Phil Syrpis Profile picture
22 Feb, 9 tweets, 2 min read
The Govt has published its COVID-19 Response today.

It says precious little about higher education. In fact, it is all in para 90. 1/…
For those Higher Education students that do not need to take part in practical teaching... the Government will review, by the end of the Easter holidays, the options for timing of the return of these students. 2/
This will take account of the latest data and will then be a key part of the wider roadmap steps. Students and institutions will be given a week’s notice ahead of any reopening. 3/
The Government recognises the difficulties and disruption that this may cause for many students and their families
where they remain unable to return to Higher Education settings... 4/
... but it is necessary to limit the number of students who return to university at this stage to minimise travel
and manage the risk of transmission. 5/
The Government has made available an
additional £70 million of hardship funding this financial year, which universities can
use to support students impacted by COVID-19. 6/
That is all. There are more questions than answers.

End of the Easter holidays? One week's notice? 7/
I wonder whether any thought has gone into just how little face-to-face there can be after Easter. All assessments have been moved online. 8/
I find it difficult to see how the risk of transmission will be minimised by a last minute call for students to return to University. 9/9

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More from @syrpis

20 Feb
If you want to take your mind off things...

Can you come up with the names of two bands which are synonyms of each other?

(This may appeal to @richardosman @VictoriaCoren)
I'll start the ball rolling (and keep one good one in reserve...)

The Charlatans and The Pretenders

The Brotherhood of Man and The Human League

The Cure and Therapy
The Cutting Crew and... The Scissor Sisters or (better) Editors.
Read 4 tweets
17 Feb
A quick thread about free speech in Universities, in the wake of the Govt's latest moves (which are here:…) 1/10
I think it might be helpful to think about 3 levels - individual, institutional, and Govt - and how the relationships between them can best be managed and navigated. 2/
First, individuals. Lecturers, students, speakers etc. Those in favour of free speech should be in favour of giving them the space in which to speak freely. Of course, there will be limits as rights (inevitably) conflict. 3/
Read 10 tweets
9 Feb
I'm not sure if this is right, but are there (m)any Brexiters who are still calling for 'no deal' with the EU?

For better or worse, I am certainly hearing a lot less from the 'Go WTO' crowd. 1/3
Instead (at least in those brief moments when the blame game is on hold) they are calling for solutions to problems (teething or otherwise) caused by the reintroduction of barriers to trade. 2/3
In my optimistic moments, I think that there may be a slow dawning realisation that solutions involve recreating at least a functional working relationship with the EU. 3/3
Read 5 tweets
31 Jan
'Vaccine priority' and 'vaccine nationalism'. Some hard questions. THREAD. 1/13
So far, the UK has had a successful vaccine programme. It has signed contracts which promise the delivery of many more vaccines than it needs (now over 300 million doses, I think...) 2/13
The JCVI has produced detailed advice on priority groups. There is some debate (notably within @uklabour) about whether teachers should be moved up the list; but in the main, the advice is accepted.… 3/13
Read 15 tweets
28 Jan
With due caution, a short thread on the vaccines row.

It is, in my view, a huge issue and will come to dominate global politics in the year ahead. Two world views are colliding, and there is no easy resolution. 1/7
First - vaccine supply can be seen as a 'normal' commercial contract, for a good which is very much in demand. Sellers seek out buyers and together they come to mutually satisfactory agreements. 2/7
If the EU or the UK or Nigeria (or Pfizer or AstraZeneca) have got what they think is a bad deal they should blame their lawyers, or their position on the market. If they have a got a better deal than their neighbours, that is to be cheered (loudly). 3/7
Read 9 tweets
24 Jan
An (almost certainly unnecessary) addition to the long list of slightly strained Brexit analogies, this time featuring Fred Flintstone's car. 1/6
Over many years, the EU member states built the single market, in order to remove not only tariffs and customs within Europe, but also a range of other technical barriers to trade (so-called non-tariff barriers). 2/ 6
One can imagine the trade relationship between the states as a car, with an engine, which needs careful maintenance. 3/6

See eg
Read 6 tweets

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