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Scotland Considers Staggered Returns Post Christmas

Posted by Richard Ward in ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Scotland's Education Secretary John Swinney has revealed further details as to how students will be able to return home over Christmas.

Following a rise in Coronavirus cases when students returned to university accommodation, thousands of students were told to self-isolate in halls.

Now John Swinney has suggested that the Scottish government is looking at staggering returns and how testing could form part of a broader strategy.

He said discussions with the UK government were focused on the detail, to make sure the movement of students going home for Christmas and returning back to accommodation after the holidays was handled safely to prevent a spread in Covid-19 in other areas of the UK.

In particular, it is hoped a staggered return over a longer period would help ease any strain on testing and reduce the chance of infection.

President of the National Union of Students (NUS) Scotland, Matt Crilly, said he wants to see a clear and coherent plan.

He added: "In terms of a return to campus in the new year, we must avoid a repeat of the mass outbreaks we saw among the student population in the autumn."

"Universities and Colleges need to clearly communicate with their students on what their next semester is going to look like, so that students can make an informed decision on whether they wish to return."

"NUS Scotland continues to call for remote learning to be the default position. That way no student has to go back to campus unless absolutely necessary. No student should be left asking themselves, again, why they've been asked to return for no good reason."