‘The university isn’t prepared’ - Edinburgh University students unable to log in to online classes on first day of teaching

As the first day of teaching got underway at the University of Edinburgh, students signing on for the first time this year were unable to log in to the online system which is being used for classes.

Edinburgh University Students Association president Ellen MacRae said the university advised her the logging in issues were not due to traffic-related reasons of too many students attempting to sign on at once but added that a resolution was being worked on urgently.

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A University of Edinburgh spokesperson said a “technical issue” with Learn was identified in the morning which was “swiftly resolved” and that the system is now up and running - and they are working with the suppliers to ensure any repeats will be avoided.

Edinburgh University. Pic: Shutterstock

‘It just crashed’

The outage was first recorded at 9:15am on Monday morning and is detailed on the university’s service alert platform to be ongoing with the situation being monitored throughout the day.

Speaking about the Learn platform being down this morning Hermione Marshall, a third year English literature and history student said: “It’s the first day of teaching and everyone was trying to get online to access their lectures and seminars and it just crashed. Some people who managed to get online couldn’t get into their seminars because they were running late due to technical issues.

“It seems like the staff have had training on the platform but it isn’t sufficient, seminars are a lot shorter but we’re being charged the same rate and it’s a big debt that feels like I am not getting the full benefit of university.

“Normally if something like this happened there might be a protest, but we can’t do that at the moment and if we did there would be articles out there saying we’re causing the second wave.

“It’s just demoralising and it makes everything seem a bit pointless, the university isn’t prepared and it feels like they can’t put the effort in. I wanted to come back to Edinburgh to see friends and feel part of the university community here and have a sense of structure.

“People have been making their own timetables and had planned to go online this morning to begin their learning but they haven’t been able to and they’ve missed out due to the issues. I’m just in disbelief, everything feels like a trial.”

She added: “The biggest frustration is the patchiness between different departments saying different things. There are some students who don’t have their timetables and some who didn’t know what books they needed for their course on Friday when the first day of teaching is today.

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“The university told us initially that there would be a blended mixture of in-person and online teaching, not everything is virtual which is understandable due to the pandemic, but I just wish we had been told. I might’ve stayed home in England because a second lockdown is likely to happen anyway.”

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