In line with the decision to close schools until early February, THE SCOTTISH government was directed to delay the return of university students.
On Monday, to try to prevent the spread of the new, more easily transmissible Covid 19 strain, Nicola Sturgeon placed the Scottish mainland under a new lockdown.
The First Minister also announced that all schools and nurseries would remain closed until at least 1 February, while education would be provided to key staff and vulnerable children.
The Scottish Liberal Democrats have now been calling for the closing of universities for the same time.
Coronavirus Scotland: schools until February to remain closed
Hundreds were forced to isolate themselves in residence halls after catching the virus when students returned to campus at the beginning of the summer term.
Plans for a phased return of university students were already in effect, who were given Covid 19 exams when they left campus last year to go home for Christmas.
Scottish Liberal Democratic leader Willie Rennie is now asking ministers to come up with a proposal to ensure the return of the students.
Willie Rennie, the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader.
He said, “The start of the new term has once again left students and universities in the dark. They should be immediately informed that face-to-face teaching will not begin until after February.”
I warned that this would be the greatest mobilization of people since the pandemic started, before students returned to campuses in the fall, and called for testing to protect students and the communities in which they reside. Instead, the indecision and lack of planning by the Scottish Government allowed the virus to be seeded across Scotland.
Nicola Sturgeon takes Scotland back into the lockdown of ‘sit at home’
Mr. Rennie said, “In the coming year, students need clarity about what their studies will look like.” Whether there will be face-to-face tuition and how it will be introduced, they need to know.
Many students have to pay away from home for student housing or private housing. The government needs to ensure that sufficient rent reimbursement is supported for these students. Many of them have made great sacrifices, they should not be financially penalized for it, to keep others safe.
If all students return after Christmas, SNP does not know
“Our colleges and universities need to have access to routine asymptomatic testing to start in campuses to reach people who are not symptomatic but carry the virus,” he said.
Much needs to be done to help unwell students obtain extra assistance from colleges and local health providers and support programs for mental health. This week, we need to see the Minister of Universities unveil comprehensive proposals to guarantee that students are not left in the lurch.
“already has plans for the staggered return of universities and colleges.”has plans for the staggered return of universities and colleges already.
She added: “We will consider this week whether any further change to that plan is necessary.”
“We are considering this week, in collaboration with universities, unions and student representatives, whether further changes are needed to the planned staggered return of university students,” a Scottish government spokesperson said.
“As set out in existing guidance, the message to students remains that they should not return to their accommodation during term time until face-to-face teaching resumes, as recommended by their institution.”
Scottish universities have been contacted for comment.