Then there is the problem of complying with professional accreditation bodies. Obvious examples include training for doctors and nurses. But there are many other organisations. For example, the Institute of Biomedical Sciences (IBS) is responsible for the accreditation of many university degrees that involve practical training (I ran one in the past). However, the IBS has responed to the crisis by rearranging its own examinations that include practical assessments. There are also many professional requirements associated with engineering. As for Biomedical Sciences, these requirements are safety-critical. A good example is the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) that accredits degrees in the area. Although there may be less emphasis upon accreditation, most science courses formally comply with guidelines set out by main professional bodies. For example, I was responsible for organising microbiology courses within several degree pathways that met the best international standards set out by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM Curriculum Guidelines for Undergraduate Microbiology). A key part of the expectation lies in “Microbiology Laboratory Skills” that includes training to “Practice safe microbiology, using appropriate protective and emergency procedures”. Managements will have to consider the effect on these vital activities. No doubt there will be many more requirements that universities will have to consider across many subjects.
Becoming detached from reality in the laboratories and classrooms.
How prepared were our universities?