice Provost (Education) has told Felix that students should not expect a reduction in fees in response to changes in education delivery. VP Emma McCoy has said that the enforced change to teaching method has been a significant driver of innovation and she believed that teaching would be better now than it had been in previous years.
In an interview McCoy said that academics had been working to make sure that “the teaching [is] of the same calibre that you would expect for any Imperial programme”.
Students complaining that their fees are being spent on a ‘streaming subscription’ will be disappointed to hear that the College has no plan to offer reductions in tuition fees.
The interim VP (Education), a statistics lecturer, explained that in the past the College had been ‘outdated’, by being overly focused on lecture-based teaching and that the COVID enforced change was merely “an acceleration” of a trend that was already occurring.
She pointed out that given much of the information conveyed to students over the course of a degree was available on the internet it was more important that academics worked with students to help them learn to apply their new knowledge.
When pressed on how distance, multi-mode, learning would teach students the same practical skills that in person teaching would, she gave the examples of the Lab in a Box parcels and having students wear cam-eras during practicals.
The Lab in a Box parcels have been mailed to students unable attend in-person practicals and contain equipment intended to allow students to simulate some parts of a practical experiment in order to gain vital skills.
McCoy insisted that all learning objectives would be met despite these changes as a result of the major investments that had been made over the summer.
While some departments have told students that they must return to campus in January, others intend to offer fully online courses beyond that.