Two students from the University of Sussex have written an open letter to Vice Chancellor Adam Tickell rejecting the university’s move to online teaching – demanding more options be provided for students during the coronavirus crisis. 

The letter, which has amassed 400 signatures since its publication on Tuesday 17 March, proposes extensions to deadlines, the possibility to retake modules in the Autumn term, as well as the option for individuals to graduate with their grades as they currently stand. 

One of the letter’s authors, Jude Whiley-Morton, said:

“It’s a joke that the university should move online, especially after telling us for years that attendance is essential and online learning is substandard. This is not the degree we paid for.” 

Tom Polyblank, co-author, added:

“English students today received an email politely telling us that we won’t receive any extension for assessments due after easter, nor any other kind of amends for the colossal disruption taking place this term, which is sure to affect our work. We are making it clear to the University that this is unacceptable, and that they must make amendments to the proposed changes.” 

The letter states the grievances of BA students, predominately in their final year, but encourages students of all years to sign. It also encourages postgraduate students, undergraduate students, and PhD students to put forth their own opinions, or write their own letters in opposition to the university’s changes. 

The letter will be sent formally to Adam Tickell on Friday 20 March, and will be available for students to sign indefinitely.  To read the open letter, click here.

The Badger have approached the University of Sussex for comment. A spokesperson said:

“Once the letter has been formally submitted to the University, we will take a detailed look and respond to our students. We understand that these are worrying times for everybody and we have acted quickly to safeguard our students and staff from this global pandemic.

Staff from across the University have pulled together in an incredible way in the past few days and weeks and we are ready to deliver our teaching online from Monday. We understand that a number of questions remain and we would urge our students to bear with us as we continue to respond to this unprecedented situation.

We won’t know all the answers straight away but we can assure everyone that we are taking into account all considerations and viewpoints from right across our community.”



The letter has been signed by 400 students thus far.




The letter was published on Jude Whiley-Morton’s instagram page.

One comment

Sussex students write open letter rejecting move to online teaching

  1. I think it’s a bit of overkill: it’s two weeks of online learning where you probably have to interact on some way to confirm attendance. So if I have to watch my lecturers deliver the material from home then so be it! I frankly see this as an opportunistic move from my colleagues to just not study anymore! I mean they seem so appalled that we need to do online learning that they propose we do no learning and we finish the year as it is! Now to me THAT is substandard education.

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