View guides

Will Students Rush Home to Beat the Lockdown?

Posted by Richard Ward

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

According to Hilary Gyebi-Ababio, National Union of Students vice president, there could be a mass exodus of students looking to go home as the new national lockdown comes into force.

It comes after Universities Minister Michelle Donelan urged students not to rush home to help prevent coronavirus being spread across the country.

Despite the NUS and the lecturer's union UCU repeating calls for all university teaching to move online, the government published updated guidance this week that said some face-to-face teaching should continue.

Ms Gyebi-Ababio expressed concerns about the minister's statement, saying don't go home. She argues that students want to do what is safe for others and right for them, and that they should be allowed to have agency and make their own decisions. Furthermore, not all students have the usual support networks of friends or the formal support usually provided by universities, large parts of which are closed.

She added: "After this four week lockdown, students could be locked down for a further two weeks - that's a total of six. This could be really detrimental to their well-being and mental health."