Will swine flu end freshers’ week?


The Guardian is reporting that universities may cancel freshers’ week because of swine flu concerns:

Universities are working on emergency plans to postpone freshers’ week activities and shut down parts of their campuses if the swine flu pandemic peaks when students return in September. Contingency plans to slow the spread of the virus, or to cope if the illness cripples staffing levels, include podcasting lectures and quarantining infected students in their halls of residence. There are fears that the start of term could exacerbate the pandemic, with nearly two million students starting or returning to university, and hundreds of thousands crossing the country to begin their courses.

This is a huge challenge for institutions and everyone will be preparing for such eventualities. Whether it will mean an end to freshers’ week traditions remains to be seen but this will be just one of the many difficult issues universities are going to face in the autumn.

It does seem rather unlikely that wholesale podcasting is going to be the answer though.

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