With coronavirus infection rates increasing throughout England and the rest of the UK, there are currently more than 3500 students in quarantine across student residences and university halls.
Last week, Health Secretary Matt Hancock refused to rule out banning students returning home at Christmas due to the threat of transmission to other communities. Now however, Downing Street sources have confirmed that it is “expected” that “students should be able to go home at Christmas”.
A spokesman for the Prime Minister has warned students “to follow rules as it applies to people in the local area” before the festive period begins and they return home.
The situation seems dire for students in Manchester Metropolitan University where there have been reports of security guards and police stopping them from leaving their residences.
The troubling case numbers seen across universities in the UK in just the few short weeks since the beginning of term has caused further disruption to students, many of whom are now demanding fee refunds due to the lack of face-to-face instruction.
In the summer, students endured a results u-turn that left many wondering if they would even be able to begin their further education studies this year.
In regard to fee refunds, a spokesman for the Prime Minister said the issue was a “matter for universities, which set their own fees”. The Government will however monitor universities to ensure “high-quality” education is delivered.
NUS President Larissa Kennedy said, “we must seriously look at reimbursements for students whose quality of learning has been significantly impacted.” Continuing, Kennedy stated that it was important that students should be able to cancel contracts with accommodation providers without facing penalties in order to return home and study remotely.
Some universities are yet to resume following the summer and Labour are urging the government to consider delaying the return of students to these campuses before that time.
In Northern Ireland, Queen’s University has also recently asked students to self-isolate following a cluster of infections.
Other relevant blogs:
The Reasons to Still Study Abroad in 2020
Will International Students Return to Australia by Christmas?
Students Return to Socially Distant Universities
Send My Bag has put together the top reasons you should still study abroad in 2020. Underlying each of these reasons is the fact that studying abroad will be one of the best experiences that you can have at university.