In response to the government announcement that there will be a staggered approach to students’ returning to university in January, Vanessa Wilson, University Alliance CEO said:
“We are pleased to see the guidance released today, which offers universities and their staff and students clarity on the plans for the new year, and demonstrates the government’s confidence that universities can safely welcome students back for blended teaching and learning. The guidance rightly states that campus facilities may stay open throughout the Christmas period, and Alliance universities will continue to support those students who remain on campus throughout the break; as they do every year.
“We particularly welcome the guidance’s specific provision for practical courses and scheduled placements to resume in line with their planned start dates. These courses, many of which are delivered at Alliance universities, are vital for ensuring the continued training of many key worker professions.
“Alliance universities have all mobilised exceptionally quickly to set up and deliver asymptomatic testing for students, and these facilities will continue to be in place and ready to support the safe return of students in January; with the right support from the government.
“We also welcome the financial commitment by the government to help universities support their most disadvantaged and vulnerable students, many of whom have faced greatly exacerbated challenges as a result of the pandemic.”