LONDON — Cambridge has become the first university in Britain to cancel all face-to-face lectures for the 2020-21 academic year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The university says all lectures will be held virtually and streamed online until summer 2021. Cambridge says it may be possible to hold tutorials and other teaching in small groups — a key part of the university’s system — when the new academic year starts in October, as long as social distancing can be followed.
The pandemic has already upended student life. Cambridge moved all its teaching online in March, and exams are being held remotely.
British universities are warning they will face a financial crisis if students decide they don’t want to pay tuition fees — currently 9,250 a year ($11,300) in England — for a virtual experience. Lockdowns and travel restrictions imposed because of the pandemic have also cut off the flow of international students, who pay higher fees and form a major source of income for U.K. universities.