University of Kent needs to take a serious action against the coronavirus outbreak

University of Kent needs to take a serious action against the coronavirus outbreak

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Jane Doe started this petition to The University of Kent

The whole world is changing because of the virus outbreak.
 A lot of European countries’ leaders have implemented measures that aim to fight the spread of the COVID-19, including closures of various universities and other educational institutions, as well as all public places apart from shops where people can buy food and basic supplies. 

The UK’s gov took a different approach, which is being questioned by many scholars, scientists, other world leaders, WHO, and citizens/residents. 
Some of the UK Universities decided to take action independently of the gov’s advice (or lack of it), unfortunately, the University of Kent is not one of them. 

This Uni prides itself in being the ‘UK’s European University’, and as one ‘welcoming to all international students.’. Two of its campuses-Medway and Canterbury- host over 20.000 students, who travel all the time (to locations such as Italy, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, China, Japan, Jordan- all over the world), have contact with various people etc.
By now we all know that this imposes a huge risk to everyone in terms of contracting the virus. 
We want the University to prove that it really, truly is an European/International Uni, and that it cares about its students & appreciates their struggles. 

The lack of any preventative measures such as Uni closure, alternative assessment methods etc is not the only problem. Kent Uni does not appreciate the distress that its actions are causing to the students. 
- those whose countries of origin closed their borders and imposed quarantines won’t be able to see their loved ones for possibly quite some time now, because the University was unwilling to cancel seminars. Students stayed fearing that their absence levels will rise too high, and now they can only wait till they will be able to see their families again 

-others who decided to fly home last minute are at an extreme distress; not only because of the general issues that absences may cause, or financial burdens, but more importantly because of the huge consequences that they may face in relation to their Visa applications (10 missed seminars trigger the process) 

- those who have to/ wanted to stay here, but whose families are abroad are at an extreme distress ‘as it is’, due to worrying about their loved ones. As if that was not enough the University is acting in accordance with ‘business as usual’ tactic, requiring the students to submit their assessments and attend classes as normal. Not all students will be willing to go to the library, lectures and any places that have a capacity to sit thousands/ hundreds of people.

- Not only will the huge amount of stress impact our ability to focus and study, therefore grades. What will also bring them down is the approach of some of the University's lecturers/seminar leaders. 
Some students have their dissertations due in 4 weeks time, yet because of the strikes AND the current situation their questions have not yet been approved. 

We want the University to take action while considering all of the above factors.

If the University will decide that there should be alternative examination arrangements in place, students should also have a choice of either taking exams in a form of online sessions (as has been suggested by various Universities) , or normal handwritten examinations sessions at a later date. Not everybody is a good and fast typer, some people do in fact prefer taking their exams in the traditional way ‘on paper’, rather than on computer. 

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