Responding to updated guidelines for students announced tonight by university principals and endorsed by the Scottish Government, Matt Crilly, NUS Scotland President, said:
“Tonight's announcement by Universities Scotland, and endorsed by the Scottish Government, unfairly blames students for the spread of coronavirus and takes the unjustified step of applying different rules to students over and above the rest of the adult population.
“These measures are deeply concerning - not least to those students who rely on income from hospitality jobs. Having different rules for students makes it even more confusing to stay within guidance, which could make things less safe. And the rules show a complete disregard for students’ mental health and wellbeing. We need better.
“To protect students and communities, we’re calling for targeted support for students who are isolating, for online learning to be the default position, and for students to be given the opportunity to return home without penalty when it is safe to do so.
“The recent outbreak is extremely concerning, and like everyone we students must comply with the public health guidance. It is important to remember that students were strongly encouraged to return to campus, leaving families and support networks behind. Like everyone else, students are anxious. We ask the university principals and the Scottish Government to refrain from singling out students and to provide urgent clarity on these measures and their impact on students.”