University authorities in England are up in arms because COVID-19 restrictions are still stopping face-to-face learning.
Students, who have been studying remotely since last December, will not be allowed to return to campuses until shortly before the academic year ends.
Many politicians fear a spike in infections similar to what happened when universities opened last September.
Universities say too many students are suffering now because of government inaction. They say while schools have reopened, higher education is being stifled.
Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons reports from Staffordshire University in Stoke-on-Trent, in the English Midlands.