Education News: United Kingdom ( UK ) universities are all set to reopen from the start of Autumn Semester starting from this month amid the Coronavirus Pandemic. The universities are reopening under the Covid-19 Government Guidance which restricts large gatherings of more than six people across campuses.
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said in a statement to Parliament, “If you are a student who is about to return to university or go to university for the first time, then please, for the sake of your education and your parents’ and grandparents’ health, follow the rules and don’t gather in groups of more than six people,”
“The Department for Education has published the updated guidance for universities on how they can operate in a COVID secure way. This includes a clear request not to send students home in the event of an outbreak in order to avoid spreading the virus across the country,” he further said.
Under the Department for Education guidelines, students with coronavirus symptoms are told to “self-isolate in their current accommodation”
“Let’s be honest, these months have been incredibly difficult, for everyone involved,” said Universities Minister Michelle Donelan.
“The next few months will be very different for you and I want to thank you for all the hard work that you have done to ensure that social distancing measures are introduced, plus blended learning and COVID-19 secure measures. We agree with you – it is absolutely imperative that both students and staff are kept safe,” she said in a speech to members of Universities UK.
The first few weeks in September is the New academic year and traditionally it is the freshers meetup and gathering but this year due to coronavirus there will be efforts to limit the students and help prevent coronavirus.
“I do acknowledge that the pressures providers are facing as a result of COVID-19 are substantial and some may face serious financial difficulties as a result. That is why my department is working closely with the sector, the Office for Students and across government to monitor and fully understand the financial risks that providers are facing and help them access support where necessary, and have established a restructuring regime to support universities as a last resort, if it proves necessary,” Williamson said.
In reference to visa changes unveiled for international students on Thursday, he added: “We now have a world-class student visa offer befitting our world-class higher education sector – this will only improve once the Student Route is launched later this year, and student visa processes are further streamlined.”
The UK Home Office says the new route will simplify the existing Tier 4 Student Visa application process.