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Coronavirus: ‘entire nation is grieving’ says Priti Patel as UK passes 20,000 deaths | World news

12.28pm EDT 12:28 Evening summary More than 20,000 people have now died in UK hospitals after testing positive for coronavirus, making the country the fifth in the world to pass that grim milestone. Following a rise of 813 deaths since the number announced on Friday, the total now stands at 20,319, almost six weeks after










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As UK universities face huge losses due to the coronavirus pandemic, experts have warned they need to spend hundreds of millions of pounds to shift their degrees online.

Only around 20 universities are in a position to provide a good range of high-quality online courses by the new academic year in September, according to Prof Sir Tim O’Shea, the former vice-chancellor of Edinburgh University. Some of the country’s top-ranked Russell Group institutions, including Oxford and Cambridge, were not in that category, he added.

The warning comes as the sector seeks to attract and retain students already deterred from starting or continuing degrees next year, with physical distancing likely to mean lecture theatres and campus bars are closed.

Most universities would face costs of at least £10m to create five or six new online degrees in different faculties, said O’Shea, a leading expert on computer-based learning. This would total well over £1bn across the sector.

Durham University this week retracted controversial plans to deliver online-only degrees after protests by students and lecturers. Meanwhile, the vice-chancellor of Manchester University said it was preparing to expand its online courses to offset a predicted £270m loss next year.

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It would be irresponsible to give a date for relaxing restrictions – Patel

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