Author Archives: erinlouise12

Swiss Universities are partially reopening: What do students think?

Switzerland has further relaxed its Covid-19 restrictions, since infection and hospitalisation rates have become increasingly stable. Currently, the vaccination roll-out is speeding up to over 51,000 jabs a day.

With the easing of restrictions it is now possible, for university students in Switzerland to return to campus after a year of online teaching, following recent government approval.

But there are still some restrictions; no more than 50 people in a class and rooms should not be filled beyond a third of capacity, mask wearing and hygiene measures also still apply.

For its part, the University of Geneva said that it would stick to online learning until the end of the spring semester on May 28, as it had announced earlier. This is to give stability to students and professors during what has been a very unpredictable time.

Lana studying remotely from home
photo credit: Erin Kalejs

Many other Swiss universities have now confirmed that they will either go back to some face to face teaching within the next few weeks or that they will remain online for the rest of the semester.

Switzerland is not the only country that has been keeping its university campuses shut during the pandemic. Universities in neighbouring countries France, Germany and Italy are also closed for on-campus teaching. 

University students in England will be allowed to return to face-to-face teaching from May 17 “at the earliest”.

Lana, a 19 year old university student studying in Geneva shared her thoughts and concerns on returning to in person learning. Listen to the audio interview below to find out what she said.

Want to read more global COVID-19 news? Check out our interactive map.

Featured image by Mira Kireeva on Unsplash

How Is Covid-19 impacting the aviation industry?

Covid-19 has put international travel on pause, as a result the aviation industry has suffered what it describes as “the worst year in history for air travel demand.” Andrew Brookes is a retired commercial airline pilot, he spoke to me about the challenges pilots are currently facing and what he thinks the future holds for the aviation industry.

Watch the video below to find out what he said.

Glastonbury Festival and Canterbury Cathedral’s Future rescued by aid From £400m culture fund

West End theatres, Canterbury Cathedral, and the Glastonbury Festival will get a part of the £400m emergency government culture funding.

A total of 2,700 English culture and heritage venues will share the latest amount of the Culture Recovery Fund to help save the future of the arts and culture sector. Canterbury Cathedral has gotten the biggest grant with £2m, while the Serpentine Galleries in London has been given £1.9m and Camden Roundhouse has £1.5m. More than £170m in loans has also been offered to organisations including the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company.

Glastonbury Festival will get a £900,000 grant from the fund, the festival was forced to call off two major events due to the pandemic. Its co-organisers Michael and Emily Eavis said they were “extremely grateful to be offered a significant award”. They added that the money will be a great relief after “losing millions from the cancellation of our last two festivals” and that the grant “will make a huge difference in helping to secure our future.” 

 The festival has also recently introduced the Live at Worthy Farm global livestream event for May 22nd. Virtual performances from Coldplay, Damon Albarn, HAIM, IDLES, Jorja Smith, Michael Kiwanuka, Wolf Alice, and Kano are expected to be shot from Glastonbury landmarks like the Pyramid Field and Stone Circle. It’s also guaranteed that “a number of unannounced surprise performances” will take place, tickets are available online priced at £20 each.

In his Budget in March, Chancellor Rishi Sunak stated that there will be an additional £300m for the fund, which is yet to be distributed. Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said the fund had helped culture and heritage businesses “survive the biggest crisis they’ve ever faced” and was now assisting them to “plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead”.