UK: Remaining University Students Can Return to Campuses as of May 17
United Kingdom Europe COVID-19 Higher Education News by Erudera News May 11, 2021
University students waiting to return to the United Kingdom will be able to do so from May 17, following Step 3 of the Roadmap and the launch of new employment and skills guide, UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced.
According to PM Johnson, the country could move forward to the Step 3 phase of the government’s roadmap, which will prompt the facilitation of restrictions on “indoor mixing and social contact.”
Certain students, in particular those who are completing practical courses, including science, engineering and who need to have access to specialist facilities and equipment, have already been allowed to enter campuses.
The remaining students expected to return to campuses are initially advised to perform a COVID-19 test at least one day before going back to their accommodation.
Once they arrive at their term-time accommodation, students and staff will be advised to take three supervised Lateral Flow Devices (LFD) tests three to four days apart at an on-campus asymptomatic testing site and will undergo testing two times a week throughout the rest of the summer semester.
“All students and staff who test positive from an LFD test will need to self-isolate for ten days unless they receive a negative PCR test result within two days of the LFD test being taken,” a press release issued by the UK’s government noted.
For those who are not able to go to an on-campus testing facility, home testing kits will be provided in order to assist them.
Universities Minister Michelle Donelan expressed delight that all remaining students will be able to return to in-person education, noting that ever since the pandemic started, their priority was to assist students in completing their courses and graduation.
“It is vital that we make every effort to keep us all as safe as possible, and every student will be offered three tests on return to campus. I would strongly encourage students to make use of the free tests available to them,” Donelan said.
Considering the pandemic, Donelan further said she is optimistic employers will recognize the resilience and strength of students graduating this year and how important their role is in helping the country recover.
The Department of Education, in collaboration with the Office for Students (OfS) and universities, will offer support to students who have completed their studies amid the pandemic and are facing difficulties to access the next opportunities in their lives.
The government will provide an additional £85m in hardship funding for students who are experiencing financial difficulties the most due to the pandemic. International students and postgraduates will also qualify for this funding together with the domestic undergraduate students.
Following the government’s decision to not allow students to return to in-person classes until May 17, the Universities UK (UUK) organization reacted through a press release, expressing huge disappointment over the decision
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